ROUNDING THIRD Will Be Performed at Florida Studio Theatre This Summer

Rounding Third will run in FST’s Gompertz Theatre starting July 28.

By: Jul. 13, 2021
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ROUNDING THIRD Will Be Performed at Florida Studio Theatre This Summer

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Rounding Third by Richard Dresser, a sharp yet touching comedy about two Little League coaches who turn the ball field into a battlefield as they try to navigate the curveballs life throws their way. Rounding Third will run in FST's Gompertz Theatre starting July 28. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or 941.366.9000.

Rounding Third centers on Don and Michael, two polar opposites whose lives are in no way going according to plan. When fate conspires to put their sons on the same Little League team, the men are forced to coach the group together. Don is a veteran coach who values winning at all costs, while Michael, a newcomer to the game, just wants the players to try their best and have fun. As the two experience breathtaking victories and crushing defeats both on and off the field, they pour all their energy into "America's favorite pastime" in hopes that they'll discover a greater sense of meaning in their lives.

"Rounding Third points out that Little League Baseball is the great equalizer: it turns men into boys, and boys into men-and it makes us laugh," said Richard Hopkins, FST's Producing Artistic Director.

"This play reminds us that, for all our agency and free will, there is also great joy and freedom in surrendering to things beyond our control," said Jason Cannon, FST Associate Artist and the show's director. "While all that sounds very deep and reflective, Rounding Third doesn't dwell there-it's funny, fun, and honest. A lot of the play's comedy comes out of the "Odd Couple" nature of Don and Michael's relationship. Richard Dresser's writing is simultaneously dramatic and humorous, and just when you think you've got your arms around the men's relationship, something new and unexpected emerges."

Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper plays Don, the seasoned coach who is tough as nails and has no time for excuses, untied shoelaces, or losing. Mongiardo-Cooper most recently appeared in Geva Theatre Center's production of Once and has performed Off-Broadway in Rothschild & Sons (York Theatre), Lonesome Traveler (59E59), and Julius Caesar (Lucille Lortel Theatre). His television credits include Fuller House, Superstore, and Casual.

"As much as any sport is merely a 'game,' a person's reasons for investing so deeply in something-regardless of how unimportant it may seem to someone else-are often much more recognizable than you see at first glance," said Mongiardo-Cooper. "Don and Michael engage our imaginations and inspire us to think about what might lead a person to need a 'game' this badly."

"At the center of this play are two guys who are fumbling towards a common language," added Timothy Goodwin, who plays Michael, a rookie coach who signs on as Don's assistant in an effort to connect with his son, who is also new to baseball.

Goodwin was last seen at FST in Shear Madness (2011) and has performed in over ten productions of the show, including its Off-Broadway run. Goodwin has been featured in Singles in Agriculture (Bristol Riverside Theatre), Blithe Spirit (Meadow Brook Theatre), You and I (Metropolitan Playhouse), and Drop Dead Perfect (Penguin Rep Theatre).

The creative team includes Brian Dudkiewicz (Scenic Design), Lea Umberger (Costume Design), Jim Hunter (Lighting Design), Thom Korp (Sound Design), and Roy Johns (Stage Manager).

FST's production of Rounding Third is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, in addition to Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues. Thank you to our media sponsor, SRQ Magazine.



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