Florida Studio Theatre is pleased to recognize Ernest Kretzmer for his $500,000 contribution which will assist with The Rosemary Artist Housing Project

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DATE: September 25, 2015


(Sarasota, FL) — Florida Studio Theatre is pleased to recognize Ernest Kretzmer for his $500,000 contribution which will assist with The Rosemary Artist Housing Project.

In its completion, there will be five new townhouses on Cohen Way in Sarasota’s Rosemary District to house visiting artists and interns. Mr. Kretzmer’s generous support helps fill the pressing need for quality housing that is safe, accessible, and within close proximity to downtown. FST is scheduled to break ground on the project sometime after the New Year.

Ernest Kretzmer and his late wife Alisa Kretzmer have been long-time supporters of the arts in Sarasota. A Sarasota resident for over 25 years, Kretzmer continues to give back to many of the arts organizations in the community. A lover of theatre, opera, ballet, and the symphony, Kretzmer also gave to the 2012 Capital Campaign which allowed for the complete renovation of the Hegner Theatre Wing.

Producing Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins speaks to Kretzmer’s generosity shown over the years and the importance of the Rosemary Artist Housing Project. “The Rosemary Artist Housing Project will provide much needed room for growth for our artists. We are fortunate to be able to attract a high quality talent to FST, and this contribution will make their experience an even more positive one. Ernie has been alongside Florida Studio Theatre for many years now, and his ongoing goodwill and philanthropy to FST truly knows no bounds. The need for this project has become more and more urgent as our theatre continues to grow and expand. FST is now a five theatre operation that reaches over 200,000 people a year. With this level of growth, it is crucial to have the support of the community and generous philanthropic hearts like Ernie Kretzmer.”

Florida Studio Theatre currently houses over 100 guest artists and interns a year. These new townhomes will provide a total of 20 bedrooms for FST visiting artists and young theatre professionals participating in the educational internship program.

An artist’s comfort at the home translates into a superior performance in the workplace and a higher quality artistic product. It is only with the selfless giving of those like Mr. Kretzmer that FST may continue to ensure our artists and interns are centralized in downtown. They are here anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. They are a vital part of not only the FST community, but the Sarasota community.

About Florida Studio Theatre

Known as Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre was founded in 1973 by Jon Spelman. Starting out as a small touring company, FST traveled to places such as migrant camps and prisons. The company then acquired the former Woman’s Club building, becoming the first permanent venue. Shortly after Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins arrived, the building was purchased and renamed The Keating Theatre. In the years that followed, Florida Studio Theatre established itself as a major force in American Theatre, presenting contemporary theatre in its five theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Gompertz Theatre, the Parisian style Goldstein Cabaret and John C. Court Cabaret, and Bowne’s Lab Theatre. 

Even with its growth, Florida Studio Theatre remains firmly committed to making the arts accessible and affordable to a broad-based audience.  FST develops theatre that speaks to our living, evolving, and dynamically changing world.  As FST grows and expands, it continues to provide audiences with challenging, contemporary drama and innovative programs.


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