Florida Studio Theatre Inc
1241 North Palm Ave
Sarasota FL 34236
Now in its 42nd season, FST continues to grow by staying focused on the its mission and remaining true to its founding principles: 

  1. To make theatre accessible and affordable to as many people as possible, 
  2. To present theatre that challenges with as much gusto as it entertains, 
  3. To create a public forum for the issues of our day that will foster positive change in our community and beyond, and
  4. To operate within and for the public trust.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Richard Hopkins
Board Chair Mr. Dennis McGillicuddy
Board Chair Affiliation Retired
General Info
Organization DBA
Florida Studio Theatre
Supported Organization
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1973
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Sept 2016
State Registration 0
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $6,646,402.00
Projected Expenses $6,646,402.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement

Florida Studio Theatre is a major cultural resource in the Gulf Coast region, serving more than 200,000 attendees per year through 6 main programs: Mainstage, Stage III, Cabaret, New Play Development, Education, and Touring. According to Theatre Communications Group, FST maintains the largest subscription base of any TCG theatre in Florida, and the 3rd largest in the nation.


FST believes the arts are a vital part of human life and makes a concerted effort to provide affordable, quality programming that reflects the diversity of the world. FST achieves this by: maintaining a low-cost ticket policy, producing a body of new, challenging work (76 World Premieres, 90 Regional), providing scholarships for disabled and low-income children to attend Theatre School, and inspiring 50,000+ students a year to write plays.


For the 6th year in a row, FST was ranked the in the top two Professional Theatres by the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs for the General Operating Support Grant in 2015. While many theatres face subscription attrition, FST’s subscriptions are at record highs, increasing 25% in two years.


The primary goal over the next 5 years will be to expand audiences while maintaining the artistic integrity and fiscal responsibility that is the core of FST's mission. In order to achieve this, FST renovated and expanded the Gompertz Theatre and opened the Hegner Theatre Wing.  This new facility houses the new Gompertz Theatre, the Parisian-style John C. Court Cabaret, the Green Room Café and the steampunk Bowne’s Lab.  Due to this expansion, FST has been able to extend production runs and expand our reach to over 30,000 subscribers, all while offering the best in contemporary theatre. 
Needs Statement

Florida Studio Theatre is supported by the generosity of individual donors, government agencies and foundations. The theatre must raise over $1 million a year in unearned income in order to support programming. General Operating gifts support all of FST's programs, ranging from $35 at the Friends Level to Grand Benefactor at $10,000.

There are also opportunities to support specific programming:

  1. Underwriting a Mainstage or Cabaret season: $15,000.
  2. Co-Producing a show: $5,000
  3. Underwriting WRITE A PLAY arts-in-education program at underserved schools throughout Florida and beyond: $5,000.
  4. Donations to FST's Children's Scholarships Program provide tuition for children who are from low-income families or have special needs. Scholarship gifts are welcome at any level.  
  5. Underwriting FST's Improv Festival or Improv Season.
  6. Support for FST's Palm Avenue Project- a $1.3 million project to provide renovations to the FST's South Campus including the historical Keating Theatre.
Background Statement

In 1973, Florida Studio Theatre was founded by artist Jon Spelman as an alternative touring group, reaching out to isolated and underserved audiences in nursing homes, migrant farms and prisons. Today, the theatre is a major cultural resource for the West Coast of Florida, serving over 200,000 attendees each year. In 1977, FST acquired its current theatre in Sarasota’s Historic Woman’s Club building. With a modest subscription base of 103, FST struggled to create an artistic home for its dedicated company of resident artists. Today, according to Theatre Communications Group (TCG), FST’s 30,000+ subscription packages constitute the largest subscription base for any theatre of its size in the nation. With its five-theatre campus and 6 main programs, FST has remained committed to its mission of accessibility and affordability to all, striving to build artistic programming that reaches diverse audiences. Now in its 42nd season, the theatre continues to strengthen and grow by staying focused on its mission and remaining true to its founding principles.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
FL- Hillsborough
FL- Lee
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Education
Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota's Contemporary Theatre, Florida Studio Theater, FST
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

In accordance with our mission points “to make theatre accessible and affordable to as many people as possible,” and “foster positive change in our community and beyond,” Florida Studio Theatre creates opportunity, enhances access to arts and culture, and exhibits a high level of community impact through its six program areas. We strongly believe that the arts are a vital part of human life and make a concerted effort to provide affordable, quality theatre programming that reflects the diversity of the world.

