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SRQ DAILY Apr 19, 2019

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"The more we're silent about something, the less we'll ever understand."

- Kristofer Geddie, Venice Theatre

[Theater]  Venice Theatre's Stage II Puts "Race" Front and Center
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Venice Theatre’s provocative Stage II Series closes out its season this year with a heavy hitter in David Mamet’s Broadway hit, Race. Premiering in 2009, the multi-faceted drama unfolds within the offices of a law firm, where two attorneys—one black and one white—weigh the merits of defending a wealthy white man charged with raping a black woman, finding both unexpected and challenging insights from the firm’s new legal assistant, a young woman of color.

For Venice Theatre Director of Diversity Kristofer Geddie, who also plays one of the lawyers in the production, Race presents an accessible and effective way to have a hard conversation. “It doesn’t necessarily give answers,” he says, “but it asks a lot of questions.” And like Mamet at his best, the play tackles the issues head-on, but with enough humor to help the medicine go down—a dramatic element not to be overlooked or taken for granted. “It gives the audience a chance to breathe,” Geddie says, and the laughter—even or perhaps especially at its most reluctant—can become the unifier an audience needs while mulling over potentially divisive topics. In that moment, says Geddie, “we’re all the same, and we can talk about this.”

As part of the cast, Geddie has experienced this firsthand, as the people behind the play are the first to wrestle with its substance. And under the direction of Kelly Wynn Woodland—a Stage II veteran—the troupe has found their own freedom in talking about the heavier things. “[She’s] an incredible conduit for us to talk and figure out what we’re going to do,” Geddie says, though he admits the rehearsal life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and can, in at least one way, be downright horrible at times. “I have so many words to memorize,” he laughs.

But even 10 turbulent years after the play’s Broadway premiere, and despite the fast-moving discussions surrounding both race and gender, all those words remain relevant, says Geddie. “It holds up,” he says, “but it holds up differently.” The play first premiered in the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s historic election; this production comes on the heels of the #MeToo movement. “It’s a completely different world,” Geddie says, and people will come to vastly different conclusions depending on their perspective. “I do hope they’ll talk about it.”

Opening April 26 at Venice Theatre, Race runs through May 12. 

Pictured: Actors Chris Caswell, DaNiesha Carr and Kristofer Geddie in a scene from Venice Theatre’s production of “Race.” Photo by Renee McVety.

[Theater]  NNPN Festival Spotlight Part 1: Sarah Bierstock
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Florida Studio Theatre teams up with the National New Play Network (NNPN) this year to host the NNPN Women in Playwriting Festival right here in Sarasota, inviting four women playwrights from around the country to bring their latest work for a series of staged readings from April 24 through May 10. The featured artists each receive a week of development sessions with FST, followed by the reading and a talkback session to receive feedback from the audience. In this four-part series, SRQ goes backstage with the playwrights.

Sarah Bierstock world premiered her debut play, Honor Killing, at FST in the spring of 2018—where it ran for eight weeks with full audiences. This year, she returns for the first workshop of her new play, Mothers and Daughters, about three daughters who gather for the first Christmas since the death of their grandmother. The reading will be at FST on April 24.

You premiered Honor Killing at FST last spring, what do you enjoy about collaborating with FST, and why did you want to return? Bierstock: Director Richard Hopkins was such a pleasure to work with. He was inclusive of me in the entire project, and, most importantly, constantly clarifying with me that he understood the intention and vision behind my words. He honored what was on the page and assembled an amazing team to bring that vision to life.

What is at the heart of this new play? I was particularly interested in exploring the female dynamics within the family unit—mothers to daughters and sister to sister. There is so much seemingly conflicting emotion—loving each other so deeply while driving each other completely insane. It’s a dynamic most of us can relate to. I like exploring the absurdity.

Why are festivals like these important today? Women's voices have historically been silenced—or not given platforms to be heard. A more inclusive society leads to greater understanding, empathy and opportunities. That's the society I'm interested in my daughters living in. Theater is the perfect vehicle to break down these walls, as it facilitates the generation of new ideas in a way unlike any other.

