Florida Studio Theatre Cancels Summer Season

Coconut Telegraph

SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY MAY 12, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida Studio Theatre (FST) announces the cancellation of its 2020 Summer Mainstage and Cabaret Seasons, originally set to kick off in mid-June, as well as the 12th Annual Sarasota Improv Festival slated for July. This difficult decision was made in effort to prioritize the health and wellbeing of FST’s staff, artists, and the Sarasota community during the current COVID-19 health crisis.

“We held back as long as we could on cancelling the Summer Season to see how the situation was going to evolve and whether a later start date would be possible,” said Richard Hopkins, FST’s Producing Artistic Director. “The health and safety of our audience, staff, and artists is paramount. Therefore, we came to the difficult decision that we must cancel the Summer Season. But we will not be sitting idly by this summer. We are using this time to move forward and make plans for our future. We have hired over 30 of the country’s top theatre artists to create new work that speaks to our shared humanity. We are engaging with our community online through classes, workshops, and discussions. We are heartened by our audience and are looking forward to the day that we can open our theatres to them again.”

2020 Summer Season subscribers will have their subscriptions automatically rolled over to the summer of 2021, receiving tickets for next summer at this summer’s prices. Patrons who wish to make other arrangements may call FST’s Box Office at 941.366.9000.

This year’s Sarasota Improv Festival will also be postponed until 2021. The event known for bringing the top improv troupes from across the country and around the world would have celebrated its 12th year this July. Improv fans can continue to watch FST’s resident troupe, FST Improv, performing short-form improv games via Instagram live on Saturday evenings.

According to Hopkins, these cancellations are projected to cost the theatre over $1.5 million in lost revenue. FST was forced to close its doors on March 16, when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) changed it size recommendation for large gatherings from a maximum of 250 persons (which marked all of FST’s theatres safe) down to no more than 50. The non-for-profit is asking those who are able to give to make additional contributions, helping support the organization and its staff in weathering these unprecedented and challenging times.

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