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Florida Professional Theatre Companies Join Forces For Exciting Co-Productions


freeFall Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL and The Hippodrome Theatre in Gainesville, FL have joined forces to co-present two productions in their 2019/2020 season. freeFall will present MARIE & ROSETTA opening January 18 and Hippodrome will present LONE STAR SPIRITS opening January 24. The company will then transfer the productions to their respective spaces after the initial run of each show. Both shows will run a combined total of over 8 weeks.

MARIE & ROSETTA is the story of the legendary Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Jayne Trinette). This acclaimed vocalist and guitarist broke new ground in the world of gospel music. An influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and Ray Charles, she is considered by many to be the "Godmother of Rock 'n' Roll." This jubilant play with music gives us a fly-on-the-wall seat to the first rehearsal between Rosetta and her protégée, Marie Knight (Hillary Scales), on the eve of the tour that would establish them as one of the most important musical duos in American popular music. MARIE & ROSETTA plays freeFall January 18 through February 16 and The Hippodrome February 28 through March 22.

LONE STAR SPIRITS is a fresh, smart comedy about the ghosts that haunt us all - wherever we find ourselves in the cultural divide. Marley (Marissa Toogood) is back in her small Texas hometown for what she hopes will be an easy trip to deal with some family business. When she arrives at her estranged father's (Bryan Mercer) liquor store with her hipster fiancé (Niall McGinty), there is a collision between who she is and where she comes from. When her ex-boyfriend - the local football hero (Haulston Mann), an old high school chum (Brooke Tyler Benson), and the ghost of the bear-wrestling pioneer who founded the town show up, things take a series of unexpected turns. LONE STAR SPIRITS plays The Hippodrome January 24 through February 16 and freeFall February 29 through March 29.

The Hippodrome was founded in 1972 with the goal of presenting the best in challenging, contemporary theatre. In 1981 the Hippodrome Theatre was designated a State Theatre of Florida. The theatre enjoys recognition as one of the leading regional theaters in the country, with the primary goal of providing the best season of theater for audiences throughout the state. In maintaining this goal, the Hippodrome has become a major cultural resource to the community and the State of Florida, staging mainstage productions for more than 60,000 people annually.

Founded in 2008, freeFall Theatre has rapidly been recognized for artistic and organizational excellence. Operating under a contract with Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers, we are proud to have employed hundreds of theatre artists. Acclaimed by critics, audiences and our professional peers, we are a driving force in Tampa Bay's thriving arts community.

"A project like this cuts costs for both companies since we are swapping actors, stage managers, sets, costumes, etc. This is invaluable in a nonprofit theatre situation. We couldn't be more pleased with the way everything is turning out both artistically as well as financially." says freeFall's Managing Director, Susan Haldeman.

Tickets for both shows can purchased by visiting or by visiting

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