I would like to explain to you a few fundamental things about our Board of Trustees and how we function. We pride ourselves on setting the standard for excellence in board stewardship which has, I am happy to report, contributed to FST operating in the black for 20 out of the last 22 years and growing our net worth by more than $12 million. 
How have we done that and what principles have helped us make, by and large, wise choices and effective decisions? In considering an individual for board membership, we have very specific criteria by which to evaluate potential membership:
  1. The individual has demonstrated a deep connection to the theatre and thereby understands FST’s artistic philosophy and core values.
  2. The individual demonstrates an ability to give wise council.
  3. The individual is willing to connect their individual constituencies to FST. 
  4. The individual has particular skills that can contribute to FST. 
  5. The individual’s personal value system aligns with FST’s core values, as identified by the Board.
This leads right into one of the most important principles by which we operate. No matter what we discuss, consider or decide, we do so from a platform of three basic values that guide and inform us: Clarity, Integrity & Support.
We encourage participation at the board level by creating and nurturing a culture of respect, trust and candor in our dealings with one another. Good listening skills are also an integral part of this culture. Furthermore, we purposely keep the board small and have no term limits.
Since its first subscription season in 1980, Florida Studio Theatre has been in a state of steady growth. Expansions in programs are tied to increased demand based upon existing program growth and demand for greater program diversity. By building on its strengths in this way, FST continues to strengthen and grow.
FST stimulates innovation through its programming: Mainstage presents the best in contemporary theatre; Stage III introduces audiences to edgy, challenging theatre; Cabaret draws in new audiences with musical revues, social/political satire and improv; New Play Development identifies top-caliber plays that are largely unexplored and untested but speak to a broad audience; Education, with its innovative programming for children and adults; and Touring, which reaches 50,000 K-12 students each year, inspiring them to write plays.
FST is currently poised to increase the subscriber base to its Mainstage and Cabaret series. For the past several years, Mainstage subscriptions have been capped at maximum capacity with no room to grow – there simply are no more seats. As expanded upon throughout FST's profile on the Giving Partner, the Gompertz Theatre will play a featured role in FST’s future growth. 
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

Now in its 42nd year, the Mainstage is FST's flagship program, producing the best in contemporary American theatre by presenting plays that speak to a living, evolving, dynamically changing world. The Mainstage Series features 7 annual productions that draw from new works, regionally produced works, and the latest off-Broadway and Broadway plays.

In support of FST's goal to “cause the creation of new works,” the Mainstage has produced 33 world premieres and 97 regional premieres. Mainstage productions such as BLACK PEARL SINGS! have gone on to be mounted in theatres around the US. The FST World Premiere production of THE BULLY PULPIT enjoyed a critically acclaimed run Off-Broadway in the summer of 2008. FST's Mainstage currently maintains an subscription base of over 12,000.
Budget $2,630,825
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Adults US& International
Short Term Success
Now in its 41st season, FST's Mainstage will continue to produce the best in Contemporary Theatre that "challenges with as much gusto as entertains," bringing to stage 7 Mainstage productions throughout the Winter and Summer seasons, while continuing to grow Mainstage audiences.
  • In order to accommodate increased demand by expanding the number of weeks a show runs, FST moved one Winter Mainstage show and one Summer Mainstage show into the Gompertz Theatre in 2009.
  • In 2010, FST began renovating and expanding the Gompertz Theatre, in order to sustain the continued growth of the Mainstage program.
  • In January 2012, FST began renovating the Gompertz Theatre
  • In September 2012, FST finished the renovation and expansion of the Gompertz Theatre.  FST now performs five out of the seven Mainstage shows in the Gompertz every year.
  • Since the opening of the Gompertz Theatre, subscriptions have increased to over 12,000.
Long Term Success

The construction of The New Gompertz Theatre was complete in August 2012, and FST is now utilizing the expanded theatre to continue to grow the Mainstage Series and reach new audiences. By moving three Winter Mainstage and two Summer productions from the Keating Theatre to the Gompertz Theatre, FST's Mainstage audience will increase by 35-40% in five years. 

