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.
“It’s a story about trying to stay true to yourself and your art, while growing a show from blank paper to Broadway,” says director Amanda Friou. “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.
“The second year company of actors is particularly musically inclined,” says Greg Leaming, Director of the Conservatory. “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.”