Beginning August 23, The Players Centre for Performing Arts presents the winner of the 2015 New Play Festival “Why Can’t I Be You?” by Llywelyn Jones

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Sarasota, FL – Beginning August 23, The Players Centre for Performing Arts presents the winner of the 2015 New Play Festival “Why Can’t I Be You?” by Llywelyn Jones. After a few workshops and rewrites, his play is being fully produced in the Backstage Studio with sets, costumes lighting, you name it. The show focuses on the sometimes fanatical adoration “fans” feel toward their idols. It’s not uncommon to hear about stalkers hounding their celebrity fixations. Do stalkers want to actually hurt the person they’re stalking, or do they just want to meet their idol face to face? Perhaps it is a mixture of both. As a dramatist, Jones couldn’t pass up that kind of conflict.


Story:  “Why Can’t I Be You?” tells the story of a rock star who wakes up after a night of partying to find his worst nightmare: his stalker in his bedroom. The intruder has only one demand: “Why Can’t I Be You?”


For 15 years, The Players has served as a place for fledgling and seasoned playwrights to hear their work, see it acted out and receive vital feedback from an audience. This week-long event showcased newly written works that had not yet been produced anywhere. Five plays were been chosen by a panel of judges from a multitude of submissions to compete over five days to be produced in the Players Black Box Studio the following summer. Each play was presented in “readers theatre” (rehearsed readings) format to best showcase the literature. After each reading a brief talkback session was led by Artistic Director Jeffery Kin and offered some incite to the playwright as to what worked and what didn’t.

“This year, we received about half as many entries (only about 20), but the quality by far beat out the quantity,” says Jeffery Kin, Artistic Director of The Players.


Llywelyn Jones was born in London and is a dual national of the U.S. and United Kingdom. He graduated from Riverview High School then went on to study at The London Academy of Performing Arts in England. His first play “Machiavelli’s Handbag” was produced at The Gardner Stages in Hollywood. His second play “Lover” was produced at The Actor’s Lab in Los Angeles. He has seen productions of his work performed and read in New York, Los Angeles, Saint Petersburg and Sarasota. He has won the Players Center of Performing Arts New Play Festival three times and has been awarded two Individual Writing Grants for excellence in playwriting from The Division of Cultural Affairs. His play “It’s Only Money” is scheduled to open in Manhattan in late 2016.


Tickets for “Why Can’t I Be You” are $15 and can be obtained online, at the Box Office or by calling 941-365-2494.



Jason James                     Camilo Andres Bustos

Phil Fresquez                    Rafael Petlock

Melanie Ritz                     Lucy Manuel

Howard Martin                                Richard Russel


Performance Dates:

August 23-27, 2016

August 23, 7:30pm – Opening Night
August 23-27 @ 7:30pm

August 28 @ 2:00pm


The Players Theatre 

838 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota FL 34236, 941-365-2494, Fax: 941-954-0282 Box Office: Mon-Sat, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and one hour prior to curtain time.

The Players Box Office is located on Tamiami Trail between 10th Street and Blvd. of the Arts.

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