RAP-PUNZEL to Kick Off Florida Studio Theatre's 'Write a Play' Season, 9/23

RAP-PUNZEL to Kick Off Florida Studio Theatre's 'Write a Play' Season, 9/23

Florida Studio Theatre's WRITE A PLAY season will kick off in the Keating Theatre with RAP-Punzel by Beth Duda and Adam Ratner. Directed by Associate Artist, Jason Cannon, performances begin in the Keating Theatre on Monday, September 23 and will play through November 14 to students from Sarasota and Manatee County schools. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased through FST's WRITE A PLAY Coordinator, Patrick A. Jackson, at 941.366.9797.

RAP-Punzel, is a delightful twist on a classic tale, by FST Director of Education, Beth Duda and Lead Teaching Artist, Adam Ratner. In this adaptation, Punzel uses her love of language and rhyme to overcome her fears and fully realize her authentic self. This humorous and touching tale of self-actualization will have you tapping your toes and rooting for Punzel as she encounters challenges on her road to becoming RAP-Punzel.

Playwright and Director of Education, Beth Duda, gives insight into the inspiration behind this rhythmic and colorful show stating, "The initial seed for our adaptation of RAP-Punzel was a question. 'Why does loss or tragedy stop some people in their tracks, while others are able to pick themselves up and keep moving?' Punzel and her mother, Wilhelmina navigate a very big storm in their lives. At first, their inability to articulate their feelings and their fears keep them in isolation. The consequences of their isolation force them to make different choices for growth. Punzel's journey shows us the importance of finding our true talents and being brave enough to let our true selves shine bright."

Director Jason Cannon further expands upon the relevance of this show stating, "Fairy tales endure because they reflect the universal experience of being human in such potent and resonant ways. In presenting an "updated" version of Rapunzel, FST is tapping in to the timelessness of such themes as isolation, bullying, fear of loss, and courage."

Every year at FST, the fall children's show begins the season with a healthy dose of imagination, inspiration, and a ton of fun! As the Keating Theatre doors open, the excitement radiates from these young children as they eagerly find their seats. Anxious toes tap and energetic whispers ensue as the lights go down. For many of these children, this is the first theatrical production they have ever seen. Others are about to see a show that will inspire them to write their own plays for submission in FST's annual Young Playwright's Festival in the spring.

It is this passionate energy from on and off the stage that inspires the FST staff to continue to produce a program that presents the truth of humanity through a child's eyes. The shows cast will be comprised of the 2014/15 FST Acting Apprentices. WRITE A PLAY Coordinator, Patrick A. Jackson summed up his excitement for the opening of the season stating, "I am excited to present this year's fall children show RAP-Punzel as our opener to the 2014-2015 WRITE A PLAY Season. The story is a fresh look at the classic tale that will help everyone, student and teacher, feel more empowered about what makes them, them."

This rhythmic tale of facing fears and living life with true passion and harmony will begin September 23 in the Keating Theatre, and play Monday through Friday at 9:45am, 11:00am, and 12:15pm. Tickets are $6 and can be purchased through FST's WRITE A PLAY Coordinator, Patrick A. Jackson, at 941.366.9797.

Since 1991, WRITE A PLAY, an arts-in-education initiative, has introduced thousands of students to professional theatre and provided them with the skills and motivation to create original plays. High energy, interactive performances, workshops and long-term residencies inspire children's creativity, bolster their communication and literary skills, and instill in them an appreciation of the arts. Students are encouraged to write from their own point of view and in doing so, they create diverse plays such as Tears By The Lake, a touching tale about the ups and downs of children dealing with divorce, and Tuna Trouble, a zany adventure about three cockroaches escaping the cupboard.

Now in its 23nd year, the WRITE A PLAY program reaches over 55,000 students each year in Florida, Scotland, Russia and Israel. Since the inception of WRITE A PLAY, this unique program has impacted more than one million children. Teaching children to write, FST's WRITE A PLAY program has not only inspired young creative minds, it has also increased reading and writing scores in the program's participants.

The core of the WRITE A PLAY program is its three-play series: RAP-Punzel sets the example of a well-made play; the PLAYMAKERS Tour: Imagination Celebration, travels across the state of Florida during the winter months teaching children to write plays; and UNDER SIX: The Land of Yes!, the compilation of winning plays submitted to FST's Young Playwrights Festival.

The WRITE A PLAY year culminates with a celebration of all the young playwrights' hard work and creativity with the Young Playwrights Festival in May. Last year, winning playwrights, honorable mention winners ages 6-18, and their guests, including educators, traveled from around Florida and as far away as Dunfermline, Scotland to view a special presentation of their original plays and receive their awards. Some came from big sprawling campuses with hundreds of students and others came from small one-room schools. Many came from big cities and some from small towns.

About Florida Studio Theatre - Known as Sarasota's contemporary theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman's Club building - now renamed the Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American

theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the newly renovated Gompertz Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne's Lab Theatre.

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. Under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving and dynamically changing world. As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.

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