Orlando Shakespeare Theater Announces Updates to 29th Season

Orlando Shakespeare Theater Announces Updates to 29th SeasonArtistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert announced updates to Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF's (Orlando Shakes) upcoming 2017-2018 Season. The Margeson Theater-Orlando Shakes' thrust stage-will be transformed into theater in-the-round seating for Man of La Mancha (Sep. 6 - Oct. 8, 2017) and Showtime for Shakespeare: A Magic Tree House Adventure (Oct.19 - Nov. 17, 2017). The Theater's final Signature Series production, William Shakespeare's Timon of Athens, will change to a yet to-be-determined production due to a reduction in state funding for arts and cultural-related activities.

Ticket demand for Orlando Shakes' musicals has been increasing steadily since they first returned to producing them in 2014 with Les Miserables. The decision to move Man of La Mancha and Showtime for Shakespeare: A Magic Tree House Adventure into theater in-the-round seating came about as a solution to better meet the needs of audiences. Transforming the Margeson Theater into in-the-round seating will create an additional 69 seats, for a total of 390 tickets eligible to be sold per performance. It will also create a unique live theater environment that is rarely experienced in Central Florida.

"Musicals in-the-round bring the audience a closer, more immersive experience," said Helsinger. "Live theater is always a special experience, but with this style of seating audiences will be able to feel like they are a part of the story unfolding in front of them. They will be on the fields of La Mancha with Don Quixote and on the stage with William Shakespeare."

As well as adding seating for two of their shows, Orlando Shakes will alter their final planned Signature Series show of the Season, Timon of Athens, with a to-be-determined production. Productions presented by Orlando Shakes are funded in part by donations in order to keep ticket prices affordable. The State of Florida's decision to reduce funding for arts and cultural-related categories by 60 percent from last year's levels is the leading factor behind the change. State funding is provided to 480 non-profit organizations throughout Florida and is a crucial factor in planning what type of shows Orlando Shakes is able to present to the community.

"We live in a time where artistic decisions are influenced by fiscal responsibility," said Helsinger. "Orlando Shakes has served over 1.7 million patrons in our community over the past 28 years and we want to be here to serve for 28 more. Timon of Athens is a spectacular show that we plan to revisit in a later season, but currently we do not have the funds to produce it properly. "

Orlando Shakes' final 29th Season Signature Series production will be announced at a later date. Current subscribers will be contacted about season changes and given the opportunity to update their tickets.

Orlando Shakes season ticket packages are available now by calling (407) 447-1700 ext. 1 or in person at the Box Office (812 East Rollins Street). Regular tickets to all remaining productions in Orlando Shakes' 29th Season go on sale June 20, 2017. 2017-2018 titles and dates are subject to change; additional information about the season, including creative team and casting, will be announced at a later date.

This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Orlando Shakespeare Theater is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of OrlandoAtPlay.com and UAArtsEd.com. This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida.

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