Friends and patrons enjoy rock opera at home of historian

Dr. Wayne Wood and Douglas Coleman teamed up to help local author, playwright, singer and musician Jennifer Chase bring to life the rich history of the French in Jacksonville.
Musical excerpts of Chase’s rock opera “La Caroline” were performed live by the fabulous cast and band at the Riverside home of Dr. Wayne Wood on June 29 while guests enjoyed French wines served by Doug Coleman, executive director of Jacksonville Sister Cities, and eclectic Euro/Florida cuisine prepared by Elaine Wheeler. Funds raised will support the local and international productions in Jacksonville and its Sister City Nantes, France.

“I’m excited about the opportunities to show how we can contribute to our city,” said Chase, a professor of creative writing and English composition at FSCJ. “I’m a custodian of what I value in this city and uncover the connections with other cities. This play covers the best and the worst of us as human beings.”

La Caroline is a groundbreaking and contemporary new rock opera steeped in North Florida and European history, written by Chase, with music by John E. Citrone. It is the story of the founding of the first French Colony, by French Huguenot René Laudonnière in 1564, and his interactions with the Timucua people. Through history and different characters’ perspectives, the play examines relevant social issues in today’s world as well. The play and its writers were awarded a residency for development at the prestigious CAP 21 Musical Theatre Conservatory in NYC.

Vernon Myers, Mayor of the City of Palatka, Mary Coleman and Douglas Coleman, wearing official garb of the Order of the Knights of Wines of Brittany

Vernon Myers, Mayor of the City of Palatka, Mary Coleman and Douglas Coleman, wearing official garb of the Order of the Knights of Wines of Brittany

Kathleen King and playwright Jennifer Chase

Kathleen King and playwright Jennifer Chase

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Rob Smith and Dianne Daywood

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Barry Parker, Hila Head, Ali Wade and Chris Bartkowiak

Host Wayne Wood with Sheila Kloc and Francois Kloc, Consul Honoraire de France

Host Wayne Wood with Sheila Kloc and Francois Kloc, Consul Honoraire de France

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