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Home » News » FSU/Asolo Conservatory alum Directs “Stick Fly”

FSU/Asolo Conservatory alum Directs “Stick Fly”

Published January 6, 2023
The words "Stick Fly" are written in yellow text across a pale blue sky in a coastal environment. The letter "i" is made of a lighthouse.

You can see “Stick Fly” at the Conservatory’s Cook Theatre in Sarasota January 3-22.

New York-based actor and director Marcus Denard Johnson (MFA Acting 2008) returns to the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training in Sarasota this January to direct the season production of “Stick Fly.” He is joined by fellow alum DeAnna Wright (MFA Acting 2019), a visiting assistant professor at the Conservatory, who is serving as a text work and technique coach on the show.

‘Stick Fly’ stands out in our season, because it offers a fresh look at our society and some of its key issues, such as race, class and privilege, gender roles and generational dynamics,” said Andrei Malaev-Babel, director of the conservatory. “Lydia Diamond’s play is a masterfully written ensemble piece, where every role provides rich material for our graduate actors. We are especially excited to have two of our exceptional alumni heading the creative team for this production!”

A cast of actors performs on a set that looks like a living room.

Cast of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory’s production of “Stick Fly.” Photo by Frank Atura.

“Stick Fly,” written by Lydia Diamond, is a winner of the Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Play. The play centers an affluent Black family at their weekend home on Martha’s Vineyard, highlighting a point of view not often seen on the stage.

“Everyone coming into this play will be able to grab onto something that is familiar – that they can relate to regardless of race, class, or respectability politics.” said Johnson. “But coming to see ‘Stick Fly’ is also a great way to show your support for stories that center people of color, and for Black actors. It sends a powerful message.”

Wright works closely with Johnson, helping to marry the production with the program’s rigorous actor training.

“This story is one that’s very exciting for these actors to tell,” said Wright. “I can’t wait for everyone to be a witness to the incredible work we’ve done in embodying the world of ‘Stick Fly.’”

You can see “Stick Fly” at the Conservatory’s Cook Theatre in Sarasota January 3-22. Tickets are available now at

Each year, only 12 students are selected from thousands of applicants nationwide for the Conservatory’s three-year MFA program, which combines rigorous classroom training with performance opportunities at the Conservatory and through FSU’s partnership with the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Learn more about the Conservatory and FSU’s theatre programs at