Don and Michael are two polar opposites whose lives are in no way going according to plan. But when destiny lands their sons on the same Little League team, the men are forced to coach the swarm of a dozen or so youngsters with bats…together.
Don is a win-at-all-costs baseball coaching veteran with zero patience for lateness, losing, or untied shoelaces. Michael is a newcomer to the game and just wants the kids to have fun. We watch the comedy unfold in Rounding Third by Richard Dresser as the mis-matched pair butt heads and test each other’s patience, all while trying to lead their team of Little Leaguers to victory.
“A lot of the comedy in the play absolutely comes out of the odd couple -style set up,” said Director Jason Cannon. “It’s smart writing, rife with conflict that is simultaneously dramatic and humorous. And just when you think you’ve gotten your arms around the relationship between these two men, something new and unexpected comes into play.”
“Don is a fiercely competitive guy who has a disdain for losers and adoration of winners,” shared actor Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper, who plays the role in FST’s production. “His actions are not terribly well thought out, and therefore he contradicts himself constantly, but does so with the utmost confidence.”
“And Michael is in the ‘have fun’ camp,” said co-star Timothy C. Goodwin, who plays the role of the rookie Little League coach. “He’s just beginning to take care of himself and his son, and he thinks the best way for them to move forward is by sharing fun experiences together.”
“Rounding Third points out that Little League baseball is the great equalizer: it turns men into boys, and boys into men,” said FST’s Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins. “And most of all, it makes us laugh. It’s a very funny play.”
Nicolas Mongiardo-Cooper makes his Florida Studio Theatre debut in Rounding Third with his performance of Don. He has previously been seen Off-Broadway in such productions as Rothschild & Sons, Lonesome Traveler, and Julius Caesar. He’s also been seen in regional theatre productions across the country such as Once, Sweeney Todd, and House of Dreams.
Timothy C. Goodwin returns to FST to play the role of Michael. Goodwin has performed in over ten productions of Shear Madness, including its runs Off-Broadway and at FST. His credits also include Singles in Agriculture and Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure.
Throughout the season, as Don and Michael navigate breathtaking victories and crushing defeats — both on and off the field — the two men discover they each have a lot to learn from the unexpected curveballs life throws their way.
“At the end of the day, to my mind, this play isn’t really about sports,” said Cannon. “It’s about grappling with life and responding with grace when the game doesn’t break your way. When a runner rounds third, and heads for home, there are no guarantees. You usually can’t even see where the ball is in relation to you. But you run your heart out anyway.”
Rounding Third by Richard Dresser is now playing in FST’s Gompertz Theatre through August 29, 2021. For tickets or more information, click here.