Critical Social Issues Take Center Stage…. Book Banning. Anti-Semitism. Suicide Awareness.

Tickets: $45 VIP Opening Night Reception/Play, $30 General Admission, $25 Senior & Military, $15 Student

Straz’ Shimberg

Inspired by true events, “Alabama Story” by Kenneth Jones delves into the racial tensions and book censorship in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. It follows Emily Reed, a no-nonsense state librarian, as she faces backlash for adding the controversial children’s book about a black rabbit and a white rabbit getting married to the library. Its perceived message of racial integration and equality sparks outrage among some powerful figures in the state. As the Civil Rights movement is brewing, the children’s book stirs the passions of a  determined segregationist State Senator. A contrasting story of childhood friends—an African American man and a woman of white privilege, reunited in adulthood in a friendship that transcends societal boundaries—provides a private counterpoint to the public events swirling in the state capital. Political foes, star-crossed lovers, and one feisty children’s author inhabit the same page in a Deep South of the imagination that brims with humor, heartbreak, and hope. These characters’ lives intersect as they confront issues of racism, freedom of speech, and the power of literature. Set against the backdrop of segregation, the play explores themes of censorship, prejudice, and the power of literature.

USF College of
the Arts

The fourth annual “Voices of Women Theatre Festival” showcases 12 original local, national, and international plays from novice and veteran women playwrights. The festival will be a hybrid program – a combination of self-produced 10-minute plays, Powerstories-produced 60-minute plays, self-produced 60-minute plays – each live in the theatre during the first week – and 60-minute self-produced, pre-recorded digital plays during the second week of the festival. Additionally, all in-theatre plays will be recorded and become part of the second week of the festival, digital and view-on-demand.


“Irena’s Vow” by Dan Gordon is a compelling drama that tells the true story of Irena Gut Opdyke, a courageous Polish woman who risked her life during World War II to save Jewish refugees. Set in Nazi-occupied Poland, the play explores Irena’s remarkable journey as she hides and protects a group of Jews in the basement of a German officer’s home where she works as a housekeeper. This gripping and emotionally charged story highlights themes of bravery, compassion, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity. “Irena’s Vow” is a testament to the extraordinary acts of heroism that can emerge from the darkest moments in history. 

New Tampa Performing Arts Center

“Before I Go” by Stan Zimmerman is a deeply moving and impactful play that takes audiences on a journey into the world of suicide, a topic often shrouded in silence and stigma. The play delves into the last words written in letters by individuals who have tragically lost their lives to suicide, encompassing a wide spectrum of people, from celebrities to veterans, bullied children, LGBTQ individuals, and those battling clinical depression. Zimmerman’s work also explores the stories of survivors of suicide attempts, shedding light on their experiences and resilience. This thought-provoking play serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact of suicide on individuals and their loved ones. Through the heartfelt portrayal of these stories, “Before I Go” invites audiences to reflect on the importance of mental health awareness, empathy, and the urgent need to address the issues surrounding suicide in our society.