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Florida Studio Theatre Announces Spelman Award Recipient

FST will present its esteemed Spelman Award to Ed and Susan Maier at its annual fundraising event on Monday, February 6.

Florida Studio Theatre Announces Spelman Award Recipient

Florida Studio Theatre has announced that the theatre will present its esteemed Spelman Award to Ed and Susan Maier at its annual fundraising event on Monday, February 6. Named in honor of FST's founding Artistic Director, Jon Spelman, this award is presented to an institution or individual who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership by providing FST with counsel, financial backing, and/or in-kind support.

Ed and Susan Maier have supported Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre since 2015, expanding FST's reach in the community by introducing numerous colleagues and friends to the theatre and its mission. In 2016, FST partnered with Ed and Susan Maier to bring Auguste Moreau's well-known sculpture, "The Butterfly Lady"-currently located on the terrace outside FST's Keating Theatre-back to Sarasota's performing arts district, as the sculpture's original owner intended. The couple has also financially supported FST's efforts to provide first-rate, convenient housing for its guest artists.

"Ed recently said to me, 'I am truly humbled that you chose us to receive this award, because there are so many people who have done so much more for FST than us, but I assure you, there is no one who loves FST more than we do,'" shared Richard Hopkins, FST's Producing Artistic Director. "I like a person who can speak from the heart. Ed brings strength and humility to everything he touches, which is complemented by Susan's lightness of spirit and keen intelligence. Together, Ed and Susan are prime examples of the kind of people who so graciously and generously support Florida Studio Theatre. I am full of gratitude for their friendship and support."

"Since we moved to Sarasota more than a decade ago, we have been impressed by the caliber and professionalism of the productions at FST," said Ed and Susan Maier. "Richard Hopkins and Rebecca Hopkins do a marvelous job managing their five theatres, though we are especially fond of the Cabarets. FST contributes so much to the Sarasota community, and we are happy to support them in their artistic endeavors."

Ed and Susan Maier will be presented with the 2023 Spelman Award at the theatre's biggest fundraiser of the year, The 70s Shindig, on Monday, February 6. Attendees are invited to don their favorite '70s apparel for the event, which will feature exclusive live performances by some of FST's beloved artists and a three-course plated dinner by Michael's On East. Special thanks to Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the lead sponsor of The 70s Shindig.

Tickets to The 70s Shindig are $300 per person. To reserve a seat, please contact Kristin Hartnett, Development Associate, at KHartnett@FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9017 ext. 316. Funds raised during the event will support FST's Playwrights Collective, a select group of American Playwrights who are developing new work for the FST stage. Collective members include Deborah Brevoort (My Lord, What A Night), Kenneth Jones (Alabama Story), Sandy Rustin (The Cottage), and Mark St. Germain (Freud's Last Session).



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