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Asolo Rep Receives Combined $750,000 Gift from Peterson Family

Posted: July 2 / 2021

Latest gift launches the family’s second generation of philanthropic contributions to Asolo Rep

(SARASOTA, FL) – The Peterson family has granted a combined $750,000 gift to Asolo Repertory Theatre in honor of the family’s matriarch, Pasqualina “Lee” Peterson. Lee and her late husband Bob were longtime Asolo Rep supporters, and this latest gift launches the Petersons’ second generation of philanthropic impact on the organization. The lobby in the new building of Asolo Rep’s Robert and Beverly Koski Production Center will be named for the Petersons.

“It’s an incredible gift, and yet another testament to this family’s generosity,” said Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. “The Petersons have already made a tremendous impact on Asolo Rep. We are beyond grateful that they continue to support our work. They are a big reason that we’re able to pursue such ambitious artistic goals.”

The Petersons served as Co-Presidents of Asolo Rep’s Board of Directors during the 2000-2001 season and were Co-Chairs of the “Campaign for the 21st Century,” Asolo Rep’s Endowment and Capital Campaign, from 2007-2010. Lee and Bob also founded Asolo Rep’s Artistic Excellence Society in 2007 with a gift in support of Edwards in his first year with the organization. In 2008, the Petersons were inducted into Asolo Rep’s Crystal Society, recognizing their lifetime gifts totaling over $1 Million.

The new Koski Center building, which will be home to the Lee and Bob Peterson Family Lobby, will also include a state-of-the-art, two-story “Super Rehearsal Hall” as well as production spaces and multiple flexible studios. Asolo Rep celebrated the project’s groundbreaking earlier this year, marking the latest step in the theatre’s Staging Our Future strategic plan.

Lee Peterson passed away in 2017. Her children with Bob—Janice Radder, Jeffrey Peterson, and David Peterson—are continuing the family’s philanthropic legacy. David has taken up the mantle as a lifetime member of the Artistic Excellence Society.

Asolo Rep’s Artistic Excellence Fund supports the development and creation of new works that embody a spirit of risk-taking, collaboration, and innovation. The fund allows Asolo Rep to be forward-thinking in its show selections, to assemble stellar creative teams, and to produce works of the highest caliber through artistic enhancements.

In announcing this most recent gift to the theatre, David said, “Asolo Rep held a very special place in my family’s heart, and we are pleased to support them in their desire to provide wonderful artistic experiences to the Sarasota community.”

The Peterson family also recently donated Lee’s baby grand piano to Asolo Rep. The instrument now sits in Asolo Rep’s rehearsal hall, where it will first be utilized by the cast of Hair, the opening production of the theatre’s 2021-2022 season.



Entering its 63rd season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few select theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship bring to life this unique performance method that gives audiences the opportunity to see multiple productions in the span of a few days. Asolo Rep presents up to 10 productions each season including contemporary and classic works and provocative musical theatre experiences. A theatre district in and of itself, Asolo Rep is committed to expanding its reach into the community, furthering its collaboration with the best theatre artists working in the industry today and cultivating new artists through its affiliation with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and ground-breaking education and community programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations.

Visit asolorep.org to learn more.