Theater people are famous for taking the stage to support friends and causes that are dear to their hearts. And there are few people dearer to the region’s theater community than Garry Allan Breul.
He has worked as associate artistic director of Asolo Repertory Theatre, a stage director, acting teacher and coach and most recently as a stage manager primarily at American Stage and Florida Studio Theatre.
As founder of the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project, he has raised thousands of dollars to support those who are living with or are impacted by HIV and AIDS, through his own staged benefit shows.
Breul, who is actively planning his next SATP fund-raising show called “All About Steve” at American Stage on June 23 and 29, is also dealing with some health issues of his own.
So, many of the actors with whom he has worked over the years are joining together for “A Life Onstage,” a benefit show to help with his medical expenses at 7 p.m. Monday at Florida Studio Theatre’s Gompertz Theatre.
“As soon as word got out about Garry and where he’s at in his treatment, some people said why can’t we do one of those benefit shows for him,” said Katherine Michelle Tanner, who has organized the program.
Rather than a tribute to Breul, “we want to celebrate what it’s like to have a life on stage, the ups and downs,” she said.
It begins with a young performer play-acting and deals with the training and practice required for an acting career.
“We couldn’t do it without people like Garry,” Tanner said. “He’s just a great, open spirit. You don’t realize how important that is until you show up every day putting your heart on the line and have someone like Garry to support you.”
Tanner and musical director Michael Raabe will be joined by such performers as Ann Morrison, Larry Alexander, Brian Shea, Roxanne Fay and Jim Sorenson, among many others.
“A Life Onstage” will be presented at 7 p.m. Monday at Florida Studio Theatre’s Gompertz Theatre, 1247 First St., Sarasota. Tickets are $20 at the door. For reservations e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org