Asolo Theater Inc
5555 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota FL 34243

The mission of Asolo Repertory Theatre is to entertain, engage and inspire through the highest quality professional repertory theatre and superior educational programs, and we continually strive to fulfill this mission through the following major goals:

  1. Produce bold, compelling work in a creative, nurturing home for resident and guest artists 
  2. Give a diverse audience access to world-class productions and public programs 
  3. Develop and present new work, and embrace innovation in artistry 
  4. Engage youth throughout the region and state to experience, discuss and create live theatre 
  5. Foster the next generation of American theatre artists through our partnership with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training

As one of the nation’s only regional theatres to stage performances in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s unique method challenges artists while giving resident and visiting audiences access to multiple shows in the span of a few days. Each season comprises a full nine months of productions, as well as a variety of supporting public programs (Inside Asolo Rep, IllumiNation, Tuesday Talkbacks, Meet the Actors,The Scoop Pre-Show Conversations, Family Days, Unplugged Festival of New Plays, Faces of Change and more) designed to enhance and deepen our audience’s experience.

Asolo Rep's 2016-17 season, the American Character: Year Five, brings the theatre's examination of American cultural identity and racial diversity to an inspiring conclusion. Productions include: the treasured Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls, directed and choreographed by Drama Desk Award nominee Josh Rhodes; the thrilling second part of Robert Schenkkan's epic political saga, The Great Society; The Originalist, a gripping judicial drama by MacArthur Award winner John Strand; Born Yesterday, Garson Kanin's comic masterpiece; Lillian Hellman's classic exploration of family, greed, and revenge, The Little Foxes; Kristoffer Diaz's Obie Award-winning crackling comedy about wrestling and geopolitics, 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; and the world premiere of Beatsville, the new musical based on the Roger Corman film, A Bucket of Blood, with music and lyrics by Wendy Leigh Wilf and book by Grammy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, a new adaptation of the Jules Verne classic adventure novel, that will delight family audiences and kids at heart.

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Michael Donald Edwards
Board Chair Dr. Larry Haspel
Board Chair Affiliation Dedicated Volunteer
General Info
Organization DBA
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1959
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $9,828,291.00
Projected Expenses $9,828,291.00
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Determination LetterView
Impact Statement

Recent key achievements include:

  •  In January 2016, The Wall Street Journal's renowned arts critic Terry Teachout returned to Asolo Rep for the fifth time in as many years, subsequently publishing a rave review of "Ah, Wilderness!"
  • In January 2015, The Wall Street Journal's renowned arts critic Terry Teachout returned to Asolo Rep for the fourth time in as many years, subsequently publishing separate, rave reviews of "The Matchmaker" and "Both Your Houses."
  • In February 2014, leading industry publication American Theatre magazine highlighted Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director, Michael Donald Edwards, in a full length feature about the American Character Project.
  • In February 2015, Asolo Rep received the prestigious WEDU Be More Brilliant Award for our Scenic Studio’s 2013-2014 Production Season. This incredible honor represented the pinnacle of our Scenic Studio’s achievement; during the 2013-2014 season, Asolo Rep truly pushed the artistic envelope, maximizing creative capacity to mount several of the most technologically complex, visually stunning productions in our theatre’s 56-year history. In 2012 and 2013, Asolo Rep won WEDU's Be More Enriched Award for the Education & Outreach department's Access to the Arts and Kaleidoscope programs. In 2014, our community outreach program/LGBT subscription series OUT@AsoloRep was designated a finalist.
  • Concurrent with our production of Frank Galati's Tony Award-winning adaptation of John Steinbeck's 20th century literary masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath, directed by Michael Donald Edwards, Asolo Rep partnered with the National Steinbeck Center and Selby Public Library to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the novel's publication. Galati and Edwards traveled to Washington, D.C. as featured panel speakers in ‘Steinbeck Onstage: The Grapes of Wrath at 75’, a national commemorative event presented by The Smithsonian Associates and the National Steinbeck Center.
  • The FSU/Asolo Conservatory continues to rank among the top 25 MFA drama training programs in the world; its competitive edge is heightened by students' opportunities to perform and develop theatre experience at Asolo Rep.

