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March 11, 2021 11:00AM


Shakespeare for the 21st Century

His is the most famous name in the history of playwriting. From Romeo and Juliet to Hamlet to Macbeth, Shakespeare’s timeless works continue to play on – four centuries after his time. Hear from two contemporary playwrights who are bringing little-known true stories inspired by the Bard into the light of the 21st century.  From scandalous forgeries to a street performance duel with historic consequences, playwrights Jeffrey Couchman and Deborah Brevoort transport us through time as we visit historical figures who took the good Bard’s legacy into their own hands.

Jeffrey Couchman
is co-author (with Scott Alan Evans) of the play Three Wise Guys, based on Christmas stories by Damon Runyon, which premiered Off-Broadway at the Beckett Theatre. He has written the book and lyrics for two musicals: Battleship Potemkin, based on Eisenstein’s classic film, and Blood and Fire, about the beginnings of the Salvation Army in Victorian London. He has written screenplays for Imagine Films, Warner Bros. TV, and other studios. His fiction has appeared in many literary journals. He is author of the book The Night of the Hunter: A Biography of a Film (selected by the Financial Times of London as a Best Book of the Year) and editor of an annotated edition of two film scripts by James Agee, The Night of the Hunter and The African Queen: First and Final Screenplays (University of Tennessee Press). Couchman teaches screenwriting at the College of Staten Island.


Deborah Brevoort is the award-winning author of plays, musicals, and opera librettos. She is best known for The Women of Lockerbie, which is produced internationally. Her plays, which have been produced at theatres across the US, include: Blue Moon Over Memphis, a Noh Drama about Elvis, The Poetry of Pizza, The Blue-Sky Boys, The Comfort Team, The Velvet Weapon, Into the Fire, and Signs of Life. Her latest, My Lord, What a Night, will open at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC after a rolling world premiere at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, and Orlando Shakes. A two-time winner of the Frederick Loewe Award in Musical Theatre for Coyote Goes Salmon Fishing, with Scott Richards, and King Island Christmas with David Friedman. Her latest is Crossing Over, an Amish hip-hop musical with Stephanie Salzman. She has written the librettos for seven operas, which have been produced at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Colorado, and others. Her plays are published by Applause Books, Samuel French, DPS, and No Passport Press.  She teaches at Columbia University and NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Jason Cannon joined FST in 2012 as an Associate Artist. He is an in-house Director, teaches extensively in The FST School, oversees the Mixed Nuts and Understudy programs, and works with Acting Apprentices and New Play Development. Recent shows directed at FST include: Kunstler,The Nether, Handle With Care, The Cottage, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Hand to God, and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. He appears regularly with FST Improv. Proud member SDC, AEA, SAG-AFTRA.





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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