Dialogues on Diversity

Florida Studio Theatre presents Dialogues on Diversity. This call to conscience will include several discussions as well as events and exhibits from various community partners. Participating organizations include ABC 7, Embracing Our Differences, the Sarasota County Public Libraries, the Jewish Federation, the Sarasota Ministerial Association, the Ringling Museum, and many more. These events will coincide with the productions of Butler, My Name is Asher Lev, and Alabama Story. Panels are free to attend but reservations are required and can be made by calling the box office at 941-366-9000 or online at www.floridastudiotheatre.org. A full list of panel discussions is below - click on the hyperlinks to reserve your seat today! For a full list of events, please see the events tab.

Join the online discussion at www.fst-blog.com to hear more from community leaders and the Sarasota community.


Panel Discussions

Insights and Inklings - Butler Panel Discussion
January 21 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Keating Theatre
Join us for a discussion as we explore one of the most horrendous laws in American history, the Fugitive Slave Act. Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with special guest panelist, Dr. Brendan Goff, Assistant Professor of American History, the themes of slavery, contraband, and the legal theory of Butler will all be explored. Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guest Dr. Brendan Goff, Assistant Professor of American History.

The Masks We Wear - Butler Panel Discussion
February 18 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Keating Theatre
Moderated by Chief Judge Williams guest Dr. Eddy Regnier and cast members Shane Taylor and Eric Hoffmann.
In 1896 this ground breaking poem spoke to the mask of the African American experience. What are the masks we all wear? Join special guest Dr. Eddy Regnier as we discuss the identity and reality of the African American experience in the time of Butler and today.

The Roots of Hatred - My Name is Asher Lev Panel Discussion
March 31 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Keating Theatre
My Name Is Asher Lev by Aaron Posner, adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok explores the nature of suffering. The discrimination that Asher’s father has against Asher's artistic tendencies can be related to the suffering of the many Jews in Russia and Germany that were oppressed by the government. Just as they were oppressed and punished for their beliefs, Asher is negatively viewed by his Father, his teachers, and his peers. Art is Asher’s real religion, and not only he, but his mother suffers for it. This book explores conflicting traditions (in this case the tradition of Judaism and the tradition of art), father versus son, contentedness with one's life versus peace in the family (the Jewish value of "shalom bayit"), the traditional Jewish world versus secular America. The panel will explore parallels and differences between the state sponsored anti-Semitism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as opposed to the new forms of 21st century anti-Semitism.  It is important to note that 21st century version of anti-Semitism is really nothing new. Those behind these new reincarnations of Jew hatred have simply put old wine in a new bottle.  Understanding the historical times of the late 19th – mid-20th century as well as the “rebirth” of modern anti-Semitism should guide our discussion and our responses.

Hot Topics of Today: Banned Books and Other Literature - Alabama Story Panel Discussion
April 28 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Gompertz Theatre
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.

Quiet Lives, Quiet Lies - Alabama Story Panel Discussion
May 5 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Gompertz Theatre
Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guest panelists Kenneth Jones and Dr. Mary Davenport.

Moral Citizenship: A Call to Conscience - Alabama Story Panel Discussion
May 19 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Gompertz Theatre
Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guests Dr. Robert M. Franklin, President Emeritus of Morehouse College and Director of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution and Edward James III, Candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, District 72.

Panel Discussions

Insights and Inklings - Butler Panel Discussion
January 21 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Keating Theatre
Join us for a discussion as we explore one of the most horrendous laws in American history, the Fugitive Slave Act. Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with special guest panelist, Dr. Brendan Goff, Assistant Professor of American History, the themes of slavery, contraband, and the legal theory of Butler will all be explored. Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guest Dr. Brendan Goff, Assistant Professor of American History.

The Masks We Wear - Butler Panel Discussion
February 18 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Keating Theatre
Moderated by Chief Judge Williams guest Dr. Eddy Regnier and cast members Shane Taylor and Eric Hoffmann.
In 1896 this ground breaking poem spoke to the mask of the African American experience. What are the masks we all wear? Join special guest Dr. Eddy Regnier as we discuss the identity and reality of the African American experience in the time of Butler and today.

The Roots of Hatred - My Name is Asher Lev Panel Discussion
March 31 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Keating Theatre
My Name Is Asher Lev by Aaron Posner, adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok explores the nature of suffering. The discrimination that Asher’s father has against Asher's artistic tendencies can be related to the suffering of the many Jews in Russia and Germany that were oppressed by the government. Just as they were oppressed and punished for their beliefs, Asher is negatively viewed by his Father, his teachers, and his peers. Art is Asher’s real religion, and not only he, but his mother suffers for it. This book explores conflicting traditions (in this case the tradition of Judaism and the tradition of art), father versus son, contentedness with one's life versus peace in the family (the Jewish value of "shalom bayit"), the traditional Jewish world versus secular America. The panel will explore parallels and differences between the state sponsored anti-Semitism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as opposed to the new forms of 21st century anti-Semitism.  It is important to note that 21st century version of anti-Semitism is really nothing new. Those behind these new reincarnations of Jew hatred have simply put old wine in a new bottle.  Understanding the historical times of the late 19th – mid-20th century as well as the “rebirth” of modern anti-Semitism should guide our discussion and our responses.

Hot Topics of Today: Banned Books and Other Literature - Alabama Story Panel Discussion
April 28 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Gompertz Theatre
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.

Quiet Lives, Quiet Lies - Alabama Story Panel Discussion
May 5 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Gompertz Theatre
Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guest panelists Kenneth Jones and Dr. Mary Davenport.

Moral Citizenship: A Call to Conscience - Alabama Story Panel Discussion
May 19 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Gompertz Theatre
Moderated by Chief Judge Williams with guests Dr. Robert M. Franklin, President Emeritus of Morehouse College and Director of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution and Edward James III, Candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, District 72.

Dialogues on Diversity Events

December

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

January

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

February

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

March


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

April

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

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


Dialogues on Diversity Steering Committee

Chief Judge Charles E. Williams, Mayor Willie Charles Shaw, Tom Tryon, Trevor Harvey, Michéle Des Verney Redwine with special counsel from Dr. Ed James II.


Dialogues on Diversity community partners

Bookstore 1 Sarasota, Chautauqua Institution, City of Sarasota Mayor’s Office, City of Sarasota Redevelopment Office, Embracing Our Differences, Candidate for the Florida House of Representatives, District 72 Ed James III, The Florida Holocaust Museum, Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Gilbert King, Sy & Shelley Goldblatt, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Housing Authority of Sarasota, Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America and Beth Blickers, Manatee Educational Television, Morehouse School of Medicine, New College, Ringling Museum of Art, Roy McBean Boys and Girls Club at Newtown, Sarasota Bar Association’s Diversity Committee, Sarasota/Manatee Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, Sarasota County Commissioner Carolyn Mason, Sarasota County Public Libraries, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota Ministerial Association, and ABC 7 News.

If you missed recent forum discussions, click the links below to view the footage from Manatee Educational Television.

Insights and Inklings - Butler Panel Discussion
January 21 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Keating Theatre

The Masks We Wear - Butler Panel Discussion
February 18 from 5:00 - 6:00pm  |  Keating Theatre