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SRQ Daily Jul 27, 2017

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"I wanted to talk about the kind of modest American dream that should be totally attainable."

- Stephen Spotswood, "Doublewide" playwright

[Theater]  "Doublewide" Explores Working Class Struggles
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

At a time when health care costs make new headlines daily, a new play set to open at Florida Studio Theatre will soon delve into the impact a medical crisis could have on families on the brink of financial crisis. Stephen Spotswood, the playwright for Doublewide, has been working on the play over the past four years, and has only seen the subject matter rise in relevance. “I wanted to talk about the kind of modest American dream that should be totally attainable,” Spotswood says, “but it’s difficult because these people live in a world where a moderate financial hiccup can totally wipe them out.”

Doublewide was selected this year for the National New Play Network’s Rolling World Premiere program, which finds new work to bring to life on three or more theater stages over a year. In this case, Doublewide played for its first audiences earlier this year at Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers before coming to FST, and from here will go to the Vermont State and Williamston Theatre. Spotswood will work with actors and companies along the way, further developing the play as he goes.

FST artists say this material will inspire. “The playwright has so clearly tapped in to a raw vein of frustration and hopelessness that seems to be permeating our modern middle class,” says FST Associate Artist Jason Cannon. The play follows the life of Jim Starkey, a working class father supporting family in a doublewide trailer with dreams of building a home for his daughter.

Spotswood says he wrote the play with a particular part of Delaware in mind as the setting, but has found many who read the script envision the tale playing out in whatever area seems most familiar to them. The story could take place in Parrish as easily as it could near the Maryland state line. As the play ends up in front of more audiences, Spotswood remains curious what individuals who watch take away from the experience.

“I am interested not only in what audiences react to in two acts of the play but what they take out of it,” he says. “I hope they see themselves in it. But even if they don’t, and even if this is not the world they grew up in or exist in now, I hope they see it’s not an alien world, and that these people have the exact same concerns everyone else does, just in a different container.”

The FST production will feature returning company members Todd Licea and Kim Crow, with former FST acting apprentice Alexa Fajardo Eldridge making her MainStage debut. Doublewide runs from Aug. 2 through Aug. 20 in the Gompertz Theatre. 

Photo by Alexandria Hill, Cast of FST production of 'Doublewide'

[Ryan Flies]  From the Cockpit Part 30: de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Editor’s Note: This is part 30 of an ongoing series documenting the flights of active-duty US Navy Pilot Ryan Rankin on his journey to fly 52 planes in 52 weeks through the year 2017.

In a small grassy airstrip set into the farmland surrounding Konstancin, Poland, Rankin sits in the cockpit of a de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk with the plane’s owner, Jacek Mainka. Ready for takeoff, one obstacle lay in their path—a small lane bisecting the runway from the hangar, where cyclists and motorists putter past a blind corner. A couple friends walk into the road to stop traffic and the Chipmunk lumbers forward, drivers stepping out of their cars to take pictures as the old warbird crosses. In Poland, these old fighter planes are rare, says Rankin, and the three that Mainka owns always draw a crowd.

Introduced in 1946 as a primary trainer, the Chipmunk replaced the wooden biplane trainers of the WWII-era (see: From the Cockpit parts two and 27) with something much sleeker and advanced. With its metal construction and canopied cockpit, the Chipmunk not only brought a fierce new look, but also an array of technological advancements that would quickly become standard, such as strakes—fins or flanges affixed to the fuselage to reduce spin mid-flight. But while both the RAF and RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) ordered hundreds of Chipmunks, aviation technology began to advance at such a pace that the aircraft was outstripped in a mere nine years. “It didn’t fly for too long,” says Rankin, “but it was very good at what it did, when it did it.”

However, known as the “poor man’s Spitfire,” which Rankin assures is a term of endearment, the Chipmunk was not forgotten entirely. The RAF still technically keeps a squadron on active duty to train pilots to fly Spitfires for the Battle for Britain Memorial Flight.

Taking the Chipmunk for a spin (and a few loops), Rankin and Mainka cruised the skies for roughly 45 minutes, allowing Rankin to get a feel for the aircraft and test its aerobatic capabilities. Quickly becoming one of Rankin’s favorites, control was “straightforward and fun” and “easy to fly,” he says, with none of the quirks or oddities of other aircraft that demand pilot compensation and attention, sometimes introducing stress into the flight. Soaring through the air in the Chipmunk, “it’s just a well-built machine,” says Rankin.

For more about the flight in Rankin's own words and a video of the flight, follow the link below. 

Pictured: Ryan Rankin flies the de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk. Photo courtesy of Ryan Rankin.

