Asolo Repertory Theatre
The largest repertory theatre in the southeastern United States, the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida, led by Michael Donald Edwards, is the largest Equity theatre in Florida. A resident regional theatre company, Asolo Repertory Theatre works in conjunction with Florida State University, and includes the FSU/ Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Currently located in the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts, their 2008-2009 season marked their 50th season.
All the Way
Asolo Repertory Theatre’s first performance space was in a historic theatre that was first built in Asolo, Italy, just near Venice. In 1798, the impresario Antonio Locatelli built the Asolo Theatre. It wasn’t until the early 1930’s did it become a museum of art. The state of Florida acquired the theatre in 1949, and it was sent to Sarasota. In the late 1950’s, it was decided to reconstruct the theatre for modern theatre performances, and opened on January 10, 1958 with a production of Mozart’s “Die Entfurung aus dem Serail” by the New York City Opera.
The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training was first created in 1968 by the Florida State University School of Theatre in Tallahassee, and moved to Sarasota five years later, establishing a permanent relationship with the Asolo Repertory Theatre. A three-year graduate study culminating in a degree in Fine Arts, only twelve students are chosen each year from the thousands who audition nationwide. Those chosen work in a program that combines rigorous classroom training with guest artist workshops and professional production experience, and upon graduation, they are eligible to join Actors Equity Association. They also travel to London for a six-week study course, and during their third year of training work as members of the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Productions at The Conservatory have included “Macbeth,” and “Nora.”
Luck be a Lady: The Iconic Songs of Frank Loesser
A few of the events at the Asolo Repertory Theatre Asolo include Out@AsoloRep, provides Sarasota’s premiere cultural event for connecting with the LGBT community and supporting the arts. Asolo Repertory Theatre’s IllumiNation program seeks to engage audiences to discuss the dynamic and diversity on stage as well as the Sarasota and Bradenton communities, promoting open cross-cultural conversations. Many of Asolo Rep’s 2016 season productions focus on subjects that have a direct impact on the African-American, Latino, Muslim and Jewish communities and include an infusion of actors of diverse ethnicities.
Asolo Repertory Theatre also provides students with the opportunity to see theatre through community partnerships and residencies including Kaleidoscope, and Faces of Change and Arts, a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the work of Asolo Rep.
West Side Story
Asolo Repertory Theatre productions in 2016 include “Ah Wilderness,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “Disgraced,” “Josephine,” and “Hetty Feather.”
You Can’t Take It with You