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Florida Studio Theatre

Richard & Betty Burdick Play Reading Series

Three new works in staged readings
May 9 thru May 23
In the Gompertz Theatre

As part of the Sarasota Festival of New Plays, Florida Studio Theatre presents the annual Richard & Betty Burdick Play Reading Series. Be among the first to see three contemporary new plays, followed by talkbacks with the playwright and cast. You'll be part of helping these playwrights develop their pieces. You can see all three readings for just $25 - call the Box Office at 941.366.9000 to reserve your seat.

More Information
Ponzi by Elaine Romero / Monday, May 9 at 7:00pm
Greed. Sex. Power. A lonely heiress befriends a naïve young woman, and begins an affair with her new friend’s husband. She is soon charmed into investing her fortune by the couple, but all three characters are hiding their true motives. Post Bernie Madoff, Ponzi is a timely exploration of money and desire.
This play has received a 2010 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award from the Theatre Communications Group and will premiere at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, TX in May. In this unique situation, Romero will receive feedback from our reading at FST and will send rewrites directly to Dallas for the premiere. This play already has a Sarasota connection, as Romero began writing the piece while in residence at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in 2010.
Elaine Romero’s plays (Barrio Hollywood, iCuranderas! Serpents of the Clouds, Walk into the Sea, Secret Things, The Fat-Free Chicana and the Snow Cap Queen, Undercurrents) have been developed and produced at such theatres as Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Magic Theatre,the Ford Amphitheatre, New Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Curious Theatre Company, Bloomington Playwrights Project, Kitchen Dog Theatre, Urban Stages, INTAR, the Playwrights’ Center, Women’s Project and Productions, the Working Theatre, the Lark Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre, Borderlands Theater, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and Miracle Theatre. Elaine has taught at Linfield College and the University of Arizona. She has been a Guest Artist at the Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, ACTF, and CBS Television City. She has served as a judge for TCG, NEA, and the Kennedy Center. Elaine was recently the playwright-in-Residence at the Arizona Theatre Company and spent time at the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Longboat Key last year.
South Beach Babylon by Michael McKeever / Monday, May 16 at 7:00pm
Commercialism and artistic integrity battle it out as a group of South Beach artists prepares for the celebrated Art Basel event. A wickedly funny, sexy new play from South Florida’s most celebrated playwright.
Michael McKeever returns to FST after having his plays 37 Postcards produced in 2000 and The Miamians produced in 2008. McKeever is also familiar to the Richard and Betty Burdick Play Reading Series having had six plays read at FST over the past 12 years, the most recent being a reading of his play Hand of God in 2006.
With wit, insight and a healthy dose of his quirky sense of humor, Michael McKeever continues to entertain audiences throughout America and Europe. Incorporating a wide variety of styles and subject matter, McKeever’s plays explore every aspect of the human condition. From deep-rooted prejudices of small town America to the delicate dysfunction of society’s wealthiest homes, McKeever creates stories that entertain and enlighten. He has been honored with an NEA Residency Grant (New Theatre, Miami) and has been a 3-time finalist for Humana Fest’s nationally renowned Heideman Award. He is the proud recipient of three Carbonell Awards; four Curtain Up Awards; and two Florida Individual Artist Fellowships. Six of his plays have been produced at City Theatre’s prestigious Summer Shorts Festival in Miami. He has been a finalist several times at both the Key West Theatre Festival and the Sarasota Festival of New Plays. He is also an award-winning actor and designer. He resides in South Florida and is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Actors’ Equity.
Channel by Sarah Sander / Monday, May 23 at 7:00pm
A sharp drama that focuses on Adelaide, a sixteen-year-old girl coping with the shock and grief of her mother’s death. Adelaide visits her uncle Blake and his boyfriend Eli in Los Angeles following the funeral. The presence of Adelaide causes deep-seated tensions between the couple to surface. For Adelaide, Eli, and Blake, when their realities differ from the stock characters and happy endings of the entertainment world, they are forced to confront her true emotions.
The final play is by emerging playwright Sarah Sander. Sander served as the NNPN Emerging Playwright in Residence during the 2009-2010 at Florida Studio Theatre. She wrote Channel while in residence at the theatre. The script went through numerous readings at FST enabling Sander to develop the piece.
Sarah Sander’s work has been developed or produced at the Kennedy Center, LARK New Play Development Center, DC Center of the Arts, Florida Studio Theatre, Inkwell Theatre, University of Iowa and the Hatchery Festival. She’s been named a finalist for Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Playwriting Fellowship, WordBridge, the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award and designated a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights’ Conference and Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival. Honors also include nominations for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, National Theatre Conference’s Stavis Award and Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Weissberger Award. For the 2009-2010 season she was selected as one of three National New Play Network Playwrights in Residence (Florida Studio Theatre) and she recently attended the Tofte Lake Emerging Artists Retreat run by Liz Engleman. A graduate from Norman Felton Fellow at the University of Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop, she received her BA in Chinese and English from Middlebury College.

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