The Hippodrome Theatre is excited to announce the sixth production in our Hipp Unplugged reading series: To Be, written and performed by Candace Clift and directed by Ariel Reich.

About To Be: What happens when you wake up to a life that has turned upside down and nothing is what it once was? To Be is one woman’s humorous, sometimes wrenching, reckoning with breast cancer, mortality and Hamlet. It is a journey of hope and desire that wrestles bravely with life’s most important question. 

To Be
Feb. 10 & 11
7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

What is the Hipp Unplugged?

The Hipp Unplugged aims to bring Gainesville even more great theater that is more challenging than what we would be able to display with our regular mainstage season. With this series, we hope to also give a voice to underserved and underrepresented playwrights and provides our company and artistic community a place to come together and grow.

With The Hipp Unplugged, you can be the first to experience the works of promising artists in our intimate Cinema stage for just $10 a ticket. There will be a talkback after each performance with the director and cast to discuss the work performed!


Up Next

March 2 & 3

Company Member Gregg Jones directs 26 Pebbles by Eric Ulloa

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed twenty-six innocent souls before taking his own life. These twenty-six innocent deaths, like pebbles thrown into a pond, created ripples and vibrations that were felt far beyond the initial rings. This is the story of those vibrations

April 6 & 7

Company Members Clint Thornton and Bryan Mercer direct an original piece, Quicksand

Set in timeless areas of the Central Florida swamps, Quicksand, an original piece created by Hipp Company members Bryan Mercer and Clint Thornton, is a humorous and haunting exploration of a rigorous childhood amongst ghostly allies and corporeal monsters. A hypnotic soundscape created live by the performers underscores porch-told stories that span the hilarious, heartbreaking, and surreal aspects of a young life molded by moss, alligators, and beautifully powerful water.

Beloved Gainesville actors and married couple Nell Page and Kevin Rainsberger will take the stage to perform “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney, on the Hippodrome Mainstage Monday, February 10 at 7 p.m.

All proceeds raised will benefit the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.

In LOVE LETTERS, Andrew (Kevin Rainsberger) and Melissa (Nell Page) share the details of their separate lives through the course of about 50 years of intimate cards, notes and letters.  What began as birthday thank-you notes and summer camp postcards somersaults into a decades-long correspondence that beautifully tracks the characters as they each go to college, get married and have children.

Long-time Hippodrome supporter, Caren Gorenberg, is a 13-year survivor of stage IV lung cancer and creator of Gainesville’s Run Amuck with the Duck, a 5K walk/run at NFRMC in support of the Go2 Foundation for Lung Cancer.

The Hippodrome Theatre Gallery is proud to present a solo exhibit by artist Cindy Steiler. “Vestiges” will run through February 12, 2020 with an opening reception on January 31 from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. during Art Walk. 

“Vestiges” is a series of multimedia photographs exploring the complex intersections and transient nature of time, memory, and place. Through these modern and antique images altered by Victorian-era photographic processing and handwoven textiles, the artist asks us to consider the ephemeral qualities of home and human connection. “I’m strongly drawn to photographs,” says Steiler “both captured by myself and found, as they represent fixed points removed from time, essential truths of moments that take on different meanings in context.”

Steiler is a multidisciplinary artist and alternative process photographer living and working in Gainesville. Numerous solo and group exhibits, residencies, publications and workshops have taken her around the world. 


“Vestiges” will run through February 12 with an opening reception during Gainesville Artwalk on January 31 from 7- 10 pm. The Hippodrome is located at 25 SE 2nd Place Gainesville, FL 32601.

Gallery hours are Tuesday – Sunday 12 p.m. until “close of shows,” and Monday – Friday by appointment. For additional information, please contact Anna Verney at (352)375-4477 or artgallery@thehipp.org.

The Hippodrome Theatre is excited to announce the fifth production in our Hipp Unplugged reading series: Fireflies, written by Donja R. Love and directed by Ryan Hope Travis.

