Michael Donald Edwards

Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director

By Megan McDonald June 24, 2013

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Now in his seventh year as producing artistic director of Asolo Rep, Michael Donald Edwards, 63, is on a creative roll. Audiences—and critics—are raving about this season, which focused on the American character and kicked off with a rousing 1776 and explored sizzling issues of race and eroticism with Clybourne Park and Venus in Fur—both fresh from Broadway. We asked the eloquent and energetic Edwards what’s been inspiring him.

Starbucks grande skinny latte. “I can’t start my day without it. I need a little shock to get the brain juices flowing.”

The group of new restaurants on North Palm Avenue—Clasico Café + Bar, The Francis, and Louies Modern. “They’re reinvigorating the social scene in Sarasota. The atmosphere and the energy are just fantastic.”

Meeting new artists. “It’s always exciting when I engage with the next generation of stars of the American theater.”


Travel. “Around the world or across town. You never know where you will find the next big idea. Just go.”

Photography. “Have you seen the Herb Ritts exhibit at the Ringling? Marvelous.”

Ikea. “Anything you need to live your life can be found there. The only problem is the closest store is in Tampa. If there was one in Sarasota, I would go every day.”

Reading. “I read everything from The Advocate to daily newspapers to the latest nonfiction best-seller. Words inspire me.”

Working out at the YMCA on Main Street. “It’s a very social place to exercise. I get a great deal accomplished when I go there.”

The American spirit. “As an Australian immigrant, I’m inspired by the mix of people and culture in this country. Our strength comes from our diversity.”


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