How does playwriting give you a voice? Being a playwright is like having a massive megaphone. As an actress, I have never felt as exposed as being a playwright. Everyone experiencing your words knows that they came from your head. That is a tremendous privilege, but it’s also terrifying. You have to own every piece of what you wrote. And if what you want to explore is often the uglier parts of life, you have to be prepared for people's responses.  

Pictured: Sarah Bierstock.

[ShopTalk]  Summer Came Early
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

Proverbially speaking, judging the book by its cover in this case is perfectly acceptable—Simply by the Sea: Designed Cottages, Homes & Bungalows by the Sea displays the natural beauty and charm of living by the ocean with palpable photography throughout its entire hardbound opus. The coastal design/lifestyle book officially released April 1, 2019 and today, will be available for purchase at the new downtown home furnishings boutique Summer + Company for a book signing event with the author Interior Designer Tracey Rapisardi. A stimulating spread of elevated beach living—you practically feel the breeze coming off the water at every flip of a page—this cohesive collection of seaside interiors stretch from the northeast coast of Maine and Cape Cod, to the Gulf Coast of Sarasota, and down to Key West.

If you are lucky enough to live by/on the water, or dream to someday, there is no shortage of design inspiration to dive into, as various home styles include cottage, classic, modern, vintage, bungalow, farmhouse and country. But one through line remains the same throughout these coastal retreats. Bright whites, sandy neutrals and punches of jade, aqua, sea glass greens and crystal cyan blues thematically complement the engagement of summery seaside decor and oceanic treasures throughout Rapisardi’s crafted nooks.

“Back in September 2016, I was approached by a publisher 83 Press, about doing a book of my work,” describes Rapisardi. “After two and a half years of designing, creating, styling, and yes - even photographing the book, it is done!”

And what an ideal opportunity to not only snag this fresh coffee table book while checking out the newly-opened home decor shop Summer + Company, which perfectly matches the aesthetic feel and palette of Simply by the Sea.

Book Signing today from 11:00am-2:00pm at Summer + Company, 431 North Orange Ave., Sarasota, 941-877-1326.


Photos courtesy of Tracy Rapisardi.

Follow Simply By The Sea Home

[Performance]  Sarasota Opera Announces Lineup for Summer Series

Sarasota Opera has announced the lineup for the 2019 season of “HD at the Opera House” and “Classic Movies at the Opera House.” The “HD at the Opera House” series will open on May 19 with the Royal Opera House’s production of Giussepe Verdi’s La forza del destino and run through October 6th. The series will include presentations of opera and ballet from some of the world’s most famous venues and companies including the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Semper Opera in Dresden and the Royal Ballet. Each presentation will begin at 1:30pm. The “Classic Movies at the Opera House” will begin May 31 with Doctor Zhivago, and will feature timeless films shown on the big screen in the historic Opera House through September 6, including An American in Paris, Rear Window and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Classic Movies will start at 7:30pm.

For a more comprehensive listing, follow the link below. 

Sarasota Opera Summer Series

[Nature]  Sarasota Hosting Earth Day Festival on April 22

The public is invited to join the festivities as the City of Sarasota and UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County host a special Earth Day Festival on Monday, April 22, from 11:30am to 1:30pm at Selby Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. The event will feature information booths throughout the park on a variety of environmental issues, including energy efficiency, stormwater pollution, composting, native plants, electric vehicles and more. Food will be available for purchase from Spice Boys food truck.

Visitors will also have a chance to: tour two tiny homes, pick up free bicycle gear, try an e-scooter, how to turn single-use plastics into reusable items and hear more about Sarasota in Motion, the city’s master plan. And, in recognition of Arbor Day and the City of Sarasota’s celebration of 33 years of being designated as a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation, some attendees will also be able to take home one of more than 70 free native plants and trees available at the festival, while supplies last. The giveaway is made possible by a grant received from the Native Plant Society. 

City of Sarasota

[Education]  Cantalupo Named Executive Director of Office of Accountability and Choice

Dr. Denise Cantalupo has been named executive director of the Office of Accountability and Choice with Sarasota County Schools. She has been with the school district since 1995 and, since 2011, has served as the director of Research, Assessment, Accountability and School Improvement. In this role, she has been instrumental in providing for the school district’s assessment programs, instructional information systems and the development of the school district’s first-ever data dashboard. She succeeds Dr. Natalie Rocca who retired from the school district in February. 