Asolo Rep’s Matching Challenge for our Endowment has generated a tremendous response, and it remains a top priority as we continue to build our Annual Fund. By expanding and deepening our community relationships, technical infrastructure and organizational capacity, we are working diligently to maintain and accomplish the following goals:

  • To be positioned as one of the top regional theatres in the country, known nationally and internationally for producing bold and compelling artistic work and engaging the most talented artists from those on the threshold of outstanding careers to the most seasoned professionals
  • Expand the volume and diversity of people who have access to our productions
  • To be financially strong, with a consistent, growing, diversified revenue stream, and to be well-capitalized through endowment and operating reserve funds 
  • To consistently exceed patrons’ expectations by delivering the highest standards of customer service, complementing the quality of the work seen on stage and ensuring that our patrons are provided a rich and meaningful theatre experience from beginning to end
  • To ensure stable support for Asolo Rep Education & Outreach programs that provide young people throughout the region access to superb live theatre, training and learning opportunities with ties to classroom curricula through programming in theatres, schools and community venues
Needs Statement

Asolo Rep’s most pressing needs are: 

1) Support for the eight productions in the 2016-2017 American Character season. Donor contributions and grants are being sought for Guys and Dolls, The Great Society, The Originalist, Born Yesterday, The Little Foxes, Beatsville, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and a final summer musical, TBA.

2) Support to expand award-winning Education & Outreach initiatives, including Main Stages student matinees that bring students to Asolo Rep; the New Stages touring program, a statewide tour produced by Asolo Rep featuring third-year Conservatory actors performing 45-50 minute adapted versions of Shakespeare classics in schools and community venues; the Kaleidoscope performing arts training program for youth and adults with disabilities; Faces of Change, an original documentary theatre project that explores social issues in the local community; OUT@AsoloRep, Sarasota's premiere cultural series for connecting with and celebrating the LGBT community while supporting the arts; and Family Days, offering subsidized tickets for young people and family-friendly activities ($100,000).

3) Support for the Matching Challenge to grow our Endowment, thereby providing a reliable source of annual operating revenue for facilities, programmatic and administrative costs.

4) Individualized and programmatic support for the 36 graduate students who comprise the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.

Background Statement

Asolo Repertory Theatre’s roots can be traced back to 1959, when a small group of artists and Florida State University faculty shared the dream of beginning a professional theatre company in a flourishing gulf coast town known for its love of the arts. With hard work, the support of the Sarasota community, and the backing of a dedicated group of patrons, the dream became a reality. In 1960, FSU faculty began a summer acting company in Sarasota known as the Asolo Theatre Festival, and in 1965, the Festival became the first State Theatre of Florida; 1973 marked the inaugural year of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. By 1989, our organization had outgrown its original Ringling Museum campus facilities, and a new state-of-the-art performing arts center was built. The Dunfermline Opera House, purchased from Scotland, was constructed inside and named the Harold E. and Esther M. Mertz Theatre in honor of its benefactors.

Officially renamed in 2006, Asolo Repertory Theatre, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda M. DiGabriele, has achieved strong artistic and financial integrity, and is highly respected in the local and national communities. We have achieved this success through bold choices on-stage and off, the work of our dedicated board of directors and staff, and the generous support of our many donors and patrons. We have challenged our audiences to participate in the journey, and they have responded enthusiastically. A strong and mutually supportive relationship with Florida State University through the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training has created a unique collaboration offering myriad symbiotic benefits to each organization.

In 2012, Asolo Rep implemented a new Strategic Plan and embarked on a five year artistic initiative, the American Character Project, while simultaneously launching a renewed capital and endowment campaign, the Campaign for Excellence. As we enter this fifth and final season of the American Character Project, we are excited by the opportunity to make a strong artistic statement – and at the same time, to concentrate on the infrastructure that will allow Asolo Rep not only to maintain its recent growth but continue to explore new opportunities and strive for artistic excellence.

Each year, Asolo Rep offers the following performances and programs to the Sarasota community and beyond:

  • Eight to nine shows, including an opening straight-run Broadway-quality musical, five productions in rotating repertory in the Mertz Theatre and the Cook Theatre, and two additional straight-run shows at the end of the season
  • Four FSU/Asolo Conservatory shows, featuring the world-renowned MFA program’s second-year students
  • Inside Asolo Rep, Tuesday Talkbacks, Meet the Actors, Pre-Show Conversations and other public programs where theatregoers can engage with and learn from creative team members
  • The annual Unplugged Festival of New Plays, designed to showcase American theatre’s most talented new playwrights by presenting bare-bones staged readings
  • Faces of Change, an original documentary theatre project that empowers underrepresented community members to share their life experiences and socioeconomic perspectives in a staged reading of a group-authored play
  • Family Days, which provide families a delightful, activity-filled occasion to bring children to the theatre in conjunction with select performances; tickets, which include pre-show activities and entertainment, are offered at deeply-discounted family rates
  • Main Stages, a curriculum-based program that offers students a stellar introduction to the world of theatre through special matinee performances at Asolo Rep
  • New Stages, a statewide tour coordinated by Asolo Rep Education & Outreach staff and featuring third-year FSU/Asolo Conservatory actors, that brings live performances of condensed Shakespeare plays directly to schools and community centers throughout Florida
  • Kaleidoscope, Asolo Rep’s innovative Education & Outreach program that uses performing arts techniques to help youth and adults with disabilities cultivate and improve essential life skills
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
State Wide
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Tertiary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

