The Sound Inside at Urbanite Theatre

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Vickie Daignault who plays Bella Baird in The Sound Inside. Photo by Sorcha Augustine

With fall well on its way and cooler weather approaching, the arts scene in Sarasota is beginning to heat up. Performing arts institutions around the region are delving into their 2023-24 season programs and Urbanite Theatre is no exception. Urbanite opens up its 10th season with the regional premiere of the 2020 Tony-nominated play, The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp. The Sound Inside is one of four mainstage productions in Urbanite’s 2023-24 season–the play, along with three other world premieres, is a product of Urbanite’s dedication to telling new and contemporary stories. “We can take risks here at Urbanite, because we’re a smaller theater company,” says Summer Wallace, Producing Artistic Director at Urbanite. “I think it’s extremely important to continue to commission and develop new plays as well. It’s kind of what we’ve built the DNA of the company on. One of the goals that I have for Urbanite is that we’re not just known in Sarasota for doing new work, but nationally as well.”

The Sound Inside follows the fraught relationship between an isolated Yale creative writing professor, Bella Baird, and her student Christopher. “We meet Bella Baird, our primary narrator, who has essentially been living in solitude for the past two decades since her novel was published. Through Bella, we’re then introduced to Christopher who is a little bit different than her other students,” says Wallace. “They connect over their shared love for books and begin to share details about their lives with each other, and without giving the plot away, Bella makes an unexpected request to Christopher that neither knows if he can fill. The play is a mystery, it’s suspenseful–it explores unrealized dreams, loss and the limits of what one person can ask of another.”

Wallace was drawn to the play because of the playwright, Adam Rapp’s, distinctive style. “Rapp really keeps us on our toes. We’re never quite sure where this play is going–it expels the assumptions of where we think it might be going along the way,” says Wallace. “It pushes us to think about our own inner thoughts and inner life possibilities and if we should be listening to those thoughts or not."

The Sound Inside, October 20-December 3, 2023. Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd Street, Sarasota, 941- 321-1397.

Pictured: Vickie Daignault who plays Bella Baird in The Sound Inside. Photo by Sorcha Augustine

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