5555 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243
Categories: Performing Arts
Payment options: Credit cards accepted
More in this neighborhood: Sarasota
The Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts is the home of the Asolo Repertory Theatre, the FSU/Asolo Conservatory and the Sarasota Ballet.
The Asolo Repertory Theatre and conservatory perform in the FSU Center on two stages, the Mertz and Cook theaters. The Asolo Rep performs primarily in the Mertz Theatre, an elegant 500-seat facility originally built as an opera house in 1903 Dunfermline, Scotland. The teaching and acting conservatory uses the more intimate 161-seat Cook Theatre for most of its performances.
Both groups plan to occasionally perform in the Historic Asolo Theater, an 18th century theater moved to John and Mable Ringling Museum from Asolo, Italy. It was the first home of the Asolo company and the Asolo Theatre Festival. The original theater was restored and is now part of the Ringling Museum Visitors Pavilion.
Complimentary hearing amplification system headsets are available but should be reserved ahead of time. Open captioning is available for some performances. Light refreshments are available in the lobby prior to a performance and during intermission. There is a gift shop in the lobby.
Originally built as the Asolo Performing Arts Center, the facility was renamed the FSU Center for the Performing Arts in 1991. In 2006, the Asolo Theatre Company was renamed Asolo Repertory Theatre. In 2000, the Florida Legislature transferred the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art to Florida State University. It also created the Florida State University Ringling Center for the Cultural Arts which includes: the Ringling museum, Ca' d'Zan (the former Ringling residence), the Ringling Museum of the Circus, Florida State University/Sarasota Dance and the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts, which is adjacent to the Ringling property.