Confessions of a Costumer

The performing arts are big business. In this industry, we have a lot of super important jobs for people who love the theater but who may have no interest in performing. This week, we sat down with Straz Center costumer Camille McClellan, who costumes dance and musical theater productions for the Patel Conservatory, to find... Continue Reading →

Tools of the Trade: Theater

We’ve realized Straz fans love knowing what goes on outside of the spotlights, so we’re running a short series called Tools of the Trade, listing some cool and maybe-unheard-of tools for life in the performing arts. This week’s spotlight is on theater. Orange Stick Nope, not for fingernails—for eyelashes. False ones, that is. False eyelashes... Continue Reading →

I’m Uncomfortable

Gabbing about the importance of facing the awkward, the awful, the upending and the just plain weird in the theater with special guest Paul Potenza, artistic associate with Jobsite Theater. This week Caught in the Act caught up with Paul Potenza, 30-plus-year stage veteran in the Tampa Bay area and artistic associate with our resident... Continue Reading →

The Family Play

Author Alison Bechdel reveals what it was like to see her very personal graphic memoir Fun Home transformed into a Tony®-winning Broadway musical. An exclusive from the Straz Center’s INSIDE magazine. In 2015, an innovative, poignant and bold little musical swept the Tony Awards®, netting Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Direction. Something... Continue Reading →

The Thief and His Thief-Taker General

The unbelievable true crime story behind the swinging jazz standard “Mack the Knife.” Once upon a time, there was a five-foot-four London folk hero who inspired John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, which inspired Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, which contained the song “Mack the Knife,” which became a snappy lounge tune for... Continue Reading →

Come Sit By Me

September is Women’s Friendship Month. So, how does that play out on Broadway? Let’s take a look. The Sisterhood is real. So is Women’s Friendship Month, which happens to be September. In honor of the totally rad relationships women create, maintain and sustain, we decided to take a look at the way women’s friendships are... Continue Reading →

Celluloid Dreams

An in-depth convo with Straz Center Senior Director of Marketing, Summer Bohnenkamp, who directs her fifth production with Jobsite Theater – this season’s opener, The Flick. Jobsite Theater, almost 19 years into its illustrious reputation as one of the strongest regional theater companies in Florida and beginning their 13th as resident theater company of the... Continue Reading →

Honor Thy Father? It’s Complicated.

Many of us observed Father’s Day last Sunday, which prompted us to take a broad sweep through some canonical plays to see how fathers and fatherhood fare. The answer: not good. In fact, it’s so bad it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. So, let’s take a look at some of the Great... Continue Reading →

So, Who is this Tony Person?

The 71st annual Tony Awards air June 11, 2017 from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The ceremony honors achievement on Broadway for the 2016-17 season, and we’ll certainly be tuned-in and on-edge as they announce the big winners. Like us, perhaps you’ve wondered “why are they called the Tonys?” We did some... Continue Reading →

A Million Little Peaces

The performing arts and conflict resolution If the folks at (TITLE) for Dummies® or the Idiot’s Guide™ to (THIS THING) ever wrote a how-to guide on building a better world, certainly there’d be a chapter or two on the performing arts. Much has been said on the value of elevating culture and artistic achievement as... Continue Reading →

Traveling Family Road Show

The fascinating story of Clark Transfer In 1948, Henry Fonda gave up a Hollywood contract to star in a Broadway play about sailors in the South Pacific. That play, Mister Rogers, won the Tony® for best play that year. One year later, it garnered another place in theater history: it was the very first Broadway... Continue Reading →

The Theater Above the Theater

Fly systems, rigging systems, whatever you want to call them, just know there’s a very serious show happening in the 60-plus feet of air above the show on stage. One of the wondrous aspects of theatrical life, even from its beginnings, is the delightful mix of labor, craft and personalities required to pull off a... Continue Reading →

What Is Up With Not Sitting Down

A humorous look at the rise of the standing ovation … guess this is just what we do now. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Hamlet directed by Matthew Warchus, Plácido Domingo in a solo concert of arias, the premiere of Neil Simon’s Rumors, the launch of Broadway’s Footloose, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Firebird with *the* Virginia... 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 →

Leotard, Check. Make-Up Kit, Check. Valve Oil? Check.

The Patel Conservatory Gears Up for Another School Year There’s no such thing as summer break for the faculty and staff of the Straz Center’s Patel Conservatory. We spend the summer months steeped in a camps, classes, workshops, performances and pre-professional productions like this year’s impressive mounting of an almost full-scale Les Miserables. So, we... Continue Reading →

Somos Todos Tampeños

The Tampa-Cuba cultural connection There was a time not so long ago when Tampa belonged, in heart and mind, to Cuba. In late 19th century Ybor City and West Tampa, Cuban immigrants recreated  their homeland, to the best of their ability, while they powered the burgeoning cigar-making industry. Cuban-flavored Spanish rippled through the factories as... Continue Reading →

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