Florida School of the Arts presents the folk tale “Rashomon”

Florida School of the Arts students Jahleel Christian and Danielle Dubois rehearse “Rashomon”

“Rashomon,” a folk tale about mystery, deception and one man’s search for the truth by Fay and Michael Kanin, is coming to the main stage of Florida School of the Arts, located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. “Rashomon” runs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 27 through Saturday, September 29, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 30. Tickets are $5.

Based on the classic 1953 film by Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, “Rashomon” leaves different witnesses giving starkly contradictory accounts of what truly occurred in a murder. Two court observers try to make sense of these differing stories, attempting to get to the truth of what really happened.

According to Director Kevin Kelly, “`Rashomon’ asks us to ponder deeply the nature of truth. What is the truth in any particular situation? To what degree are we capable of ascertaining it? Why do certain people do what they do and how certain are we of what we witness? Our students and faculty have pursued this challenge since the start of the semester, and we’re very excited to have you join us, playing the vital role of the audience. We’re very curious: What do you see, and are you sure?”

The cast, in order of appearance, includes Dana Cox as the priest, Emely Cuestas as the woodcutter, Tatiyana Firth as the wigmaker, Collin Wallman as the deputy, Jahleel Christian as Tajomaru, Mark Wildman as the husband, Danielle Dubois as the wife, Emily Skinner as the mother and Marcella Marques as the medium.

“These young actors are not only responding to the individual challenges that their particular roles require of them, which in this show are pretty unique,” said Kelly, “but they are collaborating on and building all aspects of their show together, creating a great ensemble spirit that will energize and really come through in the performance in a fun, generous way.”

Kelly and faculty costume shop manager Tiffany Jordan chose “to modernize the look of the show while still paying homage to the history of the original script,” Jordan explained, adding that her research began with studying what was happening in Japan 1,000 years ago, which led her to the Heian time period that took place between 794 to 1185.

“I took a lot of influence from that time period in regards to silhouette and color,” Jordan stated. “I then took this study of the historical dress and mixed it with modern clothing that has an androgynous quality. You won’t see any kimonos in this show, but, instead, clothing that is simple and elegant with an Asian influence. The blend of the two ideas work together to create a design that is modern while still being rooted in its history.”

The production team includes Director Kelly; Stage Manager Kaylee Dowd; Costume Faculty Supervisor Emily Schafer; Costume Shop Manager Jordan; Technical Director/Scenic Designer Mark Exline; Sound Engineer Andrew Stevens; Fight Choreography Jahleel Christian, Mark Wildman and Kevin Kelly.

Lighting Faculty Supervisor, Scene Shop Manager and Master Electrician Chandler Caroccio; Lighting Designer Brittany Posso; Assistant Stage Managers Jadon Beck and M.J. McBride; Fight Choreographers Christian, Kelly and Wildman; Production Assistant Allyson Futch; Properties Mistress Savanna Flathmann; Cutter/Draper Marissa Mendez; Scenic Carpenters, Electricians and Scenic Artists: Katrina Babitzke, Neal Baker, Jadon Beck, Chad Boyd, Mitchel Burns, Christian, Cox, Cuestas, Dowd, Danielle Dubois, Firth, Flathmann, Futch, Anna Guzman, Rebekah Herskovitz, Nathaniel Heustis, Alantae Jackson, Facia Lee, Fermín Llosa, Marques, Maddison McBride, Jessica McCumber, Melissa Moore, Loudise Ortiz-Hernandez, Posso, Elijah Richardson-Grant, Melanie Rodriguez, Kirsten Rude, Stevens, Vincent Ward, Wildman and Samuel Williams IV; Costume Construction Crew: Kati Blankenship, Crystal Cruz, Danielle Dubois, Firth, Hannah Johnson, Timothy Lake, Ortiz-Hernandez, Jeff Parmenter, Rodriguez and Vincent Ward; Understudies include Futch, Heustis, Dante Jones Soto, Llosa, McCumber, Ortiz-Hernandez, Rodriguez and Rude.

The FloArts chapter of Delta Psi Omega (a national theatre honor society) will collect non-perishable, nutritious foods at each performance. Donations will assist the Feed the Need of Putnam County program. Encouraged food items are ones that can be easily prepared/cooked by young children. A donation box will be located in the lobby for the duration of the production.

Florida School of the Arts is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards the two-year associate degree. The School serves the entire state of Florida and is located on the SJR State Palatka campus. For more information, call 386-312-4300 or visit the website at


Florida School of the Arts students Jahleel Christian and Danielle Dubois rehearse for the first performance of the 2018-19 season. “Rashomon,” a folk tale about mystery, deception and one man’s search for the truth runs September 27 – 30 on the FloArts main stage.


Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020