Rise Above Performing Arts is getting set to enter its 5th season in our community. The nonprofit focuses its mission on producing full scale, Broadway style productions performed completely by young people. For the past four years, Rise Above has produced all of its shows at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center while renting government and local space for rehearsals.
With the current pandemic, Glenridge closed to outside vendors which Artistic Director, Jacob Ruscoe and his team used as an opportunity to take the organization to the next level. Rise Above is moving into the old Naples Flatbread and Wine Bar right next to Cinebistro in the Westfield Siesta Key shopping center at 3501 S. Tamiami Trail Ste 1105.
The location, which is over 5,000sq ft, will serve as both a rehearsal and performance space for the theatre. Ruscoe says it will not be a traditional proscenium stage but rather more of an open concept where the stage and seating can be rearranged depending on the show. Rise Above is currently retrofitting the former restaurant to create rehearsal areas, dressing rooms, concessions and a box office. The overall concept will be that of a multi-purpose space. Ruscoe envisions the space being used for everything from karaoke nights to comedy to music and dance performances. The organization is currently raising funds to complete the renovations which is anticipated to be done in early September.
“This is truly a dream come true for the young people we serve. They have a place to call home,” said Ruscoe. Rise Above will hold an open house Saturday, Aug 8th from 11:00-2:00 which is open to the public. Its first event will be its long-awaited Season Announcement Party in late August. They plan on producing their first show of the season in early November.
More information can be found at www.riseabovearts.com or by calling 941-702-4747.
Photo Credit: Bonnie Telinger