Guest Column

A Classic Theatre expands its repertoire


Season 16 of St. Augustine’s A Classic Theatre (ACT) introduces several exciting developments.  Following up on their record-breaking 15th anniversary season last year in their new venue, the historic Waterworks Building, ACT will be offering four new and unique shows this season.

Ranging from bold contemporary issues to the wonders of the universe, a hilarious one woman show on human nature and a season finale musical, something ACT has not offered before. In addition to the expanded theatrical lineup, ACT is now offering season tickets.

A season subscription will offer a savings over purchasing individual show tickets. As a bonus, it will also include a ticket to one of the four staged readings being offered this season.

For the season opener, ACT will debut the Florida premier of the multiple award-winning play “Church & State,” written by Odell Williams and directed by Harolyn Sharpe. This fast-paced contemporary take on faith, politics and “The Twitter” is both relevant and laugh inducing. NPR proclaims it “Crackling … enjoyable, thought-provoking and humorous. I wish every member of Congress would see it.”

The second play is “Silent Sky,” written by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Michael Lipp. “Silent Sky” tells the riveting true story of Henrietta Leavitt, a pioneering scientist in an age when women couldn’t even vote. A mesmerizing drama that’s full of wonder, humor and heart. 

Next up is the rollicking comedy “Shirley Valentine” by Willy Russell, directed by Cindy Alexander and starring Francesca Bellavista.

Something’s about to change for Mrs. Shirley Bradshaw. After decades of dull married life, her former self — the fearless Shirley Valentine — is itching to get out. She dreams about life beyond the wall, and the possibility of “drinking wine in a country where the grape is grown."

The season finale will be the musical “Couples.” Based on a short story by Mark Twain and directed by Cliff Parrish, this delightful one act musical follows Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden as they discover their world, each other and … that snake. Adding to that age-old story, “Couples” will include some of Broadway's best duets of love and marriage.

Another new addition this season is a series of four staged readings, a form of theater without sets or full costumes, providing the audience with an insider’s sneak peek behind the scenes of the theatrical process. The readings will be performed at The Center for Spiritual Living at 1795 Old Moultrie Road, St Augustine, and include:

  • “ART” by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, directed by David Buchman.
  • “Salon de Paris,” an original play by St. Augustine playwright Amy Lauer Goldin, directed by Grace Reed.
  • “For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls” by Christopher Durang, directed by Dawn Knipe.
  • “Other Desert Cities” by John Robin Baitz, directed by Hazel Robinson

 For additional information on the shows, dates or ticket purchase go to