DAS BARBECU, TALLEY'S FOLLY and More in Florida Studio Theatre's Season Lineup

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Florida Studio Theatre presents a new Summer Season lineup – with a Ring Cycle-inspired musical, a Pulitzer Prize-winning love story, and a comedy full of mistaken identities and slamming doors.  

The Summer Season opens June 13 and plays through September 9 in the Keating and Gompertz Theatres (Downtown Sarasota). A subscription to all three plays can be purchased for as little as $29, online at www.floridastudiotheatre.org or by calling the box office at (941) 366-9000.

Artistic Director Richard Hopkins said, "The summer promises to be a time for laughter and whimsy. Following a highly successful and very dramatic winter season, both the FST staff and the audience are ready to enjoy some lighter fare, and delve into the intelligent design of life that only comedy can provide."

The 2012 Summer Season kicks off with DAS BARBECÜ, with book and lyrics by Jim Luigs and music by Scott Warrender. Wagner's epic Ring Cycle set in modern day Texas with some country western twang! Through flashbacks and songs, the entire cycle is told at breakneck speed by five actors playing 30 outrageous characters (transformed from gods and monsters to billionaires and road-side show men).  The cast includes FST favorites Stacey Harris, Joanna Parson, and Stephen Hope.

Joanna Parson has appeared in the FST productions of Outlaws and Angels and last summer's Cowgirls. Stephen Hope has appeared in numerous shows at FST-most recently Laughing Matters 2011, That's Life Again, and …Spelling Bee.  Stacey Harris has appeared at FST in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, That's Life and That's Life Again. 

Billie Wildrick and Joshua Carter make their FST debuts. Both Wildrick and Carter performed together in the recent production of Das Barbecü at Seattle's ACT Theatre. 

Dennis Courtney will direct the production. Courtney returns to FST after directing this season's Shake, Rattle & Roll and That's Life Again. He is joined by Music Director David Nelson, Choreographer Stephen Hope, Scenic Designer Rob Eastman-Mullins, Lighting Designer Joseph P. Oshry, Costume Designer April Soroko, and Sound Engineer John Valines.

Das Barbecu will have preview performances on June 13 and June 14 at 8pm, with a press opening on Friday, June 15 at 8pm in the Keating Theatre. The play will run through Sunday, July 9.  

Opening next in the Keating Theatre, TALLEY'S FOLLY by Lanford Wilson – the Pulitzer-Prize winning play that unfolds on the 4th of July near the end of World War II. 

In the romantic setting of a moonlit boat house, Jewish accountant Matt Friedman has one chance to win Sally Talley's heart. The pair discovers the humor and vulnerability of true intimacy. This beautifully-written tale proves how difficult and terrifying relationships can be, while celebrating the transformative power of love.  

Lanford Wilson's moving and thought-provoking plays include Balm in Gilead, Lemon Sky, Hot L Baltimore, Burn This and Fifth of July. 

Florida Studio Theatre first presented the regional premiere of Talley's Folly in its 1982 Mainstage season, marking this revival as the 30th anniversary. 

Talley's Folly will have preview performances on July 25 and July 26, with a press opening on Friday, July 27 at 8pm in the Keating Theatre. The play will run through Sunday, August 26.

Closing out the summer season, is the comedy PERFECT WEDDING by Robin Hawdon in the newly renovated Gompertz Theatre. This production will be the first play presented in the renovated Gompertz Theatre, which is part of the New Gompertz Theatre campaign (FST's largest capital improvement campaign in its 38-year history).

Perfect Wedding is the hysterical British romp full of mistaken identity, slamming doors and comedy of a most desperate kind.  On the morning of his wedding, Bill wakes up in his honeymoon suite with a dreadful hangover and a naked woman next to him. But, this isn't his bride-to-be. In fact, Bill has no idea who she is. He needs to sort things out fast, though, because his wedding is only hours away; his best man is knocking on his door; and not far behind is his fiancée and future mother-in-law. Desperate times call for desperate measures in this hysterical romp of a love story gone wrong!

Playwright Robin Hawdon has had an extremely varied career. From novelist and West End playwright to TV soap actor, B-movie film star and Hamlet, to director of one of England's foremost theatres, his activities have spanned numerous aspects of the arts. His first major commercial success, The Mating Game, achieved a long run at London's Apollo Theatre and has subsequently played in over thirty countries around the world. This was followed by other much performed and published plays such as Birthday Suite, Revenge, Don't Rock the Boat, The Perfect Wedding, God and Stephen Hawking and the hugely successful Don't Dress for Dinner (his adaptation of the French play by Marc Camoletti).

Perfect Wedding will have preview performances on August 8 and August 9, with a press opening on Friday, August 10 at 8pm in the Keating Theatre. The play will run through Sunday, September 9.

All 3 shows of the Summer Season – Das BarbecÜ, Talley's Folly and Perfect Wedding – will be presented at both FST's Keating Theatre and Gompertz Theatre. Single tickets range from $19 for previews to $29-$38 for regular performances. A subscription to all 3 of the Summer Season ranges from $29-$45.  Both subscription tickets and single tickets may be purchased from the FST Box Office in person or by calling (941) 366-9000 or online at www.FloridaStudioTheatre.org .  FST's website is also an excellent source for videos, articles and information about FST's productions.

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 three theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret and the Gompertz 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.

Photo Credit:  Chris Bennion

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