ince Vanni, one of the Live Oak Theatre’s founders compliments his young charges on their acting of Shakespeare instead of reading lines from a page during Summer Camp.

Live Oak Theatre Update

By Guest Author Posted on January 11, 2022

by Vince Vanni

A belated welcome back to all our winter residents. After a busy fall season, Live Oak Theatre & Conservatory took a much-needed holiday vacation.

For those of you who just arrived, Live Oak Theatre truly “upped the bar” this season with THREE critically acclaimed shows:  Into the Woods, Oliver, Jr., and The Little Earl. All three shows played to full houses. It seems that our reputation for quality talent and shows is spreading.

A major contributor to this is our ability to attract top quality performing arts instructors for our Conservatory. This results in well-trained, in-house performers.

So…a word to the wise…get your tickets early for NEWSIES! This is perhaps our most ambitious venture yet. Those who know the show – or the movie – know that it’s filled with high energy song and dance. NEWSIES! has its own following, which will attract audiences from all over Tampa Bay. This is why I advise to get advance seating early.

Live Oak Theatre to perform NEWSIES in March

Another thing that will attract audiences is that the show is being directed by Andi Garner, who has directed and choreographed at the Show Palace and other professional venues. She has a following all her own. Audiences know that whatever she directs will be fun to watch.

So – if she’s so good, how did we get her? That’s a long story by itself. In 1990 and 1991 I directed a young, talented 12-year-old in The Miracle Worker (she was Helen Keller). We became friends from that day on, and six years later she joined me and Live Oak Theatre president Randi Olsen, who was just out of college, in Fidler On the Roof at the Show Palace in Hudson.

Andi went on to a highly successful career in professional theatre. She was in demand by Broadway touring companies and cruise ships throughout her early 30s. That’s when she decided to come home, start a family, and teach and choreograph. Randi, Andi, and I were always in touch.

When an opening became available in our conservatory faculty, we were all reunited as Andi is our primary dance instructor.

Oh, and by the way, she isn’t the only Live Oak Conservatory person to spread our name. If you recently saw The Christmas Story at the new Suncoast Broadway professional theatre in Hudson, you might have recognized our very own Cam Kennedy as Ralphie, the boy who always wanted the Red Rider rifle.

And another thing – thanks to a donation by one of our benefactors – we have brand new very comfortable seating in our theatre. See the photo. For more information and to purchase tickets for NEWSIES! go to or email, or 352-593-0027.

One more thing, if you are on a limited budget, I have an offer for you. If you can get nine friends to purchase tickets together, your ticket (#10) is free. Call me personally to discuss this at 352-797-9199 or email



Stay Connected