This will allow FST to continue to offer the best in Contemporary American Theatre and meet its primary mission "to make theatre accessible and affordable to as many people as possible." 
Program Success Monitoring

Evaluation is an integral component of FST’s daily operations. Attendance patterns and audience development are evaluated through a reporting system that includes:

  • Box Office Sales and Closing Reports
  • Stage Management Performance Reports
  • House Management Closing & Financial Reports
  • Restaurant Reports
  • Marketing Results by Performance
  • Subscription Campaign Reports
  • Post-Show Discussion Reports
  • FST annual survey 
  • Specific, issue-related, surveys as necessary


By analyzing reports, spreadsheets, surveys, audience feedback and ticket sales, the theatre is able to accomplish a variety of goals. For example:
  • Executing the most cost effective marketing and development campaigns
  • Analyzing zip codes to identify underserved groups
  • Tracking changes in audience characteristics


Finally, all qualitative and quantitative data is analyzed and filtered to assess the overall artistic effectiveness of each program.
Program Success Examples
  • FST’s Mainstage plays to 100% capacity and is 85% subscribed. 
  • The regional premiere of Race by David Mamet was voted Best Professional Play of 2010-2011 by readers of Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
  • FST’s Mainstage currently has more than 12,300 subscribers. According to Theatre Communications Group, this is more than any other theatre its size in the nation.


Press Quotes:

 “‘Shotgun’ is another reason why FST deserves the title Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre.” -Scene Magazine

“The cast is all excellent…And, in a town where standing ovations can become too common, these performers truly earn theirs.” –Sarasota Magazine (Next to Normal)

 "Fly is the theatrical equivalent of a theme park thrill ride about an important period of history" -Sarasota-Herald Tribune(Fly)

Audience Feedback:

Ruined: “What magic you wrought. I was riveted the entire time.”

Hairspray: "I am still amazed with how good it was." 

Dancing Lessons: "Now that was something to be inspired by."

FST's Cabaret had its inaugural season in 1996 and has grown to include two theatres: The Goldstein Cabaret and the John C. Court Cabaret. These Parisian style Cabarets house musical revues, sketch comedy and improvisation. The Cabaret series includes 3 productions from October to June.  In 2014, FST debuted a summer series that includes three booked-in productions.
The Cabaret has seen more than 50 world premiere musical revues. "Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas," which premiered in the Cabaret to sold-out audiences, went on to enjoy international success, including a production in Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre.
"If you have never attended a show at the Cabaret Theatre, you really don't know what you've been missing. The architectural atmosphere alone is worth the price of admission. But when you include all that beautiful to inspiring music, and the wonderful talent to back everything up, guaranteed pleasures are yours for the asking." -Terrence Fugate, Scene Magazine
Budget $1,480,397
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Adults US& International
Short Term Success
FST will continue to create and produce original musical revues, sketch comedy and Improv in the Cabaret Series for Sarasota audiences, to reach an audience of over 45,000 attendees a year. 
Long Term Success
Due to the Cabaret subscriptions reaching maximum capacity, FST built a second Cabaret on the same property as The New Gompertz Theatre, which opened in January 2013.  FST will increase the Cabaret audience by 35-40% in five years by moving two Cabaret shows into the second Cabaret Theatre. To date, subscriptions have already increased by 20% from last year. By fiscal year 2016, FST predicts Cabaret subscriptions will grow to 12,500. As part of this growth, FST will seek new artists and will add to the staff to operate the second Cabaret.
FST has premiered over 30 musical revues for the Cabaret stage. Continuing to develop the talent to create this work is an on-going goal of the theatre.
Program Success Monitoring

Attendance patterns and audience development are evaluated through a detailed reporting system that includes:

  • Box Office Sales and Closing Reports
  • Stage Management Performance Reports
  • House Management Closing & Financial Reports
  • Restaurant Reports
  • Marketing Results by Performance
  • Subscription Campaign Reports
  • Post-Show Discussion Reports
  • FST annual survey 
  • Specific, issue-related, surveys as necessary


By analyzing reports, spreadsheets, surveys, audience feedback and ticket sales, the theatre is able to accomplish a variety of goals. For example:
  • Executing the most cost effective marketing and development campaigns
  • Analyzing zip codes for penetration of residential areas to identify underserved groups
  • Tracking changes in audience characteristics


Finally, all qualitative and quantitative data is analyzed and filtered to assess the overall artistic effectiveness of each program.
Program Success Examples

 In 2013, FST built a second cabaret, the John C. Court Cabaret to accommodate this demand, and winter subscriptions have already increased 20% to over 11,800.

