FST Announces Two-Year Regional Artistic Initiative Celebrating 100 Years Of Women's Suffrage

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) will organize and produce a large-scale community outreach initiative in honor of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage (to be recognized August 26, 2020). The project's first year will be dedicated to the cultivation of creative partnerships, development of new works, and planning of community events. In the second year, Florida Studio Theatre, along with its community partners, will roll out a year-round event series, including artistic productions, author readings, workshops, oral history projects, forum discussions, and an in-school engagement program - all in celebration of the suffrage centennial.

FST, Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, will engage some of its best actresses and female playwrights to produce original, all-new works commemorating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage. FST will also forge partnerships with fellow regional arts and culture groups, such as the Sarasota County Library System, inviting these community partners to generate their own events as part of this historic, regional project. Finally, FST is releasing a call for action, inviting work samples and project proposals from literary, visual, and performing artists to be considered for participation.

As the producers of the region-wide celebration, FST will oversee the development of community events taking place in late 2019 through early 2020 to commemorate 100 years of women's right to vote in the United States. FST's Associate Director At-Large, Kate Alexander, will serve as Director of the project. Alexander shared, "The hard won vote emerged from centuries of silence, and we plan to cull the immense vitality of the artists and organizations in our community to honor it."

WHY

In honor of the centennial celebration of women's suffrage, this region-wide artistic initiative will serve as a creative catalyst that will spark dialogue about voting, women's rights, and pressing social issues of our time.

"It said simply: 'everybody counts,'" explained FST's Producing Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins. "It [the ratification of the 19th amendment] was a momentous occasion. Our goal is to celebrate the nation and the notion that we are all 'created equal.' In this age of the #MeToo movement, it is more important than ever to secure a place for every American in the American dream. Our goal is to celebrate the accomplishment, but also reveal the dramatic history of the women's struggle for equality. And while doing so, reveal the struggle of all Americans to find their piece of the American dream."

The entire community is invited to be part of this cultural engagement project. FST is looking for partners to help organize and sponsor community events, as well as generate new artistic work.

Public events will take place at various locations throughout the region beginning in late 2019 through early 2020.

Known as Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Artist Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company then acquired the former Woman's Club building, becoming the first permanent venue. Shortly after Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins arrived, the building was purchased and 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 five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Parisian style Goldstein Cabaret and John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne's Lab Theatre.

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience. 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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