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Florida Studio Theatre Announces Lineup For 2020-2021 FST Forums Series

Kicking off the Forums Series on December 10, 2020 is Reckoning: Race in American Theatre.

Florida Studio Theatre Announces Lineup For 2020-2021 FST Forums Series

Florida Studio Theatre has announced the lineup for its 2020-2021 FST Forums Series, seven online conversations with some of the country's top playwrights and musical theatre developers. Each month, FST audiences will have the opportunity to hear from these artists about the themes and questions highlighted in some of their latest work. Themes range from technology's impact on humanity to race in American theatre to what it takes put together an original music revue, and more. A full schedule of FST Forums events immediately follows this release. These online conversations are free to attend, but registration is required. For more information or to register, visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org/fst-forums-series or call FST's Box Office at 941.366.9000.

"We want audiences to have a shared experience with these Forums and get a peek behind the curtain into the artists' creative processes," said Catherine Randazzo, FST Associate Artist. "These conversations will spark engaging discussions around a wide range of different topics and challenging questions raised in these new works in progress. Ultimately, we hope this window into our new play development process furthers the audience's enjoyment of attending the theatre."

Kicking off the Forums Series on December 10, 2020 is Reckoning: Race in American Theatre, featuring FST Playwright Collective members Rachel Lynett (Well-Intentioned White People) and Kenneth Jones (Alabama Story), who both tackle America's history of division and inequality in their work. Lynett will discuss her new play in progress, Carry Me, which centers on two wealthy Black Suffragists from Philadelphia who face a challenging decision about the politics of progress. Jones will share about his play in development, Last Call at the OId Slave Quarters Lounge, a bold new drama set in a popular Mississippi restaurant that reveals a family's conflicting views on heritage, community, and responsibility.

On January 14, 2021, the husband and wife creative team Jason Odell Williams and Charlotte Cohn-who also created Handle With Care and Baltimore in Black & White-will talk about their latest work in progress, a musical exploring Cohn's Danish Jewish heritage. Set in fall 1943, the piece follows a Jewish family as they attempt to escape the Nazis and gain their freedom by traveling to Sweden. The duo will share about this new project, their collaborative process, and what it takes to tell this emotionally-charged story with justice, authenticity, and heart.

Thomas Gibbons (Permanent Collection) and Jacqueline Goldfinger (Babel) are both developing plays exploring the intersections between science, humanity, technology, and definition of "Truth." During an FST Forum on February 11, 2021, both playwrights will discuss how their newest plays address the question: are so-called technological "advancements" helping or hurting humanity's future?

Two of the newest additions to FST's Playwright Collective, Deborah Brevoort (Women of Lockerbie) and Jeffrey Couchman (Three Wise Guys) are both bringing little-known stories inspired by William Shakespeare into the light of the 21st Century. On March 11, 2021, Brevoort and Couchman will share how their plays dramatize the experiences of historical figures who took Shakespeare's legacy into their own hands, like the famous forger William Henry Ireland. Similarly, Sean Daniels (Artistic Director of Arizona Theatre Company, The White Chip) and Mark St. Germain (Becoming Dr. Ruth) are also mining the past for theatrical inspiration. On April 8, 2021, Daniels and Germain will discuss the challenges of bringing a historical story to the stage-from mountains of research to the role artistic license plays when creating work based on actual events.

One of the most widely produced playwrights in America for the past three seasons (2017-2020), Kate Hamill is well-known for her contemporary adaptations of literary classics like Pride and Prejudice, Dracula, and Little Women. During her Forum event on May 13, 2021, The Making of an Adaptation, Hamill will share how she invigorates new life into older material.

Bringing the series to a close on June 10, 2021, is Music Legends, featuring Carole Bufford (one of leading artists in New York City's jazz and cabaret scene) and Tony and Grammy Award nominee Brandon Wardell. Bufford and Wardell will discuss their exciting new cabarets in development that celebrate American music's legendary and bold voices, sharing their knowledge and process along the way.

FST's 2020-2021 FST Forums Series, seven online conversations featuring some of the country's top playwrights and musical theatre developers, begins December 10, 2020. Each month, FST Artists will also speak about their plays-in-progress, creative processes, artistic influences, and more. A full schedule of the series follows this release. These online Forum events are free to attend, but registration is required. For more information or to register, visit FloridaStudioTheatre.org/fst-forums-series or call FST's Box Office at 941.366.9000.



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