On behalf of the Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Board of Directors, I am pleased to welcome you to our 58th season, the fifth and final year of our American Character Project.  This unique programming arc, devised by our creative Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards, has brought Asolo Rep great recognition in the national theatre community.  Locally, we have had the privilege of enjoying the many plays that reflect the special nature of America’s exceptional and ongoing effort to make a more perfect union.

Over the past four years, through musicals, comedies and dramas, we have examined many aspects of our history and society, from the grit and determination of our Founding Fathers in 1776—through to our present day society. The season begins with Guys and Dolls, which is the favorite of many and considered one of the best American musical comedies of all time. Next, as a sequel to last season’s All The Way, The Great Society continues Robert Schenkkan’s exploration of the turbulent years of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency and reminds us how the country has dealt with challenges such as the war in Vietnam. The play examines Johnson’s vision and implementation of a Great Society, which resulted in Medicare and many other social programs. The Originalist provides insight into one of America’s greatest jurists, Antonin Scalia, whose opinions continue to shape the country and influence the American character. These works explore two men whose visions do not necessarily coincide, but who, in their own ways, represent some of the many core characteristics of America past and present. The season continues to surprise with The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, a unique combination of physicality and comedy, which brings the audience directly into a wresting ring in the Cook Theatre.

These are just a few of the very special choices and treats we have in store for you this year. Take the opportunity to review our entire schedule for 2016-17-- I know you will appreciate the diverse lineup we are presenting this season. Please let us know what you think! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

During the past four seasons of the American Character Project, Asolo Rep has explored our national and individual roots, transformative historical and political events, and unique people who’ve each embodied a facet of the elusive concept of what it means to be “American.”

As we embark on the Project’s fifth season, this theatrical experiment – much like the country itself – continues to evolve. We’ve told amazing stories, but we’re acutely conscious that there are so many more to tell, and so many more voices that must be brought into the ongoing cultural dialogue.

This season’s shows are linked together by a series of larger than life personalities – from the colorful gangsters of Guys & Dolls, to the iconic political figures of The Great Society and The Originalist, the dynamic women at the heart of Born Yesterday and The Little Foxes, and the over-the-top sports heroes of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, not to mention the unforgettable beatniks who populate the world premiere musical Beatsville. While any character has the potential to be larger than life, those that truly are possess more than just big personalities. They’ve been molded by extraordinary circumstances and the scope of their stories is both universal and yet instantly, intimately relatable.

The plays and musicals of the American Character Project provide the means through which we examine who we are, where we are, when we are. But this collaborative journey would be incomplete without you, the audience. You are going to be thrilled, engaged and moved, and you will recognize yourselves in each of these shows.


Asolo Rep rotates performances of up to five productions simultaneously each week, allowing Sarasota’s annual influx of cultural tourists to sample a range of theatrical offerings over a short period of time. The 2016-17 season will be the 5th and final season of the American Character Project and will include: the Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls, directed and choreographed by Josh Rhodes; the second part of Robert Schenkkan's epic political saga, The Great Society; The Originalist, a judicial drama by John Strand; Born Yesterday, Garson Kanin's comic masterpiece; Lillian Hellman's exploration of family, greed, and revenge, The Little Foxes; Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; the world premiere of the musical Beatsville, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. 

Budget $6,244,858
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success

1) Continue to facilitate an artistic exploration of what it means to be American in this final season of our five-year American Character Project;

2) Continue to broaden our audience base by combining challenging new theatre works with long-running Broadway successes and reinvented classics;
3) Bolster Asolo Rep’s national reputation as one of the country's preeminent regional theatres, and as a creative springboard for new and nascent theatrical productions, through press and marketing strategies that focus on a wide variety of media, including social media;

4) Offer nine months of artistic programming, thereby benefiting the community well beyond the end of “peak” tourist season; and

5) Maximize the technical capabilities of our costume shop and our set design production at the Robert and Beverly Koski Production Center.

Long Term Success

Asolo Rep’s long-term vision of success is to enrich lives through compelling theatrical experiences created in a collaborative and adventurous environment against an institutional backdrop of cultural inclusiveness, effective communication, ethical behavior, highest artistic standards, innovation, commitment and fearlessness.