About Fireflies: Somewhere in the Jim Crow South, the sky is on fire. A pregnant Olivia’s fierce speechwriting is the true force behind her charismatic husband, Charles, and his successful movement, galvanizing people to march towards freedom. When four little girls are bombed in a church, Olivia and Charles’ marriage is threatened—as this tragedy and years of civil unrest leave Olivia believing that “this world ain’t no place to raise a colored child”.

I was moved by Mr. Love’s willingness to imagine, amid the terror of the times…other kinds of lives than the ones that history books offer.” —The New York Times.

A jaw-dropping and explosively dramatic two-hander…a powerful tale of love flashing its light in the dark…FIREFLIES is a drama of extraordinary depth and complexity…Love thrillingly crafts an intimate story that comes to feel cosmic in its enormity by the end.” —TheaterMania.com. 

Fireflies
Jan. 13 & 14
7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

What is the Hipp Unplugged?

The Hipp Unplugged aims to bring Gainesville even more great theater that is more challenging than what we would be able to display with our regular mainstage season. With this series, we hope to also give a voice to underserved and underrepresented playwrights and provides our company and artistic community a place to come together and grow.

With The Hipp Unplugged, you can be the first to experience the works of promising artists in our intimate Cinema stage for just $10 a ticket. There will be a talkback after each performance with the director and cast to discuss the work performed!


Up Next

February 10 & 11

Company Member Candace Clift performs her one woman piece, To Be

What happens when you wake up to a life that has turned upside down and nothing is what it once was? To Be is one woman’s humorous, sometimes wrenching, reckoning with breast cancer, mortality and Hamlet. It is a journey of hope and desire that wrestles bravely with life’s most important question. 

March 2 & 3

Company Member Gregg Jones directs 26 Pebbles by Eric Ulloa

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed twenty-six innocent souls before taking his own life. These twenty-six innocent deaths, like pebbles thrown into a pond, created ripples and vibrations that were felt far beyond the initial rings. This is the story of those vibrations

April 6 & 7

Company Members Clint Thornton and Bryan Mercer direct an original piece, Quicksand

Set in timeless areas of the Central Florida swamps, Quicksand, an original piece created by Hipp Company members Bryan Mercer and Clint Thornton, is a humorous and haunting exploration of a rigorous childhood amongst ghostly allies and corporeal monsters. A hypnotic soundscape created live by the performers underscores porch-told stories that span the hilarious, heartbreaking, and surreal aspects of a young life molded by moss, alligators, and beautifully powerful water.

Lone Star Spirits

Written by Josh Tobiessen
Directed by Stephanie Lynge

The Hippodrome Theatre, in collaboration with freeFall Theatre presents, Lone Star Spirits. A trip home to Texas gets wildly out of hand when Marley returns to her estranged father’s failing liquor store with her new fiancé. Hoping for a quick visit, she instead finds herself stranded with her football hero ex-boyfriend, an old high school chum and the ghost of the bear-wrestling pioneer who founded their town.

The Huffington Post calls it, “an abundance of humor, warmth and wisdom… Josh Tobiessen knows how to spin a surprise like a master.”

A New York Times Critic’s Pick, Lone Star Spirits takes a hilarious and sympathetic look at family– those who stay, those who leave and raising a glass to the ghosts of your past.

Ticket Pricing

  • Regular: $37.00
  • Senior: $25.00
  • Under 30: $25.00
  • Student: $15.00
  • Youth K-12: $15.00

Special Dates for Lone Star Spirits

  • Jan. 22 & 23 at 7 p.m.: Previews and Pay-What-You-Can
  • Jan. 24 at 8 p.m: Opening Night
  • Jan. 28 at 7 p.m: $10 Tuesday
  • Jan. 29 at 9 p.m: Mix & Mingle with the cast

Lone Star Spirits is on stage with seven shows a week starting January 24. Tuesdays at 7 p.m. | Wednesdays at 7 p.m. | Thursdays at 7 p.m. | Fridays at 8 p.m. |Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. | Sundays at 2 p.m.

