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5 Things You Need to Know Today: April 13

School is in session today, tickets are available now for one of the biggest and best parties in Manatee County and you can see a free musical performance Monday night.

1. School children will be disappointed to learn that a Manatee County calendar has a misprint about today. County calendars say school is out toay, but they are wrong. Today is a regular school day. In addition, Wednesday will not be an early release day. Wednesday's school hours are extended to allow more time for the FCAT test. Dismissal times for students on Wednesday April 18th will be 2:20 p.m. for high schools, 3:05 p.m. for elementary schools and 3:55 p.m. for middle schools.

2. Studio 84 Productions will present “How I Learned to Drive” at 8 p.m., tonight and Saturday in the David S. & Anne V. Howard Studio Theatre, 5840 26th St. West, building 11 West. Additional performances are April 19-21 at 8 p.m. Matinee performances are scheduled at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 15 and April 22. As the winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Paul Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive” is a dark, dangerous comedy that explores the relationship between Li’l Bit and Uncle Peck as a series of driving lessons go from bad to worse, leaving them both forever altered. General admission is $10. Tickets are $5 for students and SCF employees. For more information, call the Neel Performing Arts Center box office at 941-752-5252.

3. The State College of Florida Music Theatre Ensemble will offer a free program Monday at 8 p.m. at the . The ensemble will perform songs and scenes from Broadway shows  including “Footloose.” “Titanic,” Legally Blonde,” “The Color Purple,” “Miss Saigon,” “Annie Get Your Gun,”  and “Shrek.” SCF Collegiate School ensemble, “The Eighth Notes,” will also be featured in a performance from “Grease!” For more information contact SCF Neel Box Office at 941-752-5252 or SCF Music Office at 941-752-5351.

4. Get your tickets now to Tropical Nights. Raise a glass, dine and dance, and savor an evening In the Vineyard. Tropical Nights is the annual fundraising celebration for the programs of Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Food Bank of Manatee. The event takes place at a beautiful private waterside home that will be transformed into a lush, rustic vineyard where guests will enjoy amazing cuisine paired with the perfect wine, silent auction, music, dancing, cocktails and more. Tickets are $150.

5. More than 200 aspiring student leaders from across Manatee County are expected to attend the Manatee County School District’s “Leadership Conference” on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lakewood Ranch High School. The theme for this year’s Leadership Conference is “Transitions” and sessions for students will focus on helping leaders make the move from elementary school to middle school; from middle school to high school; and from high school to post-secondary institutions of learning and the workforce. For more information, please call Mike Wilder, the Manatee District’s Coordinator of Leadership Development, at 708-8770, ext. 2247.

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