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19-20 Pkaywrige progect

The Playwrights Project

April 01 - June 01, 2020

The Playwrights Project

April 01 - June 01, 2020

The Playwrights Project is an artistic initiative that employed 33 of the country’s top playwrights, sketch comedy writers, and musical theatre developers as full-time staff writers. Over the course of this eight-week project, each artist wrote and delivered a first draft of an original play, sketch comedy piece, or cabaret. The material generated during this time is under consideration for future production in FST’s Mainstage, Cabaret, Sketch Comedy, and Children’s Theatre programs.

In addition to working as staff writers, Playwrights Project artists enhanced FST’s online educational offerings by leading workshops, tutorials, and contributing to virtual classes. The artists also participated in online forum discussions and special Q&A sessions with small invited audiences.

The Project was conceived within the first few days of the theatre shutting down due to COVID-19. FST, like the rest of our nation, was brought to a sudden standstill. Three days after closing the theatre, I had a revelation about Shakespeare—he, like every good artist, instead of following the dark and writing about the plagues of his time, took the road less traveled and followed the light. He wrote, without judgment, about the wonder of humankind. Which made me think that now is the time for FST to inspire the creation of plays. To ask playwrights to write like Shakespeare and reveal humanity’s complexities without judgment.

Richard Hopkins, Producing Artistic Director

Project Team


PROJECT CHAIR: Judge Charles E. Williams
PROJECT COMMITTEE: Kelley Lavin and Sarasota Magazine
OUTREACH: Gaele Barthold, Michele Redwine, Charlie Ann Syprett, Dr. Queen Mecca Zabriskie
INTERN: Alex Drinnen

ARTISTIC TEAM: Research and Performance
Ariel Blue
Kim Crow
Susan Greenhill
Carolyn Michel
Rachel Moulton
J Paul Nicholas
Zoe Speas
Katherine Tanner
Alicia Taylor Tomasko

Gabriel Barre

Sarah Bierstock

Deborah Brevoort

Carole J. Bufford

Bill Cain

José Casas

Jeffrey Couchman

Sean Daniels

Stephan deGhelder

Lawrence Engler

Thomas Gibbons

Bruce Graham

Kate Hamill

Kenneth Jones

Mark Kendall

Rachel Lynett

Ben Mackel

Michael McKeever

Julia Morales

Sam Mossler

Jason Odell Williams

Tricia Paoluccio

Larry Parr

Sandy Rustin

Nick Santamaria

Kyle Shoemaker

Mark St. Germain

The Swingaroos

Bruce Vilanch

Matt Walker

Brandon Wardell

Robert Woo

Partners & Supporters

American Association of University Women
Art Ovation Hotel
Art Center of Manatee
Art Center Sarasota
Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
Artist Concert Series of Sarasota
Bank of America
Barbara Banks Photography
Belle Canto
Booker High School Law Academy
Boxser Diversity Initiative
Brandeis National Committee
BTN Films
Canned Ham Vintage
Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Choral Artists of Sarasota
Dancing in The Moment
Democratic Women's Club of Sarasota
Eileen Fisher
Embracing Our Differences
Florida Association for Women Lawyers
Florida Bar Association
Florida Maritime Museum
Friends of the East Manatee Library at Lakewood Ranch
Gritty Girl
Historic Spanish Point
Karen Sullivan: Faculty, Ringling College of Art and Design
League of Women Voters Manatee
League of Women Voters Sarasota
Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas
Manatee County Democratic Black Caucus
Manatee Village Historical Park
Maryland Women’s Heritage Center
National Women’s History Project
New College of Florida
Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida
Republican Women's Club of Sarasota
Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota Contemporary Dance Company
Sarasota County Bar Association
Sarasota County Centennial 2021 Committee
Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources
Sarasota County School System
Sarasota Film Festival
Sarasota Ministerial Association
Sarasota Orchestra
The Friends of the Central Library
The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
The Links, Incorporated
The Ringling
The Hermitage Artist Retreat
Tom Tryon
United States National Convention of UN Women
USF Center for PAInT (Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching)
Venice Area Historical Society
Women Journalists of Sarasota/Manatee
Women on 20s

Sarasota Magazine - Official Magazine Sponsor
West Coast Woman

Susan Fromm Shimelman - Lead Underwriter
Sy and Shelley Goldblatt - Underwriter
Jane Plitt and Jim Bruen - Co-Producer
Ina Schnell – Forums Co-Producer
The Jennifer Michell Charitable Gift Fund
The Boxser Diversity Initiative

Thank You To Our Sponsors