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Southern Florida by John Lariviere


Theatres On the Move

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On November 30, 2009, Florida Stage announced that in July of 2010 it will be taking up residence in the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Playhouse at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. This partnership between the Florida Stage and the Kravis Center result in the region's largest performing arts facility with a resident professional theatre company of national stature. It also will provide the Florida Stage with a higher profile performance venue and better theatrical and audience facilities while retaining the intimate setting that has been a Florida Stage hallmark.

Florida Stage will finish the 2009-2010 season in its current home at Manalapan's Plaza del Mar, which it renovated in 1991 after outgrowing the second stage at the Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach Community College in Lake Worth. Florida Stage plans to open its summer musical in the new home in July 2010, with the new subscription season starting in October. The company's new administrative offices also will relocate, moving to the Elmore Family Business Center for the Arts in the Cohen Pavilion continue to operate as a separate and autonomous company, with an independent staff and Board of Trustees making all programming and organizational decisions. The company also will maintain its own box office. "We have always prided ourselves on being able to provide very personal service to all of our customers, and that process will only be enhanced by our move to the Kravis," Tyrrell says.

Florida Stage boasts one of the largest season subscriber bases in the state, with more than 6,000 season ticket holders in addition to thousands of individual ticket buyers. The company has been recognized both regionally and nationally for the high quality of its productions, and its commitment to the mission of creating and producing a new canon of American theatre. Currently in its 23rd season, Florida Stage serves more than 65,000 patrons and works with thousands of regional schoolchildren each year. With the move to the Kravis Center, the company plans to expand its outreach through its long-standing Young Playwrights Festival, Monologue Festival and Student Matinees, as well as its international Gen Z Global Stage program, which links its students in performance with student groups from around the world.

"The Kravis Center is one of the most visible and prestigious performing arts centers in the country, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to make our home there," says Louis Tyrrell, Producing Director of Florida Stage. "As the new venue for Florida Stage, the Rinker Playhouse will become known as one of the nation's pre-eminent incubators of new American plays." Nancy Barnett, Florida Stage Managing Director, adds: "New seats—plus a new seating configuration—that we'll be providing for our audiences will enable them to experience fantastic production values while still enjoying the intimacy that's so important to the Florida Stage experience."

The Florida Stage remains the only professional theatre in Southeast Florida producing exclusively new and emerging works. The theatre features extensive programs for young artists, and hires Equity and non-Equity performers from across the United States. Florida Stage is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the League of Resident Theatres, the Florida Professional Theatre Association, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the National New Play Network. They are funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the county of Palm Beach Tourist Develop.m.ent Fund and the Florida Arts Council, with generous support from The Shubert Foundation, The Heckscher Foundation for Children, The Duane & Dalia Stiller Charitable Trust, Gulf Stream Lumber, Northern Trust Bank of Florida N.A., Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust, and hundreds of individuals and corporations. The Florida Stage is currently located in Plaza del Mar, at 262 S. Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan. Performance days/times are normally Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m.; Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.; and Sundays at 7:00 p.m.. Tickets and other information may be obtained by calling the box office at (561) 585-3433 or (800) 514-3833, or visiting www.floridastage.org.

Says Judith Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of the Kravis Center: "We're delighted to welcome such a quality theatre company to the Kravis Center." "Florida Stage will represent another artistic discipline at the Kravis Center as we continue our quest to offer something for everyone. The move also makes the Center even more of a community gathering place as we welcome the many dedicated audience members from throughout the region who have supported Florida Stage and its creative endeavors." The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is located at 701 Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach, FL. For information on the Kravis you may contact them by phone at 561-832-7469 (561-832-SHOW) or 1-800-572-8471 (1-800-KRAVIS-1). Or online at www.kravis.org.


See the current theatre season schedule for southern Florida.

-- John Lariviere



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