Florida Studio Theater (FST) kicks off its 2023 Stage Three series with Jacqueline Goldfinger’s Babylon, a black comedy that explores the world of modern eugenics. In the play’s version of the not too distant future, expectant parents learn during the first few weeks of pregnancy what traits their baby will acquire and what behaviors he is likely to display. If parents learn that their future child does not have the purest genetic traits, they are encouraged to terminate the pregnancy and start all over again. Babel follows the extreme lengths a couple goes to in order to conceive a child. Dubbed “mesmerizing from start to finish” by Talkin’ Broadway, Babel begins playing Jan. 18 at FST’s Bowne Lab.
Babel is part of a subscription package of three offerings. The Stage 3 subscription package also includes the regional premiere of The Last Match, a fast-paced drama that dives into the world of professional tennis, and the world premiere of The Crippled, a stunning story about destiny, guilt, and the power of forgiveness. . Subscriptions for all three Third Stage shows can be purchased for as little as $49, and individual tickets to Babel range from $18 to $39. Subscriptions and individual tickets are for sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.
“Babel is a great way to kick off our Phase Three series because it delves into a fascinating topic, is timely, and will challenge and entertain audiences,” said showrunner Kathryn Randazzo. “After having to cancel last year’s production of Babel — along with the rest of the 2022 Phase Three series — due to issues related to COVID, I’m excited to work with the cast to help tell this special, personal and diverse story.”
FST has been such an integral part in the development of Babel, that the comedy was nominated for a Smith Prize for Political Theater in 2017. Goldfinger’s idea for Babel won the award, and since then, FST has held numerous private and public readings of the play. The FST production of Babel is the final stop in the Rolling World premiere of the National New Play Network (NNPN), a program that enables playwrights, like Goldfinger, to develop new work with multiple creative teams. Other theaters that participated in the NNPN Rolling World premiere include Unicorn Theatre, Exile Theatre, Passage Theatre, and Festival of Contemporary American Theater.
“I’m glad Babel has found its way onto the FST stage!” Goldfinger said. “This play would not exist without Florida Studio Theatre. They have supported me and nurtured the work over several years. It has been a formative experience for me as a writer, and I am excited to share our work with the FST audience!”
Anique Clements (The Nether, Kunstler) and Rachel Moulton (Maytag Virgin, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) will play Renee and Danny, respectively, a same-sex couple with a baby on the way.
Lucy Lovely (FST debut) and Tom Patterson (Hand to God, Cherry Docs) play Anne, Jamie, Renee and Danny’s besties, too. Ann will do whatever it takes to ensure she has the perfect baby, but Jamie doesn’t feel quite the same way.
The creative production team includes Bruce Price and Alex Price (Scenic Design), Mari Taylor Floyd (Costume Design), Louis Vetter Torres (Sound Design), and Nadirah R. Harper (Lighting Design).
FST’s production of Babylon is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Department of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The production is also supported by the Shubert Foundation, Sarasota County Tourism Development Tax revenue, and the New National Play Network. Thanks to media sponsor, Herald Tribune Media Group.