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Asolo Rep presents TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

Asolo Rep proudly presents the final production of its 2016-17 season: TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, the stunning new theatrical re-imagination of Jules Verne's classic deep sea tale created by Craig Francis and Rick Miller, who will direct the production, presented by Canada's family-focused entertainment Production Company Kidoons and WYRD Productions and produced by Jeff Lord. TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA comes to life on stage by way of visually striking multimedia storytelling, with vivid projections that will take the audience on the voyage of a lifetime. Previews are Wednesday, June 7 and Thursday, June 8 at 7pm, opening night is Friday, June 9 at 7pm and the production runs through Saturday, July 1 in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.

Magnificent sea creatures! A spectacular submarine! Time travel! Take a plunge into the pages of Jules Verne's classic science fiction story and get swept away in this dazzling multisensory experience. Our modern-day storyteller Jules finds himself transported on board the Nautilus submarine, where he joins the mysterious Captain Nemo on a journey to the depths of the sea. Brought to stunning life through a mix of unforgettable characters, eye-popping projections and interactive technology, this time-honored tale explores our place in time and space, and illuminates the mysteries of the deep blue sea. The perfect family summer outing, TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA continues Asolo Rep's ongoing commitment to present engaging theatrical work for families, and is recommended for ages 7 and up.
Actor Serafín Falcón portrays the mysterious Captain Nemo. A Florida native, Mr. Falcon has appeared on The Sopranos, Graceland, Burn Notice, and others. He also originated the role of Forest Hunter in Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz's Hurricane. Suzy Jane Hunt plays Professor Aronnax. She has appeared as Viola in Twelfth Night at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and on Broadway in Theresa Rebeck's Dead Accounts. She also has a recurring role on the Emmy-nominated FX hit The Americans.

Brendan McMahon takes on the role of Jules. His New York City credits include The Rite of Spring and The Firebird at Lincoln Center, La Divina Caricatura at The Public Theater and Manipulation at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Marcel Jeannin rounds out the cast as Ned Land. He is a past member of the Stratford Festival and National Arts Centre of Canada acting companies, and his recent credits include Karl/Steve in Clybourne Park at Centaur Theatre and Trigorin in The Seagull at the Segal Centre in Montreal.

Co-creator/producer Craig Francis is a writer, performer, visual artist and storyteller. The co-creative director of the Kidoons Network, he is an accomplished cartoonist and the creator of animated series including Jerry Muskrat's The Greatest Lakes Adventure, and Grandfather Frog's Water Wonderful World. Co-creator, director and producer Rick Miller is a winner of Canada's Dora and Gemini Awards. Hailed as "one of the 100 most creative people alive today" by Entertainment Weekly, he has performed in five languages on five continents. He serves as the artistic director of WYRD Productions and co-creative director of the Kidoons Network.

"TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is a classic for a good reason: it is an adventure with great love of science, and has one of the most mysterious anti-heroes of all time in Captain Nemo," said co-creator Craig Francis "We wanted to honor Jules Verne's vision and also plunge the story into the technology of today: the screen. Will you use the screen to connect, or disconnect? This is an incredibly visual, multi-media experience created by a team of passionate artists. I've seen grandkids and their grandparents get lost in the production together... with lots to talk about and explore after!"

"When Craig Francis and I talked about collaborating on new shows that cross barriers between media, cultures and languages, TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA sparked us both as a perfect fit," said director and co-creator Rick Miller. "Our vision is to create an immersive family experience that not only captures the magic of live theater, but extends beyond the stage as a trans-media experience. Hopefully, when you come out of the show as a 'New Atlantean,' you'll feel inspired to take action on today's water issues, and to connect with people doing great work all over Florida - and around the world!"

Asolo Rep has proudly partnered with several community organizations in celebration of this underwater adventure. Partners include Mote Marine Laboratory, South Florida Museum, Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, and Sarasota and Manatee County Libraries and Schools. Organizations will host special events themed to connect with TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. On May 19, Mote Marine will host a screening of the 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA Disney film for its monthly Mote Member Movie Night, and Mote's annual World Oceans Day Family Festival takes "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" as this year's theme. Libraries will also host Twenty Thousand Adventures workshops throughout May and June. Activities also include Family Night: Magic, Myths and Monsters at South Florida Museum on June 3, featuring a special screening of the Disney film.

In conjunction with its partner organizations, Asolo Rep will also host Family Day at TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA on Saturday, June 17 beginning at 12:30pm. This special matinee performance will provide theatre-loving families an affordable way to see this transporting production, and welcomes them to learn more through special pre-show activities. Tickets for Family Day start at $10 for children and $20 for adults. Ticket packages are available and start at $30.

With donor support, Asolo Rep is providing more than 1,000 youth and family members with free tickets to TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, as well as souvenir knapsacks, each stuffed with a book, activity sheets, and more. Partner organizations include ALSO Youth; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Booker Middle School; Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee and Sarasota Counties; Girls, Inc.; Jewish Family and Children's Services; Prism Youth Initiative; Visible Men Academy; and Sarasota County Libraries. Asolo Rep is also conducting educational workshops in Manatee and Sarasota County Schools, including Rowlett Academy and Pine View School.

"We're thrilled to present this brand new, boldly reimagined stage adaptation of an iconic novel. Not only is it a treat for the senses, but it's also an innovative and profoundly engaging new piece of theatre. It will enthrall audiences of all ages," said Michael Donald Edwards, Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Rep. "Infused with timely ecological conservation themes, TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA is particularly relevant for us right here in Sarasota, a beachfront community dedicated to preserving and protecting our oceans."

TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA PERFORMANCE TIMES

  • Wednesdays at 1:30pm and 7pm (excluding June 7, which only has an evening performance)
  • Thursdays at 7pm
  • Fridays at 7pm
  • Saturdays at 2pm and 7pm
  • Sundays at 2pm (no performance on Sunday, June 4 or June 11)

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