Players Center’s Jeffery Kin stars as Daddy
Arts and culture
BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY EDITION FRIDAY WEEKEND
FRIDAY MAY 21, 2021
Most people who know Jeffery Kin say he gives off a “future dad” vibe whenever a Players Center production starts. The company’s producer art director walks around the venue, checking and rechecking every facet of production, from sound and lighting to blocking and wardrobe. “There’s just all of these things that can go wrong,” he says, “and with the one-night stands my energy is always just a little higher.”
But last Wednesday at Selby Gardens, things turned out well and Kin oversaw the birth of a healthy baby musical. As part of The Players’ efforts to continue producing safe shows and Selby’s desire to put on more outdoor performances, Kin produced a one-time show for the Lichtenstein Nights of the Gardens lineup that included musical numbers as well as original dialogues that served as a transition between songs.
Performers Kathryn Parks and Charlie Logan stole the show, but the victory belonged to everyone involved to help keep the show alive as the world slowly emerges from its pandemic hangover. “We never stopped producing, even during the summer,” says Kin, “as long as we were outside and the venue had electricity, parking and pots – the three Ps – we we just realized, why not?
The other side of the equation was the demolition of the former theater company location on Tamiami Trail. “We were paying a lot to stay in this space and were supposed to get out by May anyway,” says Kin, “so I toured the city for months looking for empty spaces where we could play. while we were waiting for our location at the Lakewood Ranch. to build. The search proved difficult until Kin finally found the right situation in a building trying to redefine himself. “With William Skaggs, our new CEO, we were able to negotiate a lease for a space at Crossings in Siesta Key,” says Kin.
The new space, dubbed 1130 in honor of its sequel number, gives The Players an indoor venue to complement their success with shows like Lichtenstein Nights and their annual production Sleepy Hollow at Polo Grounds. Productions will begin in October of this year, with a full season announcement in July.
As for Kin’s ‘future dad’ vibes, after last week’s Selby performance, he now has reason to play the proud dad. “Again, there was so much that could have gone wrong,” he says, “but if you don’t take a risk, you don’t create art. We’ve worked hard to stay relevant and active, and I’m very proud of that. “
Photo credit: Cliff Roles.