The Sarasota Players Expands Their Players Studio Education Program

Arts & Culture

The Sarasota Players, like our growing and flourishing community, is expanding and developing with the area. They are thrilled to announce the exciting addition of two accomplished professionals to The Players Studio. These new hires underscore the organization's commitment to fostering educational growth and providing unparalleled experiences for both aspiring and seasoned performers. Assistant Director of Education, Karla Quiñones Castillo, originally from Puerto Rico, Karla earned her bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and Theatre Education at Colorado State University and became an English Language Arts and Theatre Teacher/Director in the Thompson School District in Loveland, Colorado where she became a founding teacher for a new magnet program: The Loveland Integrated School of the Arts (LISA). In her 17 years of education, Karla has established two award-winning theatrical programs which included high recognition, such as the recipient of the 2016 Bobby G. Award for Best Hair and Makeup Design and Best Performance of an Ensemble for the Mountain View High School's production of AIDA, the 2016 Colorado Thespian Society Conference Mainstage Production of Peter and the Starcatcher, and the Thompson School District's Secondary Educator of the Year for the 2021-2022 school year. In addition to Karla's experience in education, she has worked as a freelance director for a non-profit theatre in Colorado directing productions such as She Kills Monsters and Dog Sees God. She is also no stranger to performing on the stage as well, playing the memorable roles of Diana Goodman in Next to Normal, Maggie in The Shadow Box, Rona Lisa Peretti in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and just recently playing Adult Alison Bechdel in Fun Home, to name a few. Studio Production Manager, Brian F. Finnerty previously worked in arts education for over fifteen years in the Sarasota Community. Brian was a competition dancer for 14 years before shifting his passion toward musical theater, where he attended Booker High’s Visual and Performing Arts program and Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. He’s trained under and shadowed artists like Sonya Tayeh, Anthony Morigerato, and Savion Glover. He’s directed, choreographed, and performed at numerous theaters around the country resulting in multiple awards for his talent and dedication. “I am so excited to welcome Karla Quiñones Castillo as our Assistant Director of Education and Brian Finnerty as Studio Production Manager,” says Thayer Greenberg, Director of Education at The Players Studio. “I can't help but feel electricity and anticipation for the journey ahead. Their addition to this team is not just a reinforcement of the commitment The Sarasota Players have to the studio, but their expertise and energy have already brought so much. I know with Karla and Brian by my side, the possibilities are endless. Expect greatness.”

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