The Velveteen Rabbit at Florida Studio Theatre

Arts & Culture

The Velveteen Rabbit, illustrated by Komako Sakai.

“We get to read so many new plays here, both for children and adults. It’s a product of having great relationships with playwrights across the world and through our playwright’s collective,” says Caroline Saldivar, Director of Children’s Theatre at Florida Studio Theatre.“When I read this adaptation in particular I just fell in love with it, because I think that so many of us remember the classic stories from our childhood.”

Saldivar is speaking about The Velveteen Rabbit: A Toy Story, a brand-new adaptation of Margery Williams’ classic story, The Velveteen Rabbit, that is premiering in FST’s Weekend Children’s Theatre series this Sunday. The play, which has a run time of 50 minutes, follows a similar story arc to that of Williams’ 1922 British children’s book: a child, at first disappointed with the gift of a stuffed-animal rabbit, learns to love the toy as they journey through the child’s story books together. “This adaptation really focuses on the classic literature and storytelling of the book. Children naturally have the ability to tell stories and in this adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit, the main character of the child acts out all of these famous stories that she has read with her rabbit,” says Saldivar. “Ultimately, the play tells their story of their life together and learning that love is the greatest force in the universe and that it can make things that seem impossible real.”

The Velveteen Rabbit: A Toy Story is one of four productions that will run throughout the school year as a part of FST’s Weekend Children’s Theatre Series. The program is designed to provide affordable family fun for children and adults throughout the greater Sarasota area. “We’re trying to make Florida Studio Theatre a destination for families.I want every family in Sarasota to know that they can come almost every weekend of the school year–from September until May– they can come and experience theater together as a family,” says Saldivar. “It’s different than taking your kid to see a movie and different than watching netflix on your couch–this is happening in this room just for you.”

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota, 941-366-9000.

The Velveteen Rabbit, illustrated by Komako Sakai.

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