Theater for Everyone

Arts & Culture

Picutred: Harry Shaull, Linnzie Hays, Gemma Vodacek, Caleb Lee and audience volunteers perform the YMCA during performance of Off the Charts! at Lakewood Ranch Waterside Plaza. Photo by FST.

This Saturday, come to Phillippi Estate Park to catch a performance from Florida Studio Theatre. At 7pm, FST will make its next stop on its summer touring show, Off the Charts! - a free, public performance that features a high-energy music revue designed to make musical theater as accessible as possible. “The show is performed by our acting apprentices - recent college graduates who come and apprentice with us. Off the Charts is a music based show, featuring pop music from the 1950s to today,” says Caroline Salvidar, FST’s Director of Children’s Theater.

The show, which lasts about 45 minutes with no intermission, is targeted towards creating a positive experience for children and their families.. “We encourage people to bring snacks and get up and sing and dance along to the music, as opposed to telling a child to sit perfectly still and be silent during a traditional theater performance. Many of the families are seeing theater or a cabaret style performance for the first time and we just want to cultivate that love for theater while listening to music that everyone from the kids to the grandparents can enjoy,” says Salvidar.

By eliminating the element of cost and making the show a roving act - previous weeks have seen the show at Nokomis Community Park and the Selby Library - FST hopes to make theater as accessible as possible. “Our goal is always to engage the audience where they are right now. We understand that if you live too far away from Florida Studio Theatre, it might be difficult for you to get to downtown Sarasota,” attests Salvidar.

Additional opportunities for engagement are present at the shows as well. Families are encouraged to learn about FST’s theatrical education classes as well as their Write A Play program - a nationwide effort that empowers schoolteachers to help students write their own plays in the classroom.

Picutred: Harry Shaull, Linnzie Hays, Gemma Vodacek, Caleb Lee and audience volunteers perform the YMCA during performance of Off the Charts! at Lakewood Ranch Waterside Plaza. Photo by FST.

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