Florida Studio Theatre is pleased to recognize the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation for their $100,000 contribution which will assist with the renovation of the historic Keating Theatre’s terrace and restrooms

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(Sarasota, FL) — Florida Studio Theatre is pleased to recognize the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation for their $100,000 contribution which will assist with the renovation of the historic Keating Theatre’s terrace and restrooms. This is part of the $1.3 million project: The Palm Avenue Project. This capital effort encompasses extensive renovations to the historic Keating Theatre, Goldstein Cabaret, and Sudakoff Theatre Wing, readying the theatre for its next growth phase.

Richard Hopkins speaks to the positive impact of this renovation stating, “The generous funding for these improvements is essential in successfully maintaining and exceeding the needs of our audience. Not only does a theatrical experience include what’s on the stage, but elements before, during, and after that production. From the moment an audience member parks their car, to the moment they leave their performance, FST strives to provide an enriching, enjoyable, and memorable experience when visiting any of our five theatres. We have built trust with our audience, and it is with the support of the Selby Foundation that we are able to continue to remain steadfast in our efforts. The Selby Foundation’s gift will make a tremendous impact on the experience of everyone who steps food in the Keating Theatre.”.”

Plans for these renovations include a remodeled entrance for the Keating that preserves the historical nature of the theatre and completely remodeled restrooms to create a better experience for audiences. This project will open up the theatre’s entrance and will grant better accessibility to every part of the Keating Theatre.

The Selby Foundation has supported FST on many different capital campaigns in the past. Recently their support funded the integration of the hearing loop system utilized in the Mainstage audiences. They also made possible the recent renovations on the roof of the Goldstein Cabaret as well the installation of the Gompertz HVAC units.

Hopkins speaks to FST’s continued appreciation and relationship with the Selby Foundation stating, “Past support from the Selby Foundation has made FST’s work significantly more accessible and rich. The Selby Foundation has ensured that FST fulfills its mission to make theatre accessible and affordable to as many people as possible, and for this, we are truly grateful.”

Celebrating its 100 year anniversary, the Keating Theatre was originally built as a home to The Woman’s Club of Sarasota in 1915. FST is pleased to carry on in the rich culture and history of this space.

About the William G. and Marie SElby foundation

William and Marie Selby can best be described as low-key millionaires who are remembered for their down-to-earth attitudes and frugal lifestyle. Settling in Sarasota in 1909, they loved the natural environment and the lifestyle it enabled. Like us, Mr. and Mrs. Selby cherished the uniqueness of this region and the character of its communities, which is why they created the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation in 1955.

Since then, the Selby Foundation has focused primarily on academic scholarships and grants for capital projects in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties. Today, over five decades later, their legacy continues to enhance our area as a result of more than $94 million in grants and scholarships given to nearly 400 organizations and over a thousand students.

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.


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