  • FST’s Winter Cabaret Season has over 11,800 subscribers, which according to TCG, is more than any other theatre its size in the nation.
  • FST’s Cabaret plays to 100% capacity.
  • FST’s Cabaret has introduced over 1,000 new subscribers to theatre
  • FST’s Cabaret has presented 50 World Premiere productions.
  • FST’s Cabaret has become a model for cabaret development across the U.S.
  • FST’s Cabaret is home to FST Improv and the annual Sarasota Improv Festival, which brings comedy artists to Sarasota from around the country
  • Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas, which was created for the Cabaret in 2000, went on to enjoy international success with subsequent runs across the U.S. and in Canada.
  • FST's American Pie was extended to a 19-week run; breaking records.

WRITE A PLAY is an arts-in-education initiative which provides students with the skills and motivation to create original plays, and then recognizes and rewards them for their achievements. Using high energy, interactive performances and workshops, WRITE A PLAY inspires students to write plays, while strengthening language and communication skills. 


In 1991, FST launched WRITE A PLAY with the support of Florida Arts Council (FAC) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This program now inspires an average of 50,000 children each year throughout Florida and beyond to write plays and submit them for inclusion in FST’s Young Playwrights Festival.


FST travels to local schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties with The Playmakers Tour as a part of WRITE A PLAY. A special emphasis is placed on working with underserved schools where the majority of children are on free/reduced lunch programs.
Budget $442,221
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Children's Theater Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success

FST hopes to achieve the following goals of the WRITE A PLAY program:   

  • To teach students the skills they need to write plays, and empower youth with the freedom to explore their imaginations.
  • To reward children in the public arena for their literary achievements.
  • To instill, at a young age, an understanding of and appreciation for the arts.
  • To provide a literary forum for the work of young playwrights.
Long Term Success

The intended outcome of WRITE A PLAY  is: “Children will demonstrate increased levels of appreciation, knowledge, and understanding of skills in the arts based on the application of national, state, or local arts education standards.”  FST employs the following objectives:

  • Students will improve their writing skills as measured by their inclusion of at least three of the four playwriting elements. 
  • Students will demonstrate improved writing quality as measured by their inclusion of at least one of the following indicators: a defining characteristic described or identified in action or dialogue; the character's language matches its description; and the conflict appears at the beginning, develops in the middle and resolves at the end.
  • Students will experience increased self-esteem and a reinforced desire to write.
  • Students will experience improved social-interaction and ability to relate to others.
  • Teachers will use arts learning more effectively in their curriculum.
Program Success Monitoring

Since its inception, FST has engaged in evaluation of the WRITE A PLAY program. Independent evaluation was conducted over a five-year period by Robertson Consulting Group. Data was analyzed for the following outcomes:

  • Students will improve their writing skills as measured by their inclusion of at least three out of the following four playwriting elements: setting, character, dialogue and conflict.
  • Students will demonstrate improved writing quality as measured by their inclusion of at least one of the following indicators: 1) a defining characteristic is described or identified in action or dialogue; 2) the character’s language matches the character’s description; and 3) the conflict appears at the beginning, develops in the middle and resolves at the end.


Independent evaluation is accompanied by a self-assessment of the program by FST’s Teaching Artists. FST continues to evaluate the program on an annual basis.
Program Success Examples

Through over a decade of outcomes analysis, WRITE A PLAY has proven to inspire creativity, promote literacy, strengthen language and communication skills, and instill an appreciation of the arts. In addition, data provided by Robertson Consulting Group, Inc. showed a notable improvement in self-esteem, school attitudes, and overall academic achievement. The most recent assessment reported the following:


  • The program positively impacted writing skills. Pre- and post-test means in the three assessed classrooms improved significantly.
  • Program-wide, 86% of plays demonstrated at least three of the required four playwriting elements, and over 63% demonstrated all four.


Qualitative measures support the success of WRITE A PLAY.  Here is a sampling of feedback received from educators during the 2014-2015 season:


  • “My students were absolutely thrilled and motivated to start writing right away.” 
  • “They were really excited to know they were seeing ideas that were created from kids!”
  • “Students love it and feel inspired to write a play.”

