Tampa's Arts Scene Goes Gasp! Again

Mar 26, 2015

In the atrium of the Tampa Museum of Art, a dancer moved gracefully to pensive piano music. That was just one of the many acts at last year's GASP!--a one night festival for theater, dance, poetry, music and more.

This year, GASP! is back.

The festival is a collaborative effort between the Tampa Museum of Art and Creative Loafing

David Warner, editor-in-chief of Creative Loafing, said there was something missing among other Tampa-based festivals that occur in the month of March.

"In Gasparilla arts month--which has the music festival and the film festival--there was nothing that was specifically about the performing arts," he said. "This is the last gasp of Gasparilla."

Ward Hall, legendary showman who appeared at last year's festival, poses for a picture.
Credit Lori Ballard / Creative Loafing

These types of festivals are common in bigger cities--places like New York and Philadelphia, Warner said.

This year, Karleigh Chase will perform her one-woman play entitled Memoirs of a Painted Woman, which fictionalizes the perspective of women captured in some of the world's most iconic paintings and photos. 

Think: Mona Lisa and Marilyn Monroe. 

She opens the piece with a depiction of Frida Kahlo, a 20th-century Mexican painter, referencing a self-portrait.

Here's an excerpt: I'm not beautiful. You're wondering why I'm here. Wondering why the only female artist decided to paint herself as a man.  What can I say? I've never truly felt like a woman.

"Prepare to be surprised," Warner said. 

GASP! is on March 27 at the Tampa Museum of Art, beginning at 6:00 p.m.