The Hippodrome Jazz series is back! The Hipp is proud to partner with the University of Florida School of Music to bring this hit series back to the Hippodrome Lower Level. This series will continue every Monday until December 9. Doors are at 7:00 p.m. and the music is from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The Hippodrome Jazz series presents a range of jazz musicians. The full schedule of performers and links to advance tickets are below. The Hippodrome is proud to host such talented musicians to bring back Jazz and keep Gainesville Hipp!

Sept. 16- Cathy Dewitt. Get your tickets HERE

Sept. 23- Larry Newcomb and Howard Wapner. Get your tickets HERE

Sept. 30- Jacob Hardy. Get your tickets HERE

Oct. 7- Carlos Vizoso. Get your tickets HERE

Oct. 14- Bill Fote and Scott Wilson. Get your tickets HERE

Oct. 21- Giselle San Filippo and Kayton Lane. Get your tickets HERE

Oct. 28- Longineu Parsons and Zac Chester. Get your tickets HERE

Nov. 4- Jose Valentino and Robert Acevedo. Get your tickets HERE

Nov. 11- Ethan Nguyen and Peter McCann. Get your tickets HERE

Nov. 18- David Havens. Get your tickets HERE

Nov. 25- Brian Stevens and Paul Johnson. Get your tickets HERE

Dec. 2- Dan Stepp. Get your tickets HERE

Dec. 9- Mindwalk. Get your tickets HERE

Tickets are just $5 and are available in advance online at thehipp.org, at the Hipp Box Office or at the door. 

For more info, call 352.375.4477.

Hippodrome Observership:

A behind-the-scenes look into the East Coast premiere of”The Blameless” by Nick Gandiello

Directed by Stephanie Lynge


In the Hippodrome’s Observership Program, YOU are invited to join the backstage world which few audience members get to see. Join the cast and designers from the first rehearsal to the last. Get insider info about the art of acting. Learn how designers create a production from designs to construction. See first-hand how each show presents unique challenges and learn how we go about solving them. Become an active member of the Hippodrome family and join us to discover how a show goes from page to stage.
Our first Observership of the 2019-2020 season is The Blameless by Nick Gandiello; directed by artistic director Stephanie Lynge. This will be the second-ever production of The Blameless, posing unique challenges and exciting opportunities for the Hippodrome creative team. Excitingly, the playwright, Nick Gandiello, will be joining us in rehearsals to directly contribute to the mounting of this production. The Blameless asks audiences a profound question: How can you carry on after living through the unimaginable? Explore this funny, heartbreakingly-real story of a family broken apart by violence and their struggle to heal and forgive.


Our first Observership of the 2019-2020 season is The Blameless by Nick Gandiello; directed by artistic director Stephanie Lynge. This will be the second-ever production of The Blameless, posing unique challenges and exciting opportunities for the Hippodrome creative team. Excitingly, the playwright, Nick Gandiello, will be joining us in rehearsals to directly contribute to the mounting of this production. The Blameless asks audiences a profound question: How can you carry on after living through the unimaginable? Explore this funny, heartbreakingly-real story of a family broken apart by violence and their struggle to heal and forgive.


The Observership package includes five classes and one ticket to a preview performance.


5 MEETING DATES AND TIMES


Friday, Sept. 13 (4 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – Crash course on the play- Why this show now?- a behind-the-scenes-look at the Hipp
Friday, Sept. 20 (12:45 p.m. – 3 p.m.) – Attend the first read-through and see design presentations
Friday, Sept. 27 (3 p.m. – 5 pm) – Discuss the creative process with the designers and attend a rehearsal.
Thursday, Oct. 3 (Time TBD) – Attend a full run-through on the Mainstage with the Press in attendance.
Wednesday, Oct. 9 (7 p.m. – 10 p.m.) – Attend a preview performance and observe the Director’s notes afterward with the cast. 

What if an entire community read the same book at the same time?


