Report on Florida Studio Theatre’s WORLD PREMIERE of TOM JONES by Mark Brown

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Report on Florida Studio Theatre’s WORLD PREMIERE of TOM JONES by Mark Brown

Report by Sherry Janes

“Tom Jones:  Still Funny After All These Years!”

Tom Jones, a WORLD PREMIERE play adapted from Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel, was brilliantly written by Mark Brown.  According to Brown, its jokes may be 265 years old, but are just as hilarious and ridiculous as ever.

This bawdy, lusty comedy was set in the 18th-century, but had contemporary dialogue mixed in with that from the period, adding to the comedic effect.  A monumental task of transforming an 800 page novel into a two hour production suitable for the stage, successfully re-created this classic comical story into a fun-filled theatrical experience.

In this adventure of the heart, Tom Jones, a charming man but of questionable birth, falls in love with a nobleman’s daughter who shares his affections.  It is the age old story of an arranged marriage to a despicable character, causing the lovers to flee to avoid their terrible predicament.  Their separate journeys through the back roads and bedchambers of England becomes a fast moving, hilarious and bawdy series of rollicking romps.

Adding to the silly, ridiculous, but hilarious nature of the play, it is performed by a small cast of characters who repeatedly reappear but in different roles throughout the production.  Tom Jones, proves to be a light-hearted, spoofy tale full of “can’t help but laugh” entertainment.


CONTACT: Nicole Clayton

Public Relations Associate

(941) 366 – 9017 ext. 338

[email protected]

DATE: March 20, 2014

Florida Studio Theatre opens
World Premiere Tom Jones

(Sarasota, FL) — Florida Studio Theatre announces the opening of the WORLD PREMIERE of TOM JONES, by Mark Brown. The show will open in the Gompertz Theatre April 11 and run through June 1, 2014. Single tickets range from $18-42. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.

TOM JONES is a WORLD PREMIERE play written by Mark Brown, who also wrote the FST audience favorite, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. The play is an adaptation of the ground-breaking novel, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, by Henry Fielding.In this thrilling adventure of the heart, Tom Jones, a charming young man of questionable birth, is madly in love with Sophia Western. But when Sophia’s father arranges for her to marry a loathsome man, she flees for her life. Aristocrats, wenches and scalawags abound in this bawdy and rollicking romp through the back roads and bedchambers of England.

Playwright Mark Brown stated, “I’m thrilled to be bringing my new play, TOM JONES, to the Florida Studio Theatre. Back in 2006 FST produced my play AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS when the play was still fairly new. FST did a tremendous production. I think it received five Sarasota Magazine Theatre Award nominations. Since then 80 DAYS has gone on to have an incredible life. It’s been Off-Broadway twice, on American Theatre Magazine’s Top Ten Most Produced Play list, and along with productions across the U.S., it’s playing in India and Turkey this year.

TOM JONES will serve as Mark Shanahan’s FST directorial debut. Previous shows directed by Shanahan include THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, THE 39 STEPS, NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY, GASLIGHT and MRS. MANNERLY. Brown speaks to the format of this show stating, “I think TOM JONES is similar to AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS in that it’s a classic story. It’s a silly comedy and it’s a small cast playing multiple roles. All of these elements add up to what I think will be a fun-filled theatrical experience.”

Hot off the success of the recent FST record breaking hit, MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT, is returning FST company member, Bruce Warren, who will be playing the roles of Captain Blifil, Blifil and Susan. Warren describes his return to the Gompertz stage stating, “I am absolutely thrilled to be returning to FST for TOM JONES. During the joyous run of our recent production of MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT, I fell head over heels for Sarasota; and what better way to come back than to originate a great role in the World Premiere of a hilarious new play? I can’t wait!”

TOM JONES opens in the Gompertz Theatre on April 11, 2014. Single tickets range from $18-42. Tickets may be purchased online at, by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.

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 eventually settled down into a permanent home, acquiring the former Woman’s Club building – now 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 Goldstein Cabaret, the renovated Gompertz Theatre, the John C. Court Cabaret and the new 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. Under Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director and CEO, 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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