Program Success Monitoring

1) The Producing Artistic Director selects shows each season that are sure to interest and intrigue audiences throughout our nine months of artistic programming. Success is monitored through box office revenue and attendance figures, and by critical reviews.

2) The Managing Director, Director of Development and Production Manager, in collaboration with the Board of Directors, ensure the continued expansion of the theatre’s technical capabilities. Success is monitored through donations received for the Campaign for Excellence Capital and Endowment campaign for technical equipment and technology upgrades. 

3) The Director of Marketing and Public Relations Manager, in collaboration with Education and Outreach staff, are charged with sustaining and building community involvement and support for our work. Success is measured by securing and archiving critical reviews of our artistic programs, and by closely monitoring audience trends through information culled from online ticket purchases.

Program Success Examples

1) Last season, Asolo Rep presented shows and educational opportunities to over 120,000 individuals.

2) Approximately 600 volunteers donated nearly 30,000 hours of their time as ushers or other support staff in 2015-2016.

3) In February 2014, leading industry publication American Theatre magazine highlighted Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director, Michael Donald Edwards, in a full length feature about the American Character Project.

4) Overall audience attendance to Asolo Rep during 2013-2014 increased by 18% over the previous season.

5) Asolo Rep received the 2015 WEDU Be More Brilliant Award for our Scenic Studio’s 2013-2014 Production Season. Asolo Rep truly pushed the artistic envelope, maximizing creative capacity to mount several of the most technologically complex, visually stunning productions in our theatre’s 56-year history. The Grapes of Wrath transported audiences from the farmlands of Dust Bowl Oklahoma to California in a working, to-scale Model T Ford truck; actors swam in the Colorado River, constructed beneath the stage floor, and weathered a torrential onstage rainstorm. The set for Hero: The Musical, built to revolve 360 degrees onstage, truly surpassed the boundaries of creative imagination, and was as much a character in the production as any of the actors. Scene changes for Hero challenged production staff and stunned audiences; in one instance, a fully stocked comic book store was emptied of its contents in under a minute as the stage revolved. In addition to its work for Asolo Rep, the Scenic Studio served our community by building phenomenal sets for the Sarasota Ballet and other arts organizations throughout Florida and in New York.

Asolo Rep’s Access to the Arts initiative ensures that Florida youth benefit from an education that integrates theatre arts into other learning areas. Asolo Rep offers a range of programs designed by our education specialists to help students meet Next Generation Sunshine State Standards and develop essential life skills: critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation. Access to the Arts is comprised of two initiatives geared towards middle and high school students: Main Stages, which bring students to the theatre, and Shakespeare On Tour, which takes theatre on the road to schools and community centers throughout the state. Both programs feature customized educational tools including teacher training, workshops, print and online study guides, and post-show discussions. Contact Kathryn Moroney at or (941) 351-9010 ext. 3320 for scheduling inquiries.

Budget $153,954
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater Arts Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success

1) Serve a wide constituency of youth, with an emphasis on reaching underserved groups throughout our region.

2) Provide access to the theatre’s Main Stages and Shakespeare On Tour programs through subsidized tickets and/or free school performances for schools throughout our region.

3) Maintain excellent liaison relationships with school administrators and teachers. 

4) Provide experiences that are personally meaningful and educationally rich for Florida students through exposure to the performing arts.  

Long Term Success

Both Main Stages and Shaekespeare On Tour are designed to welcome students into the mesmerizing world of live theatre and to supplement their experience with professional insights into each production, cultivating in them a deep appreciation for the arts. Asolo Rep’s artistic leadership carefully selects works that represent the best in theatrical literature and make history, social and political events, and all aspects of the human and American character come to life. Asolo Rep also seeks to provide first-rate tools for teachers to convey required knowledge and skills about the literary arts, theatre and social studies in conjunction with performances. Students are asked to respond to themes and ideas, thereby building critical thinking and interpretive skills that can be difficult to teach but applicable and relevant to many academic subjects and careers. 

Program Success Monitoring

1) Education & Outreach staff monitor the number of students, teachers, schools and venues that participate in each program through ticket counts, audience counts, and completed contracts with schools and venues.

2) Education & Outreach staff distribute and collect student and teacher questionnaires, which monitor student and teacher exposure to the theatre and gauge their appreciation and understanding of the production and how it relates to Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. 

Program Success Examples

1) In 2013-2014, for the first time in Main Stages history, students from every single high school in Sarasota County attended at least one student matinee performance; a total of six performances at Asolo Rep were attended by 2,275 students from throughout the region.

