Florida Studio Theatre's hit regional premiere of The Best of Enemies by Mark St. Germain has been held over through February 3rd by popular demand. This powerful drama exposes the poison of prejudice and explores how two polarized individuals can overcome their differences. The Best of Enemies opened in Florida Studio Theatre's new Gompertz Theatre (1247 1st Street) on Friday, December. Tickets are now on sale through February 3, 2013 and can be purchased online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org, by phone at (941) 366-9000 or by visiting the Box Office.
Inspired by the book of the same name by Osha GRay Davis, The Best of Enemies is based on a provocative true story. In 1971, a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan is pitted against an African-American Civil Rights activist over the desegregation of schools. A strange and transformative relationship develops between the two as they find common ground based on their love and concern for their children and their struggles as working class families. The play invites the audience to look back at the history of the civil rights movement in America, examining the progress that has been made in the last 40 years as well as the ways in which the struggle continues.
The cast includes returning Florida Studio Theatre actors Sheffield Chastain, Stephanie Weeks and Kevyn Morrow. Amanda Duffy makes her FST debut. Sheffield Chastain previously appeared on the FST stage in Around the World in 80 Days and The Savannah Disputation. Additionally, Sheffield has appeared in film and television roles as well as on Broadway in Irving Berlin's White Christmas and Is He Dead? Stephanie Weeks appeared in the FST production Ruined, and has also appeared in numerous Off-Broadway and regional theatre production such as A Christmas Carol, As Yet Thou Art Young and Dinner Party. Kevyn Morrow was previously seen on the FST stage in Race and directed and choreographed this season's Smokey Joe's Café. Kevyn has acted in a number of Broadway productions such as Dreamgirls, A Chorus Line and Dream. In addition to these Broadway productions Kevyn has been in numerous Off-Broadway, film and teleVision Productions. Amanda Duffy has appeared in productions such as The Comedy of Errors, Don Giovanni and Pride and Prejudice as well as in various film projects.
The Best of Enemies playwright Mark St. Germain will be on-site at FST during the course of the production. Mr. St. Germain - who also wrote Freud's Last Session which ran for 2 years Off-Broadway - will be doing a mini-residency at FST from January 28 to February 16, 2013. During this time, he will be working with FST students, interns and apprentices as well as participating in audience enrichment programs. Mr. St. Germain has also contributed to the FST online forum for The Best of Enemies. The forum includes contributions from various members of the local community and national figures such as Dr. Rex Ellis of the Smithsonian Institute, who will discuss the African-American Civil Rights movement of the past and present.
The Best of Enemies will continue to be presented in the Gompertz Theatre through February 3. The Green Room Café is open for mainstage dining. FST patrons may enjoy fresh baked FST favorites as well as new additions to the menu. Dinner reservations are required and may be made by contacting the Box Office at 941-366-9000 or online at FloridaStudioTheatre.org.
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 eventually settled into a permanent home - the former Woman's Club building, now 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 four theatre venues: the Keating Theatre, the Goldstein Cabaret, the Gompertz Theatre and the John C. Court Cabaret.