The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training continues its 2014-15 season with the Tony®-nominated and Obie-winning Broadway hit [TITLE OF SHOW], a witty and hip musical that replays the real-life story of its own creation. It was originally conceived, written and performed by writer Jeff Bowen and composer/lyricist Hunter Bell. Directed by New York-based artist Amanda Friou, the Conservatory’s production will preview on Tuesday, February 17 at 7:30pm with a special “Pay What You Can Performance,” allowing audience members who purchase their tickets that day to pay whatever they can afford to see the show. It will officially open on Wednesday, February 18 at 8pm and run through Sunday, March 8.
Although submissions for the New York Musical Theatre Festival are due in just three weeks, Jeff and Hunter refuse to write a normal musical. Determined to create something completely original, they turn their conversations and experiences over the next few weeks into a 90-minute one-act show. The musical premiers, and as it grows in popularity, they continue to update the script with their new experiences and struggles. However, when the dream of Broadway comes within reach, they must decide if the musical they have created that is based on a snapshot of their lives is enough for the brightest stage on earth. Director Amanda Friou says,
It’s a story about trying to stay true to yourself and your art, while growing a show from blank paper to Broadway. Are you enough? Is making good art enough? Or is success something else entirely? As adults, it’s so easy to get caught up in the logistics and limitations of the professional world, that sometimes we forget what it’s like to be nine years old and dream pure unfettered dreams. This is a story about rediscovering that freedom and conviction.
The Conservatory’s production of [TITLE OF SHOW] is the program’s first main-stage musical since 2009’s Three Postcards. As a three-year actor training program, its primary focus is the refinement of the students’ acting technique. However, each student also undergoes two years of one-on-one vocal training. Witnessing their musical talents in a fully produced musical is a rare treat for Sarasota audiences. Greg Leaming, Director of the Conservatory, commented,
The second year company of actors is particularly musically inclined. This is a good chance for them to apply their acting technique to a completely new dramatic form. As a musical, it provides a great contrast to the rest of the season and allows us to present a collection of shows that has the broadest possible range of styles. As a piece about young people in theatre, it perfectly suits the psyche and characteristics of the second-year company.
(In Alphabetical Order)
Ally Farzetta Susan
Joe Knispel Jeff
Kim Stephenson Heidi
Evan Reynolds White+ Hunter
+Appears courtesy of the Actors’ Equity Association
Amanda Friou is a Brooklyn-based director whose highly theatrical and intellectually rigorous work is distinguished by the organic and inclusive process by which she develops productions. She has worked nationally for ART, La Jolla, CTG, The Guthrie, Geva Theatre Center, and the University of Iowa, and in NYC for Ars Nova, NYU, HERE, and Second Stage; including assisting directors Jo Bonney, Henry Wishcamper, and Tony® Award winner Warren Carlyle. Favorite projects include the NY premiere of Naomi Wallace’s No Such Cold Thing and a site specific production of Martha Boesing’s Pimp, which she both directed and designed. In addition, she is an accomplished puppet builder and designer and has collaborated on numerous shows for puppeteer Basil Twist over the last decade. In 2013, her production of Avenue Q was honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and she recently received a grant to begin developing a puppetry infused dance theatre piece, Return t o Selma, that will debut in NY later this year. Friou is an alum of Macalester College and the Drama League Director’s Project. Member SDC.
The FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training is a celebrated three-year graduate program culminating in a master of fine arts degree. For more than 35 years, tens of thousands of actors from across the continent have auditioned for admission. A maximum of 12 students are admitted each year. In their second year, the students perform in the Cook Theatre, a 161-seat space designed to create an intimate experience for the audience and actors. Third-year students are seen on the Mertz Stage working with the Asolo Rep’s professional actors in exciting and significant roles.
For more information, visit http://www.asolorep.org/conservatory/welcome.
Tickets for [TITLE OF SHOW] and the remaining 2014-15 FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training season are on sale now at $28 for matinee performances and
$29 for evening performances.
Call 941-351-8000 or 800-361-8388
Visit the Asolo Repertory Theatre Box Office
(5555 North Tamiami Trail in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.)
The box office closes at 5pm when there are no evening performances, and phone lines close one hour prior to the start of any performance.
Season subscription packages are also available online and by visiting or calling the box office.