16-17 FST Improv
Every Saturday at 7:30pm
Join the cast of FST Improv for a show that you help make-up on the spot…literally! Before every show, 12 lucky audience members will be asked to randomly select out of the FST Improv infamous bucket of over 50 games. Those 12 games will comprise the line-up for that night which will feature a unique combination of scenes, sketches and songs selected by you and your peers! Regardless of how the ball bounces, everyone is promised to be a winner on this completely unique night of improvised comedy.
When X Meets Y
Friday June 30 at 7:30pm
Saturday July 1 at 7:30pm
To love together is to laugh together. Watch some of Sarasota’s best musical improvisers make up a romantic comedy musical on the spot. Your suggestions and ideas will inspire a never before seen love story that will take you from the first meeting all the way to the swoon-inspiring big kiss finale. Our talented cast will sing solos, duets, and full chorus numbers in a variety of different styles and genres from Swing to Ska to Sondheim. Come and fall in love again, with the improvised musical When X Meets Y!
The More You Know
Friday August 18 at 7:30pm
It’s time to go back to school! Uproarious characters and memorable plot twists will arise as the audience provides suggestions that the FST Improv cast will improvise into a John Hughes Back to School style epic. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a teen, or a younger brother or sister, everyone can identify with the timeless characters that cross paths in our school’s hallways. Come relive your school days with FST Improv’s The More you know!
FST Improv performs EVERY SATURDAY at 7:30pm. Single tickets are ONLY $15. All single tickets can be purchased online by clicking the hyperlinks above or by calling the box office at 941-366-9000.
Join us at one hour prior to your showtime for pre-show dining and drinks in Bowne's Lab Theatre! Reservations are not required, you will be seated at the table you reserved for the performance. To see our menu, click here. To see the seating chart for Bowne's Lab Theatre click here.
Do you need a ride to the theatre? Click here to find out more about our partnership with iTN Suncoast.
WILL LUERA (Director) is the Director of Improvisation at FST and also serves as the Producing Artistic Director of Atomica Arts, Artistic Director of the Pilsen Improv Festival, Artistic Adviser to the Women in Comedy Festival, Artistic Associate of the Chicago Improv Festival and part-time faculty for the theater department at Boston College. In 2012, Will received the life-time title of Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston after serving 12 years as the Artistic Director. Will is a globally renowned improv and theater actor, director and instructor that performs and teaches regularly all across North America, South America, Europe and Asia. He is excited to be joining the FST team and the Sarasota community!
CHRISTINE ALEXANDER is a founding member of the FST Improv’s program and because of that, is now Locally World Famous. Little known fact: FST built this new Bowne’s Lab - just for her. (That’s the real story, don’t let them tell you anything different). During the day you can find Christine leading improv workshops of all kinds and in the evenings, here at FST teaching improv or performing on her brand new stage. Whatever her job is that day, it includes “making people laugh and feel comfortable and courageous.” Her motto is: If it feels good to laugh, then laugh to feel good. Find her on the internets at ChristineAlexander.net (.com isn’t funny at all).
LARRY BUKOVEY Since entering the bizarre yet wonderful world of Improvisation in 1999 at SAK Comedy Lab in Orlando, FL, Larry has been on a journey. Since then, he continues on said journey as a student, performer, instructor and as a liaison for the improv community, at home and abroad. He currently serves as Director of Advocacy with the newly formed, non-profit organizationon, TBi, Inc. (Tampa Bay improv), a local support group for the Tampa Bay area Improv community. Just as a beehive has strength in numbers, Larry believes the same for the improv community and that through "cross-pollination", the Improv community, locally and at large, can come together (behave like a beehive) to create something sweet together and perpetuate this amazing art form. Larry is a film, stage and TV actor based in Trinity, Florida.
JASON CANNON is an Associate Artist at FST. He directs plays, works on New Play Development, teaches Adult Education classes, and heads up the Acting Apprentice Program. Mostly, though, he is tall.
