Event of the Week: The Banyan Theater presents The Price

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Today we offer proof that if you pursue your dream, no matter what other people say, you can make that dream come true.

Jerry Finn had a dream. He wanted to provide serious drama to Sarasota theater audiences in the summertime. People told him that was a crazy idea; audiences wouldn't go for it; Suncoast audiences only want fluff, light fare in the summer.

But Finn went ahead and founded the Banyan Theatre. And Thursday night it opens its 13th season.

This first play is The Price by Arthur Miller. "It's about a relationship between two brothers which has been under tremendous strain for a long period of time," says actor Peter Thomasson.

"Because of what has happened over the years, me having to take care of the father, and my brother not being responsible and doing his share, we haven't seen each other in 16 years. And we're here to sell all our old family furniture because they're tearing the old house down," says actor Charlie Kevin.

Conraid Feininger plays Solomon the furnitue dealer. "Solomon's message is one of survival. He has battered his way to an advanced age and this could be the final challenge and he has to work out within himself whether or not he's going to take it on."

Feininger patterns Solomon after his own father. “I watched my father age and die at the age of 101, and the idea of portraying age on stage that I don't necessarily have myself is a big challenge. I played this part once before and I'm so excited to have the change to try again."

And so you see the brothers, surrounded by the belongings their father left behind, bargain with the furniture dealer and spar with each other. "What ensues is what a lot of families go through -- a lot of bitterness, a lot of regrets, anger, sadness."

This is the first of three plays the Baynan Theater Company will present this summer, all in the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for Performing Arts. The second play, The Sty of the Blind Pig, opens July 17th; and the third, Collected Stories by Donald Margulies, opens August. 7th.