Since 1982, FST’s Theatre School has offered a wealth of opportunities for children and adults to discover their creativity through theatre workshops and classes. Accessibility is ensured for financially disadvantaged or youth with special needs. Currently, an average of 15% of students receive financial assistance in the form of full or partial scholarships.

Youth workshops target children and teens ages 5-18 and offer an original training method developed from over 2 decades of experience. Classes are held throughout the school year, offering Acting, Dance, Improv, and Musical Theatre.
Adult workshops offer a creative forum to explore their human and artistic potential including Acting, Voice, Improv, Storytelling and Theatre Appreciation.
FST Theatre School includes a VIP Performing Arts Program for Special Needs Youths which serves students who have physical challenges, mental challenges, and behavioral challenges. Education classes run year-round, including a summer camp.
Budget $518,874
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater Arts Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Short Term Success
The staff is comprised of a core of theatre professionals who are trained to teach in a supportive environment that is free from personal bias. FST’s methodology helps each person find his or her own door to creative achievement. The Education Department has developed the following outcomes for FST Theatre School:
  • Students will experience an enhanced sense of tolerance, understanding, and respect for others.
  • Students will experience a newfound appreciation for cooperation and teamwork.
  • Students will experience an increase in their self-esteem and belief in their abilities.
  • Students will improve their social skills as they experience new opportunities for positive peer interaction.
  • Students will exhibit an increased level of self-expression.
Long Term Success

FST will increase the Children's Scholarships Program to reach more underserved youth in our community.  Last season FST started working with  Palmetto Youth Center, where children come from a poor area that is severely underserved by the arts. These children now have the opportunity to attend theatre classes at FST as part of an after-school program. This effort evolved into a Spring Break camp created especially for the Palmetto children.These outreach efforts are funded through the Children's Scholarships Program, and FST will continue to build on this program in order to expand our reach.

As the Scholarships Program increases, FST is increasing outreach efforts to other schools and organizations with children who are from low-income families or have transportation issues. For example, FST is currently traveling to Booker Middle School to offer theatre education classes at the school campus instead of the FST campus. 
Program Success Monitoring

Like all of the theatre’s programs, FST Theatre School has undergone a process of constant evaluation over the course of its history. In the past, FST contracted the services of an independent outcomes measurement specialist from Robertson Consulting Group to conduct a qualitative assessment. In addition, FST teaching artists have daily sessions with small groups and the entire group of students. They observe the way students interact with each other. The staff also has daily meetings to discuss each child’s progress.


In addition, parents and students are asked to submit in writing an evaluation of the program and their perceptions of personal growth and achievement. FST’s Theatre School is in a constant state of evolution in response to evaluation results. For example, evaluation after the 2009-10 season revealed a need to add a “Middle School Classics” to allow students that age the opportunity to participate in classes offered in the early evening.

Program Success Examples

The response from parents regarding FST’s Theatre School is overwhelmingly positive. Parents observe improvement in their children’s ability to express emotions, growth in their creativity and individuality, increased confidence, development of an acting technique, and their children felt safe and comfortable in the program. The following was written by a student’s parent:


“Our family received an FST scholarship that enabled us to enroll our son in Little Theatre summer camp. We are very grateful for the scholarship. Without it, we could not afford to give our son that experience. I could see that he had gained confidence in the context of performance in front of a group.” 
Student's feedback:
"I really enjoy going to acting every Monday.  It gives me a reason to disagree with the 'I hate Mondays' attitude, because it's something I look forward to.  I think it's really improved my acting abilities.  Also it brings me and my sister closer together, and that's a good thing."

New Play Development is the lifeblood of FST. It is a year-round activity that is fully integrated with each of the theatre’s other programs. FST is also a member of the National New Play Network (NNPN), with FST’s Managing Director serving on the Executive Committee.

