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FST Announces Featured Guests For Women's Suffrage Centennial Celebration Taking Place August 20


Award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, City of Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch and more are set to appear.

FST Announces Featured Guests For Women's Suffrage Centennial Celebration Taking Place August 20

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) announces the lineup for its virtual event on August 20, 2020, celebrating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. Award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, City of Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, and Suffragist Project Director Kate Alexander will each speak at the theatre's special online celebration, along with a slate of talented artists.

The occasion will bring together hundreds from across the country to recognize the ratification of the 19th Amendment in August 1920, which granted women the right to vote in the United States. The event also marks the culmination of The Suffragist Project, a two-year, city-wide artistic initiative led by FST that brought together over 60 community organizations to create their own artistic, educational, and cultural programming in honor of this year's important milestone.

FST's virtual gathering, 100th Anniversary Celebration: Ratification of the 19th Amendment, takes place on August 20, 2020. Attendees who arrive early will get a sneak peek of a new documentary following FST's Suffragist Project since its inception in 2018. Co-produced by BTN Films and METV Director Charles Clapsaddle, the film features several community organizations and events.

City of Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch will officially kick off the event at 5:30PM with opening remarks. Ahearn-Koch has been the Mayor since November 2019 and was elected as an At-Large Commissioner of Sarasota in May 2017. She has a Master's degree in International Political Economy from Columbia University and a BA in International Affairs from the American University in Paris. Her family moved to Sarasota in 1996, where she has worked in marketing and started her own consulting business.

FST Suffragist Project Director Kate Alexander will also speak, reminding attendees about the importance of using this historic moment as an opportunity for celebration and reflection. FST's Associate Director At-Large, Alexander has received numerous awards for directing, acting, and public service. She also leads the FST Forums program, a series of discussions about social issues explored in FST productions.

During the online festivities, accomplished artists Ariel Blue, Kim Crow, Carolyn Michel, Rachel Moulton, and Katherine Michelle Tanner will perform some of the greatest speeches from throughout the women's suffrage movement.

Blue is a Florida-based actor, singer, and writer. She has performed for the last 12 years in Mainstage productions with Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and FST Improv.

Crow is an Emmy-nominated actor, voiceover artist, writer-producer-director, and voice acting coach. She has been featured in film and on television, working alongside such legends as Richard Harris, Burt Reynolds, and James MacArthur.

Michel appeared on Broadway with Sid Caesar in Sid Caesar & Company and has performed at theatres across the country. She has been a resident actor at Asolo Repertory Theatre for 24 seasons, and has appeared in numerous productions at Florida Studio Theatre, including Sylvia and Family Secrets.

Moulton has performed in several Off-Broadway productions and at regional theatres across the country, including Pioneer Theatre Company and Syracuse Stage. She has starred in nine productions at FST and currently serves as Development Associate for Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre.

Tanner is an actor, playwright, and the Artistic Director of Tree Fort Productions. She starred in FST's Stalking the Bogeyman and Gidion's Knot in 2017, and has toured the country performing the one-woman play, The Amish Project.

Award-winning journalist and author Charlayne Hunter-Gault will start to wrap up the event with an inspiring address. Over the course of her career, Hunter-Gault worked for The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and the Public Broadcasting Service. She has built a reputation as a keen investigator of social injustice, especially among African Americans. She became well-known as the national correspondent on PBS-TV's MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, and has written landmark articles on subjects ranging from the ravages of heroin addiction to the evils of apartheid in South Africa.

Finally, the program will conclude with a moment of reflection and a short tribute featuring artists from across the United States.

FST's online experience, 100th Anniversary Celebration: Ratification of the 19th Amendment, will be conducted via Zoom on August 20, 2020 at 5:30PM. The event is free, but reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, visit or call FST's Box Office at 941.366.9000.

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