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Live Oak Theatre Season Preview

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Thespians and drama fans of all ages will find much to love about the Live Oak Theatre’s upcoming programs and productions. The theatre is presenting a special encore of its popular seasonal “Flex Pass” ticket program for its 2022-2023 season. From The Sound of Music to Singin’ in the Rain, this new season promises a bright array of family entertainment.

The flex pass program, offered in lieu of season tickets, permits patrons to purchase multiple passes at a discounted price. These passes can be used to gain admittance to both the main stage productions and the Acorn Theatre youth theatre productions – as well as Live Oak concerts and events.

“Most season passes require the buyer to buy a package of shows and to pick a specific date,” said Vince Vanni, Live Oak spokesman. “Because we are an intimate theatre, we are able to have more flexibility in allowing pass holders to choose the dates and the shows they want to see.” However, each pass may only be used by one individual per production.

Live Oak Theatre Company (LOT) is a not-for-profit 501 (C) (3) repertory company of local artists, located at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville.

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Ticket options for the 2022-2023 season at Live Oak Theatre include Main Stage production individual tickets, available for $25 for adults, $10 for children 13 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket; Acorn Theatre individual production tickets, available at $20 for adults, $10 for children 13 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket; and Live Oak Flex Passes, available for 2 admissions at $40 for adults, $15 for children 13 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket, 4 admissions at $75 for adults, $25 for children 13 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket. Other Live Oak concerts and events covered by Flex passes include the popular IMPROV Nights, which display the vibrant improvisational talents of students at the Live Oak Conservatory.

The next IMPROV Night will be celebrated on Friday, July 29, at 7:30 pm at the Carol & Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville. Doors open at 7 pm Tickets are $10 when purchased in advance, 24 hours before the show they will increase to $15. Concessions will be available for purchase before the show and during intermission. “Join us for a night of family friendly unpredictability, laughter, and joy as our Live Oak Conservatory’s Improv Troupe takes the stage to create a show that no one has seen before, nor will anyone ever see again,” Vanni reports. “All games, all skits, all our actors’ choices will be inspired by you, the public.”

The 2022-2023 season will include Main Stage Productions like Murder on the Orient Express, the Agatha Christie mystery classic, to be presented late September to early October 2022. “It’s been a while since we have done a non-musical. However, Katie Marra, the director of “Murder on the Orient Express,” seems to have a strong handle on it,” said Vanni. “She and I have discussed it. I am a big fan of Agatha Christie myself.”

Also coming up on the main stage is the musical classic The Sound of Music. the Live Oak interpretation of the stirring, inspirational true story that has known various incarnations as a book, a stage musical, and a popular 1965 motion picture starring Julie Andrews, to be performed late March to early April.

“We have been trying to secure the rights to Sound of Music for some time, but there has always been a conflict with other groups. Kris Mitten will direct and I will handle the dramatic and characterizations,” said Vanni. “She and I have collaborated on “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.” We work well together… finish each other’s sentences… as Andi Garner and I did in “Newsies.’”

Acorn Theatre Musical Productions will include Tuck Everlasting, scheduled for November 2022. Produced as a book, film and Broadway play, Tuck is the story of a girl who must choose between an ordinary upbringing with her family–or a life of paranormal adventure with a clan of immortals. “Tuck Everlasting is a students’ favorite,” said Vanni. “They asked to do it.”

Also at Acorn Singin’ in the Rain, Jr. will be performed, this is a kid-friendly variation on the timeless 1950s musical comedy film starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds later adapted as a Broadway and West End musical–will be presented May 2023.

“The other Acorn Théâtre production (Singin’ in the Rain) will be a real opportunity for the kids to show off their ability to be triple threats,” said Vanni. More concerts and events will be added as time and restrictions allow, for which flex passes may not qualify. Elsewhere at Live Oak, registration is now open for Acorn Theatre, Live Oak Conservatory’s Youth Theatre Program.

Intended for students ages 8-18, the Acorn Theatre performance class meets to rehearse 4-6 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The class runs in eight to twelve-week periods with 6 or 8 performances staged at the culmination of each term. The Acorn Theatre produces and performs two shows each year as well as participates in Brooksville’s annual Tree Lighting. “We combine all the performing arts, not just dance or voice or acting, but all other art forms, like visual arts and musical instruments,” said Vince Vanni, Live Oak spokesperson.

The Acorn Theatre production team is composed of rotating directors/instructors assisted by a team of apprentices in the areas of stage manager, assistant director, costumes, choreography, lighting, sound, music and set design. Parent volunteers are always welcome to participate. Acorn Theatre apprentices are selected from regular performers of Live Oak who have “grown up” on the theatre stage. They assume leadership roles in the production and mentor Youth Theatre pupils. “We have been doing this for so long now that we are able to graduate so many students to leadership and instructor positions,” said Vanni.

For more information about the Live Oak Theatre Company, or to reserve seating or Flex passes, email [email protected] , call 352-593-0027, or go to www.LiveOakTheatre.org.

“Imagine your favorite leader. someone who really inspires you,” said Vanni. “Then imagine where you see them. Invariably, they are out in front of a large group of people, with complete confidence in themselves. They are out there solving problems creatively and inspiring people. That’s what we are doing here!”

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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