FST Improv Announces Winter Blunderland 11/29

By: Nov. 11, 2011

FST Improv is decking the halls, pouring the egg nog, and lighting the Menorah for a brand new Holiday comedy show! On Tuesday nights beginning November 29, catch Winter Blunderland at 8:30pm in the Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are only $12 and can be purchased online at floridastudiotheatre.org or by calling the box office at (941) 366-9000.

Winter Blunderland will be a completely different and dynamic form of improvisation based on a ‘longform' narrative style. Each week, the cast will create a new play, completely unscripted, made up on the spot! It will be an "Instant Holiday Classic" each week. Watch as the performers take you on a dramatic journey from first audition, to rehearsal, to opening night of the improvised play.

"Winter Blunderland is a celebration of all things holiday in the form of a play, spontaneously created right before the audience's eyes," said guest Improv teaching artist Jeremy Lamb. "What's great about the show is its immediate appeal for the audience, because that play has never been created before and will never be repeated again. It's just for them, the people in that audience in that moment, and then it's gone, kind of like the holidays."

FST Improv is Sarasota's resident Improv troupe at Florida Studio Theatre. Under the direction of Rebecca Hopkins, the Improv program has expanded from its humble beginnings in 2001 to a year-round performance schedule, the Sarasota Improv Festival, and Improv education classes.
The cast of 9 actors includes a mix of familiar and fresh faces. New to the FST Improv roster are FST Acting Apprentices, Victoria M. Fragnito and Andy McCain, and Vintage Whine performer, Nanci Rand. FST Improv veterans include Adam Ratner, Christine Alexander, Catey Brannan, Darryl Knapp, and Tim Beasley. Directing the troupe is guest Teaching Artist and Improv performer, Jeremy Lamb.

The show will play Tuesdays, November 29, December 6, December 13, December 27 at 8:30pm in the Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are only $12 and can be purchased online at floridastudiotheatre.org or by calling the box office at (941) 366-9000.


Jeremy Lamb (Director/Ensemble) joins the Florida Studio Theatre staff for the fall, working in expanding the FST Improv program. Jeremy has been directing, producing, and performing improv for nearly 15 years. He has trained with Second City, iO, and UCB LA, but credits most of his artistic growth to his fellow troupemates in Available Cupholders, who have been there since the beginning. In addition to being the director of AvCuph, he is also the Executive Producer of Austin's Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this past Labor Day Weekend.
Adam Ratner (Ensemble) has been a part of the FST family for nearly 25 years. A graduate of Florida State University's Theatre Program, for the past 10 years he has been a member of the Education Staff as a Teaching Artist, actor, playwright, Young Playwrights Festival coordinator and director of the Kids Komedy Club. He has traveled to several countries teaching playwriting for the WRITE A PLAY PrograM. Adam is also a member of the FST Improv Troupe.

Christine Alexander (Ensemble) is an award-winning improv artist and producer. She is an original member of the FST Improv and a founding member of Lazy Fairy Improv. As a comedian, she's known best for her Translation for the Hearing Impaired improv. Christine is the co-owner and producer of the popular e-newsletter, AnythingArts.com. She is well known not only for making other people laugh, but also for her own enthusiastic laughing... or sea-lion imitation, depending on your opinion.
Catey Brannan (Ensemble) has performed improv comedy for 15 years. In addition to FST Improv she also performs with Lazy Fairy Improv. She has a theater degree from the University of Minnesota Morris and studied LeCoq technique at the London International School of Performing Arts.
Tim Beasley (Ensemble) is one of the original cast members of FST Improv, which means he is getting pretty old (just ask Rebecca). He has gained a wealth of knowledge and more than a few pounds in the past 10 years. When Tim is not performing, his hobbies are annoying other people and complaining about the weather. Tim works in his real life as an Emergency Room nurse (yes, really). So, as long as there is pain and suffering in Sarasota, Tim will be just fine. Tim is currently involved in a number of 12-step programs.

DARRYL KNAPP (Ensemble) has been doing Improv for over 15 years. He has trained with such luminaries as UCB, Second City, The Groundlings, Dick Schaal, David Razowsky and of course SAK Comedy in Orlando. He is currently a member of five Improv groups in the state of Florida. He is an avid Tampa Bay Rays fan and can be seen sometimes as Sierra Mist in the daily races when available.

Nanci Rand (Ensemble) is still loving her many roles: manager and buyer for Dream Weaver, performer with Vintage Whine and everyone's "Jewish Mother." Her five granddaughters understand "over-the-top" ..... her husband understands "marriage is improvising"...they celebrated 50 years this August. To life... "L'Chaim."
Victoria M. Fragnito (Ensemble) hails from Allentown, PA and is a recent graduate of DeSales University. Her previous acting credits include: Ophelia in Hamlet (WillPower Tour- PSF), Annie in Robin Hood (PSF), and Jody in Quilters (Act1, DeSales). Her directing credits include Associate Director Romeo and Juliet (PSF), Assistant Director Playboy of the Western World, South Pacific, A Midsummer Nights Dream (PSF), and Gilgamesh (Circle of Stones).

Andy McCain (Ensemble) is honored to be making his debut with FST as an Acting Apprentice and as a performer with the FST Improv troupe. Andy is originally from Mequon, WI. Since graduating Catawba College, he has worked at the Charleston Stage Company, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, National Theatre for Children, California Theatre Center, Sierra Repertory Theatre and the Lake Dillon Theatre Company. Please feel free to check out: www.andymccain.com.
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 three theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret and its newest space, 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.


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