The New Play Development program features three events each year serving more than 40,000 attendees under the banner Sarasota Festival of New Plays. Components include:
  • The National Playwrights Festival which features 2 premiere productions from March-May within FST's Mainstage and Cabaret Series.
  • The Burdick Workshop Series features 3 plays by contemporary writers in workshop productions.
  • The Young Playwrights Festival encourages children to write and submit their plays as the culmination of FST’s WRITE A PLAY program.
Budget $795,173
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success

In support of FST’s mission point “to make theatre accessible and affordable to as many people as possible,” and its artistic goal “to cause the creation of new plays by established and emerging writers,” the Sarasota Festival of New Plays will attract playwrights, actors, directors, and designers from around the country to produce the following components:

  • A premiere production in the Gompertz Theatre,
  • A premiere production in the John C. Court Cabaret Theatre,
  • The Young Playwrights Festival, and
  • The Burdick New Play Reading Series.
Long Term Success

As the primary vehicle for the production of new plays at FST, the Sarasota Festival of New Plays seeks to:

  • Provide a forum for playwrights of all ages to develop plays that can be fruitfully produced.
  • Broaden the breadth and depth of thought in American theatre by encouraging people of all ages and all perspectives to write plays.
  • Accelerate the process of developing new plays that explore, through multiple points of view, relevant topics.
  • Significantly raise FST’s national profile, and in so doing attract more tourists to Sarasota.
  • Expand audience enrichment and input into the creation of theatre, through FST Forums.
Program Success Monitoring

FST is engaged in a constant and ongoing artistic analysis of its programs. The project’s artistic quality and administrative execution are monitored on a weekly basis using the following tools for measurement:

  • A comparative analysis of attendance figures
  • Audience survey responses
  • Daily performance reports from Stage Management, House Management, Box Office and Concessions
  • Post-mortem discussions and reports by the production team
  • Feedback from artists, including performers and playwrights
  • Articles and reviews in publications
  • Audience input through talkbacks following readings of new plays


The success of the Sarasota Festival of New Plays is typically measured by:
  • Number of new plays featured in the Reading Series that have gone on to be produced at FST
  • Increased demand and attendance.
  • Number of productions that have gone on to be produced at other theatres
  • Festival’s overall community impact is studied
Program Success Examples

FST is dedicated to cultivating original works, having produced 78 World Premieres and 88 Regional Premieres to date. The Sarasota Festival of New Plays has grown from a 1-week to a 3-month event, attracting visitors from across the country. The festival continues to be a success on all fronts – artistic quality, number of plays submitted by children, number of attendees, audience response, and press reviews.


One example of the success of FST’s New Play Development is the continued life of “Black Pearl Sings!”  FST’s production, with the assistance of national press, gave this otherwise unsung play the national profile to become one of the most produced plays of 2010. 


Press Quotes:

  •  “You get a taste of musical history and evolution in Florida Studio Theatre’s lively and surprisingly touching new cabaret show ‘Night Train to Memphis.’…a portrait of America and its music.”  -Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 2010 
  • “The most moving production of the trip… ‘Black Pearl Sings!’ deserves an afterlife… Kudos to Florida Studio Theatre.”   - NJ.com - Independent Press, 2009
Program Comments by Organization
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Richard Hopkins
CEO Term Start 1980
CEO/Executive Director Email rhopkins@floridastudiotheatre.org
Experience Producing Artistic Director of Florida Studio Theatre since 1980, Richard Hopkins has guided the company from a small touring group to a professional regional theatre. Mr. Hopkins began his professional theatre career as a resident actor with Asolo State Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. In 1974 he founded the Palisades Theatre Company in Washington, DC, which subsequently moved to St. Petersburg to become American Stage. He served as its Producing Director from 1974-1980. Additional experiences include: President of the Florida Professional Theatres Association (1983-1985), Panelist for Theatre Program of Florida Arts Council, and Director/Instructor for Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus' Clown College (1981).
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Ms. Kate Alexander Associate Director
Mrs. Rebecca Hopkins Managing Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 41
Part Time Staff 35
Staff Retention Rate % 80
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 100
Volunteers 700
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

2012-2016 FST partners with many organizations in Sarasota and beyond, working with administrators, educators, and other local  nonprofit and civic agencies including:
  • Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
  • Sarasota County Public Schools
  • Community Foundation of Sarasota County
  • Woman's Exchange
  • Sarasota Film Festival
  • The Palmetto Youth Center
  • The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
  • Girls, Inc.
  • Sarasota Sister Cities Association
  • Arts & Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
  • Ringling College of Art and Design
  • Longboat Key Art Center
  • The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art


FST also partners within the community to present special events, such as a flash mob dance at Heron East, Southside Elementary, and CYD or play discussions held at venues such as Selby Library and Bookstore1. FST also forms multiple partnerships to coincide with a show's theme. For example, when "Chapatti" opened in 2015, FST partnered with Cat Depot, Nate's Honor Animal Rescue, Wet Noses, and Suncoast Pet to collect items for donations and garner publicity for the organizations and the production.


