Kaity Cairo Named Inaugural Sam Mossler Memorial Scholar
Kaity Cairo was named the inaugural Sam Mossler Memorial Scholarship winner and will receive a check for more than $5,000 to assist with her post-secondary goals. Kaity is headed to CalArts to pursue theatre.
VPA Theatre alum Sam Mossler (c/o ’93) died suddenly of an apparent heart attack in October 2020; his legacy was enormous, although he only lived to the age of 45.
As a theatre artist, Sam was an accomplished actor, playwright, and teacher who created throughout his lifetime across a number of mediums. He was a critic’s darling of Sarasota, having grown up on its stages, and created a following who loved to witness him perform, as well as people who just loved to be in his benevolent and sage presence.
His career briefly took him to both NYC and LA, but he eventually found his way back to Sarasota, where he worked as an actor and teacher at FST.
Friends of Sam remember him as passionate and compassionate, a man of brilliant writing and insight, a person of impeccable eloquence with much to say, and yet an active and engaged listener.
The scholarship was created as a labor of love by Mossler’s former classmates and lifelong friends Jay Duval (c/o ’92) and David DeWald (c/o ’91), who convened a committee including other VPA alum and Mossler’s family. Florida Studio Theatre, a home of Sam’s, also has created a scholarship in his name.
The application comprised writing, performance and an interview, and the committee found Kaity to be impressive, visionary, hilarious, honest, and creative and expressive to the core, all qualities she shares with the scholarship’s namesake.
The scholarship committee will present Kaity with the award at the premiere performance of “Kingdom of Solitaire” on April 23. The committee hopes to continue the scholarship in perpetuity. To learn more about Sam Mossler, his life, career, philosophy and legacy, check out the website named after one of his mantras, keepevolvingplease.com.
“Circle of Truth” Tickets Now Available to Public
Tickets are now available to the general public for the Dance and Music collaboration, ”Circle of Truth,” which runs April 16 and 17 at 6:30 pm. The event, which will be held outside, is conceived as a theatre-in-the-round-performance.
In a time in history when the notion of truth itself has been made to seem malleable, “Circle of Truth” examines the meaning and value of honesty.
The concert will feature dance performance in a range of styles—modern, hip hop, Flamenco, ballet, and Afro-modern—along with pieces by student choreographers.
Music selections include John Lennon’s “Imagine”, The Beatles’s “Yesterday”, and J. David Moore’s “Will the Circle be Unbroken.” Category 5, Tempest, and JetStream will be featured, along with other vocal ensembles.
This marks the first live dance performance of the year, after tropical storm Eta forced the cancelation of “Under the Willow.” Plans for relocating “Circle of Truth” are in place in case of inclement weather.
Purchase tickets here!
“Kingdom of Solitaire”: Tickets Available
Tickets are now available to the Theatre Department’s only musical of the season, “Kingdom of Solitaire.” The show will run April 24 and 25 at 6:30 pm, with a matinee performance at 10:30 am on April 24.
This new musical, written by our very own Scott Keys (book & lyrics) and Johnnie Mnich (score), will be the final musical directed by Scott Keys during his tenure on the VPA Theatre faculty.
“Kingdom of Solitaire” examines arbitrary divisions, using a deck of cards and its suits as a metaphor for our fractured society. The story follows Dex, the self-proclaimed “King of Solitaire,” as he sets about to unify the shattered world. In the bargain, Dex learns the value of embracing differences and what it means to belong.
Purchase tickets here!
VPA Film & Animation Makes Headlines
The stunning accomplishment made by the Film & Animation department—having the documentary “Into the Storm” optioned to air on WEDU PBS—made headlines this week in The Observer.
Read that story here.
The documentary premieres this Thursday, April 15, at 9:00 pm. Just before the premiere, at 8:30 pm, “Up Close with Cathy Unruh” will feature an interview with John Timpe, who spearheaded the film, along with filmmaker Lindsey Jennings, and film subject Fredd Atkins.
VPA Survey Vital for Schoolyear 21-22 Planning
The VPA is working with Guidance and scheduling to ensure course offerings reflect student choice. To that end, we sent out a short survey to all Remind contacts inquiring about intent to return to the VPA. So far of roughly 280 eligible families, only 33 have responded. Please help us ensure your students are placed where they would like to be next year. Complete the survey here. The average time to complete is 2 minutes.