While summer will probably forever be associated with frothy, blockbuster films and not much by way of stage shows in Florida, the Banyan Theater Company continues to produce intelligent plays during the hottest months of the year.
The Sarasota troupe's 12th season again features three works by contemporary playwrights performed in the Jane B. Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
The selections are Tina Howe's "Painting Churches," French dramatis Gerald Sibleyras' "Heroes," translated by Tom Stoppard; and Donald Margulies' "Time Stands Still."
"Painting Churches" by Tina Howe, June 27-July 14:
The 1984 Pulitzer Prize drama finalist "Painting Churches" finds a daughter, Mags, having to care for her elderly parents Gardner and Fanny Church as they are preparing to relocate from their Boston house to their summer cottage on Cape Cod. Gardner, once a famous poet, is now retired and slipping in and out of senility. Mags, who hopes to finally paint their portrait, is on the verge of artistic celebrity.
"Heroes" by Gerald Sibleyras, translated by Tom Stoppard, July 18-Aug. 4:
Sibleyras' acclaimed 2003 French comedy, translated into English by Stoppard in 2005, focuses on three World War I veterans -- Henri, Gustave and Phillippe -- spending days in a military hospital engaging in verbal battles of long-forgotten military campaigns, complaining about the staff and examining their lives. Their friendship becomes strained, though, when Gustave hatches an escape plan.
"Time Stands Still" by Donald Margulies, Aug. 8-25:
Margulies' most recent success ran on Broadway for a year starting in January of 2010, earning Tony Award nominations for Best Play and Best Actress in a Play (Laura Linney). The drama focuses on Sarah and James, a photojournalist and a foreign correspondent trying to find happiness in a world that seems to have gone crazy.
Details: The Banyan Theater Company performs in the Jane B. Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. A three-show subscription costs $70; a two-show package is $52; and single tickets are $28.50. Information: 941-358-5330 or www.banyantheatercompany.com.
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057.Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.