Ryan Flies

[Daily Shop]  Summer's Number One Fan
Shelby Schwartz, shelbys@srqme.com

Tech Candy Fan Girl, found at Garden Argosy on St. Armands Circle, answers the ever-pressing question of how to stay cool in Florida’s notoriously hot summers. Playing off of mobility and minimizing bulkiness, this portable fan works in tandem with a smartphone when plugged into its charging port, using the phone’s battery as a source of energy. Creating an effervescent buzzing as the two blades spin into a blur and brush away beads of sweat, this little fan serves as portable AC, giving off a “mobile breath of fresh air” no matter how hot the weather.  Enjoy for $9.50.  

Photo by Shelby Schwartz.

Garden Argosy, 361 St Armands Cir., Sarasota, 941-388-6402.

[Synergy]  Sherwin-Williams Gives Boys & Girls Club $20,000 Grant

Sherwin-Williams presented the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County a $20,000 Color a Brighter Tomorrow grant this week at the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club. The award will support the organization’s summer program and help give thousands of local youth a safe, enriching environment that stimulates their academic success, builds their character and leadership skills and encourages them to live a healthy lifestyle under the guidance of positive youth development professionals. During National Painting Week, Sherwin-Williams uses the power of color to transform rooms, homes and entire communities. In fact, the company’s employees at more than 4,000 neighborhood Sherwin-Williams stores across North America pick up their paint brushes and partner with local organizations in need of a fresh coat of color. The first National Painting Week project Sherwin-Williams completed for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County was in 2015 when the company donated hundreds of gallons of paint and more than 40 volunteers to paint the administrative offices and parking lot on Fruitville Road. In 2016, Sherwin-Williams employees painted the exterior of the Robert and Joan Lee Boys & Girls Club on Gulfcoast Boulevard in Venice, and in 2017, the exterior of the Roy McBean Boys & Girls Club on 21st Street in Newtown. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County

[Expansion]  Sarasota County Launches Mobile-Friendly Website

Sarasota County government has launched a significant renovation of its website, that makes it more responsive to reflexive design and mobile devices. The result is a more modern, functional and visually attractive site designed to meet citizens in all the places they gather information, whether at home, in the office or on the phone. In keeping with the county's emphasis on customer service, the revamped site features a more user-friendly layout aimed at helping citizens find the information they seek quickly and efficiently. The search bar, the most heavily-used feature on the site, is now larger and placed front and center in the new design. Decisions about the site's content and navigation were guided by customer feedback and analytics, which found that of approximately 2,000 different pages on the previous scgov.net, 80 percent of the site's traffic was directed to just 44 of them. The site's new design adapts to smartphones, laptops and tablets, keeping content centered in the viewing area. It also considers the performance of the user's device, the size of files and how fast they load on different speed networks. 

Sarasota County Government

[TODAY]  GRAB BAG: Art Making , July 27

Drop by the Children’s Welcome Center in the Visitors Pavilion which has been transformed into an art studio for the evening. Instructors will teach you how to become comfortable will many different materials that artists use. This event is free and all ages are encouraged to participate. For more information please visit www.ringling.org

The Ringling, 5401 Bayshore Rd., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Liz Pascoe-Broome & Friends present Not My Type , July 27 – July 28

Liz and her cast of talented singers – including David Walker, Dorian Boyd, Charlotte Crowley, Jamie Lee Butrum,and Brian Craft – will perform songs by iconic musical theatre characters that they will never get to play because they are the wrong “type.” With Eli Schildkraut on piano, Not My Type will feature songs from a variety of great musicals like: Little Shop of Horrors, Book of Mormon: The Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, and many many more!

Pinkerton, 140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice

[SOON]  DANCE: Sarasota Ballet Presents: International Intensive Summer Showcase , July 28 – July 29

The Sarasota Ballet’s International Intensive Summer Showcase will feature students from across the world performing works by some of the big names in dance, including Sir Matthew Bourne, Marius Petipa and Antony Tudor! These pre-professional students have spent the 5 weeks leading up to the performances working with an incredible faculty featuring guest teachers from The Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Elmhurst Ballet School. Join Sarasota Ballet for spectacular performances July 28 and 29 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available on their website or by calling the box office at 941-359-0099.

FSU Center for Performing Arts, 5555 North Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  THEATER: Zombie Prom , July 28 – August 12

Set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where a zany, tyrannical principal lays down the law, a pretty senior has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns a glowing zombie still determined to take her to the prom. Directed by Brad Wages.

Venice Theater , 140 W. Tampa Ave., Venice

[SOON]  GALLERY: Painting Children's Portraits , July 28 – July 30

Often without much experience, students contend with washed-out or chalky flesh tones when painting portraits, In this seminar, learn how to capture a likeness, as well as the vibrant tones of a young person's skin tone. 

