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FST's 50th Anniversary Celebration

April 22, 2024

Transforming Florida Studio Theatre into the regional theatre pioneer it is today requires the collective efforts of a community. The spotlight rarely shines on most of these contributors each evening. Instead, they diligently work behind the scenes to support the world-class artistry thriving on FST’s five stages.
Every year, FST recognizes an individual or couple who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership for FST through philanthropic support, stewardship, or service. This year, FST is excited to present the 32nd Annual Spelman Award to Patrick and Mary Mulva.

The Mulvas are the driving force behind FST’s Arts Plaza, which will be an artistic home for artists and arts workers to produce for decades to come. It will continue FST’s mission of keeping the theatre affordable and accessible to many, with the plaza welcoming everyone, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, education or socio-economic status.

The Mulvas were honored publicly on March 4 at FST’s fundraiser, The Shindig: A 50th Anniversary Celebration for their commitment to FST.

“Patrick and Mary Mulva have been absolutely pivotal in their support of Florida Studio Theatre throughout the past six years,” stated Richard Hopkins, FST’s Producing Artistic Director. “Upon arriving in Sarasota, they became consistent champions of FST in every aspect – through both their financial support and their personal involvement. Their generosity has touched every aspect of FST, from the Mainstage Productions to the Theatre in the Schools programs. They have played a crucial role in FST’s ability to navigate the challenges of the past and set a course for a sustainable and prosperous future. Their presence has been the beacon of a commitment to the cultural enrichment and longevity of FST.”

“When asked what it was about FST that caused us to get some involved, our answer is short and passionate: Everything!” said Patrick and Mary Mulva. “The quality of the performances drew us in, and as we learned more about the wide range of theatrical offerings and the educational role in the community, we were hooked!”

This year’s Shindig was chaired by 2019 Spelman Award recipient Wendy Grady, who, along with her husband, Bob, are Season Underwriters and dedicated supporters of FST’s WRITE A PLAY program.
The night featured specialty cocktails, special performances by the casts of FST’s hit Cabarets Take It To The Limit, Up On The Roof, and The Flip Side, as well as well as special guest appearance performances by Richie McCall, Kathy Halenda, and Gil Brady, who have all performed in FST productions. A three-course dinner by Michael’s On East followed the night’s entertainment.