FST is also affiliated with national and international associations:
  • Theatre Communications Group
  • League of Resident Theatres
  • National New Play Network
  • Actors Equity Association
  • Stage Directors & Choreographers 
  • Tessitura Network
  • Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
Actor's Equity Association
American Guild of Variety Artists
Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
League of Resident Theatres
National New Play Network
Stage Directors and Choreographers
Tessitura Network
Theatre Communications Group
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Golden Gavel Youth Program (WRITE A PLAY)Sarasota Herald-Tribune1997
Arts Leadership Award (Associate Director Kate Alexander and previously, Artistic Director Richard Hopkins)Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2000
Arts Organization of the YearSarasota Chamber of Commerce2003
Best Play (The Exonerated)Sarasota Magazine2005
Top Forty Under Forty (Managing Director Rebecca Hopkins)Gulf Coast Business Review2005
Stanford Financial Excellence in Arts AwardStanford Financial Group2007
Best Professional Play of the 2010-2011 Season (RACE by David Mamet)Sarasota Herald-Tribune2011
Richard G. Fallon Award for Theatre Excellence (Mr. Richard Hopkins, Artistic Director)Florida Professional Theatre Association2003
Nancy Roucher Arts Leadership Award for Arts Education (Beth Duda)Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2012
2012 Cultural Champions Award (Richard and Rebecca Hopkins)Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2012
Be More...Knowledgeable AwardWEDU2013
Cultural Organization of the YearSarasota Chamber of Commerce2015
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government Yes
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted 2012
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization
Management Comments by Foundation
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization
Planning & Policies Comments by Foundation
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Dennis McGillicuddy
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Term Oct 1989 to Sept 2016
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms. Kate Alexander Florida Studio Theatre
Mrs. Carol Buchanan Retired
Ms. Georgia Court Bookstore1 Sarasota
Ms. Patricia Courtois C*Suite
Mr. Tom Hayes Des Champs, Gregory & Hayes
Mr. Richard Hopkins Florida Studio Theatre
Mr. Harold Joels Retired
Mrs. Barbara J. Lupoff Retired
Mr. Dennis McGillicuddy Retired
Mrs. Jennifer Michell Retired
Mr. Jim Roque Suntrust Bank
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development?
Constituency Includes Client Representation
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 5
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 89
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions
Standing Committees
Campus Planning and Development
Capital Campaign
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization Mr
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $6,646,402.00
Projected Expenses $6,646,402.00
Endowment Value $3,914,229.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Endowment Spending Policy %
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign Yes
Campaign Purpose FST is launching a new capital campaign to create a foundation for the future. It involves three projects: The Palm Avenue Project, The Rosemary Artist Project, and the FST Schools Endowment.
Campaign Goal $3,900,000.00
Campaign Dates Feb 2015 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 300000 as of Feb 2016
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
IRS Form 990s
Form 9902009
Form 9902008
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$1,167,138$136,349$134,918
Individual Contributions$2,601,473$855,831$3,102,202
Investment Income, Net of Losses$138,367$268,518$148,122
Membership Dues$293,323$271,424$250,905
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$5,315,035$4,800,190$4,115,426
Administration Expense$1,010,629$902,102$770,353
Fundraising Expense$478,094$165,022$186,152
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.291.141.35
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%82%81%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue13%12%6%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$20,482,687$18,501,711$17,250,452
Current Assets$3,434,410$2,154,746$6,331,861
Long-Term Liabilities$787,620$445,794$500,000
Current Liabilities$2,338,602$2,126,847$1,646,770
Total Net Assets$17,356,465$15,929,072$15,103,682
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountTheatrical Productions $3,157,627Theater Productions $2,793,448Contributions, gifts, grants $3,102,202
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $2,601,473Contributions, gifts, grants $855,831Theatre Productions $2,147,373
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Unspecified $1,167,138Cabaret Concessions $805,845Cabaret Concessions $529,029
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.471.013.85
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets4%2%3%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures taken from IRS Form 990s and audit documents. Audits and 990s reconcile. Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support, as reported on Form 990.
Nonprofit Florida Studio Theatre Inc
Address 1241 North Palm Ave
Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone 941 366-9017

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