April 6, 2016 - May 28, 2016 | Gompertz Theatre
Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones is part of the Sarasota Festival of New Plays!
In 1959 Montgomery, Alabama, the Civil Rights Movement is flowering. A children’s book with a hidden message stirs the passions of a segregationist senator and a no-nonsense state librarian. Inspired by true events, Alabama Story puts political foes, childhood friends, and one feisty author at opposite ends of clashing perceptions. REGIONAL PREMIERE!
Alabama Story is also part of the Dialogues on Diversity series which includes panel discussions centered around the themes of the play. To learn more about upcoming panel discussions, click here.
Director | Kate Alexander
Stage Manager | Roy Johns*
Scenic Designers | Isabel & Moriah Curley-Clay
Lighting Designer | Rob Perry
Costume Designer | Sara Hinkley
Thomas Franklin | Danny Bernardy*
Garth Williams | Kevin Cutts*
Lily Whitfield | Rachel Moulton*
Senator E.W. Higgins | Andy Prosky*
Emily Wheelock Reed | Jean Tafler*
Joshua Moore | Chris White*
* Denotes member Actors’ Equity Association. The Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
DANNY BERNARDY (Thomas Franklin) was last seen at FST in Spamalot and The Underpants. Off-Broadway: Sex Tips (777 Theater) Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, O.Y.L., Cherry Lane (59e59), Love’s Labour’s Lost (NY Classical Theatre), Phaedra’s Love (Cherry Lane). Regional favorites: Shear Madness (Kennedy Center), Maple and Vine (ACT), Moon Over Buffalo (Cape Playhouse), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Delaware Theatre Co), Vincent in Brixton (Virginia Stage Co.) TV: ABC’s One Life to Live, CBS’ As the World Turns. Carnegie Mellon, BFA.
KEVIN CUTTS(Garth Williams) Regional: Alabama Shakespeare, St Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Portland Stage, Round House (DC), Virginia Rep, Penguin Rep, Florida Stage, TheaterWorks Hartford, Pennsylvania Stage, Players Theater Columbus; TV: All My Children, Another World, Miami Vice, the various Law and Orders, Last of the Ninth (HBO pilot), The Blacklist, Jim Gaffigan Show; Off-Broadway: Fifth of July and 2; Online: Gay Racehorse, The Onion. Screenwriter: Hope Rose w/Lou Diamond Phillips.
RACHEL MOULTON (Lily Whitfield) It is such an honor to be back in Sarasota performing for all of you! Previously seen at FST in The Columnist (regional premiere) and the rolling world premiere of Jericho. Off-Broadway/New York: In a Tilted Place (IRT), Sex Tips For Straight Women from a Gay Man (777 Theatre), Philip Goes Forth (The Mint), and This Side of Paradise (St.Clements). Regional: The Book Club Play (Virginia Stage Co.), One Slight Hitch (Florida Rep), Pioneer Theatre Company: Black Comedy and RENT, My Fair Lady (JW Engeman Theatre), Midsummer (Penn. Shakes), Finding Nemo: The Musical (WDW). Several commercials, most notably as the spokesperson for Office Depot. Training: Interlochen Arts Academy and Syracuse University, B.F.A. www.rachelmoulton.com @rachelmoulton
ANDY PROSKY (Senator E.W. Higgins) FST: One Man, Two Guvnors; Over The River and Through The Woods; In The Book Of. In New York City his credits include King Lear starring Christopher Plummer at Lincoln Center and The Tempest at The Pearl Theatre Company. Regionally he has performed at Arena Stage, Fords Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, The Old Globe Theatre, and The Folger Theatre. Film and Television credits include Taking Woodstock directed by Ang Lee, Men In Black, Mrs. Doubtfire, John Adams, Law And Order, ER.
JEAN TAFLER (Emily Wheelock Reed) Florida credits include: 10 seasons with Orlando Shakespeare Theater including To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Nicholas Nickleby, Titus Andronicus (Tamora), Kiss Me Kate (Lilly Vanessi), & Macbeth (Lady Macbeth); Also Jane Eyre at Asolo Rep. Recent New York credits: The Taste of It, The Lady’s Not for Burning, Seeing Stars, Romeo & Juliet, Taming of the Shrew; Regional work: Mesmerized, Hannah, Dinner With Friends, Follies, The Heiress and many others with River Rep, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Premiere Stages, Geva Theatre, Studio Arena, and Stages Rep. Co-founder and managing director of Fat Knight Theatre.
