140 West Tampa Ave. Venice, Florida 34285
Box Office: 941-488-1115
Venice Theatre actor
Venice Theatre has become no less than my second home. I am surrounded by people who love me, have watched me grow, and have taught me unforgettable lessons.
When I first auditioned to be in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I was nervous, questioning why I was there...and of course I was chubby with glasses. But the people of Venice Theatre saw potential in me, and Murray Chase called me a few weeks later and offered me the role of Tom Sawyer. To some it may have been just another show, but my life was forever changed.
Since then I've accomplished feats I would have never previously imagined, and over 20 shows later I have grown as an actor and a man. So to all of those who wish to better their lives and truly be all that they can be, Venice Theatre is "Such stuff that dreams are made on".
Jim and Ava Podewitz
Venice Theatre actors, Dad and Daughter
It was through my wife, Julie, that I became acquainted with Venice Theatre. She was a choreographer for several shows in the 90s and we have been season ticket holders for many years.
I started getting involved in 2009 and since then I’ve logged more than 300 hours in rehearsals and shows. It’s all fun, but I prefer the backstage stuff. I would love to explore other technical areas such as lighting and sound. My daughter Ava and I worked backstage recently on “You’re A good Man Charlie Brown.” I’ve been onstage as well in the ensembles of “Ragtime” and “The King & I.”
I am a data and research director for a sales consulting company so the thought of getting on stage in front of 400 people was pretty terrifying to me. I never thought I would ever get up in front of that many people and sing and dance. That apprehension lasted about 5 seconds after the curtain went up for my first performance of “Ragtime,” and I haven’t been bothered by it since.
There have been so many great moments for me at Venice Theatre so it’s hard to choose just one, but I would have to say one of my best experiences was acting in the ensemble of “Ragtime.” Being a part of such an incredibly talented cast and getting to work with Brad Wages and Jason Brenner was a pretty amazing experience.
I’ve met so many different kinds of people at VT with different life experiences, jobs and interests, and they all seem to have in common the desire to work hard and have fun. I recommend it to anyone who wants to be part of something incredible.
I am 8 years old and a third grader at Island Village Montessori School. I’ve attended summer and spring break camps at Venice Theatre for the last three years. I am now in an after school acting class with Ronald Myroup and also take drama at school, which is taught by teachers at VT’s Education and Outreach Department.
My mom loves theatre and was a choreographer, but I never got involved in theatre until two years ago when my kindergarten music teacher, Joy Henry, suggested that I audition for “The Sound of Music.” That was my first show. You may remember me as Gretel.
Since then, I’ve been Mollie in “Annie”; Nellie in “Annie Get Your Gun,” and Princess Ying Yaowalak in the “King and I.” The most fun I’ve had at VT so far was working backstage with my Dad for “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” I helped set out the props, helped the actresses get ready for the show, and turned pages for the musicians.
I have logged more than 300 hours in rehearsals and shows plus all the time taking classes so it’s close to about 700 hours. Taking classes has helped me because I love to write and direct my own plays with my friends. I would love to one day direct and choreograph shows. I have had such great experiences at VT and I think other people would too.
I was recently cast as Amber in the exciting new play from the United Kingdom, Stand by Your Van.
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Venice Theatre student and actress
Hi everyone! My name is Ally Tufenkjian. I am 17 years old and I’m currently attending the New School for Theater and Psychology in New York City. You may remember me as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, Little Sally in Urinetown, or Seta in Beast on the Moon.
I am eternally grateful to the Theatre for all that it has given me and am so fortunate to have spent my childhood there. It is truly a gift to anyone who is a part of it.
Nokomis resident and 30-year VT volunteer
My name is Kathryn Killinger and it is such a pleasure to be part of the Venice Theatre family of volunteers led by a talented staff.
Over the years I have painted scenery, worked the fly, ran lights and sound, worked on the backstage crew ... whatever, wherever. I’ve had a wonderful time performing in MainStage productions, but my very favorite area of volunteering has been with the theatre outreach programs: Performing for literally thousands of children the past 18 years with “Troupe in a Trunk”; as a Foxette dancer with the Silver Foxes; and helping with the theatre’s Loveland Partnership and annual show for 15 years.
I’m proud to be a member of the theatre “Hall of Fame,” honored with the Chris Magee award, the “volunteer of distinction award,” and the Education and Outreach volunteer award is in my name.
This is one of the top award-winning community theatres in the country and a place for people of all ages to come and participate whether it be through classes, performing or volunteering. Come be a part of the “family!”
Lakewood Ranch resident, four-year Venice Theatre volunteer
My third grade English teacher introduced me to theatre and I became hooked after playing Mowgli in Jungle Book that same year. I am now 14-years-old and a freshman at Lakewood Ranch High School. I became involved with Venice Theatre (VT), through my friend Tony Deniro, who I met while doing A Christmas Carol at the Asolo Theatre in 2005.
Since then, between shows and rehearsals, I’ve logged more than 1,500 volunteer hours at VT. I've acted in five productions including The Hobbit, Sleepy Hollow, The Flying Dutchman, A Christmas Carol and Willy Wonka. I’ve also taken audition classes with Ron Myroup and voice lessons with Jason Brenner through the theatre’s Education and Outreach department.
My life goal is to someday be a doctor, a diagnostician such as House on TV, which is why I am also involved with HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America), a student organization that promotes career opportunities in health care. Acting has given me confidence in all areas of my life. For example, during state finals for HOSA some of my equipment was faulty and instead of getting nervous and panicking -- I did what I had been taught to do on stage – I kept going and worked through the problem and ended up winning the gold medal for first aid/rescue breathing.
As you can see, acting is only one of my many interests. I am also on The Lakewood Ranch High School swim team and love riding my horse and playing basketball.
The best part of Venice Theatre has been making lots of new friends. It’s what I love most– the interaction with fellow actors and theatre staff of all ages.
I would very much like to get involved with VT’s Technical Theatre Apprenticeship Program (TTAP) so that I can learn more about technical theater. Community theatre can be fun for many different types of people. If you are outgoing, you can be an actor and if you are shy, you can work backstage or paint scenery.