Over 2,000 theatre people—including students, actors, directors, technicians and special effects masters—will gather at Santa Fe College’s Northwest Campus for the four-day Florida Theatre Conference to be held Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 5-8, 2014. This marks the fourth year that SF College has hosted the conference, which is open to the public. Guests may choose to attend the whole event for $35 (register in the lobby of the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus) or to attend performances with a one-day pass for $5 (passes available at the Fine Arts Hall Box Office).
The highlight of this year’s festival is the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s touring production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play with a twist that aims to appeal to young audiences. Instead of being set in ancient Greece, the play is set in a modern high school with its pressure-cooker atmosphere of cliques, outsiders, jealousy, gossip and first love. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will open the conference with a public performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus. Walk-up tickets available at $5 each on a first-come, first-served basis at the Fine Arts Hall Box Office.
The Asolo, headquartered in Sarasota, is the largest professional theatre in Florida and the largest repertory theatre in the Southeast.
“This is the largest theatre conference in the Southeast and it will be the largest event held at Santa Fe College this year,” explained Terry Klenk, theatre professor and secretary-treasurer of the Florida Theatre Conference. “Santa Fe has been home base for the conference for the last four years, and we feel privileged to have been chosen to host the event again this year. A bonus is that the conference has a positive economic impact on Alachua County, with several hotels already full.”
Students from Santa Fe and other schools throughout Florida will benefit from auditions and College Fair interviews that help them to connect with over 40 different colleges and universities that offer theatre programs.
Over 65 workshops in singing, acting, pantomime, dance, stage combat, directing, playwriting, and all technical areas of stage production will be offered. Festival tracks include the Community Theatre Play Festival, the Secondary Theatre One-Act Play Festival, the Theatre for Youth Showcase Festival, the DraMature Showcase Festival, FTC’s Got Talent Competition, the Technical Olympics, and the Fall Fling for Community Theatres. A closing ceremony will honor the best high school and community theatre plays and present lifetime achievement awards to selected individuals.
The event is organized by the Florida Theatre Conference, Inc. (FTC), with support from a grant by Visit Gainesville in recognition of the festival’s economic impact on Alachua County. FTC is a nonprofit educational theatre organization founded in 1956 to provide programs and services to individuals and theatre groups. Goals are to celebrate the diversity of Florida theatre, to nurture communications among theatre groups, to advance high standards and to encourage public appreciation. The group is represented in all 67 Florida counties and is composed of five divisions: Theatre for Youth, College/University Theatre, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre and Secondary School Theatre. FTC acts as a liaison between Florida, regional and national organizations.
For more information about the Florida Theatre Conference, contact SF College Theatre Professor Terry Klenk at 352-395-5092.
For more information about SF College’s Fine Arts programs, contact Fine Arts Department Chairperson Alora Haynes at 352-395-5296.