CHRIS WHITE (Joshua Moore) a Webster Conservatory graduate, is thrilled to join the FST family for Alabama Story! He has toured the country in Of Ebony Embers and The Mikado. Favorite regional credits include: Julius Caesar, A Christmas Carol, The Pirates of Penzance, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Little Shop of Horrors. While serving as an artistic advisor for the ALT Foundation, Chris also wrote the screenplay for his first short film, Footprints, which was produced in 2015 by the ALT Foundation.
KATE ALEXANDER (Director) is the Associate Director of FST and the Founder of the FST Theatre School. Ms. Alexander has directed numerous productions and premieres on the FST stages including Outside Mullingar; Over The River And Through The Woods; Chapatti; Dancing Lessons; Becoming Dr. Ruth; Freud’s Last Session; Thurgood; South Beach Babylon; The Columnist; Talley’s Folly; Jericho; Next Fall; The Savannah Disputation; Ghost- Writer; Two Jews Walk into a War...; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Sylvia; Shotgun; The Miamians; Brooklyn Boy; The Exonerated; Wit; Proof; Lobby Hero; and Ten Unknowns. Ms. Alexander has also been a resident actress for the past 20 years. Some of her leading roles were seen in the plays: Edward Albee’s The Goat; Filumena; Master Class; Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women; Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby; Golda’s Balcony; and Taking Shakespeare. Ms. Alexander is the recipient of numerous acting, directing, and public service awards, including FAER, She Knows Where She’s Going Award (Girls, Inc.), The Woman of Light Award, National Council of Jewish Women, The Woman of Power Award, the Sarasota County Arts Leadership Award, Education Award, Sarasota Manatee Jewish Federation, and most recently The Unity Award. She is also the co-author of The Animated Short, co-authored by Karen Sullivan, with a third edition now available.
ROY JOHNS (Stage Manager) is pleased to be back for another season at FST. He has had an exciting and varied career both on stage and behind the scenes from Tokyo Disneyland to the White House. Past credits at FST include Outside Mullingar; One Man, Two Guvnors; The Hound of the Baskervilles; Chapatti; Hairspray; and Taking Shakespeare.
ISABEL & MORIAH CURLEY-CLAY (Scenic Designers) are multiple-award-winning scenic designers whose theatrical work can be seen on regional stages all over the U.S. They have also done industrial design work with groups including The World of Coke, and West Quoddy Head National Park Visitors Center. They were recently featured in American Theater Magazine’s Roll Call, 7 theatrical people to watch. Past designs at FST include Outside Mullingar, Butler, Taking Shakespeare, Chapatti, Inspired Lunacy, Dancing Lessons, Hairspray, and One Man, Two Guvnors. Isabel and Moriah are resident scenic designers at Horizon Theatre, Artistic Associates at Theatrical Outfit and members of United Scenic Artists Local 829.
SARA HINKLEY (Costume Designer) is a costume designer based in New York City. Previous FST credits include Rumplestiltskin, Ghostwriter, Next to Normal, and Brassy Broads. She has also designed costumes for Manhattan School of Music, The Cell Theatre, Spellbound Theatre Co., and Acting Manitou. Associate design credits include FPA’s Martin Luther on Trial and Company XIV’s Nutcracker Rouge.
ROBERT PERRY (Lighting Designer) Designs at Florida Studio Theatre: Over the River and Through the Woods; Inspired Lunacy; Freud’s Last Session; The World Goes’ Round; The Best Of Enemies; Shotgun; The Wanderers; Brassy Broads; Race; Two Jews Walk into a War; The Last Romance; and Talley’s Folly. Robert has also designed off-Broadway in addition to The Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, LaJolla Playhouse, and the McCarter Theatre. He received his MFA from Yale University and a BFA from the North Carolina School of the Arts. He is a member of United Scenic Artists.
