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January 14, 2021 11:00AM


Discovering Heritage

FST audiences may remember the work of husband and wife creative team Jason Odell Williams and Charlotte Cohn from their Winter Mainstage play, Handle With Care. Now, we reconnect with the couple as they share about their latest work – a musical – which continues their creative exploration of Cohn’s Jewish heritage. As the Nazis plan to round up all of the Danish Jews for concentration camp assignment in the fall of 1943, one family of five attempts to elude capture by hiding in a fishing boat traveling to Sweden — and freedom. In this FST Forum, we’ll examine what it takes to bring such an emotionally-charged story to life and how to tell a true story with justice, authenticity, and heart.

Jason Odell Williams
is a writer and producer originally from Columbia, Maryland. He has been nominated for an Emmy Award, an Off-Broadway Alliance Award, and an L.A. Ovation Award. Two of his plays, Handle With Care and Church & State, are published by DPS and have won two Henry Awards and 3 Theatre Bay Area Awards. Together, those two plays have had over 100 regional productions across the US and Canada. Jason was the winner of the 2012 Hudson Valley Writers Workshop contest and his work has been named as a Semi-Finalist for the 2019 and 2020 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, a Finalist for the 2018 InterAct Theatre Company’s New Play Award, and a Semi-Finalist for PlayMaker Rep’s 2020 Thomas Wolfe Playwriting Competition. Other plays include: Division Street (CenterStage at the JCC); Someone Else (NC Stage); and Baltimore in Black & White (cell theatre). Upcoming productions of The Whole Shebang and On The Market (theaters to be announced soon). He lives in Manhattan with his wife and writing partner, Charlotte Cohn, their daughter, and rescued dog.


Charlotte Cohn Performing highlights include Broadway's La Boheme (Baz Luhrmann, director) and Coram BoyHappy End at A.C.T. (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards Best Actress nominee), La Boheme at The Ahmanson in L.A. (Ovation Award Winner), The Murder of Isaac and The Boys from Syracuse, both at Baltimore's Centerstage, Handle With Care (written by her husband Jason Odell Williams) and David Gordon's Uncivil Wars- Moving with Brecht and Eisler. She is a founding producer of both NYMF and Mainstreet Musicals. Other producing credits include:Rated P for Parenthood and the recent NY Times Critics' Pick Handle With Care (both at the Westside theater Off-Broadway). Charlotte was born in Denmark and raised in Israel where she served in the Israeli Army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant.
She lives in Manhattan with her husband, playwright Jason Odell Williams and her daughter, Imogen.

Catherine Randazzo is an Associate Artist for FST. She serves as Literary Manager, in-residence director, teaching artist, and professional actor. She leads New Play Development, collaborates on Cabaret development, teaches adult education classes, and leads audience outreach programs. She recently directed That’s Amoré!; Outlaws and Angels; Light My Fire; and Unchained Melodies for the Cabaret and Buyer & Cellar for Stage III. She attended Otterbein University where she received her BFA in performance.





This FST Forum will be held exclusively online. After registering, you will receive an email the day before the event from Florida Studio Theatre containing information about joining the online Zoom event. This will be a separate email from your confirmation email. If you have any issues with registering or accessing the conversation, please call the FST Box Office at 941.366.9000. You will need to download the Zoom mobile or desktop app to participate in this event.


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