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Laughing (Still) Matters

November 25, 2022

Laughing Matters, FST’s hit musical sketch comedy show, is back for round six!

Featuring a mix of musical parodies and comedic sketches, this fast-paced Cabaret is inspired by the current events and politics of today.

“We’ve been eager to do another volume of Laughing Matters for a while now,” explained Head Writer Rebecca Hopkins. “So much has happened since Volume 5: Lock the Gates! in 2016. So, as we began to re-open the theatre, the timing just felt right.”

Hopkins has been working with contributing writers from across the country since the summer of 2021 to generate material for what is now Laughing Matters (Variant 6): Paranoia on Parade. And with all that has happened over the past few years, there is no shortage of fodder for the writers to draw from.

“Every day has certainly brought us new inspiration – that’s for sure,” said contributing writer Sarah Durham. “Honestly, if we used all the material we’ve created, the show would have been four hours long!”

Fortunately for you, the writers have edited it all down.

“I remember, at the beginning of the show-development process, telling our writers to cut anything COVID-related — to not even go there, that COVID will be past tense by the time this show opens,” laughed Hopkins. “Then as we got closer and closer, and we realized (to our horror) that wasn’t going to be the case, I found myself saying, ‘Quick! Where’s all that COVID content?!’ But I tell you, I would re-write this whole show tomorrow if that could be true.”

In addition to a much-needed outlet to laugh about the madness that has come along with COVID-19, Laughing Matters tackles a wide range of national, state, and local topics, from the media’s sensationalized ratings crusade (facts optional) to the latest trouble “Florida Man” has been getting into to Sarasota’s adoration of roundabouts and the eternal Gulf Coast mystery: when will we ever have enough condos?

“The title says it all—Laughing Matters,” said Hopkins, “Our ability to laugh is one of the things that make us uniquely human, and on top of that, it’s good for you!”

Three returning Laughing Matters artists are back to deliver the latest round of topical laughter. Nick Anastasia, William Selby, and Richie McCall first met in 2016, when they were all cast in Laughing Matters (Vol. 5): Lock the Gates!

“I found out I was cast first,” said Selby. “Then Nick let me know he was in the show, which was just great! He’s my pal! And when the two of us found out Richie was joining us, we rejoiced! Together we’re the ‘Three Musketeers of Comedy!'”

Joining these Laughing Matters veterans is our fourth “Musketeer,” FST newcomer Jenna Cormey, who has been seen in multiple national tours and has performed Off-Broadway.

“I’m hopeful that Laughing Matters can bring people from all walks of life together in the same space, where we can all let our guards down and laugh about what divides us,” said Cormey. “And maybe then, things won’t seem so terrifying.”