The Grand Central District is replete with venues dedicated to the arts. Even concepts not specifically dedicated to creative works have served as stages for emerging artists to display their work (i.e. the new art markets at Grand Central Brew House). Now, a new venue is set to bring powerful performances to the district in renaissance. Introducing: Studio Grand Central.
Studio Grand Central is the brainchild of siblings Ward Smith and Karen Riffe. The process of purchasing the studio, and getting it ready for performances began in January 2021.
Ward Smith is a talented actor, musician, and director. Karen is business savy, in addition to serving as an accountant and analyst. This is a passion project from the pair, and their tenacity and passion for the arts has delivered St. Petersburg its newest culture hub.
The performing arts venue launched its season with critically acclaimed, tense, and darkly comedic play Rasheeda Speaking.
“an acidic depiction of race, power and friendship. Blending darkly awkward workplace comedy with intense racial tension, Johnson’s office-politics thriller is not afraid to push buttons hard,” words from a glowing review in Time Out New York when the play first hit the stage.
Studio Grand Central soars with debut performances
Studio Grand Central’s season continues with “Plot Points in our Sexual Development.” This love story between Cecily, a lesbian and a male-identified trans person Theo, want to be honest about their sexual histories, but what happens when telling the truth jeopardizes everything? Intensely and almost shockingly frank, the play is also deeply revelatory for anyone—which is to say everyone—who has ever tried to figure out themselves, their bodies, and their feelings.
Plot Points runs from October 15 through November 7. The play itself “turns to candid storytelling, to the vulnerable sharing of personal narrative, as perhaps our most powerful tool to finding our way toward each other” (New York Magazine).
Studio Grand Central is an intimate theatre in the heart of St. Petersburg’s vibrant Grand Central District. Home to the Off-Central Players, Studio Grand Central provides a place for those who love live theater.
On stage this season
Here’s how the rest of the theatre’s season looks:
Beauty and the Best – November 12-13
The Sister-Mothers of Gulfport – December 2-12
The Azure Sky of Oz – December 16-19
You can reserve your tickets online on the Studio Grand Central’s Website.