Party guests packed the Morean Center for Clay at the annual Eat Rich, Play Dirty fundraiser, where hands-on activities included pottery-making, letterpress, massage therapy, zentangle and painting with chocolate, wine, coffee and tea.
Patrons also sampled food from Banyan Cafe, CA Cafe, Cafe 1001, Emmanuel Roux, Gratzzi, Il Ritorno, Lee Roy Selmon's, The Mill, My Southern Fusion, Parkshore Grill, Salt Rock Grill and Sea Salt. There were signature drinks, plus beer, wine and a whiskey tasting bar.
Beth Morean, who recently donated the Historic Seaboard Train Station to the Morean Arts Center, chaired the event committee, which included Sarah Aldrich, Martin Bimler, Doris Conner, Cynthia Fox, Kally Harvard, Kathryn Howd, Valerie Scott Knaust, Susan Reiter, Amy St. Hart, Andy Schlauch, Patrick Sheppard and Traci Steen.
Proceeds support the Morean Arts Center's educational and exhibitions departments.
Yes, that was Mayor Rick Kriseman as Mike Brady, and yes, that was YWCA of Tampa Bay president and chief executive officer Lenice Emanuel as Carol Brady, coaching their children through life lessons after their boys find a cash-filled wallet.
They and other community leaders had roles in A Simple Theatre's season-opening performance, A Very Brady Fundraiser, held in the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences at Eckerd College. Patrons had food and drink presented by Bon Appetit, the college's food service team, then stayed for the production, which was based on The Brady Bunch, the popular ABC television series of the late 1960s and early '70s.
Also joining director and narrator Gavin Hawk were Leslie Curran, owner of ARTicles Art Gallery & Custom Framing; Ernest Hooper, Tampa Bay Times editor and columnist; Beth Houghton, executive director of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic; David Hastings, professor of marine science and chemistry at Eckerd; Sylvia Rusche, State Farm agent and owner; Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce; Nathan Stonecipher, co-owner of Green Bench Brewing Co.; and Sophia Wisniewska, chancellor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
AST productions are stripped to the essentials, with actors reading from scripts placed on music stands, with "no blocking, no costumes and no set," to quote promotional materials. It's an interesting approach to theater, and the 2015-16 schedule of readings is called "A Season of Perception."