Sarasota County Schools

[Business]  CWC-FPRA Recognizes Local PR Pros with Image Awards

The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) recognized the area’s best work in public relations, marketing and communications during its “2019 Image Awards: All that Glitters is Gold" event this week. The local Image Awards competition is conducted annually to recognize outstanding public relations, marketing and communications programs and to encourage and promote the development of the public relations profession. 

Kim Livengood of The Eclipse Agency earned top honors—the Grand All Image Award—for her entry, "Finding the Bazaar." Earning Image Awards were Livengood for "Finding the Bazaar" and "Passport to the Bazaar"; Sharon Kunkel, Wordslinger Marketing & PR, for "Goodwill Manasota: A Hand Up Pays Off"; Premiere Sotheby's International Realty for "Shaquille O'Neal's Orlando Home Press Release" (which also earned a Judges' Award for cost-efficiency); and Visit Sarasota County for "VSC Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week." Earning Awards of Distinction were: Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County for "Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota Art Battle"; Next-Mark for "CMX Cinemas Makes an Epic Entrance into a New Market"; Habitat for Humanity Sarasota for "Lives Transformed: The Campaign for Hammock Place"; First Watch for "First Watch Blog"; and FCCI Insurance Group for "FCCI Website.” Additionally, Eleni Pierce was recognized with The Joe Curley Rising Leader Award.  

CWC-FPRA Image Awards

[Business]  GCCF Announces 2019 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute Class

Gulf Coast Community Foundation has selected 24 participants from across the region for its 2019 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute. The class members will take part in seven training sessions from late April through late June, conducted by the Leadership Development Institute of Eckerd College. Gulf Coast provides all training and resources at no cost to participants in exchange for their commitment to use their new skills to benefit the community. The 24 participants selected for the 2019 Gulf Coast Leadership Institute include: Olympia Baylou, founder of Blooming Impressions FL; Nicole Britton, director of development for The Twig Cares; Gregory Cruz, field director for GRSG Company; Michele Demperio, director of business development for Sweet Sparkman Architects; Alyssa Goudy, production manager for The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Kathy Jordan, director of major gifst for WUSF Public Media, Jessie Lapek, center director for Pregnancy Solutions, Mary Ellen Mancini, director of development for Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center; Mark Smith, director of marketing at The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art; and more.

This is the 12th year of Gulf Coast Leadership Institute, which was preceded by two classes of the foundation’s North Port Leadership Institute. In all, more than 300 community members have completed the training provided through this leadership-development initiative. 

Gulf Coast Leadership Institute

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Woodblock Prints from Post-War Japan , November 18 – May 5

In the wake of the Second World War, woodblock prints emerged as a channel of diplomacy and friendship between Japan and the U.S. Printmaking continues to be a vibrant and ever-changing art form well into the 21st century. This exhibition draws the Ringling Museum of Art’s extensive holdings of postwar Japanese prints and local collections. On display will be works by key artists including Onchi Koshiro, Hiratsuka Un’ichi, Saito Kiyoshi, Yoshida Chizuko, and Hoshi Joshi, including a number of new acquisitions and never-before exhibited pieces.

The Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  PERFORMANCE: Noises Off , March 20 – April 20

In the rip-roaring comedy, Noises Off, a motley crew of actors frantically stumble through a final rehearsal just hours from Opening Night and things could not go worse. Lines are forgotten, love triangles are unraveling, and sardines are flying everywhere but will they be able to pull their act together on stage even if they can’t behind the scenes?

Asolo Repertory Theatre

[TODAY]  PERFORMANCE: Sailor Circus 70th Anniversary Spring Show , April 18 – April 27

These performances will be held for two weekends Thursday, April 18-Saturday, April 20 and Thursday, April 25 – Saturday, April 27. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Spring show.

Sailor Circus , 2075 Bahia Vista St., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Love Sung in the Key of Aretha , March 13 – April 28

Four women musically review their life experiences as told through the songs made famous by the late and legendary “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin. Join to pay tribute to one of America’s most iconic voices in this joyful appreciation of Aretha’s music and its impact on our lives.

