Florida Studio Theatre Offers Specialized Theatre Classes

Ever wanted to know how a play is produced from start to finish? Or what the rehearsal process is like? Florida Studio Theatre takes theater fans behind the scenes of the theatrical process and allows a further appreciation of the theatre in a new class session beginning the week of November 30.

One of our most popular classes of the first education session, Behind the Scenes at FST invites students to get an intimate view of the theater. Throughout an eight-week class setting, students will be invited to a series of readings, rehearsal and discussions of the next Mainstage production, Ruined.

Ruined is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about Mama Nadi, the owner of a canteen, who serves up everything from a cold beer and a warm meal - to the company of a woman. It is a glimpse into the Congo during a decade of civil unrest.

Participants got a glimpse of how the rehearsal process begins from the cast's initial meeting. Students in Session I were invited to the first table read of FST's opening Mainstage production, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, on October 27. This was the first time the Spelling Bee actors and artistic staff came together to discuss the upcoming musical and conduct a read-through of the show in its entirety.

Students also have the opportunity to join the professionals for Script Analysis, Design Concept Meeting, Play Panel Discussion, First Run Through (first time actors run through show in rehearsal), Tech Rehearsal and Dress Rehearsal, giving a full circle of creation from start to finish.

If students want to express their literary wit and explore the dynamics of the American drama, the Play Reading Club class offers a book club setting with a focus on plays. The class will meet weekly to read and analyze scripts, and will require outside reading assignments to fully delve into discussion and exploration, with a special eye toward production and performance values.

In addition to reading plays and listening to the stories of all different genres, students can enroll in TrueSpeak, a class based entirely on the storytelling genre of our lifetimes. Participants will develop and perform their own true narratives in a friendly and supportive environment. Beth Duda, the Director of Education, says that the participants "often laugh so hard as we are recounting the stories. The stories range from really funny to very poignant moments." These sessions will culminate in public performances in the Cabaret later this year.

All classes are held in FST's professional rehearsal studios in the heart of downtown Sarasota. 1241 North Palm Avenue. The class fees range from $59 - $199 and will begin the week of November 30. Act now! Most classes have limited space. Reservations can be made by contacting FST's Education department at 941.366.1350 or by visiting www.floridastudiotheatre.org .

The adult teaching staff is comprised of a core of theatre professionals trained to teach free from personal dictates. Our methodology helps each person find his or her own "door" to creative achievement. In addition, guest artists and teachers visit throughout the session.

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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