Florida Studio Theatre (FST) presents Hare & Tortoiseby Brendan Murray, a whimsical retelling of one of Aesop’s best-known fables. Produced by special arrangement with Plays for Young Audiences, this vivid play centers on two friends who have opposite approaches to just about everything. Hare wants nothing more than to speed through everyday life and make time pass faster. Tortoise, on the other hand, prefers to take her time, tending her garden and celebrating each season of the year. This fun, treasured tale tells a timeless story of friendship, change, and the excitement of growing up. Hare & Tortoise begins playing Saturdays and select Sundays from January 8 to March 6 in FST’s Bowne’s Lab. Single tickets are now on sale at 941.366.9000 or FloridaStudioTheatre.org.

Hare & Tortoise is about learning to take life slow,” said BillyD Hart, the show’s director. “In anticipation of a race, the overly eager Hare almost misses out on a full year of his life. Luckily, his wise friend Tortoise helps to slow him down and reminds him to enjoy the wonder of the world around him. They learn a lot from each other. This variation of the tale covers more than just ‘slow and steady wins the race.’”

Two members of FST’s Acting Apprentice company will bring the story to life on stage. The production features Gracie Gilbert as Tortoise and Jackson Janowicz as Hare.

While January 8 will be the first time that the general public can watch this uplifting play, Hare & Tortoise has been touring around to elementary schools in Manatee, Charlotte, and Pasco Counties as part of FST’s award-winning WRITE A PLAY program since September. WRITE A PLAY is an arts-in-education initiative that gives students the example, the inspiration, and the tools to write their own original plays. To deepen children’s understanding of what they’ve just seen, students can ask the cast questions following their class’s performance of Hare & Tortoise.

“It’s been great to be on the road, performing in-person for students,” said Janowicz, who plays Hare. “My favorite part is getting to answer all the kids’ questions after the show! They learn about how the set was built and what it’s like to be an actor. Even if they don’t ask a question, they leave inspired to tell their own stories.”