2) Last season, nearly 600 students were surveyed after participating in Access to the Arts. Of those surveyed, over 60 percent indicated they had never or rarely seen live theatre, and after attending an Access to the Arts performance, nearly 90 percent said they would like to see more. Access to the Arts continues to seek to address this deficiency. 

3) In February 2012, Asolo Rep’s Access to the Arts program won WEDU’s “Be More…Enriched Arts & Culture Award” for culturally-based organizations that contribute to the spirit of adventure and exploration through education in the arts, and bring rich and engaging experiences to audiences who might not otherwise have opportunities to witness or be an active participant.

Our mutually supportive partnership with FSU has fostered the Conservatory's development as one of the most unique programs of its kind in the country. Being based at Asolo Rep is the Conservatory's competitive advantage in attracting top talent; twelve students are selected annually from over 1,000 applicants nationwide, and Asolo Rep works diligently to secure all funding for the Conservatory’s Student Fellowship and London-based study abroad programs. In addition to their classes, Conservatory students’ rigorous three-year program includes:  understudy, backstage and front-of-house work for the mainstage company in their first year; a four-production season in the Cook Theatre in their second year followed by a six-week summer study program in London, and a regional tour in their third year before becoming mainstage company members, performing a variety of roles throughout the season. 

Budget $323,058
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater Arts Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults
Short Term Success

Demonstration of students’ achievements through performances in the four-show Conservatory season, on the New Stages tour, and alongside Asolo Rep actors in the annual repertory season.

Long Term Success

The unparalleled opportunities to perform on stage allow every FSU/Asolo Conservatory student to graduate with Actors Equity eligibility. Over the past three decades, the Conservatory has produced actors that work on New York stages, in regional theatre houses and national tours, and in feature films. They also have appeared on television in such productions as 24, Without a Trace, CSI: Miami, Boardwalk Empire, Glee, and General Hospital.

Program Success Monitoring

1) Similar to the Rep season, the Conservatory’s four production season and their touring productions are measured by box office revenue, attendance figures and critical reviews.

2) As a graduate educational institution through Florida State University, FSU/Asolo Conservatory is measured both for the quality of students and faculty it attracts and for the degree to which its alumnae go on to successful careers.  
Program Success Examples

1) FSU/Asolo Conservatory collaboration represents one of the few conservatory programs in this country operating in direct partnership with a major professional theatre. 

2) The FSU/Asolo Conservatory graduate training program has been recognized in U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and The New York Times. The first has lauded this program as being one of the top 10 actor training programs in the U.S.

Asolo Rep's Kaleidoscope program seeks to celebrate the unique voice, perspective and creative expression of people with disabilities in our community through the performing arts. In partnership with Community Haven, Bayshore High School, Oak Park School and Easter Seals of Southwest Florida, the Kaleidoscope process creates a safe and supportive environment in which participants are encouraged to make bold choices, assert their opinions and engage in acts of self-discovery while practicing verbal and physical forms of expression. Under the guidance of Asolo Rep teaching-artists-in-residence, participants work collaboratively to create and rehearse a performance piece that is all their own, guided by an overarching theme tied to one of Asolo Rep's main stage productions. This sense of ownership cultivates pride and a deep sense of accomplishment as the program culminates in a final performance uniquely authored and presented to the greater community by the artists of Kaleidoscope.
Budget $31,533
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater Arts Instruction
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Short Term Success

At the start of each Kaleidoscope season, Asolo Rep teaching artists meet with human services staff at each partnering organization to get acquainted with the new and existing clients at each location and develop troupe-specific outcome measurements. Examples of individualized troupe achievements may include learning how emotions can be channeled and appropriately expressed; improving self-advocacy, concentration, and observation skills; and improving physical range through movement.

Long Term Success

1) Access to arts education and participation in live theatre has been shown to open up new worlds for people with disabilities, both in terms of their overall capacity for learning and in terms of competence in essential life skills.

