Founder’s Story

The story begins in June 1998 when Fran Powers decided to ride her bicycle across the United States. Starting in Seattle Washington, the first two weeks were extremely grueling and she continually asked herself “what am I doing here?” On the last day in Montana she began to feel more joyful as she finally noticed her surroundings reveling in the big blue sky, purple mountains and striking wild flowers. With all this beauty surrounding her, she began to sing “The Little Drummer Boy” from the top of her lungs.

As she crossed the Wyoming border she stopped, unclipped her feet from the pedals and stood straddling her bike with her arms high in the air. She had been asking “what am I doing here?” and with complete clarity she now had her answer. She was on the bike ride so she could finally understand one of her life’s purposes. She was to start a theatre to help women and girls honor and celebrate their strengths through knowing and sharing their personal stories. Powerstories Theatre was born!

The idea continued to take root as she rode the remaining miles all the way to Washington DC. When she returned to Tampa, she notified women of an audition opportunity. She simply asked “Do you have a story to tell?”

Eight local women, ages 30 to 70, with little to no acting background were selected to perform for the general public. An original script “Let the Stories Move You” with original music was written to link all the stories into a cohesive and inspirational theatre piece.

Powerstories Theatre debuted in November 2000 at the Friday Morning Musicale in Tampa, Florida. By August 2001 they performed at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center to sold out audiences.  By 2010, it won a prestigious Arts & Humanities Award, presented by Michelle Obama at the White House. Today, Powerstories Theatre is branching out onto the national stage with the Advice I Would Give My Younger Self series.

From the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center to the hallowed halls of the White House, Powerstories Theatre has a rich history and a proud list of accomplishments garnered over its nearly two decades in existence.