KENNETH JONES (Playwright) is a playwright, librettist, and lyricist. His play Alabama Story was a 2014 Finalist in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference and is a 2016 nominee for the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. It had its world premiere by Pioneer Theatre Company in 2015 following development by Pioneer, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and TACT/The Actors Company Theatre. In addition to Florida Studio Theatre, it will get productions this year in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Massachusetts. His play Two Henrys is a current a Semi-Finalist in the O’Neill NPC and was seen in Pioneer’s February 2016 Play-By-Play series. With Karen Azenberg, he co-conceived Pioneer’s 2015 holiday musical It Happened One Christmas. His darkly comic Christmas revue Naughty/Nice (with composer Gerald Stockstill) is published by stagerights.com. His musical Voice of the City (with composer Elaine Chelton) was developed by York Theatre Company and Human Race Theatre Company. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and BMI. He writes about his own plays and advocates for other playwrights, new plays, and theatre makers at his website ByKennethJones.com.
Dialogues on Diversity Events
Dec. 8th | Butler: Final Dress Rehearsal for Invited Guests 8:00 PM | Keating Theatre
Dec. 11th | Butler: Opening Night 8:00 PM | Keating Theatre
Dec 15th | Luncheon and Round table with Richard Strand
Dec 16th | Plays That Matter: Discussion with Richard Strand 5:00 PM | Bea Freidman Room
Jan 5th | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award playwriting workshop Provided by the Housing Authority of Sarasota and the Roy McBean Boys and Girls Club 4:00-5:00 PM
Jan 7th | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award playwriting workshop Provided by the Housing Authority of Sarasota and the Roy McBean Boys and Girls Club 4:00-5:00 PM
Jan 9th | Racial Justice Discussion from Trinity Episcopal Church Hosted by St. Wilfred Episcopal Church
Jan 11th | Online Forum Discussion at www.fst-blog.com Join the Conversation with guests Chief Judge Charles E. Williams, Circuit Judge of the 12th Judicial Court; Dr. Robert Franklin, President Emeritus of Morehouse College and Director of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution; Gilbert King, Pulitzer-Prize winning author; Carolyn Mason, Sarasota County Commissioner; Elizabeth Gelman, Executive Director at The Florida Holocaust Museum; and Shane Taylor, cast member of Butler
Jan 11th | Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America Twitter Campaign Launch
Jan 12th | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award playwriting workshop Provided by the Housing Authority of Sarasota and the Roy McBean Boys and Girls Club 4:00-5:00 PM
Jan 14th | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award playwriting workshop Provided by the Housing Authority of Sarasota and the Roy McBean Boys and Girls Club 4:00-5:00 PM
Jan 16th | Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award playwriting presentation The Roy McBean Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County 2:00 PM
Jan 21st | Insights and Inklings - Butler Panel Discussion Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guest Dr. Brendan Goff, Assistant Professor of American History 5:00-6:00 PM | Keating Theatre
Jan 21st | High school performances begin: Butler with post-show discussion 10:00 AM | Keating Theatre
Jan 21st | Preparatory discussions on Butler available at Sarasota County schools led by Chief Judge Williams
Week of Jan 25th | METV Broadcast of Panel Discussion
Jan 27th | McIntosh Ministerial Luncheon Hosted at the Jewish Federation 11:45AM – 1:00 PM
Jan 28th | Butler: Post-show discussion Facilitated by Chief Judge Williams and Director Jason Cannon Immediately Following Show | Keating Theatre
Jan 28th | High school performance: Butler with post-show discussion 10:00 AM | Keating Theatre
Feb | Preparatory discussions on Butler at Sarasota County schools led by Chief Judge Williams throughout the month of February
Feb 1st | A Message From Our Pulpits: Diversity in Action Sarasota Ministerial Association’s constituent churches and synagogues dedicate the month of February to speaking on race issues
