After opening its season with the fun, frothy rock 'n' roll revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe," which runs through Jan. 3, Florida Studio Theatre gets serious with the regional premiere of Mark St. Germain's "The Best of Enemies."
A drama about desegregation, the play has a final preview performance today, officially opens Friday and runs through Jan. 27.
Inspired by Osha Gray Davis' book of the same name, "The Best of Enemies" is based on the true story of a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan pitted against an African-American Civil Rights activist over the desegregation of schools in 1971.
The cast includes returning FST actors Sheffield Chastain, Stephanie Weeks and Kevyn Morrow. New to FST, Amanda Duffy rounds out the cast.
Sheffield Chastain previously appeared on the FST stage in "Around the World in 80 Days" and "The Savannah Disputation." Additionally, he has appeared in film and television roles as well as on Broadway in "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" and "Is He Dead?"
Playwright Mark St. Germain, whose many writing credits also include the play "Camping With Henry And Tom" (Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards), will be on-site at FST during the course of the production. He'll be working with FST students, interns and apprentices as well as participating in audience enrichment programs.
Details: Dec. 5- Jan. 27, Florida Studio Theatre's Gompertz Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. Tickets: $18-$36. Information: 941-366-9000 or www.floridastudiotheatre.org.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057.