Florida Studio Theatre Presents The White Chip

Arts & Culture

Pictured: left to right: Michael Flood (#2), Julia Brothers (#1), Saxon Palmer (Steven). Photo by John Jones.

In the Florida premiere of The White Chip by Sean Daniels at Florida Studio Theatre, audiences meet Steven, a man seemingly on top of the world. Steven has a happy marriage, a strong social life and is about to run one of the top theaters in the country. There’s only one problem: Steven is an alcoholic and his life is spinning out of control.

Such was the life of playwright Sean Daniels. “In 2011 I tried to take my own life because I had been drunk for months, I’d been fired from my job, my wife had left me and I’d driven my car head first into a telephone pole. It’d just been so long since somebody really smiled to see me coming,” says Daniels. “Instead of taking my own life I called my mother, who I did not get along with, but I knew that she would answer and oddly enough it was her one year anniversary of getting sober, so we share a sobriety date to this day. She got me through that night, got me to a rehab center in Jacksonville, Florida.”

As Daniels’, a longtime actor, director and writer, began his recovery journey he started to search for stories similar to his own. What he found, however, was that no story could emulate his own, with the humor and themes that he wanted to inject into it. Thus, the process of creating The White Chip, a poignant recovery comedy began. “I couldn’t find anything that was funny or had a sense of humor or was about science. Science was such a big part of my getting sober, understanding brain chemistry and genetics–and that was just not a part of the court-ordered AA meetings Kentucky sent me to when I got my DUI,” says Daniels. “I eventually realized I have to write the thing that I cannot find.”

Since then, The White Chip has become a critically acclaimed play, with multiple productions including prominent off-Broadway runs. For Daniels’, who is the director of The Recovery Project at FST–an initiative designed to transform the narrative of addiction throughout the country–the autobiographical project has been infinitely rewarding due to the responses from audience members. “What I always forget is that one in three families in our country is affected by addiction. That means that even if the audience isn’t made up of drunks, everybody has a brother or a cousin or a sister and they come up and they come up and say that afterwards,” says Daniels. “In New York City after every single production people came forward and said I’m ready to get help.”

March 20 to April 14, Florida Studio Theatre’s Bowne’s Lab, 1265 First Street, Sarasota.


Pictured: left to right: Michael Flood (#2), Julia Brothers (#1), Saxon Palmer (Steven). Photo by John Jones.

For ticket information click here

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