SUN CITY CENTER - One man's talent and love of the theater has affected many lives in Sun City Center.
Rehearsals are now underway for "The Nest and The Birdcage," an original play, written and directed by Andy Oosthuizen.
The play is a melodramatic tale of three sisters with very different personalities and lifestyles, who come together after the death of their mother. The tension among them is thick with biting sarcasm and wit.
Oosthuizen, 68, a veteran actor and director originally from South Africa, has had much success in his career including his plays, "Sabona," and "You, Me and Our Skeletons," which both made it to off-Broadway. He received a Human Rights Award for "Sabona."
Known to Sun City Center residents as owner, producer and director of the former Palace Dinner Theatre, Oosthuizen had developed a reputation for the arts in the community. Since the Palace closed in 2009, he has been busy writing plays, teaching acting and working on several other projects. His most recent acting role was in "Skeletons," one of five short plays included in the Pelican Players production of "The Bench Mark."
"Andy is a treasure trove of talent and a truly gifted director," said Linda Halperin, president of the Pelican Players. "As an actor, he teaches you how to bring your character fully alive on stage. I've learned so much about pacing and building tension. He is a master at making the most of the simplest words on a page."
Oosthuizen isn't ready to rest on his laurels.
"I am currently working on a book and another play with a comedy theme," he said. "Once that is done, my next project will be about a family that comes to America from Europe and opens a restaurant. It will be a dramatic comedy."
"The Nest and The Birdcage" will be performed at 7 p.m. July 19 and 20 at the Borini Theatre at Kings Point. There will be a Saturday matinee at 1:30 p.m. July 20. Tickets are $12 at the Kings Point Box Office, 1900 Clubhouse Drive or by calling (813) 387-3447.
Lorianne De Loreto is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.