Old Enough To Know Better

Everyone ages, but what does it really mean to ‘get old?’

FST explores this in our first Stage III lab production, Old Enough To Know Better. In a culture that values youthfulness and staying young, FST tells the stories on the good, the bad, the ugly, and the humorous aspects of aging. All come together in over 100 hours of interviews with the Sarasota community, to explore the ‘art’ of aging and what it really means to be Old Enough To Know Better.

Old Enough To Know Better will run in the Bowne’s Lab Theatre on select dates from July 30 – August 9. For this production, FST interviewed around 100 people, almost all of them who live in Sarasota in partnership with the Gulfcoast Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The themes and topics that our interviewees most eagerly and lengthily discussed were sex and death. The interview process started with people that FST was connected to that had led interesting lives. From there, the word about the project was spread to the friends of the original interviewees as well as connecting with local foundations, advertising on social media, and by word of mouth. 

Associate Artist and Director of Old Enough To Know Better, Jason Cannon, spoke about his experience during the interview process. “About halfway through the process we discovered two things: first, that EVERYONE has led an interesting life, and that the cross-section of people we were interviewing was skewing the voice of the play towards a pre-dominantly female, Caucasian, upper-middle-class voice.  So we started to target voices that fell outside those parameters, because aging is one thing EVERYONE shares.  It’s a fascinating wrinkle in our methodology for future People’s Projects:  WHO you interview directly impacts the sort of play we can create, and HOW we determine who to interview creates all sorts of baked-in predispositions.”

FST hopes that plays like Old Enough To Know Better will encourage audiences to ask deeper, better questions of themselves, of their government, of their cultural institutions.  Cannon adds that “The landscape of our population is drastically changing, and the conversations need to be had NOW if we want to have the support and accessibility that will be necessary in the near future.  We also hope the audience will come away eager for more projects of this type:  their words, their stories, subjected to FST’s particular brand of theatrical magic!”