2) In this arts-rich community, all people—regardless of ability—deserve the opportunity to experience the performing arts. Through Kaleidoscope, a unique segment of our community is given an artistic voice; participants unleash their inner talents, gaining pride and a heightened sense of self-esteem.
Program Success Monitoring
1) Number of adults and students with disabilities involved at each organization and overall - at least 50 adult and students with disabilities will participate overall in Kaleidoscope; this is consistent with last season's total of 49 participants.
2) Number of partnering organizations' staff contributing to the project - at least 15 staff members of partnering organizations; last season, 18 partner organization staff members contributed to the project.
3) Number of volunteers contributing to the project - at least 8 volunteers will contribute; this is consistent with last season's total of 8 volunteers.
4) Number of Asolo Rep Education & Outreach and technical staff contributing to the project - at least 10 Asolo Rep Education & Outreach and technical staff will contribute; last season, 14 Asolo Rep Education & Outreach and technical staff contributed.
5) Number of attendees at the culminating final performance in May - at least 300 individuals will attend the final performance in May; this is consistent with last season's total of 326 audience members.
Program Success Examples
The Kaleidoscope process has a transformative impact on the lives of participants. Of the 49 artists who comprised last year's cast of Kaleidoscope superheroes, the progress of two participants was particularly remarkable: 
"Eric showed astounding flexibility and teamwork as the rehearsal process progressed. After we crafted the story for our script, Eric wanted to play Terrifying T-Rex. Because of his verbal skills and ability to focus, we needed him to play the Narrator. He committed to this role for the sake of the team, learning to love and take pride in it. However, on the day of the performance, one of our actors was out sick. Eric immediately volunteered to play whatever role necessary to help the ensemble be successful. We were only able to walk through Eric's new role as the Bus Driver one time before the show. Despite his fear and nerves, he performed with passionate confidence! This moment demonstrated how Eric's perspective on collaboration and teamwork had grown immensely over the course of the Kaleidoscope process."
"Nagi joined our Kaleidoscope group in the third week of rehearsal, which was his first day of school at Oak Park. None of the teachers or staff knew much about Nagi, except that he was nonverbal. Throughout most of the process, he participated with physical choices. When it came time to assign roles, Nagi was half of our Two-Headed Tiger. He physically, and often comically, captured the role. We suggested a tiger "roar" sound effect to help Nagi and audience be "in the moment" during his scene. To everyone's surprise, on the day of the performance Nagi used his voice for the first time anyone had heard since meeting him! He "roared" loud enough for the entire audience to hear -- it was such a great success for him!"
Faces of Change is an original documentary theatre project that gives a voice to those who often go unheard or are underrepresented in the greater Sarasota-Manatee area. We collaborate with individuals, neighborhood groups and local organizations to craft an original play that empowers community members to share their unique life experiences and socioeconomic perspectives. The culmination is a staged reading of a group-authored play in which the participants, as performers, take the spotlight to tell their stories. Each season, Faces of Change is thematically connected to one of Asolo Rep’s main stage plays, and for the 2015-16 season we are asking the question, "How does faith both unite and divide us in the United States in 2016?"
Budget $21,320
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success Asolo Rep is firmly committed to extending the reach of our artistic endeavors beyond the lobby doors, and to making the world of live theatre inclusively accessible for people of all backgrounds. To this end, Faces of Change is among Asolo Rep’s most impactful community outreach initiatives. Roughly 90% of the community members who share stories or contribute interviews come from economically disadvantaged, low income backgrounds, with the balance of participants connecting to the program through their roles as caseworkers and social service providers.
Long Term Success Faces of Change is an education and outreach initiative unlike any other in the region, crossing the boundaries of arts and social services. Our greater Sarasota community is home to many members in need, and many others with the great desire to do good. Local philanthropic and humanitarian organizations work with individuals and families in crisis to cultivate skills, develop confidence and identify new opportunities, while also raising the visibility of their constituents’ challenges and concerns. In partnership with such organizations, Faces of Change provides participants an empowering collaborative experience, and functions as a platform for sharing issues and questions with a broader public audience. Empathetic understanding of our fellow human beings is the nexus of our storytelling, and theatre is an arena where we may look at ourselves both as we are and as we wish to be. Documentary-style theatre, in particular, removes the veil of fiction and conveys stories with immediacy and impact, because the stories come from and are performed for our very own community. Asolo Rep is proud to offer Faces of Change as both a process and culminating project that harnesses our creative expertise to amplify the voices of those who far too often go unheard.
Program Success Monitoring Asolo Rep’s Education and Outreach Department evaluates the success of Faces of Change both quantitatively (audience attendance) and qualitatively (impact on participants, post-show conversations, cultivation of ongoing community partnerships). 
Program Success Examples
Sample participant feedback from Faces of Change includes:
“I realized how important it is that I share my story. I heard myself speaking about the challenges I’m overcoming in my life, and it just hit me: I need to share my story so that other young people confronting similar obstacles can learn from my mistakes and successes. I am a better person because of Faces of Change. And I know that now my community is more aware, and more equipped to truly hear one another.” 
“I still cannot believe how lucky I've been to be part of Faces of Change. All the opportunities that have come my way, all the people I've met! This project, this time, is going to stand out as one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you for letting me a part of it.” 
“Faces of Change gives us a hands-on way to actively transform our community.”
“I had an awesome experience with Faces of Change. The whole group was very open minded about the subject we were discussing. Many people have different perspectives and opinions about immigration, but this project showed that at least for some minutes, we can put that aside, see ourselves in each other, and work together.”
“Faces of Change: Growing America meant to me a retrospective look at 30+ years as an immigrant in America. Finding out my experience was similar to the other members of the community, where we try to do our best to assimilate to a different culture, language and lifestyle and we succeed at the end.”
“Faces of Change is the most important and impactful piece of theatre I have ever been in. Rather than offering mere entertainment, the project inspired much needed debate in the community and put human faces on a monumental problem. It was inspiring to work with so many talented, passionate people and to see the effect that we had on the community. It is an experience I will never forget.”
Program Comments by Organization

