Performing Arts Center
Do you long to perform in front of a live audience? Does the sound of applause from an audience make the tiny hairs on your arms stand straight up? If you answered yes to either of these questions then the Performing Arts Center needs to be your next stop. Sarasota is so fortunate to have a Performing Arts Center, but wait there is big news on the horizon. Currently under construction, the new 70,000 sq. ft. Performing Arts Center will seat 480 and is soon to be completed. This state of the art Center will be located in Lakewood Ranch in the Community of Waterside. Thanks to donations from a supportive community, aspiring actors, and actresses can now have their moment in the spotlight. A Performing Arts Center is such a fabulous addition to our community. If you have interest in performing, start warming up your vocal chords, and prepare for the Thespian life!! Your star is soon to shine!!! “Break a Leg!”
Founded in 1987 by former ballet artist Jean Wiedner Goldstein the Sarasota Ballet has been thrilling audiences for over 30 years. In 2007 Iian Webb was appointed director and the lights started shining brightly for this fantastic Ballet Company. Director Iian Webb, formerly of the Royal Ballet, led the Ballet to new heights and brought high praise both nationally, and internationally to the Ballet. Very impressive for this Sarasota City. The Sarasota Ballet has been invited over the years to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and the Joyce Theater in New York City, and the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in Berkshires Massachusetts.
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
We have had the pleasure of attending many performances of the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe through the years. These performances are nothing short of exhilarating and are like no other experience you will ever have in your life. It does not matter if it is Vinnette Carrolls “Your Arms Too Short to Box With GOD,” “Light up the Night,” “Get Down to the Motown Sound”, or the one we are anxious to see “Pipeline,” directed by L. Peter Callender. No matter what show you see you will be blown away by the performance. The shows are filled with passion, vibrant colors, all with energy more powerful than a Duracell Battery. It is so fun to listen to the theater audience after the show. Everyone is excited about what they have just witnessed, and they cannot stop praising the performances. For us, we cannot stop talking about the performance during the car ride home. West Coast Black Theatre Troupe was founded in 1999 to produce professional performances that celebrate African American Culture, while teaching and building the self-esteem of African American Youth. They have achieved that mission, and we encourage you to support this nonprofit organization. The West Coast Black Theatre Troupe is a gift to our community, and their performances have never disappointed.
Sarasota Opera House
Sitting on the corner of Pineapple and 1st Street in Downtown Sarasota is our historic Opera House. Renovated in 2008 and placed on the National Registry of Historic Places this house is breathtaking. Sarasota Opera House received renovations to update technology, comfort and design and what an excellent job they did. I love standing on the sidewalk outside of this amazing building and imagining what it had to have been like back in 1926 waiting to go inside and see the very first performance. This Opera House is well supported by our community and those that attend are dressed for a night of wonderful entertainment. The Opera House can seat 1,119 guests, and the theater on the inside is rich, elegant, and beautiful. We have been to many performances over the years, but our recent favorites are La Boheme and we are still crying over Romeo and Juliet. I do not know why we keep going to see Romeo and Juliet, I guess we hope it will end differently, it always makes us cry. Spoiler Alert the young lovers do not get together in the end and live happily ever after! Maybe someday! The Sarasota Opera has a full orchestra and an outstanding group of performers that will make your evening at the unforgettable.
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
The Van Wezel building is totally unique. The building has a clam shell design for its roof that gifted Architect William Wesley Peters used for inspiration. We’ve attended many performances at this theater, all fabulous. At the intermission step outside on the back patio, look at the sunset and you will understand the genius of the widow of Frank Loyd Wright Olgivanna’s selection for the building colors. Purple and Lavender match the spectacular sunsets! Since 1970 greats have graced the stage. Lovingly nicknamed “The Purple Cow “or whatever name you like, you will be thrilled to have such amazing first run entertainment in Sarasota. Local Tip – we pronounce the name Van Way Zel – your welcome!
“He flies through the air with the greatest of ease, that daring young man on the flying trapeze!” The goal of the training is to teach teamwork, daily discipline, balance, and focus. The performances on the trapeze showcased the strength of the human body and its ability to not only catch a human by their hands in midair, but to do so gracefully, with confidence, and control. The result of this mastery effort is a gorgeous view of the human body in flight. Be sure and check out the schedule of performances at the Sailor Circus, it’s definitely worth your time and support.