Creativity in the Time of Covid–Jan. 16, 2022

Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright to Present at Booker

Celebrated playwright Paula Vogel.

Acclaimed Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Paula Vogel will conduct a masterclass, “Pen to Paper,” in the Courtyard at Booker High on Feb. 11. The event is a part of the Hermitage @ Booker series, made possible through our partnership with the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

Vogel, whose plays include “How I Learned to Drive” and “Indecent,” is among the most celebrated writers of our time. Theatre critic John Simon once remarked that she collects more awards than “a black sofa collects lint.” A Hermitage Fellow, Vogel has garnered the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lily Award, and the Thornton Wilder Prize, among countless others.

The workshop  offers an exploration of playwriting in which Paula and members of the audience will write a short play and work on writing exercises together. Registration is required. Do so here for the event at 5 p.m. on Feb. 11. Educators and students can use the code ‘student’ to waive the registration fee.

Theatre Juniors to Present Solo Works

Annie Morrison
Blake Walton

As part of a partnership with SaraSolo, the juniors conceive, write, and perform personal, affecting pieces. Those pieces will be performed in the O-Solo-Me-O festival Jan. 24 & 26.

SaraSolo founders Annie Morrison and Blake Walton visit the class weekly to help guide students through the development process of self-expression in writing and performing a personal story. Taking many forms including performance art, dance and movement, monologue, stand-up, fictional narrative, and cabaret, thee pieces are autobiographical represent a fictionalized aspect of themselves.

That months-long process culminates in a performance of the plays, which will be at Tree Fort Productions in the Westfield Plaza (Siesta Key). Here’s the performance schedule:

January 24 @ 7:30 p.m.

  • Judah Woomert
  • Bella Dorsett
  • Anika Pisz
  • Eabha Phelan
  • Kate Mobley-Tarpley
  • Owen Demaio
  • Alex Haggard
  • Grace McCarthy
  • Atticus Pratt
  • Jacquie Galvano

January 25 @ 7:30 p.m.

  • Roxy Gevas
  • Tyler Gevas
  • Alyssa Baker
  • Amanda Beall
  • Julia Grandpre
  • Tori Greenlaw
  • Leena Jarrar
  • Evelyn Pintus
  • Dylan Ramon
  • Claire Timney

Booker High School’s SPIN Night on the Horizon

Folks interested in learning more about the opportunities available at Booker High School are invited to the BHS SPIN Night, Feb. 3 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event is designed to allow prospective families the chance to learn about programs, meet staff, see the campus and its facilities, and get a feel for campus life at the school.

Referendum Renewal Vote Just Ahead

Sarasota County Schools prides itself on being one of the best districts in the state, with robust programs, generous student support, and state-of-the-art learning facilities. Some of this is made possible through the 1 mill tax referendum that goes to support public and charter schools.

The referendum is up for renewal on March 8. Be sure to vote. To learn more about the ways the 1 mill property tax funds school activities county-wide, click here. At Booker High School specifically, here’s what the referendum supports.

VPA Auditions Are Live!

Anyone who knows anyone hoping to focus on a rigorous arts-based curriculum, spread the word! The VPA will hold auditions on Jan. 29 for all disciplines (except dance). To qualify for an in-person audition, applicants must have completed the requirements found online at

As with last year, the VPA will use Acceptd to ensure all who would like to audition can, regardless of location or pandemic conditions. All applicants can complete the audition totally remotely via Acceptd, or get started there and schedule live auditions on Jan. 29 or other times as noted in the platform.

Upcoming Events

Our VPA Spring Season is upon us! Mark your calendars and prepares yourself for some fantastic productions. More in next week’s edition, but here are some performances in the works:

  • DEATH BY CHOCOLATE: IN THIS HOUR | Feb. 25 & 26 | Booker High Café
  • A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM | Mar. 3-6 | The Bay Park Conservancy
  • FOOL-ISH | April 1 & 2 | Booker High School

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