FST Breaks Ground On Kretzmer Housing Expansion



Florida Studio Theatre (FST) nears the completion of Phase 1 of its planned housing expansion with the groundbreaking this morning of the Kretzmer Artist Housing Project. Located off 751 Cohen Way in the Rosemary District of Sarasota, the project will house up to 20 visiting artists, interns and apprentices throughout the theater’s season. FST artists and staff will join supporters from the community at the project’s site at 10:30am to mark the occasion.

Current plans call for five townhouses to be constructed on the Rosemary lot, each containing four individual bedrooms along with communal living space, all within walking distance of the theater. With visiting actors staying for as long as 20 weeks at a time and apprentices and interns commonly staying on for an entire season, the need was apparent, says FST Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins, and the results will be seen onstage in coming seasons. “You raise the bar on housing and that raises the effectiveness of the actor,” says Hopkins. “They’re more comfortable, they’re more relaxed and they don’t have to worry about their surroundings—they have everything they need.”

Made possible in part by a grant from the state of Florida, the project gets its name from lead donor Ernie Kretzmer, a longtime supporter who made the donation in loving memory of his wife Alisa. Construction is scheduled to begin next month and Hopkins hopes to see the first residents by summer or fall of 2017.

The second phase of FST’s housing expansion Hopkins says will likely be the final phase. And although details are to be determined, the project will likely make use of the more than a dozen downtown residences owned by the theater. “We hope to consolidate those in the not-too-distant future,” says Hopkins.”

The groundbreaking for Florida Studio Theatre’s Kretzmer Artist Housing Project begins this morning at 10:30am at 751 Cohen Way.

Pictured: Rendering of the Kretzmer Artist Housing Project. Image courtesy of FST.

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