Florida Studio Theatre Receives $30,000 Grant for FOR THE AGES Project

Florida Studio Theatre Receives $30,000 Grant for FOR THE AGES Project

Florida Studio Theatre is delighted to announce that Gulf Coast Community Foundation has approved a $30,000 grant for the development and production of "FOR THE AGES: A Cultural Gerontology Project," a new initiative that will create a première docudrama comprised of interviews with audience members and experts on the issues of aging.

Every day, our American culture seems to put more and more value on youthfulness and the young, and every day ageism becomes a more pressing issue. To confront this issue, FST is empowering its audience to not just see a play, but create a play that directly addresses their struggles. By doing so, FST will create a theatrical event that will serve as a conduit for dialogue, understanding, and social change. FST has commissioned playwright K.J. Sanchez and her New Jersey based theatre company, American Records, to collaborate with Artistic Director Richard Hopkins and FST company members to create this new play.

On May 10 at 2pm in the Keating Theatre, a working draft of the play will be the centerpiece of FST's Richard and Betty Burdick New Play Festival. This will be followed by a talkback led by Artistic Director Richard Hopkins.

Hopkins speaks to impact of this donation stating, "Gulf Coast Community Foundation continues to be a stalwart supporter of FST and art in our area. This grant will enable us to pursue an original piece of theatre specifically created by, for, and with the Sarasota community. I am delighted that they have joined us in pursuit of developing FOR THE AGES, a smart, funny, and realistic view of what it means to age in the 21st century."

FST Associate Artist and FOR THE AGES collaborator Jason Cannon described this exciting new venture as, "A docudrama built from interviews with our community, FOR THE AGES will ask the same questions to every generation to gain a 360 degree view of this topic that affects everyone, and that is perceived differently depending on your 'age'." It is due to this generous contribution provided by Gulf Coast Community Foundation that FST will have the perfect opportunity to create a theatrical, absorbing, and accessible arts project with substantial community impact.

Together with its donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation transforms its region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, it has become the philanthropic home of more than 550 families who have established charitable funds there and has invested $167 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.

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 renovated Gompertz Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret and the John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne's Lab.

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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