FST Improv Presents: Life's a Beach
Playing Saturday Beginning January 29 @ 7:30PM
From snowbirds to roundabouts, this revue-style show will feature sketches, musicals, and our favorite classic improv games. Poking fun at what makes Sarasota, Sarasota, by using audience suggestions, FST Improv will show us why life here is ‘just a beach.’
Tickets: $15 per person
FST's Bowne's Lab
Complete your theatre-going experience. Dine with us!
FST's Bowne's Lab opens one hour and 15 minutes before showtime for dining. Enjoy a full food and drink menu featuring such fan favorites lobster bisque, tortellini with sausage, bacon-wrapped scallops, chicken quesadillas, fresh salads, and more. Reservations are not required.
For Your Safety: As of September 26, 2021, FST, along with the major arts organizations of Sarasota, is requiring proof of a recent negative COVID test along with a valid ID for entry. If preferred, patrons may volunteer proof of vaccination as an alternative to testing. Masks are required for all, regardless of vaccination status except when actively eating or drinking during pre-show dining. For a full list of safety protocols to help you prepare for your trip to the theatre, click here. #SafeArtsSarasota
Kevin Allen is a writer, videographer, content creator, and actor. He moved to the Sarasota area from Chicago, where he studied and performed improvisation at iO and The Second City. He earned theatre and English degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he was a member of the legendary Comedy Wars improv team. He is husband to Janet and father to Summer.
Alison Arana is a St. Louis native who received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Lindenwood University. She is also an alumni of The Second City Conservatory in Chicago. Her improv credits include Triple Play (FST) and Life’s a Beach (FST). Other performance credits include Spring Awakening (Wendla), Cabaret (Sally Bowles), Ghost Quartet (Rose Red), as well as taking part in the acting apprenticeship at Florida Studio Theatre.
Suzanne Beaulieu started improvising as a teen growing up in Maine and started taking classes at FST in 2015. A self-described “improv nerd,” Suzanne is a founding member of the all-female group Busted. Her newest project is a two-person improv team with Valeria Sloan called Cheeze & Crackerz. Suzanne loves the Sarasota improv community and is thrilled to be teaching at FST. Her view of improv is as a means of personal creative expression and she wants to share the joy and creativity of improv with her students. She has a degree in fine art and has a jewelry line with her husband, Joe. Suzanne enjoys cooking and spending time with her fat black cat, Louis XIV.
Sarah Durham is originally from Campbellsville, Kentucky, but has found a home at FST. She is the Head Writer for FST Sketch and is a member of FST Improv. Sarah studied improv and comedy writing at The Second City in Chicago. At FST, Sarah is a writer for the Cabaret Stage and Children’s Theatre. Some of her recent credits include Cinderella, Three Pianos, and Deck the Halls. She hopes to continue to write joy into people’s lives.
Rebecca Harp began improv as a student at FST. She’s also a massage therapist and yoga instructor. She believes yoga and improv are very connected. She loves her rowdy puppies and The Avengers!
Darryl Knapp is an avid Tampa Bay Rays fan, loves deviled eggs and salads. Darryl has been an improviser for over 25 years and has studied with many of the greats and institutions worldwide. He is a teacher of improv in the Tampa area. Originally from Westchester County NY he now hails from Wesley Chapel a mere 80 North of FST. Affectionately known as The Mayor of Improv in the Community. He is also proud of his many Improv Festival shirts and also has talked more about improv than has performed it.
Emily Levin is a recovering attorney who began studying improv in the Chicago area and has since gone on to be a total embarrassment to her children. 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 moved to Sarasota in 2013 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.
Erica Maity is a voice actor, improviser, and podcast host with roots in New Jersey and Portland, Oregon. She received improv training at Curious Comedy Theater in Portland and has been coached by a veritable who’s who of women in improv including Carla Cackowski, Stacey Hallal, and Kristen Schier. She became a mainstage cast member and host at Curious, and has played national and international festivals with her long-form team, Filbert, and musical improv duo, Double Pretty. You can find her performing at FST, at her St. Pete improv showcase and jam (Synchronized Swim), on her podcast (Antique Tea), and narrating a variety of audiobooks, ads, and training videos. ericamaity.com.
