nationally renowned Florida Rep actors, Rachel Burttram and Brendan Powers, have actually relocated to Southwest Florida because of their ongoing membership in the Florida Rep troupe. “It’s so great because the actors all share a common language,” Cacioppo explains. “They get things done with fewer words because they know how each other acts and thinks, and they trust each other. This way, we’re nurturing an ensemble through several companies. It’s like a family.” This year marks the 17th season of Florida Rep, and the line-up impresses with the dramatic twists and turns of nine performances in the Arcade and the ArtStage Studio Theatres. It’s definitely worth the annual subscription to see each play in the new arsenal of comedies, dramas,mysteries, Tony award winners, a world premiere, and a dazzling musical revue at what the Wall Street Journal describes as “one of America’s top repertory companies.” So how does Bob Cacioppo and his team intend to make it from Season 17 to that 50-year mark? He quotes from The Prime of Ms. Jean Brodie: “Give me a child at an impressionable age and they shall be mine for life.” Perhaps most dear of all children’s programs to Cacioppo’s heart is the “Lunch Box” series. This line-up for this year’s children’s performances is taken on the road and into area schools. This includes reimagined storytelling of the familiar, relatable children’s tales. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs is a hip new play moving its

Many find parts in four to five plays per season.

When founded, Florida Rep was the only professional theatre between Sarasota and Miami. Over the next 16 years, several other professional theatres followed, but Florida Rep remains the largest and most acclaimed in terms of budget, attendance (80,000), staffing, funds raised and national acclaim.

In part due to this success, Florida Rep can pull its talent from across the nation. Actors come from New York, Atlanta, Chicago, California and other progressive theatrical communities. Two

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