Jimmy Ferraro and his wife Dee Etta Rowe were taking a walk through downtown New Port Richey when an empty storefront called out to them.
The Weeki Wachee couple and longtime theater producers, award-winning actors, directors and teachers knew they had found a home for their own theater. A place where they could focus on developing and presenting new works and seldom-seen plays and musicals, along with classic favorites, as well as where they could teach voice, acting, and musical theater, preparing the current and next generation of live theater performers.
“My wife Dee Etta and I have been in the theater all our life and have been successfully producing entertainment in Pasco and Hernando counties for decades,” said Ferraro, who also hosted a radio show on WWJB called “Theater Chat and This ‘N That. “We have been on the road touring the country, most recently starring opposite each other, in the 2012 national tour of ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ We decided that the next chapter of our lives and career, is to make a home again in the community that has always supported our entertainment endeavors.”
Jimmy Ferraro’s Studio Theatre, 5732 Main St. in downtown New Port Richey ,will open in June.
“The location actually found us,” said Ferraro.
The intimate 68-seat theater will give everyone a great view of the performances, Ferraro said.
“There is no theatrical venue of this kind in our area,” he said. “It’s like being in your living room getting a command performance. Everyone will feel like they are part of the show.”
Ferraro and Rowe will also give instruction in voice, acting and musical theater.
“This is so rewarding to us, to be able to pass on our knowledge to our students,” Ferraro said. “It’s a gift for us to be giving back.”
Studio Theatre’s debut will be a musical comedy, the “Church Basement Ladies,” from June 6- 29.
“The dialogue and situations are filled with humor in each of the characters in this homespun, hilarious, musical comedy production. And its good, clean, humor that you can take the entire family to see,” said Ferraro.
The musical comedy is being performed throughout the country and already has three sequels that Ferraro is excited about producing in the future.
Studio Theatre’s summer season will also include the musical “Coupled” from July 18- Aug. 10, and a musical cabaret, “The Singing Divas of Broadway and Hollywood” from Sept. 5-28.
All performances are held on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $23.36 plus tax. Group rates are also available.
For more info, contact (727) 409-0293 or visit www.ferrarostudiotheatre.com.
Email Hernando Today correspondent Heather Francis at [email protected]