The Hippodrome Theatre and their partners hope to answer that question later this month through their One City One Story program. 


“One City One Story is a great program that fits right into the mission of the Hipp,” said Stephanie Lynge, Hippodrome Artistic Director. “One City One Story allows us to bring our storytelling off the main stage and look at it from more perspectives in collaboration with the community.”


Starting with an open-mic night at the Hipp on August 22 and continuing with events through September, One City One Story aims to bring the community together through thought-provoking discussion of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The book, by Mark Haddon, has since been developed into a Tony Award-winning play by Simon Stephens; the Hipp and the UF School of Theater and Dance will partner on a production of the play that opens on August 30.

This year’s story revolves around Christopher, a young man whose unique characteristics, which resemble Autism Spectrum Disorder, shape the plot of “Curious Incident.”


“‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ is the perfect play for One City One Story and for our upcoming season, Breaking Boundaries,” Lynge said.  “Through Christopher, we get to experience life through the eyes of someone who processes and experiences the world differently than many of us.”

This year, those new ideas will center on Christopher’s unique condition and themes like individuality that are presented in “Curious Incident.”

The Hippodrome will be collaborating with other Gainesville organizations including UF’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, the Alachua County Library System, and UF’s student theatre company, Florida Players.


On top of the Hipp’s theatrical production, One City One Story will also include a lecture series, UF-partnered panels, an informal book club, a stage reading presentation and more. All events will be free and open to the public.

One City One Story Events:

Open Mic Night: Individuality & Identity
Thursday, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m.
At the Hipp Lower Level

Alachua County Library Book Club
Sunday, Aug. 25 at 5:30 p.m.
At the Hipp Lower Level

Unique: A New Theatrical Performance
Created and performed by local middle and high school students
Monday, Aug. 26 at 4:30 p.m.
At Alachua County Headquarters Library

New Stage Play Reading: “Milligrams” by Laura Chiarello
Presented by UF’s Florida Players
Sunday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
At the Hipp Lower Level

Led Panel Discussion with Director Dr. Ralf Remshardt & UF’s CARD Center for Autism
Saturday, Aug. 31 & Saturday, Sept. 14
Immediately following matinee performance on the Hipp Mainstage

Gene W. generously joined the Collier Challenge in order to assist in ensuring the future of the Hippodrome Theatre. Read what he had to say about the Collier Challenge and his decision to contribute.

If everyone who cares about the future of the Hipp were to step up in this way, even with relatively small amounts, the result can be a profound investment in the long term sustainability of this institution.

Funding for the arts is always unpredictable, and in the current climate it is especially hard to be confident about the future of the Hippodrome. But this community—my home for the last two decades—is obviously greatly enriched by the Hipp: its theatrical productions, independent cinema, educational outreach programs, and more—all right in the center of downtown Gainesville. Joining the Collier Campaign is a simple way to send a signal that this kind of contribution matters. We owe it to this community—to each other—to do what we can to keep these valuable programs alive over the long run.

I think of my own pledge as a kind of baseline. I will surely make additional one-time gifts in the future as well, the amount depending on circumstances and needs at the time. But the Collier Campaign is about providing a steady source of funds that will enable stability and a concerted strategy for the future of the Hippodrome.

Kudos and thanks to Mr. Collier for seeing the need for this—and to anyone else who has joined or will join this effort to keep Gainesville Hipp!


Nathan S. Collier, of the Collier Companies, has generously offered a 10-year dollar-for-dollar challenge grant to help secure the Hippodrome’s future. This unprecedented gift will allow the Hippodrome to build up an unrestricted fund to help smooth out the cash flow challenges inherent to the seasonal nature of theatre. The theatre’s staff and board of trustees expect it to lay the foundation for growth and an even higher caliber of artistic product in the coming years.

To learn more about the Collier Challenge and see how you can get involved, visit thehipp.org/collierchallenge


Niall McGinty talks about his role as Jimmy Nowak in “Miracle on South Division Street”.