Heritage Theatre Festival to Present Heart-Filled Comedy 'Souvenir: A Fantasia On The Life Of Florence Foster Jenkins

Award-Winning Director Cate Caplin to Direct True Story of One of Opera World’s Most Unforgettable Stars While Celebrating a Unique Family Legacy at the Ruth Caplin Theatre

Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins Opens July 7

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – June 23, 2016 – Have you ever met someone who truly believed she could do anything?  This summer, the Heritage Theatre Festival will introduce you to just such a person in the upcoming production of Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, coming to the Ruth Caplin Theatre beginning July 7.

This delightful, funny, and heart-filled musical tells the real life story of an accidental opera star who refused to let her tone deafness get in the way of her opera star dreams.  Florence’s surprising road to fame is paved with bad notes and good intentions, as we learn through the memories of her trusted accompanist who sees beyond her musical limitations on the way to forging a uniquely touching friendship.  And it’s a story that is being told in two current films, including the recently-released Stephen Frears-directed Florence Foster Jenkins, starring Meryl Streep in the title role.

Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, by Stephen Temperley, will be presented at the Ruth Caplin Theatre from July 7-9 and July 12-15 at 8pm, and July 16 at 2pm.  Adult tickets for the show are $25.00 if purchased prior to June 30, and $30.00 if purchased after that date. Student tickets are $15.00. Single and season tickets for the 2016 Heritage Theatre Festival season are available at the UVA Arts Box Office (located in the lobby of the Drama Building), online at heritagetheatrefestival.org, or by phone at 434-924-3376.

The show will mark a return to the Heritage Theatre Festival for multi-award-winning Director-Choreographer Cate Caplin.  Ms. Caplin’s work has been seen at the White House, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Opera House, and other international venues ranging from the Paris Opera House to the Broadway stage.  This show will find her directing for the first time in a theatre named for her late mother, Ruth Caplin, and celebrating a memorable family milestone at the same time.

“This show has been on the top of my personal “Director’s Wish List” for years,” Caplin said, “and I am over the moon with excitement that I am finally getting to do it! The icing on the cake is that my father, Mortimer Caplin, is celebrating his 100th birthday, and he will be in town for a birthday toast, then will sit front and center with the rest of my family for the show.  It will be an emotionally loaded night and I couldn’t be more delighted! “

Caplin has always been drawn to Florence Foster Jenkins’ story and the life lessons she embodied that extended far beyond the musical realm. “Florence Foster Jenkins was speaking straight from the heart when she said, ‘It is from our greatest challenges that we learn most. Without risk of failure, there can be no success.’”

Caplin also said Jenkins’ unique passion for the art she so treasured has also always resonated with her. “She liked to say that art cannot be ruled by caution.  And so she fearlessly made her greatest dreams come true with passion and abandon.”

The 2016 Heritage Theatre Festival fun will continue with the beloved family musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, opening July 23 in the Ruth Caplin Theatre; Neil Simon’s  classic comedy The Odd Couple, opening on July 28 in the Culbreth Theatre; and The Wonder Bread Years, a wistful and funny one-man show from Seinfeld writer Pat Hazell that celebrates life in 1970’s America, opening on August 2 in the Ruth Caplin Theatre.

The Heritage Theatre Festival is hosted by the University of Virginia Department of Drama, and the Heritage 2016 Season is presented by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the UVA Department of Drama, the University of Virginia College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.

The Heritage Theatre Festival’s production of Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Jenkins is supported by WHTJ PBS.

Parking for Heritage Theatre Festival performances is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the theaters.

To access photos of this production, visit https://virginia.box.com/s/hjd9nr51fwqm3w3oigkb85ky2hj7a49h.

For more information on Heritage’s 2016 summer season, visit heritagetheatrefestival.org.