Tampa Bay Theatre Festival 2019

The annual festival, founded by Tampa actor, writer and director Rory Lawrence, takes place at The Straz and other locations Aug. 30-Sept. 1. In 2013, Rory Lawrence stood on the eve of the inaugural Tampa Bay Theatre Festival. After attending similar theater festivals in Atlanta and D.C., Rory thought Tampa needed one. He had no... Continue Reading →

The Man Behind the Mission

Governor and former Tampa mayor Bob Martinez on growing up Tampanian, the creation of The Straz and what it meant for the growth of Tampa. With Caribbean blue eyes, an easy smile and a rambling drawl that flows through stories of Tampa history like the Hillsborough River ambles through this vast county, Robert “Bob” Martinez... Continue Reading →

Local Profiles: Sculpting Out a Future

Jim and Joan Jennewein helped shape the Straz Center in more ways than one. In the spring of 1981, a young visionary architect named Jim Jennewein walked across a scraggly five-acre parking lot alongside the Hillsborough River. In his mind, he built a future performing arts center for the people of Tampa Bay. The plans,... Continue Reading →

Il Magnifico

Maestro Anton Coppola celebrates his 100th birthday. We are throwing one heck of a party. 1917 was a big year. The first woman was elected to Congress and the U.S. Navy appointed its first female petty officer that year as well. President Wilson declared war on Germany and Congress agreed, thus entering the United States... Continue Reading →

The Piano Guy

The Straz Center official piano tuner Kevin Patterson on what it takes to keep the ivories in the pink. The average home piano needs a tune up about twice a year, but when your livelihood and music critics are on the line, a good concert piano gets its ivories tickled, twisted, polished and pricked before... Continue Reading →

Extra Sensory Perception

How the stage allows us to get inside another person’s experience “You never know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes,” goes the popular adage about trying to be less judgmental and more compassionate. The key to getting in someone else’s shoes is to imagine what his or her experience must be like,... Continue Reading →

Open To Interpretation

The Thursday night show during each Broadway run has a special performer, one whose acting and choreography chops never make a sound. As part of its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) initiative, the Straz Center secures a sign language interpreter for the Thursday night show in the Broadway series, with The Illusionists being the first... Continue Reading →

Up ↑