Orlando Shakespeare Partners with Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center for THE BEST OF ENEMIES, 10/15-11/16

Orlando Shakespeare Partners with Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center for THE BEST OF ENEMIES, 10/15-11/16

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF announces a very special collaboration with the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the passage and signing of the Civil Rights Act, the two organizations will partner to present The Best of Enemies from October 15 - November 16, 2014 on the Goldman Theater stage. The powerful new play by Mark St. Germain exposes the poison of prejudice and the beauty of friendship. Single tickets to The Best of Enemies are available now by calling (407) 447-1700, visiting www.orlandoshakes.org, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).

Based on the bestselling novel by Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies is a true story about the relationship between C.P. Ellis, a Grand Cyclops of the KKK, and Ann Atwater, an African-American civil rights activist, during the court-ordered desegregation of the Durham, North Carolina, schools in 1971. Forced to co-lead a steering committee that represents all community viewpoints, Atwater and Ellis must face each other, and in doing so, are forced to face the best and worst in themselves.

"The Best of Enemies inspires an important dialogue about race relations in our country," said Orlando Shakes Managing Director PJ Albert. "We're excited to partner with the Holocaust Center to present this production during the 50th commemoration of the Civil Rights Act."

A special performance of The Best of Enemies, sponsored by Solomon F. Schick & Associates and Orlando Hard Rock Café, will take place on October 26, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., with all proceeds benefitting the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. This ticketed event includes pre-show hors d'oeuvres and drinks beginning at 6:00 p.m. General admission tickets ($100) can be reserved by calling (407) 447-1700 or purchased online at www.orlandoshakes.org.

In addition to its partnership with the Theater, the Holocaust Center will offer films, community presentations, and other programming that provide opportunities to remember the history of our struggles for equality. The special programming began with an Orlando Kick-Off event on Monday, June 30 in the City Hall Rotunda, co-sponsored by the Office of Community Affairs and Human Relations for the City of Orlando. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.centralfloridacivilrights.org.

"The Holocaust Center has long recognized the parallels between Jews oppressed under Nazi Germany's Nuremberg Laws and African Americans who were kept in second-class citizenship by a series of Jim Crow laws in the United States," said Jeffrey Miller, Holocaust Center President. "While much has changed since 1964, there are still inequalities that must be addressed. This performance is part of a community-wide collaboration to educate, commemorate, celebrate, and act upon the lessons of this important history."

The Best of Enemies is presented in partnership with the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida through the generosity of Valerie and Jim Shapiro.

Orlando Shakespeare Theater is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of www.power2give.org/centralflorida, and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts. Orlando Shakespeare Theater is also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL RESOURCE AND EDUCATION CENTER OF FLORIDA: The Holocaust Center's mission is to combat anti-Semitism, racism, and prejudice with the ultimate goal of developing a moral and just community through educational and cultural programs. Using the lessons of the Holocaust as a tool, the Center teaches the principles of good citizenship to thousands of people of all ages, religions, and backgrounds each year. The Holocaust Center is one of the oldest facilities of its kind in the nation. It houses permanent and temporary exhibit space, archives, and a research library. For more information visit www.holocaustedu.org.

ABOUT ORLANDO SHAKESPEARE THEATER: Founded in 1989, Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF produces classic, contemporary, and children's plays and musicals. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert, Orlando Shakes has grown into one of the region's most acclaimed professional Equity theaters, garnering national recognition from The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout. "Hence the high quality of Orlando Shakespeare, a company that deserves to be far more widely known outside Florida." With ambitious, high-caliber productions like 2014's The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Parts I & II or 2008's chilling Macbeth performed "in the round", the Theater continues to provide an innovative world-class theatrical experience to its guests, while showcasing William Shakespeare's legacy as the cornerstone of the company. Orlando Shakes also offers immersive educational programming that serves Central Florida schools and the local community at large. For more information visit www.orlandoshakes.org.

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