Lighting up the Stage

Community Foundation


The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training proudly announces that it is the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The CFSC gift comes from the Muriel O’Neil Fund—a devoted and supportive building block for the local performing arts community. The endowment will be used to replace the lighting system in the Jane B. Cook Theatre with brand new state-of-the-art, LED lights and renovations for mainstage productions. A truly versatile performance space in-use nearly 365 days a year, the Cook Theatre is a 160-seat black box theatre, designed to create an intimate experience for both the audience and the actors—located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. The symbolic playhouse has hosted many local troupes’ such as Sarasota Contemporary Dance, Odyssey Theatre Company, Sarasota Festival of Vocal Arts, and the Michigan Opera Theatre. While the Actor Training initiative is a prestigious three-year graduate program for talent all over the country. Students get to work and perform on stage alongside Asolo Rep’s professional actors in exciting and significant roles—that culminates in a Master of Fine Arts degree. 

With the installation of new equipment implementing before the opening of this year’s Conservatory production season—theatrical performances and animated actors will inevitably glow brighter, enhancing your next ticketed experience from the audience perspective. Andrei Malaev-Babel, interim director of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training divulges, “Our designers cannot wait to explore all the 21st Century ‘bells and whistles’ of this high-tech, energy-efficient LED system."

"The new LED lighting upgrade will allow us to combine modern technology into our current lighting system," notes Technical Director, Christopher McVicker. "We will be able to create a wider spectrum of colors in less time, using less heat and energy.  It enables greater control at our fingertips and eases the burden of hard labor while vastly reducing waste.”  

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is proud to partner with SRQ Media Group to highlight stories about community impact powered by philanthropy in our region, thanks to the support of donors and our local nonprofit partners. The Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community.

Photo of the "Book Of Days" cast in the FSU Asolo Conservatory. Provided by Asolo Rep.

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