(Sarasota, FL) —How old is Old Enough to Know Better? FST explores this question and more in the inaugural Stage III Lab production of Old Enough To Know Better by Richard Hopkins and Jason Cannon. This production will run for a two-week limited engagement in Bowne’s Lab opening on June 12. Single tickets are $34-$36 and may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.
Everyone ages, but what does it really mean to ‘get old?’ In a culture that values youthfulness and staying young, FST tells YOUR 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.
As the first experimental offering since the opening of Bowne’s Lab, Old Enough to Know Better takes a deeper look at aging and what it really means to grow older. FST Associate Artist and lead writer of this production Jason Cannon shares his experience developing this inventive new production from the ground up stating, “Old Enough To Know Better is both a culmination and a launching point. It is the culmination of a year and a half long project that started with interviewing almost 100 people in our community about the subject of aging. It’s been developed through three different drafts, and is now being fine-tuned into a performance script. At the same time it is a launching point for FST’s People’s Project, which will be employing the methodology developed during Old Enough To Know Better. The goal is to do more explorations of our community, digging for real stories and transforming them into theatre – telling our audience’s stories back to them in an effort to more fully understand them, ourselves, and each other. It’s been both an honor and a joy guiding and observing this process, meeting so many fascinating people, and learning from them. The actual performance, we hope, will be a catalyst to generate conversation about and deepen awareness of issues that desperately need addressing.”
Artistic Director Richard Hopkins further explains the background of this production stating, “This is an exciting project that has been in development for the last two years. But the original seed was planted over ten years ago, with our first production of Over the River and Through the Woods, which we will be once again be presenting in this year’s Summer Mainstage Season. That production made clear the value of exploring generational differences and how we interpret the aging of our loved ones and of ourselves. As we began the writing process, we were still searching for that ‘Sarasota feel.’ After a very informative staged reading, we decided to bring it back to FST and further develop it with our creative staff. We then took it on tour to locations that were the original inspiration of the production. This is an experimental show in an experimental space. We are looking forward to the next step to take it to the stage.”
FST’s Stage III Lab programming will be presented Bowne’s Lab, in the space for all things experimental. That includes improv, adult education, and Stage III Lab programming beginning with Old Enough To Know Better. Stage III Lab programming will present pieces that really get to the grit of the creative process and bring audiences face to face with the magic of raw, live theatre. Opening on June 12, Old Enough To Know Better will run for a limited two week engagement in Bowne’s Lab. Single tickets are $34-$36 and may be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000, or by visiting the Box Office.
About the people’s project
Every day our American culture seems to put more and more value on youthfulness and the young, and every day ageism becomes a more and more serious and pressing issue.
Under-reported cases of need from natural disasters like floods and hurricanes, belated dangers of hormone therapy, navigating the complex medical industry, hiring and work practices, accessibility, and the general stigmatisms and fear of dementia – these are all issues that many of our aging audience members face on a daily basis. As opposed to reaching out to our seniors to get them in to see our plays, with this project we aim to flip the paradigm and take those seniors out of our theater seats and put them and their lives on stage. By doing so, we are creating a theatrical event that can serve as a conduit for conversation, understanding, and social change.
The FST staff has been hard at work interviewing members of the Sarasota community. These stories have come together in the next step of the People’s Project, Old Enough To Know Better, as the subject of aging in America is explored and exposed. The goal of this approach is to reverse the paradigm of how theatre is created. It will not be a lone playwright’s observations, but rather a complete community effort where everyone, young and old, is given a voice.
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 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.