CHRIS FRIDAY is an improviser with over 20 years of experience. He is an original member of the FST Improv Group, and founding member of the Musical Improv program at FST. Chris lives in Sarasota with his wife and two little girls.
PATRICK A. JACKSON is an actor, playwright and teaching artist from Richmond, VA but claims Atlanta, GA as his home because of his addiction to sweet tea and all things Chic Fil A. Patrick is an alumnus of Morehouse College and is working on his Masters in Social Media with a concentration in hashtags. He holds the world record for the most hours of Netflix watched in one session. www.patrickajackson.com
JOEY JAMES is an actor/improviser/grandma's boy from Chicago Illinois. He is excited for another FST Improv season!
DARRYL KNAPP Is a Director, Teacher, and performer in various troupes in the Tampa Bay area and can be seen doing one of those many nights a week. Darryl is an avid volleyball player and loves the Tampa Bay Rays and enjoys visiting various baseball stadiums. A professed cat lover he has two Norton and Trixie named after the neighbors on The Honeymooners. He enjoys salads and listening to music but never at the same time.
EMILY LEVIN is a recovering attorney who originally studied and performed improv in the Chicago area. She was a founding member of an all female improv troupe called Lady HaHa and performed in the Chicago suburbs for drunk women having a ladies’ night out. Emily has since gone on to become a total embarrassment to her children. In 2013, Emily moved to Sarasota with her husband and is thrilled to be living here instead of freezing and shoveling mounds of snow in Illinois. Emily hopes that her career at FST will rise to new heights of embarrassment for her family.
KATELYN MCKELLEY An Idaho native, Katelyn graduated from Idaho State University in the spring of 2012, receiving high honors and an Honors Bachelor's Degree in Theatre, her emphasis being acting. Having completed two years as an acting apprentice at Florida Studio Theatre, she has had the privilege of being a part of the fall children's show Rap-Punzel, the Playmakers Tour, and two years of Under Six and Seven Up productions. Some of her favorite shows throughout her career thus far include Wait Until Dark (Suzie), Merry Wives of Windsor (Mistress Ford), and the staged readings of Ugly Lies the Bone (Kacie) and Sans Merci (Tracy) in FST's New Play Festival. Katelyn is so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic comedic family.
JOEY PANEK hails originally from Syracuse, NY. He toured professionally as a stage actor for 15 years before making his home in Sarasota. He is a web and media personality who can be found exploring pop culture and trends at WhatsUpJoey.com and introducing local trends every week on daytime television. In his spare time he plans to save the world through entertainment and martinis. JoeyPanek.com
ANGEL M. PARKER is in her ninth season at FST Improv and plays the tall dark haired girl this year. Her favorite color is orange.
ADAM RATNER is jumping for joy like a bunny hopped up on Red Bull for another HOT Summer Season of FST IMPROV! Adam has been performing Improv at FST since he was a mere infant, starting as a member of the “Original” Kids Komedy Club in the mid 1980’s. Since that time, Adam has become the Lead Teaching Artist here at Florida Studio Theatre, instructing several levels of improvisation and acting classes. When not on stage, Adam spends his limited free time checking random pockets for spare change.
NATASHA SAMRENY is a storyteller and comedian. She recently debuted her one-woman show Practice Wedding at London’s Camden Fringe Festival. She produces life histories by day, performing stand-up and storytelling by night. Natasha studied improv and acting at The Second City and Moving Dock Theatre in Chicago. She currently co-produces a storytelling showcase called All of the Feels, writing and performing with the sketch group Millennial Fresh. www.natashasamreny.com
STEVE TURRISI Professional bowler, dunked a basketball once, cartoonist, kept the high school bench warm for our football team, can make a mean meatball and loves to make people laugh.