Westcoast Black Theatre Mainstage, 1646 10th Way., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Wednesday's Child , April 3 – May 24

A world premiere from Mark St Germain, when a young surrogate mother is found dead, a police investigation explodes the lives of everyone who knew her. As Detective aleece Valez and Walt Dixon begin to put the pieces together, secrets surface, alibis weaken, and lies are uncovered. This dramatic new play explores motherhood, passion, and the thin line between right and wrong.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: Gauguin's Voyage to Paradise , February 10 – June 30

Just as Paul Gauguin left an indelible mark on the post-Impressionist art world, the deep impact of botanical imagery on his work cannot be denied. This exhibition will highlight the essential role of botanicals in achieving the artist’s vision of the savage, primitive and exotic. Together with lush displays of tropical plants in the conservatory and gardens, the show will feature dramatic woodcuts and rarely seen works in other mediums by the artist.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 South Palm Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  GALLERY: Cycle 4 , March 14 – April 19

Through a visceral mixing of oil and acrylic paint, Walter Matthews’ densely worked canvases create a reflection of the artist’s intensity and anxiety. Continuing the annual tradition, Spectrum IV embeds the independent work of three natural solo artists into an experimental installation that blurs the lines between collaboration and contamination. Split between a series of micro-exhibitions, New Realities features the perspectives and studio practices of junior level Fine Art students attending Ringling College of Art and Design.

Art Center Sarasota, 707 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[TODAY]  MUSEUM: Knights , February 3 – April 21

Drawn from the superb collections of the Stibbert Museum in Florence, Italy, this extraordinary exhibition reveals the figure of the knight in the Middle Ages and Renaissance through over 80 exquisite objects, including full suits of armor, helmets, corselets, swords and other weaponry. The exhibition explores the function and craftsmanship of these exquisite objects as well as their historical context, focusing on themes of love and war, jousts and tournaments, and the 19th-century revival of interest in medieval knighthood.

The Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  GALA: FOMCAS Casino Night , April 20

Are you an animal lover? Get tickets for Casino Night, a fabulous event benefitting the shelter animals of Manatee County. Casino Night is Saturday, April 20th 7:00 pm at Manatee Performing Arts Center. Authentic gaming tables, a poker tournament, amazing silent and live auction items including a stay in Las Vegas, local resort stays and fun excursions and experiences. Fabulous food and cash bars. Tickets are $75 general and $100 for VIP. Everybody gets a goodie bag. Visit fomcas.org to attend Casino Night and help the Friends of Manatee County Animal Services fundraise to help local shelter animals.  

Manatee Performing Arts Center

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Gershwin and Chopin , April 21 – April 22

Hailed by Gramophone as a "star of the future" and acclaimed by Piano Magazine for the "elegance and rapturous beauty" of his music-making, pianist Igor Lovchinsky has performed solo recitals in the United States, Europe and Canada.

Fischer/Weisenborne, 7459 Cabbage Palm Ct., Sarasota

[SOON]  FOOD: Easter Brunch and Family Fun , April 21

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club is offering some family fun for Easter, including an egg-cellent Easter Brunch at the popular Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen. In addition to the usual fabulous menu options, Executive Chef James Baselici has created several specialty items for Easter.

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club , 5325 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Pioneers of Climate Science , April 23

An entertaining talk about the basics of climate science through stories from the lives of scientists, from Benjamin Franklin to Jennifer Francis. Jim Eachus is the organizer of Sarasota Climate Change Meetup.  He is a retired computer geek with a PhD in theoretical physics.  Jim will show slides, tell stories, and disagree with the most powerful man on the planet.

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

[SOON]  GALA: An Emerald Evening , April 25

Join NAMI Sarasota County for an evening to raise awareness and support youth and family mental health programs in our community. The event will include dinner catered by Michael's on East, open bar, live auction, and music and entertainment by the one and only Jonathan Cortez.

