Jeffery Kin Plays the Dad Role at The Players Centre

Arts & Culture

Photo Credit: Cliff Roles.

Most people that know Jeffery Kin say he gives off “expectant father” vibes whenever a Players Centre production begins. The producing artistic director of the company scrambles around the venue, checking and double checking every facet of the production, from sound and lighting to blocking and wardrobe. “There are just all these things that can go wrong,” he says, “and with one-night shows, my energy is always just a little higher.”

But last Wednesday at Selby Gardens, things went right and Kin oversaw the birth of a healthy baby musical. As part of The Players efforts to continue producing safe shows and Selby’s push to host more outdoor performances, Kin produced a one-time show for the gardens’ Lichtenstein Nights programming that included musical numbers along with some original dialogue that served as segue between songs.

Performers Kathryn Parks and Charlie Logan stole the show, but the victory belonged to everyone involved in helping keep live performance alive while the world slowly comes out of its pandemic hangover. “We never stopped producing, even during the summer,” says Kin, “as long as we were outside and the venue had power, parking and potties—the three Ps—we just figured, why not?”

The other side of the equation was the demolition of the theatre company’s old venue on Tamiami Trail. “We were paying a lot to stay in that space and were supposed to be out by May anyway,” says Kin, “so I went around the city for months looking for empty spaces where we could perform while we waited for our Lakewood Ranch location to be built.” The search proved difficult until Kin finally found the right situation in a building trying to redefine itself. “Along with William Skaggs, our newish CEO, we were able to negotiate a lease on a space at Crossings at Siesta Key,” says Kin.

That new space, dubbed 1130 in honor of its suite number, gives The Players an indoor venue to supplement its success with shows like Lichtenstein Nights and its annual Sleepy Hollow production at the Polo Grounds. Productions will begin in October of this year, with a full season announcement coming in July.

As for Kin’s “expectant father” vibes, after last week’s Selby performance he now has cause to play the proud father. “Again, there was so much that could’ve gone wrong,” he says, “but if you’re not taking a chance, you’re not creating art. We’ve worked hard to stay relevant and active, and I’m most proud of that.”

Photo Credit: Cliff Roles.

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