Southern Atelier, 7226 21st St. E., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Michelle & David Pruyn present A Tribute to the Carpenters , July 29 – July 30

This gifted husband and wife duo will serenade you with all of The Carpenters’ hits along with a top-notch five-piece band.

Pinkerton, 140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice

[SOON]  DANCE: In the Round , July 29, 2:00pm to 7:00pm

An intimate performance produced and presented by Sarasota Contemporary Dance company members joined by four selected choreographers from the summer dance intensive. 

New College of Florida, Black Box Theater , 5850 General Dougher Pl., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: The 2017 Jazz Club of Sarasota Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert , July 30

The 2017 Jazz Club of Sarasota Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert will feature a performance by The Old Souls, a group of former and current scholarship winners – including former members of the very popular youth group Jazz Juvenocracy. 

Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center, 525 Kumquat Ct, Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: The Players New Play Series , July 31 – August 4, 7:30pm

Witness the birth of a brand new play as regional playwrights compete each night to have their play produced at The Players the following season. Each night a new play just waiting to be born! Now held at the new Arnold Aimonsen Players Studio! For more information and to purchase tickets please visit http://www.theplayers.org/shows/snap/

The Players Theatre of Sarasota, 838 N. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Doublewide , August 2 – August 20

Jim Starkey’s American Dream is a modest one: to replace the family’s doublewide trailer with a comfy house his daughter can inherit. Forces and desires beyond his control, though, may shape his family’s aspirations. Doublewide is a heartfelt and resonant comedy about a blue-collar family’s elusive dreams, and just how far they will go to hold on to them… and to each other. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit www.floridastudiotheatre.org

Florida Studio Theatre , 1241 North palm Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Eli Schildkraut presents Songs You’ve Never Heard Before (And Maybe Some You Have) , August 3 – August 6

Combining his passion for musical theatre and his love of introducing people to new music, student music director Eli Schildkraut and his talented friends return to Venice Theatre’s Cabaret Festival with an evening of somewhat obscure songs from the musical theatre repertoire. Equal parts entertaining and insightful, Songs You’ve Never Heard Before (And Maybe Some You Have) is sure to have you leaving the theatre with a smile on your face and a couple of new tunes in your head.

Pinkerton, 140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice

[SOON]  THEATER: Sinning Sirens , August 4 – August 5

Check out the hottest local burlesque troupe featuring the Sirens you love – RubyyJean Siren, Karma Kandlewick, and Ginger Holliday. Also introducing Chief Peach, the Sirens’ fun loving drag king! And who could forget about Toez, the adorably creepy tapping clown? Join Venice Theatre for a night of beautiful ladies and live vocals that will make you want to come back for more.

Pinkerton, 140 Tampa Ave. W., Venice

[SOON]  THEATER: National Theatre Live, Amadeus , August 4, 6:30pm

Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote Mozart's talent or destroy his name. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music and, ultimately, with God. Lucian Msamati plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, broadcast live from the National Theatre, and with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.

Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Pilgrims , August 4 – September 10

On a ship to colonize a newly discovered planet, a soldier and a teenage girl find themselves quarantined in one of the ship’s cabins with only an outdated robot and each other for company. When they’re no longer able to create fantasies to escape their past lives, the two cabin-mates are forced to explore their own traumatic histories in order to connect and survive. For more information please visit www.urbanitetheatre.com for show times and tickets. 

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 Second Street, Sarasota

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: FREE Admission for Kids at Sarasota Jungle Gardens Back-to-School Celebration , August 5 – August 6

For two days, Aug. 5 and 6, adults may bring up to three children each for free with the purchase of a full-priced adult admission. Take this time to enjoy one last vacation bash with the family before it is time to hit the books again.

Sarasota Jungle Gardens, 3701 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34234

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: WSLR’s Ninth Annual “Very Merry Jerry Day” , August 6

 Break out the tie-dye and hula hoops for WSLR's annual celebration of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia was born on August 1, 1942, and lived to become one of the most famous counterculture icons of the 20th Century. Playing guitar and singing for his band, The Grateful Dead, as well as several others, Garcia took his hippie movement from the 60's into the 90's, inspiring the following of millions of long-haired, tie-dye t-shirted, carefree "Deadheads." Musicians honoring the Dead this year will include the Michael Miller Band, Grass is Dead, and The Schmitz Brothers.  The event is held at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center with doors opening at 4pm and music starting at 5pm.

Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center , 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine and edited by Senior Editor Jacob Ogles. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising, please contact Ashley Ryan at 941-365-7702 x211 or at her contact page. To unsubscribe, please click here.

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