Asolo Repertory Theatre Celebrates The 20th Anniversary Of Its Mainstage 1/27

Asolo Repertory Theatre is proud to announce the official 20th anniversary celebration of the Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre, Asolo Rep's mainstage. The Scottish themed event, complete with bagpipes and honors from city dignitaries, will be held on January 27, 2010, in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts at 5555 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

In a special proclamation, Mayor Richard Clapp and "the City Commission of the City of Sarasota, Florida, on behalf of the citizens of Sarasota, recognize January 27, 2010, as 'The Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre Day' a day of special importance and worthy of the recognition of the citizens of the City of Sarasota."

Mayor Clapp will read the City of Sarasota proclamation, and a special dedication from the city of Dunfermline, Scotland will also be read, before the curtain rises on the 8 p.m. performance of Asolo Rep's production of The Perfume Shop on January 27.

In honor of the Scottish origins of the Mertz Theatre (formerly known as The Dunfermline Opera House):
§ The Jacobites Pipe and Drum Band will perform outside the theatre and on stage concurrent with the reading of the proclamation.
§ Wilde Lexus, official sponsor of all Asolo Rep Wednesday performances (Wilde Wednesdays) will replace its usual pre-show complimentary champagne with a Scottish themed drink.
§ Patrons attending the performance are invited to wear tartan or plaid to commemorate the Scottish themed anniversary celebration.

Tickets for the performance are available through the Asolo Rep box office at 941-351-8000, or 800-361-8388, or online at

Mertz Theatre (Dunfermline Opera House) original dedication in 1990: On January 27, 1990, Asolo Rep's mainstage was dedicated as the Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre, and this wonderful intimate Scottish theatre had its official opening in Sarasota. Dignitaries and invited guests attended the dedication ceremonies for both the Asolo Center for the Performing Arts (now the FSU Center) and the Mertz Theatre. Attendees included Senator Bob Johnson, Secretary of State Jim Smith, the Asolo Rep's Executive Board, various members of the Scottish Societies and special guests from Dunfermline, Scotland. The Mayor, Lou Ann Palmer, read the original proclamation presented by the City of Sarasota. The Riverview High School Pipe Band and Highland Dancers paraded in front of the theatre, headed by Pipe Major, Todd Thomas. Festivities were followed by a performance of Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw.

About Asolo Rep: Asolo Repertory Theatre is Florida's premier professional theatre and one of the most important cultural forces in the Southeastern United States. Having built a more than 50-year reputation as a center for theatrical excellence, Asolo Rep crafts the highest quality productions of classical, contemporary, and newly commissioned work all performed in the rarest form of rotating repertory. Featuring an accomplished resident company - complemented by distinguished guest artists - Asolo Rep offers audiences a unique and dynamic theatre experience. Under the skillful leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele, this world-class institution has taken a bold step toward the future, building landmark partnerships and collaborations which will add to its success for generations to come.

The Jacobites Pipe & Drum Band was founded by Gary Reinstrom and Larry Jacobs in September, 2002 when a pipe band was needed to lead Bradenton's Patriots Day parade commemorating the events of 9/11/2001. Learn more at

Learn more about Asolo Rep and the Mertz Theatre at

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