World premiere production of "Wednesday's Child"

Florida Studio Theatre proudly presents the world premiere production of Mark St. Germain’s “Wednesday’s Child,” a dramatic new play that explores motherhood, passion, and the thin line between right and wrong.

“Wednesday’s Child” runs until May 24 in FST’s Gompertz Theatre.

“I asked Mark (St. Germain) to write a play about the issues we don’t see on the American stage,” said Richard Hopkins, FST’s Producing Artistic Director. “Not political issues, but human issues. I was tired of the talking heads on TV debating the same narrow margins and ideologies. We need a much wider discussion on the controversial subjects that polarize our nation.”

Closing out FST’s 45th Mainstage Season, “Wednesday’s Child” centers on Susan and Martin Merrit, a young couple who are unable to have a child on their own. So they hire a college student, Becca Connor, to serve as their surrogate. When Becca is found dead, a police investigation explodes the lives of everyone who knew her. Just as detectives begin to put the pieces together, secrets surface, alibis weaken and lies are uncovered.

“In St. Germain’s characters, we hear, love, loss, and the prices one must pay for having or not having children, explained Kate Alexander, Director of Wednesday’s Child. “Never have I witnessed a play in which the women and the men express what it means to try to have a child, and the pathos they experience when the outcome does not fit in with their dreams.”

FST has been working with playwright Mark St. Germain for two years to develop “Wednesday’s Child.” The play was part of FST’s 2018 Richard and Betty Burdick Reading Series, a facet of its New Play Development program, which grants the public a first look at some of the country’s top plays in process. After an additional year of development, the play is returning to Sarasota’s Contemporary Theatre, this time on the Mainstage. Those who attended the staged reading last May called it “Powerful,” “Strong” and “Wonderful.”

“Wednesday’s Child” owes its existence to Florida Studio Theatre,” shared St. Germain. “There have been many readings over several years. I think it has gotten better with each reading, and the audience’s input in discussions following each one has been very helpful.”

Mark St. Germain is a member of FST’s Playwrights Collective and has authored more than 15 plays and musicals that have been produced across the country. FST has produced six of St. Germain’s plays and was instrumental in the development of his works, “Relativity and Dancing Lessons.” St. Germain has worked in television and film, and wrote the award-wining children’s book Three Cups. He is an Associate Artist at Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts, and received the William Inge Festival New Voices Award in 2001.

Bringing St. Germain’s words to life is a strong ensemble of FST newcomers as well as some familiar faces. Returning to the Gompertz Mainstage are Brooke Benson as Becca Connor (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”), Rachel Moulton as Susan Merrit (“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” “Honor Killing,” “Heisenberg”) and Alicia Taylor Tomasko as Detective Aleece Valez (“Native Gardens”).

New to Florida Studio Theatre are Susann Fletcher as lawyer Molly Strutt, Duke Lafoon as archaeologist Martin Merrit, Heather Michele Lawler as Professor Sam Sutton, and David Smilow as Detective Walt Dixon. Fletcher has been seen on Broadway and on tour in “The Full Monty,” and played Dolly Tate in the first national tour of “Annie Get Your Gun,” for which she was nominated for a National Theatre Broadway Award. Lafoon recently starred as Bruce in Virginia Rep’s production of “Fun Home, Howie in Cadence Theatre’s Rabbit Hole” and “Goodspeed Musicals’ A Wonderful Life.” Lawler was featured as Goneril in “King Lear” at Kansas City Actors Theatre and Marianne in “Sense and Sensibility” at Crooked Path Theatre. Smilow is an actor and a writer that has taken on Heisenberg in Copenhagen, Aleksandr Vladimirovich Serebryakov in “Uncle Vanya” and Orgon in “Tartuffe.”

Single tickets range from $29-39 and can be purchased online at floridastudiotheatre.org or by phone at 941-366-9000. Florida Studio Theatre’s Gompertz Theatre is located at 1241 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota.

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