(Sarasota, FL) —You’ve seen them before every show, dressed in black and white with smiles on their faces. They are the ushers of Florida Studio Theatre. FST’s Winter Season is now in full swing. This is the time ushers are needed most. As a thank you for all those who volunteer their time and efforts, each usher is given a complimentary ticket to an FST performance. To join the ranks of the over 400 ushers that graciously guide patrons through their theatre experience every year, contact Joan O’ Dowd at 941-366-9017 ext. 301.
Coordinating all ushers and volunteers at FST is the same friendly face that greets everyone who walks through the lobby doors. Joan O’ Dowd speaks to the indispensable role that ushers play here at FST. “Ushers are key to the function of our shows. Among their many contributions, they help stuff programs, seat patrons promptly, and assist all disabled patrons, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable evening. They are responsible for directing patrons to the proper exit doors and restrooms when necessary,” said O’Dowd.
FST Acting Apprentice and House Manager Ryan Ehresman also works very closely with the team of nightly ushers. Ehresman recalls his experience with an usher who always goes above and beyond. “I remember one particular Saturday night when one usher came to work a 6:00pm Cabaret show, a 7:30pm Improv show, and an 8:00pm Mainstage show. She was not originally scheduled to usher any of these. She always comes through, always treats the patrons incredibly well, and has saved my night on countless occasions. It’s ushers like her that are invaluable to our theatre,” stated Ehresman.
Hours are also available for high school students looking to complete community service hours and add to their college resume. In addition to a free theatre ticket, every usher also receives a 25% discount off any item on the Green Room menu along with a complimentary soft beverage ordered on days/nights they are ushering.
Ushering at FST is often a family affair. O’ Dowd explains further stating, ”We have several groups of friends who have ushered shows together for years, as well as spouses and partners. Many ushers have told us they volunteer to help the theatre, but the friends they have made and the lovely patrons they have met have truly enriched their lives. It’s a nice unexpected benefit.”
FST is a theatre for the public. Ushers play a vital role in the connection made with patrons and FST’s mission to provide an honest, pleasurable theatrical experience to all that walk through our doors. There is always a need for kind and helpful ushers to help audiences from the time they enter to the last curtain call. For more information on ushering, please contact Joan O’ Dowd
at 941-366-9017 ext. 301.
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.
HAIRSPRAY – November 12 – January 11
DANCING LESSONS – December 10 – February 27
FLY – February 4 – April 4
CHAPATTI – April 8 – May 30
WITH THE PRIMA DONNETTES – October 22 – February 5
AMERICAN PIE – December 31 – April 23
AND OTHER LIFE LESSONS FROM VAUDEVILLE – February 18 – June 7
OUT OF BOUNDS MATCH UP – October 18 – January 3
WRITE A PLAY
RAP-Punzel – September 23 – November 14