a play by Drew Larimore
staged reading directed by Stephen Kitsakos

Friday & Saturday, February 2-3, 8pm

Helmerich Theater

$35, $30 mbrs.

Larimore, a master at crafting funny, yet slightly devastating plays returns to present a staged reading of his new play “Upstate.” Seeking fulfillment after a move to upstate New York, Nathaniel and his husband Myles decide to adopt an infant daughter. The play opens on the day the couple has returned her to the adoption agency.

Produced in the U.S. and internationally, Drew Larimore is originally from the South with a focus on crafting strong, fallible, and complex female protagonists in seemingly unreal circumstances. His work has been highlighted in The New YorkerThe New York TimesTheatriusThis Week in New YorkTheatreMania, Australian Stage, Aussie Theatre, and Theatre in the Now.

sponsored by Thirsty Mermaid

STARRING Miles G. Jackson and Brian Robinson (appearing courtesy Actors Equity Association); PLAY by Drew Larimore; DIRECTED by Stephen Kitsakos


The Papers

A musical staged reading

book, music & lyrics by Rob Baumgartner, Jr. & Nathan Dame

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 5-7, 8pm

Helmerich Theater

$35, $30 mbrs.

A musical staged reading

Exploring the themes of obsession, manipulation, and the moral implications of pursuing artistic legacy at any cost, The Papers, a Musical, is a reimagining of Henry James’ classic novella, The Aspern Papers, set against the backdrop of contemporary Key West. Never more relevant than in our current times, The Studios of Key West is proud to bring this adaptation by New York-based theater artists Rob Baumgartner, Jr. and Nathan Dame to life in a staged reading.

An ambitious Jewish academic from New York travels to the island to unearth the papers of Jeffrey Aspern, a forgotten gay literary artist from the 1950s and ‘60s. Uncertain of the papers’ contents, he stakes his entire future and scholarly reputation on being the first to uncover and interpret them. When his research brings to light shocking revelations about Aspern’s life and character, the scholar is forced to grapple with his own notions of morality, creative genius, and legacy.

More than just a riveting musical with a splash of mystery, this piece asks how we contend with the art and accomplishments of flawed people. How do we appreciate the achievements of heroes who may also be villains?

sponsored by Jane Gardner Interiors


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Debra Barsha


Zachary Franchini

Belle Jampol

Belle Jampol


Lauren Thompson


John Swann


Jack Cummings III

Book, Music & Lyrics

Nathan Dame (left) is originally from Ogden, Utah. He lives in Brooklyn and makes his living as a playwright, screenwriter, and music director for theater. His musical based on Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, co-written with Rob Baumgartner, has been developed at Goodspeed Musicals and Bucks County Playhouse. He has had plays developed by Roundabout Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage (JAW Fest 2016), The New Group, and Barrow Street Theater. In 2024, his television series Gayle is being produced by H2L in Los Angeles and the UK, and his screenplay Human Behaviour is being produced by Agile Films in the UK and Pegasus Pictures in Iceland. He co-orchestrated the recent national tour of the new musical An Officer and a Gentleman. Some credits as Music Director include: Off-Broadway: Pretty Filthy (The Civilians, score by Michael Friedman, Original Cast Recording); Mr. Burns (associate music director, score by Michael Friedman, Playwrights Horizons); and regionally, Be More Chill (Two River Theater, Original Cast Recording). His work has been developed at Roundabout Theatre Company, The New Group, Arts Letters & Numbers, Barrow Street Theater, Good Company Theater, Bucks County Playhouse, among others. 

Rob Baumgartner, Jr. (right) is a DC native and New York based composer/lyricist and musical director. His original musicals include: The Jungle (Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, Roundabout Space Jam, Good Company Theatre), Adam Lives (Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, Johnny Mercer Writers Colony, Baldwin Wallace First Takes, New York Theatre Barn, NAMT, Cap21),  Date of a Lifetime (Abingdon Theatre, NYMF, New Jersey Rep) Alone World (Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, West Village Musical Theatre Festival-winner of Best Score), What the Moon Saw (Cap21), Under Construction (NYU), The Hole (St. Clements ’09), Radiant Ruby (Vital Theatre  Company ’05) and Lullabies.

King Tide

written by Michael Marrero

In a future where the climate crisis has left their hometown perpetually flooded, residents Ash and Ezra navigate survival with a blend of dark humor and stark reality, as they grapple with the choice of leaving or fighting for their submerged existence.

The emotional conflict faced by Ash and Ezra as they contemplate abandoning their home or standing firm against rising waters strikes a chord in Key West, a place intimately familiar with the firsthand impacts of climate change.

“King Tide” entertains and prompts profound questions about our own community. Featuring a talented cast of local and visiting theater artists including Brandon Beach, Elena Devers, and Julio Trinidad, directed by Juliet Gray, the production is sure to stimulate meaningful conversations and leave a lasting impression.

sponsored by 7 Artists & Friends


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Michael Marrero


Juliet Gray


Brandon Beach


Elena Devers


Julio Trinidad