Shawn McWhinnie was first introduced to improv at the University of Florida performing numerous shows for the college campus with UF’s improv troupe, Theatre Strike Force. At UF, he also was a part of the sketch comedy troupe Generation. After a brief hiatus to pursue his career as a pharmacist, Shawn began taking improv classes at FST and is glad to be back on stage performing improv for Sarasota audiences.
Sal Piccolo got started in comedy on a dare. Originally a sports broadcasting major, Sal hosted and produced The Sports Cellar on AM radio right here in Sarasota. After failing miserably at stand-up comedy, he moved to Chicago where he discovered his love of improv. Having studied at The Second City Conservatory, iO theater, Annoyance theater, pH theater, and Theatre Momentum as well as many workshops and festivals, Sal is a student first. Connection to people is something we are losing more and more every day, so Sal has made it his goal to develop personal connections with people, and hopefully make you laugh a little too.
Kyle Shoemaker is a local performer, writer, and improviser with FST Improv, On Deck, and Big Bang Improv. Kyle could not be more thrilled to be a part of FST!
Autumn Steiner was dubbed “The Unknown Comic” (by her parents) as a toddler, and she remained that way until 2015, when a Google search led her to Florida Studio Theatre. Since then, Autumn has made up for lost time, performing with FST Improv, Big Bang Improv, and as “Lady Parts” in the Shakespearean improv troupe Come What Will. She played Lisa in the short film Barely Inspired, which had its world premiere at the 2019 Sarasota Film Festival. She is working on a collection of personal essays titled Sweet Face, Black Heart—a phrase a priest once said to her.
Sergi Glushonkov (Pianist) has been playing piano since he was a sprightly Ukrainian baby. As his piano skills slightly improved over time, his maturity level remained the same. Thus, he found a funducational outlet as sort of a superhero... “Southside Elementary music teacher by day – FST pianist by night.” Sergei has a few children’s musicals under his belt (or wherever one likes to keep their experiences): Jungle Book, Cinderella, School House Rock, and Sleeping Beauty. Sergei is extremely excited to be a part of the FST troupe — just ask his shrink!
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.
Will Luera (Director) is the Director of Improvisation at Florida Studio Theatre, Director of Big Bang Improv, and serves as the Artistic Director Emeritus of ImprovBoston. Will is Co-Creator of Healing Moments for Alzheimer’s, a nonprofit organization that provides education advocacy and ministry for persons with dementia and their caregivers. Will tours globally as an improv and theater actor, director, and instructor, performing and teaching regularly all across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
Rebecca Hopkins (Founder/Producer) is the founder and producer of FST Improv and the Sarasota Improv Festival. She has also been actively involved in development of FST’s Cabaret productions since her arrival in 1998. During the 2019-2020 Winter Season, she was the Lead Developer for That’s Amoré! and Light My Fire, and was part of the development team for Outlaws & Angels. Previously she was the Lead Developer on The Wonder Years: The Music of the Baby Boomers; Unchained Melodies; Blue Suede Shoes; Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves; Yesterday; American Pie; and Poems, Prayers, and Promises. She has been the head writer on all five Laughing Matters shows. Some of her favorite shows she helped develop include: Mack the Knife; The Prima Donnettes; That’s Life; The Wanderers; My One and Only Gershwin; Hot and Cole; 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. Mrs. Hopkins serves on the Board of Directors for the League of Resident Theatres and for the Theatre Communications Group. She is the former President of the National New Play Network. 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. In 2016, Mrs. Hopkins was awarded the Luminaire Award, honoring excellence in creativity, philanthropy, advocacy, and all elements that are keys to future growth of the arts in Sarasota.
FST IMPROV IN THE NEWS
June 24, 2020 I American Theatre Magazine I A Few Theatres Reopen for Business, If Not Business as Usual
June 24, 2020 I The Observer I Florida Studio Theatre rolls out distance-conscious improv show
June 15, 2020 I Sarasota Herald-Tribune I FST Improv in Sarasota returns for socially distant show
June 13, 2020 I SRQ Daily I FST Improv is Back With An All-New, Full Length Show
June 12, 2020 I Sarasota SCENE Magazine I FST Improv is Back With An All-New Show
June 7, 2020 I Sarasota Herald-Tribune I Live theaters will take time and precautions before reopening
June 4, 2020 I Suncoast View I Florida Studio Theatre Reopens its Stage