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Michael Donald Edwards
CEO Term Start July 2006
CEO/Executive Director Email
Experience Michael Donald Edwards (Producing Artistic Director) is entering his twelfth season as Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Repertory Theatre. He was previously the Associate Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage and served as Artistic Director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. A Garland Award and Drama Logue Award-winning director, Mr. Edwards has directed at Cleveland Play House, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre, Syracuse Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre, San Jose Rep, Opera San Jose, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Old Globe in San Diego, Virginia Stage Company, the Virginia Opera, the Stage Theatre of South Australia, Opera Australia, Victoria State Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera. In previous seasons for Asolo Rep, Mr. Edwards has directed:  Disgraced; Our Betters; The Grapes of Wrath; Clybourne Park; My Brilliant Divorce; his English adaptation as well as Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz's Spanish translation of Shakespeare's text in Hamlet, Prince of Cuba;  Las Meninas; La Bete; The Last Five years; The Life of Galileo; Perfect Mendacity; The Winter's Tale; Equus; A Tale of Two Cities; Darwin in Malibu; Nobody Don't Like Yogi; Amadeus; The Smell of the Kill; and several pieces in Asolo Rep's annual Unplugged Festival of new plays. 
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Ms. Kelly Borgia Production Stage Manager
Ms. Corinne G. Deckard General Manager
Ms. Linda DiGabriele Managing Director
Mr. Gary Keehner Finance/Human Resources Director
Ms. Judith Lambert Marketing Director
Mr. Vic Meyrich Production Manager
Ms. Tricia Mire Development Director
Ms. Kathryn Moroney Education & Outreach Director
Ms. Lauryn Sasso Casting & Dramaturgy Associate
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 53
Part Time Staff 37
Staff Retention Rate % 95
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 123
Volunteers 600
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

Florida State University

University of Florida

New College of Florida

Sarasota Opera

Sarasota Orchestra

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Sarasota Ballet

Circus Sarasota, Inc.

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center


The Glenridge Performing Arts Center

Sunnyside Retirement Village

Community Haven for Adults and Children with Disabilities

Easter Seals of Southwest Florida, Inc.

Bayshore High School

Oak Park School 

Braden River High School

North Port High School

Pine View School

Manatee School for the Arts

Suncoast Polytechnical School

Booker Middle School

H.B. Plant High School

Bishop Verot Academy

Academy of the Holy Names

State College of Florida Collegiate School

St. John's Episcopal School

Sarasota Military Academy

Riverivew HS (Riverview, FL)

Edison Collegiate School

Clearwater High School

St. Petersburg Catholic High School

The Out-of-door Academy

Riverview High School (Sarasota, FL)

R. Dan Nolan Middle School

Shorecrest Preparatory School

Island Village Montessori School

Venice High School

Charlotte High School

Port Charlotte High School

Lemon Bay High School

Lakewood Ranch High School

Southeast High School

Clearwater Central Catholic High School

Sarasota High School

C. Leon King High School

Manatee High School

Florida State University Schools (Florida High)

AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2012
Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce2012
Manatee Chamber of Commerce2012
Venice Area Chamber of Commerce2012
League of Resident Theatres2012
Theatre Communications Group2012
Actor's Equity Association2012
United Scenic Artists2012
Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2012
Manatee County Cultural Alliance2012
Stage Directors and Choreographers2012
National Endowment for the Arts - Partner2011
Stage Directors and Choreographers
United Scenic Artists
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Be More Awards 2012, "Be More...Enriched" Arts and Culture AwardWEDU2012
Best of 2012 Awards, "Best New Ways to Cultivate Young Audiences" Editor's PickSarasota Magazine2012
Best of 2012 Awards, "Best Performing Arts Group" WinnerSarasota Magazine2012
Arts Leadership Awards, Recipient: Warren CovilleArts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2012
Tony Award Nomination, Laura Osnes for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical for Bonnie & ClydeAmerican Theatre Wing2012
Tony Award Nomination, Jeremy Jordan for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical for Newsies.American Theatre Wing2012
Tony Award Nomination, Jeff Calhoun for Best Direction of a Musical for NewsiesAmerican Theatre Wing2012
Tony Award Nomination, Tobin Ost for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for NewsiesAmerican Theatre Wing2012
Tony Award Nomination, Jeff Croiter for Best Lighting Design of a Play for Peter and the Starcatcher.American Theatre Wing2012
Tony Award Nomination, Judy Kaye for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Nice Work if You Can Get ItAmerican Theatre Wing2012
Arts Leadership Award - Philanthropy, Recipients: Bob and Lee PetersonArts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2012
Arts Leadership Award - Volunteer, Recipients: John and Mary OlhaArts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2012
Arts Leadership Award - Artistic Achievement, Recipient: Michael Donald EdwardsArts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County2012
Visionary Award, Recipient: Michael Donald Edwards for being the visionary who first brought a complete William Shakespeare play in Spanish to U.S. theatre, Hamlet: Prince of CubaUnidosNow2012
"Be More...Enriched" Award, Arts and Culture, for KaleidoscopeWEDU2013
WEDU Be More Brilliant AwardWEDU2015
Voice for Equality Award, Michael Donald Edwards for Asolo Rep's Out@Asolo programEquality Florida2015
Unity Awards-Arts Winner, Michael Donald Edwards for Asolo Rep's Out@AsoloRep programBiz9412016
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted Apr 2013
Management Succession Plan Yes
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 No
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Larry Haspel
Company Affiliation Dedicated Volunteer
Board Term July 2016 to June 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
PATRICIA ANDERSON Asolo Rep Theatre Guild
CHARLES BARANCIK Barancik Foundation
MARY BRAXTON-JOSEPH Retired Journalist
DENNIS DIRKS Retired Finance
MS. LESLIE GLASS Author/Filmmaker
SEYMOUR GOLDBLATT Dedicated Volunteer
MR. RICK GOMEZ Northern Trust
RUTH KREINDLER Dedicated Volunteer
FLORA MAJOR Dedicated Volunteer
MELANIE NATARAJAN Water Management Executive
ANNA NEKORANEC Financial Services
PAUL NELSON Ohio University Dean, Retired
CAROL PHILLIPS Community Volunteer
JULES PRICE Innovative Dining
JIM ROQUE SunTrust Private Wealth Management
NIKKI SEDACCA 530 Burns Gallery
SCOTT SHAMP Interim Dean, FSU College of Fine Arts
STEPHANIE SHAW Sotheby's Premier Realty
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 59
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 23
Female 38
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Board Meeting Attendance % 68
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 85
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 15
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $9,828,291.00
Projected Expenses $9,828,291.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Spending Policy Income plus capital appreciation
Endowment Spending Policy % 0.0375
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign Yes
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose Make investments in essential facilities and capital infrastructure, grow endowment to protect these facilities investments and to provide annual operating revenue.
Campaign Goal $38,000,000.00
Campaign Dates Jan 2009 to June 2020
Amount Raised To Date 33000000 as of Mar 2017
IRS Form 990s
990 Extension2016
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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$171,792$236,990$124,871
Individual Contributions$6,326,939$4,700,318$4,703,792
Investment Income, Net of Losses($178,873)$467,648$205,306
Membership Dues$0$19,945$0
Special Events$337,796$286,074$293,558
Revenue In-Kind$0$771,156$744,956
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$8,545,562$6,709,679$6,407,243
Administration Expense$2,192,942$1,114,324$1,074,647
Fundraising Expense$0$559,750$488,938
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.261.301.30
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%80%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%11%10%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$25,879,329$22,742,455$19,652,190
Current Assets$19,835,698$16,684,661$15,727,075
Long-Term Liabilities$0$1,435,716$1,900,001
Current Liabilities$3,926,389$2,163,311$1,400,986
Total Net Assets$21,952,940$19,143,428$16,351,203
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $6,326,939Contributions, gifts, grants $4,700,318Contributions, gifts, grants $4,703,792
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountResident Session $6,111,272Resident Season $4,331,517Resident Season $4,367,616
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOther $614,761Scene & Costume Shops $459,302Scene & Costume Shops $323,975
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $175,001 - $200,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.057.7111.23
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%6%10%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the IRS Form 990 or audit.  Financial figures are taken from the 990.  IRS Form 990 and audit are reconciled.  Financial information for 2016 were taken solely from the audited financial statements as the Federal tax return was not available at time of review.
Nonprofit Asolo Theater Inc
Address 5555 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL
Phone 941 351-9010

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