Next up, I am playing the title role in the musical, Violet, at the Sarasota Players. The story follows Violet Karl, a woman grappling with shame, self-delusion and the fear that a deformity will forever leave her standing alone outside the circle of humanity.
The music for Violet is by Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek the Musical) and libretto by Brian Crawley. It is based on the short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts.
This is a role I never quite expected to play and I am excited for the departure from my usual “song and dance” shows. Though there is plenty of singing, Violet acts more like a straight play. And the music has flavors of country, gospel, and bluegrass – not exactly my usual Rodgers and Hammerstein or George Gershwin.
The show also stars some amazing local actors and it’s a treat for me to work alongside new faces and many familiar ones.
Here is the full cast list:
Violet Kathryn Parks (me!)
Young Violet Hannah Beatt (oh so talented, she was in Sound of Music with me)
Flick Michael Mendez (we did “A Chorus Line” together and I am beyond thrilled for the opportunity to work opposite him in this)
Monty Brian Craft (new to the Players, it’s been lovely to get to know such talented, hard-working guy)
Father Allen Kretschmar (my first show with Allen, his “That’s What I Could Do” will melt your heart)
Preacher Chris Caswell (2nd show together after Titanic in 2009 – he’s ridiculously talented and offstage he’s got quite the sense of humor!)
Earl Derek Dutcher (We did Carousel together last year, always positive and thoughtful)
Mabel Alyssa Goudy (We go way back to the Golden Apple, she’s one of the most no-nonsense, pulled-together, hardworking people I know)
Old Lady Helen Holliday (our first show together, and I finally get to see why everyone loves her so much!)
Land Lady Phyllis Banks (1st show together, uber talented, beautiful heart)
Bill Dean Zachary Lutz (We both did Carousel, awesome guy!)
Virgil Ren Pearson (Very talented actor, any show is lucky to have his creative input)
Woman with Fan Tonya Richardson (Her first show at the Players, an unexpected touch of loveliness; she fits in well)
Ensemble: Jacob Brown (our second show together, helpful, dedicated, and quite talented)
Joy Campbell (Diana and Joy are amazing and I want them in every show I ever do!)
Co-Directed by Pamela Wiley
Co-Directed & Choreographed by Bob Trisolini
Musical Director: Rick Bogner