Florida Studio Theatre Presents PINOCCHIO

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Florida Studio Theatre Presents PINOCCHIO

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) opens its fourth annual Children's Theatre Season with Pinocchio, a new, fast-paced adaptation of Carlo Collodi's timeless classic by Greg Banks. Produced through special arrangement with Plays for Young Audiences, this play centers on a misbehaving wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy, but must avoid mischief in order to make his dream come true. Pinocchio will be performed in FST's Keating Theatre for the general public on Saturdays and select Sundays starting October 12.

Pinocchio is part of a four-show Children's Theatre Series, which also includes Deck the Halls: A Holly Jolly Holiday, Tomás and the Library Lady, and The Star Who Could Not Twinkle & Other Winning Plays. Subscriptions are available for ONLY $20-just $5 per show. Single tickets are also available for just $10. Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale at floridastudiotheatre.org, and through FST's Box Office at 941-366-9000.

Inspired by the timeless story, this production follows Pinocchio's journey to achieving his dream of becoming a real boy. Along the way, he must go to school, stay out of trouble, and resist the temptation of Playland, a place where playtime and fun never end.

"This is a genuine emotional journey for Pinocchio to make," told award-winning playwright Greg Banks to Minneapolis' City Pages. "This play is about growing up and being excited about what you find out about the world; you find out that being alive is not just about you." In this enduring tale, Pinocchio-and the audience-learn valuable lessons about love, family, and what it means to be human.

Directing this charming tale is FST Associate Artist Jason Cannon, who also directed last season's Children's Theatre productions of A Beary Big Adventure & Other Winning Plays, Snow White, and Peter Pan.

"Children are going to love Pinocchio because it is full of joy, silliness, and suspense," shared Cannon. "They also get to be participants, as the actors all speak directly to the them and ask for help during key moments. We hope that, in addition to having a fun and exciting time, they will take away the truth that they are capable of more than they think, and that their imaginations are far more powerful than they realize."

FST's company of Acting Apprentices will bring the story to life on stage, and are each tasked with playing multiple characters. The production features Reilly O'Connell (Player 1/Cricket), Will Stapleton (Player 2/Gepetto), Tim Hiemstra (Player 3/Fairy), Brooke Emmerich (Player 4/ Pinocchio), Marc Johnson (Player 5/Lampwick), and Samantha Dempsey (Player 6/ Judy).

While Pinocchio will kick off FST's four-show weekend Children's Theatre Series for the general public, it will also inspire the young hearts and minds of school students through FST's award-winning WRITE A PLAY program. A year-round arts integration program combining professional plays and in-class workshops, FST's WRITE A PLAY program reaches over 47,000 students each year. School groups will travel to Florida Studio Theatre during the school week beginning October 8 to experience the thrilling adventure of Pinocchio. Pre- and post-show enrichment activities will allow students to more deeply connect with the play, meet the cast, and reflect on what they have seen, heard, and felt. For school bookings, teachers and group leaders should contact FST's Education Group Sales Associate, Hannah Bagnall, at hbagnall@floridastudiotheatre.org.

Starting October 12, Pinocchio will play on weekends for the general public as part of FST's four-show Children's Theatre Season, and on weekdays to school groups as part of FST's award-winning WRITE A PLAY series. Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale at floridastudiotheatre.org or 941.366.9000. To book your school field trip, please contact Hannah Bagnall at hbagnall@floridastudiotheatre.org.



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