Great theater isn't limited to New York or London. It's also available in paradise. From large to small and tragedy, comedy and everything in between, you'll get your fill of drama right here in Sarasota.
Throughout its more than 50-year run in Sarasota, the Asolo Repertory Theatre has maintained a sterling reputation for its innovative and moving productions. Established in 1960, the Asolo is one of the largest not-for-profit theatres in the United States, staging up to fifteen productions each season and serving as the creative home to more than 100 performing artists and production staff, annually.
Florida Studio Theatre, also known as FST, is Sarasota's contemporary theater in the heart of downtown. FST opened its doors in 1973 and has long since established itself as a leader in cutting-edge contemporary theatre, as well as improvisational comedy productions. Also known for its vibrant and thought-provoking productions is the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe, one of just two professional black theatre companies in the state of Florida. Although it is tucked away “off the beaten path” in Sarasota, actors who got their start at the West Coast Black Theatre have gone on to play featured roles in Broadway productions, at the Apollo Theatre, and on television.
Another small Sarasota theatre that fosters local talent is The Players community theatre. Bette Davis and Charlton Heston are a the Hollywood greats who have passed through The Players’ doors since the theatre was founded in 1936. Venture out of downtown Sarasota and head for Venice to take in a performance at Venice Theatre, another fantastic community theater with a long local history. The theatre was founded in 1950 and, throughout the years, has expanded exponentially, becoming an award-winning local theater and changing its name from the former “Venice Little Theatre.” It truly is no longer little, and neither is its jam-packed 2012-13 season.