HUNTER BROWN (Pianist) Hunter has been the proud musical director/accompanist for FST IMPROV for two years now! He is also one of the creators and teachers of their often sold-out musical improv classes. Hunter has been a featured performer, musical director or teacher at the Manatee Performing Arts Center, The Players Theater of Sarasota, St Stephen’s Episcopal School, American Stage Theater and FST’s Cabaret Stage! Hunter can sometimes be spotted on a Sarasota Keys piano.
MICHELLE NEAL (Pianist) is a Music Director for the Manatee Players, a private music teacher, and was born and raised in Florida. She hopes to one day find someone to collaborate with and pursue her dream of composing in various musical styles.
JIM PROSSER (Pianist) is the featured pianist with the FST Improv troupe. He has been involved in the creation of many of FST’s cabaret productions, including Never Marry A Girl With Cold Feet, The Prima Donnettes, Too Darn Hot,That’s Life, That’s Life Again, Reflections, European Cabaret, Harry Who?, and British Invasion. He has also written scores for numerous children’s musicals at FST, including The Emperor’s New Clothes, Androcles and the Lion, The Princess and the Pea, Poof and Immigrant Children.
REBECCA HOPKINS (Founder & Producer) is the founder and producer of FST Improv and the Sarasota Improv Festival. In addition, she has been actively involved in new play development at FST since her arrival in 1998. She has helped create over 30 musical revue’s for FST’s Cabaret Theatres. This season, Mrs. Hopkins is the lead developer on Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves and co-developer on Older Than Dirt. Last season she was the lead developer on Yesterday. She has been the head writer on all five - Laughing Matters shows. Some of her favorite shows she helped develop include: The Prima Donnettes, That’s Life, The Wanderers, My One and Only Gershwin, Hot and Cole, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, Piano Men, The British Invasion, The Flip Side, and Outlaws and Angels. Mrs. Hopkins serves as Managing Director for Florida Studio Theatre, and as such, is the Chief Operations Officer. Mrs. Hopkins is responsible for oversight of FST’s Administration, including the Business Office, Development, Marketing, Box Office, Front of House, Restaurant, budgeting, and maintaining the overall quality of FST’s internal management. Under her leadership FST has grown from a 2 theatre to a 5 theatre operation reaching over 200,000 attendees a year. Nationally, Mrs. Hopkins is President of the National New Play Network and serves on the Executive Committee for the League of Resident Theatres. In 2012, the Arts & Cultural Alliance awarded Mrs. Hopkins the Cultural Champion Award in recognition of her many years of accomplishment and growth with Florida Studio Theatre.
“Hilarious” – Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“FST Improv Rocks Saturday Nights” – SRQ Daily
“Raw, comic talent” – Pelican Press
Book FST Improv
The FST Improv troupe is available to book for private events, parties, and corporate training. To inquire about availability and pricing, contact Director of Improvisation, Will Luera at 941-366-9017 x355 or by email at [email protected]
You can also host your private event at Florida Studio Theatre. FST has spaces for all occasions: holiday parties, luncheons, conferences, etc. To learn more about booking a space, click here.
To inquire about availability or tours, contact Events Coordinator, Dana Ernest at 941-366-9017 x347 or [email protected]
Bowne's Lab is located on the corner of First Street and Cocoanut Avenue inside of The Hegner Theatre Wing. For GPS purposes use the address of 1265 First Street, Sarasota, FL 34236. To see a list of our buildings and shows, please see below. For more information please call the FST Box Office at (941) 366-9000.
Do you need a ride to the theatre? Click here to find out more about our partnership with iTN Suncoast.
For those who require additional assistance or handicap parking/drop off, please see the map below. Handicap parking is reserved for patrons with a handicap tag and is in the lot across from the Hegner Theatre Wing. The area for drop off of handicap passengers/patrons for the Court Cabaret is along the corner of First Street and Cocoanut Avenue. If handicap parking is not available and you are dropping off a passenger, our lobby concierge would be happy to wait with them until you return. For any questions regarding handicap parking please call the box office at (941) 366-9000.