"All The Way" by Robert Schenkkan, at Asolo Repertory Theatre, in Sarasota, Fla., in 2015. Pictured: Nick Wyman and cast. (Cliff Roles)

Asolo Rep Slates Politically Focused 2016–17 Season

The season will include works by Kristoffer Diaz, Lillian Hellman, Robert Schenkkan, and more.

SARASOTA, FLA.: Asolo Repertory Theatre and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training have announced their 2016–17 seasons, featuring classic musicals and new plays about the American dream and politics.

The theatre’s season will begin with Guys and Dolls (Nov. 18, 2016–Jan. 1, 2017), with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, about the unlikely romantic pairings between a gambler and a missionary, and a showgirl and the manager of a craps game. Josh Rhodes will choreograph and direct.

Next up will be Robert Schenkkan’s The Great Society (Jan. 13–April 2, 2017), an exploration of former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s second term in the White House. Nick Wyman, who recently starred as L.B.J. in Asolo’s production of All The Way, will reprise his role. Nicole A. Watson will direct.

Following will be John Strand’s The Originalist (Jan. 20–March 5, 2017), about a liberal law school graduate who embarks on a nerve-wracking clerkship with Justice Scalia. Molly Smith with direct.

Next will be Garson Kanin’s Born Yesterday (Feb. 10–April 15, 2017), about a man who moves to D.C. to break into politics, and hires a young reporter to teach his girlfriend social graces. Peter Amster will direct.

The season will continue with Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes (March 17–April 15, 2017), about three siblings in the South in 1900 who invest in a new mill with the hopes that their risky gamble will make them rich. Frank Galati will direct.

Following will be Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (April 7–30, 2017), about a rivalry between wrestlers that is used to exploit racial stereotypes to raise ratings, giving the wrestlers more to fight for than just the title belt.

Next will be the world premiere of the musical Beatsville (May 5–28, 2017), a coproduction with 5th Avenue Theatre, featuring a book by Glenn Slater and music and lyrics by Wendy Leigh Wilf, about a busboy in Greenwich Village in 1959 who is desperate to be one of the beatniks. Bill Berry will direct.

Following will be a musical, yet to be announced, which will run June 2–25, 2017.

In October and November 2016, Asolo Rep will present a 45-minute version of Hamlet, adapted by by Justin Lucero and featuring a cast of third-year students from the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. The show will tour to community venues and schools. Lucero will also direct.

The FSU/ Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training season will begin with Lanford Wilson’s Book of Days (Nov. 1–20), about a small town dominated by a cheese plate, a fundamentalist church, and a community theatre.

Next will be Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge (Dec. 27, 2016–Jan. 15, 2017), about a longshoreman who helps smuggle two of his wife’s cousins into the country, and trouble ensues when one of the cousins pursues a relationship with the longshoreman’s niece.

Following will be Adam Bock’s The Drunken City (Feb. 21–March 12, 2017), about three twentysomething brides-to-be who set out on a celebratory evening, only to have one of them question her future after a chance meeting with a recently jilted handsome stranger.

The season will conclude with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (April 11–29, 2017), a collaboration with Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. The outdoor performance will feature the entire company of the second year graduate students at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory.

Founded in 1960, Asolo Repertory Theatre brings current and challenging  topics to the Sarasota community. The theatre’s conservatory program is a three-year MFA program, offering students the opportunity to perform in professional productions while training.

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