Florida Shakespeare Theatre


How It Began
Founded in 1979, the Florida Shakespeare Theatre (FST) has grown to become a major cultural institution of South Florida. The theatre has toured in more than half of Florida's 67 counties and presented 28 Shakespearean productions, 12 original works and 18 South Florida premieres. FST has won critical acclaim for its artistic excellence and has been recognized through 13 Carbonnel Awards. FST's year-round programming includes mainstage productions -- among which are classic, contemporary and Shakespearean works -- and educational theatre programs.

Growing Support
From 1983 through 1987, FST performed the plays of William Shakespeare in repertory outdoors using the Casino Gardens at Viscaya as its venue. This period saw FST's audience grow an incredible 30 percent each year. The first state touring production of the theatre's original musical version of Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona in 1987 -- coupled with the innovative in-school production of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales -- increased FST's outreach to over 100,000 people annually.

Triumph Out Of Tragedy
From 1987, until Hurricane Andrew in 1992, FST's home was the Minorca Playhouse in Coral Gables. The fury of Hurricane Andrew decimated the playhouse, including the theatre, rehearsal hall, 5000 square foot set construction and costume workshops, and stor age areas. Yet, it did not destroy the theatre's mission. FST continued to produce the finest classical and contemporary theatre at the Carousel Theater in Coral Gables during 1993-94.

A New Beginning
On the heels of that superlative season, FST was invited to discuss establishing the theatre's new home at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. The exceptional efforts of many dedicated individuals and our community's dynamic corporate leadership made that dream a reality: a distinctive theatre amid the exquisite splendor and grace of the Biltmore has become Florida Shakespeare Theatre's permanent home.

Florida Shakespeare Theatre is a non-profit 501(3)(c) tax-exempt corporation.
Contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Copyright © 1995-97, Florida Shakespeare Theatre --- updated 16 February 1997
The Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida 33134 U.S.A.
Box Office: (305) 446-1119 --- Administrative Offices: (305) 446-1116
Facsimile: (305) 445-8645 --- Internet: theatre@afn.org
created by Adam Smargon, Webmaster