Michael's On East Ballroom, 1212 East Avenue, Sarasota

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: A Journey Through India , April 26 – April 28

Created in collaboration with local community partners, the festival will celebrate the performing and visual arts, literature, flavors and thought of historical and contemporary India. Friday, April 26, the festival will kick off with a Bollywood dance party in the Museum of Art Courtyard. Saturday, April 27, look forward to a day-long program of cultural exploration, including a series of lectures from scholars speaking on various aspects of Indian culture; music and dance performances by community groups; art-making and other activities for families; and a market featuring local food and artisan vendors. Sunday, the Festival culminates with a free, celebratory morning Hatha yoga event on the Ca’ d’Zan terrace.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Relay For Life Of Venice , April 26 – April 27, 7:00pm - 7:00am

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is the world’s largest movement to end cancer. Money raised from Relay For Life helps the American Cancer Society save lives by funding ground breaking research to discover cancer’s causes and cures and help people facing cancer today with free programs and services. People form teams and raise money together leading up to the event. Then, everyone comes together for a night of fun that celebrates cancer survivors, remembers loved ones lost to cancer, and unites us in our commitment to fight back against the disease.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Hear Me Roar Women in Business Leadership and Awards Luncheon , May 2, 10:30am-1pm

Join us for the 2019 Hear Me Roar Awards and Leadership Luncheon taking place on Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 10:30am to 1pm at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota in Sarasota. Every year, this incredibly powerful event features a nationally-recognized keynote speaker, a noted luminary who has made a significant impact in their field and the announcement of the winners of this year’s 2019 Women in Business Competition. We are thrilled to announce this year's Keynote Speaker Geralyn Lucas, author, breast cancer survivor and inspirational speaker and this year's 2019 Trailblazer Award Recipient, Journalist and Civil Rights Activist Dorothy Butler Gilliam. Stories collected over the course of the past year's Women in Business initiative will be shared along with the announcement of the 2019 inductees into the Women in Business Leadership Circle who will engage in the science and art and mentorship through regional programming aimed to empower women—from 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th-grade girls in Sarasota and Manatee counties to professionals looking to expand their capacity for leadership. Tickets online through March 25.

Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers , May 2

Named one of the ‘Top 10 New Country Artists you Need to Know’ by Rolling Stone Country, Phoebe Hunt is an accomplished Americana instrumentalist with foundations in jazz and swing music.  Phoebe is skilled at taking seemingly disparate elements and pulling them together in a dazzling kaleidoscope of lush, coherent sound and rhythm patterns. The result is music that swells, crashes, and breathes organically under Phoebe’s soulful, plaintive voice.

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

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Evolving/Revolving , May 2 – May 5

"Evolving/Revolving" is becoming SCD's annual homage to the 'upbringing' of Sarasota Contemporary Dance. The final performance of the season will be comprised of diverse, new works by past company collaborators and/or dancers as well as works brought back by popular demand. This year's production will feature Gerri Houlihan, Pamela Pietro, and an aerial work by SCD Co-Founder, Rachael Inman.

Jane B. Cook Theatre, FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Sweeney Todd- The Demon Barber of Fleet Street , May 4 – June 1

This murder and revenge in 19th Century London has shocked audiences. Unjustly imprisoned for 15 years, barber Sweeney Todd returns to take his revenge on the judge who took him from his family. When he partners with Mrs. Lovett and opens a barber practice above her meat pie ship, Todd’s need for vengeance increases. Their notoriety soars until Todd comes face to face with the judge. This thrilling theatrical treat is Sondheim at his very best.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Plena Adentro , May 4

Plena’s origins can be traced back to the changes in society caused by Puerto Rico’s transfer from Spanish to U.S. rule, and the abolition of slavery which caused displaced colonial sugar cane workers to seek economic opportunities in the growing cities of the island. While it is important to study Plena given the popularity of its folkloric style, it is equally as important because it is a living tradition that is still an active part of Puerto Rico today, marking important occasions in the lives of our people, from birth to death, and even street protests.

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

[SOON]  THEATER: Tomorrow's Voices Today , May 5

Witness a choral festival incorporating more than 200 singers of all ages. Maestro Caulkins inspires music-making at the highest levels, planting seeds that will ripen throughout students’ lives with an eclectic program from classics to contemporary. Key Chorale’s 6th annual collaboration with the Sarasota County Schools will feature Pine View, Venice and North Port High School choirs performing separately and alongside Key Chorale.

Venice Performing Arts Center, 1 Indian Ave., Venice

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SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. 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. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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