THE STUDIOS OF KEY WEST – one of the leading multidisciplinary arts & culture organizations in South Florida and the Florida Keys – is pleased to announce the continuation of StudioWorks, a streaming theater series that brings innovative productions to at-home audiences. Though February 2023, an original digital theater production will be released and available to stream each month. Created by theater artists all over the country, StudioWorks productions can be purchased individually or as a subscription at vimeo.com/ondemand/studioworks.
The second show, Unstuck as F@#k, is available today, Friday, December 9. The one-man piece is written and performed by Orlando Bishop and directed by Anika Larsen, currently starring on Broadway in Almost Famous, in her directorial debut. If Tony Robbins and Richard Pryor had a baby, that baby would have been Unstuck as F*ck. Irreverent, insightful and inspirational, it is the story of how Orlando got out of Flatbush, Brooklyn to Yale University and then on to a life writing, directing, and coaching. Experiencing how Coach Orlando managed to get himself unstuck time and time again might just help you get yourself unstuck too.
“This final part of this process, bringing folks Unstuck as F*ck, is happening almost exactly a year after we recorded it,” says Orlando Bishop. “Anika and I were working in the same space for the first time ever. We dressed the stage with items from my journey: helmets from my baseball fanatic childhood, my varsity jacket, my Panamanian flag boxing gloves that represent my relationship with my father and our beloved Roberto Duran. Looking back, it should have been no surprise that I was sweating buckets the first days of rehearsal. Talk about vulnerable… In a way, after a year of moments that required that I employ the approach I bring to others, I am there again… vulnerable. Our baby is headed out into the world, my heart streaming outside my body. Why do I do it? Because I’m a coach. That’s what I do. And if my struggle or my strength can help just one person get unstuck, I’m willing to let them see me sweat, whether literally or figuratively.”
Anika Larsen adds: “Orlando and I have been friends for over 30 years; we sang together in an a cappella singing group in college. Over the years we’ve dabbled in collaborating and writing together, so when Covid stopped my acting career in its tracks, it only made sense for us to use Zoom to develop the one-man show he had been working on for years. At a certain point, I realized it had become a truly terrific play, deserved a production, and I wanted to direct it! Serendipity stepped in in the form of The Studios of Key West, and faster than I have ever seen a production come together, we got to do Unstuck as F*ckdown there a year ago. It was a thrilling run, and I am SO glad we filmed it, so now we can share it with everyone! I have long known that Orlando is a hilarious comic, a gifted writer, and an astutely insightful coach. All of those talents come together in this play about the extraordinary life he has lived. But the cherry on top is what a beautiful actor he is. The rollercoaster ride he takes us on with him—he lives it so honestly, vulnerably, movingly. And then he makes us burst out laughing in the midst of the pathos. I often found it breathtaking to behold. I am so proud of the show we made!”
Stephen Kitsakos, Studios Artistic Associate of The Studios of Key West and Unstuck producer, concludes: “With this piece, we were excited to provide the resources to writer and performer Orlando Bishop, director Anika Larsen, and our blended group of designers and technicians from Key West and New York, to enable Orlando to take his project from the page to the stage. As a laboratory for new and experimental work, The Studios has always encouraged collaborations between those in the local Key West arts community and established creatives from Los Angeles, New York and beyond.”
StudioWorks productions can be purchased as a package for $35 for the full season all four shows. Individual plays can be purchased on the day of their release for $10 each. The productions are available to stream for six months starting on November 11, or six months from date or purchase.
StudioWorks’s four-production series offers dynamic performances by noted theater, television and film actors including Michael Urie, Ann Harada, Colby Lewis, Constance Shulman, and Leon Addison Brown, among others. Featuring great stories and showcasing remarkable contemporary talent, the series includes an exclusive mix of virtual world premiere productions. The season will finish in March with an encore presentation of nationally-acclaimed Smithtown, the inaugural streaming play produced by The Studios in 2020 in an effort to keep theater alive during the pandemic.
OTHER SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
The Mon Valley Medium
This darkly comedic tale takes place when a murder sends a working-class community into chaos. Written, directed and performed by Pittsburgh native Alec Silberblatt, the story centers on Mack, a local man, who relays the story as he struggles with the guilt he feels about his role in it all.
JANUARY 13, 2023
This cinematic and theatrical hybrid filmed on location in a working garage in Queens. Two worlds collide over a tragic incident when a car pulls into a closed body shop one night in the middle of a downpour. When the mechanic goes outside to let the driver know the shop isn’t open, he quickly discovers that nothing about the encounter is random. The play was written by Michael Marrero and Julio Trinidad, directed by Michael Marrero, and stars Leon Addison Brown (Drama League Award nominee) and Julio Trinidad. Tony Award-winning sound designer Sun Hee Kil composed the score.
FEBRUARY 10, 2023
The Studios will re-release Smithtown, a play acknowledged around the country by The New Yorker, TheaterMania, and The New York Times. Smithtown was written by Drew Larimore and directed by Stephen Kitsakos, Artistic Associate of The Studios of Key West. The story consists of a series of four interconnected but distinct monologues featuring an ensemble of top Broadway and television actors: Michael Urie (Broadway revival of Torch Song, “Ugly Betty”), Ann Harada (Avenue Q and Cinderella on Broadway), Colby Lewis (Chicago’s Hamilton, “Chicago Med”), and Constance Shulman (“Orange is the New Black” on Netflix, The Rose Tattoo on Broadway). Incisively dark and funny, Smithtown shines a spotlight on the ways we communicate, and miscommunicate, in a rapidly evolving digital era, when the rules of conduct change by the minute, and loneliness and isolation seem to be the order of the day.
THE STUDIOS OF KEY WEST is known for its Artist Residency Program, which offers residencies to the brightest and most promising talent. Writers, visual artists, musicians and theater artists are invited to spend one month on the island, creating, collaborating, and producing original work. Several of the StudioWorks productions have resulted through these collaborations. More information about the program can be found at tskw.org.