Feb 4th | Butler: Post-show discussion Facilitated by Chief Judge Williams and Director Jason Cannon Immediately Following Show | Keating Theatre
Feb 11th | Butler: Post-show discussion Facilitated by Director Jason Cannon Immediately Following Show | Keating Theatre
Feb 18th | The Masks We Wear - Butler Panel Discussion. Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guest Dr. Eddy Regnier and cast members Shane Taylor and Eric Hoffmann 5:00-6:00 PM | Keating Theatre
Feb 18th | High school performance: Butler with post-show discussion 10:00 AM | Keating Theatre
Week of Feb 22nd | METV Broadcast of Panel Discussion
Feb 24th | High school performance: Butler with post-show discussion 10:00 AM | Keating Theatre
Feb 26th | An Evening With Morehouse School of Medicine President Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Ambassador, Andrew Young 4:30 PM |Keating Theatre
Feb 26th | High school performance: Butler with post-show discussion 10:00 AM |Keating Theatre
Feb 27th | Pay What You Can Night Sponsored by Sy & Shelley Goldblatt
Pre and Post-show speeches by Steering Committee members Mayor Willie Charles Shaw, and President of Sarasota County NAACP, Trevor Harvey 8:00 PM | Keating Theatre
Mar 3rd | Butler: Post-show discussion Facilitated by Chief Judge Williams and Director Jason Cannon Immediately Following Show | Keating Theatre
Mar 3rd | High school performance: Butler with post-show discussion 10:00 AM | Keating Theatre
Mar 4th | High school performance: Butler with post-show discussion 10:00 AM |Keating Theatre
Mar 8th | My Name is Asher Lev: Final Dress Rehearsal for Invited Guests 8:00 PM | Keating Theatre
Mar 11th | My Name is Asher Lev: Opening Night 8:00 PM | Keating Theatre
TBA | The Roots of Hatred: My Name is Asher Lev Panel Discussion 5:00- 6:00 PM | Keating Theatre
Week of Mar 28th | METV Broadcast of Panel Discussion
Apr 6th | Alabama Story: Final Dress Rehearsal for Invited Guests 8:00 PM | Gompertz Theatre
Apr 8th | Alabama Story: Opening Night 8:00 PM | Gompertz Theatre
Apr 14th | Alabama Story: Post-show discussion Immediately Following Show | Gompertz Theatre
Apr 21 | Alabama Story: Post-show discussion Facilitated by Chief Judge Williams Immediately Following Show | Gompertz Theatre
Apr 28th | Hot Topics of Today: Banned Books and Other Literature: Alabama Story Panel Discussion: Moderated by Opinion-Editor Tom Tryon with guests Sarabeth Kalajian, Director of Sarasota County Libraries & Historical Resources; Georgia Court, Owner of Bookstore 1 Sarasota; and Dr. April Flakne, Associate Professor of Philosophy 5:00-6:00 PM | Gompertz Theatre
May 2 - 16 | Beaches, Benches, and Boycotts: Civil Rights Movement in Sarasota and Tampa Bay Sponsored by The Florida Holocaust Museum & The Sarasota County Public Libraries Exhibited at North Sarasota Library
May 1st | A Call to Citizenship: WWSB ABC7 launches public service announcements across their full coverage area for Dialogues on Diversity
May 1st | Mayoral Proclamation of Diversity Day
Week of May 2nd | METV Broadcast on Panel Discussion
May 5th: Quiet Lives, Quiet Lies - Alabama Story Panel Discussion Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guest panelists Kenneth Jones and Dr. Mary Davenport
May 5th | Alabama Story: Post-show discussion Facilitated by Chief Judge Williams Immediately Following Show | Gompertz Theatre
May 17 - 31 | Beaches, Benches, and Boycotts: Civil Rights Movement in Sarasota and Tampa Bay Sponsored by The Florida Holocaust Museum & The Sarasota County Public Libraries Exhibited at Selby Library
May 19th | Moral Citizenship: A Call to Conscience - Alabama Story Panel Discussion Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guest Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Director of the Religion Department at The Chautauqua Institution; Edward James III, Candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, District 72, 5:00-6:00 PM | Gompertz Theatre
Week of May 23rd | METV Broadcast on Panel Discussion
May 23rd | Sarasota Celebrates Diversity: Sharing Our Stories Dialogues on Diversity Closing Event 5:30-7:30 PM
May 23th | Mayoral Proclamation of Diversity Day Presentation
May 26th | Alabama Story: Post-show discussion Immediately Following Show | Gompertz Theatre
May 28th | Closing night: Alabama Story 8:00PM | Gompertz Theatre