■ BY SUE ERWIN
Have you ever wanted to participate in a play but didn’t quite have the courage to audition? A new program from a familiar island face might just be the “spark” you were looking for to step up your courage. Erica Ress Martin is starting a new program called “Spark,” which she named for the specific meaning of the word.
“I want to spark some interest in helping people ignite their creativity,” Martin said. “This program gives people a quick chance to be on stage without the commitment of a role in a formal play. It’s low stress, and there is no memorization.”
The first show, “Rescue Me,” is planned for Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Crowninshield Community House. Performances are planned for 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
More than 30 performers will take the stage and sing songs to raise money for pets. Proceeds from the shows will go to the Suncoast Humane Society’s capital campaign.
Ann Fletcher will be playing the role of Shirley Temple and will sing “How Much Is that Doggy in the Window?”
A group of women dressed as cats will perform “I Feel Kitty,” and James Martin will sing What’s New Pussycat?” while trying to decide which one to adopt.
Martin started Grande Glee on the island several years ago, because she wanted to give people a chance to perform and share their talents in a comfortable environment. And the
organization continues to grow to this day.
“‘Spark’ is about giving yourself a chance to do something you’ve always wanted to do,” Martin said. “We’ve done stage readings with the Royal Palm Players, and that’s what made me think about starting another program for people who want to give acting a try but are not quite ready to commit to a play.”
She is hoping more nonprofits will contact her about doing shows and concerts to raise money for their organizations.
Tickets for the “Rescue Me” show on December 6 are available now. The cost is $35. Call (941) 474-7884.