Florida Rep Announces 2018 PlayLab Festival Plays and Playwrights

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Florida Rep Announces 2018 PlayLab Festival Plays and Playwrights

Florida Repertory Theatre's 2018 PlayLab Festival of New Plays and Emerging Voices will feature six new play readings, the world premiere production of last year's festival winner, "George Washington's Teeth" by Mark St. Germain, a Playwright's Panel discussion, and a Keynote Address by alumna playwright, Daryl Lisa Fazio.

Sponsored by Lee Moore and Dee Whited, the fifth annual Festival runs May 3-6 in the ArtStage Studio Theatre, and tickets are $15 per reading or $77 for an all-access pass that includes six admissions and the Keynote Address/Playwrights' Panel.

The six new plays to be read reflect Florida Rep's mission to produce a wide variety of work by emerging and well-established writers, and are "Hostage" by Michelle Kholos Brooks, "Alabaster" by Audrey Cefaly, "Berta, Berta" by Angelica Chéri, "Gary" by Bruce Graham, "Maybe Probably" by Eric Henry Sanders, and "The Burdens" by Matt Schatz. The selected plays were chosen from an open call for submissions to affiliated artists with the National New Play Network and other literary agencies.

The plays featured in the festival were among 75 submissions read by a committee of over forty Florida Rep staffers, board members, affiliated artists, and volunteers. The finalists for the 2018 festival are "Never Not Once" by Carey Crim, "With" by Carter Lewis, and "Raging Skillet" by Jacques Lamarre.

Also as part of the 2018 festival, audiences will have the opportunity to see Florida Rep's world premiere production of "George Washington's Teeth" by Mark St. Germain that was read in the 2017 festival. Playing in the Historic Arcade Theatre April 24 - May 13, it will have performances throughout the PlayLab weekend. From the author of "Best of Enemies," "Dancing Lessons," and "Camping with Henry and Tom," the zany farce is the centerpiece of the 2018 PlayLab and a talkback will be held following the 8PMperformance on Saturday, May 5th.

PlayLab and Keynote Address tickets are $15 per reading or $77 for an All-Access Pass to see all six new works and the Keynote Address and Playwright's panel. Tickets to "George Washington's Teeth" are priced at $35-$55, and can be purchased separately. All tickets are available online at www.floridarep.org or by calling the box office at 239-332-4488.

Each reading will include a talk-back and a discussion with the playwrights, directors, and actors. The audience feedback is instrumental in the development process and helps the playwrights perfect their scripts and helps guide Florida Rep as it decides whether to include one of these plays in a future season.

The festival will feature many of Florida Rep's ensemble artists, professionals from across the state of Florida, and a number of local actors familiar to Southwest Florida audiences.

The PlayLab Festival is generously sponsored by Lee Moore and Dee Whited.

THE BURDENS by Matt Schatz
Told almost entirely via text messages, this dark, family comedy illustrates how technology can keep loved ones close, but also lets us keep our distance. Mordy is a struggling musician in LA. His big sister Jane is a successful attorney and a mother of three in New Jersey. When their widowed mother's life becomes emotionally and financially taxed by their terrible, 100-year-old grandfather, these two adult siblings are drawn into an elaborate plot to relieve their mother's burden at any cost. This zany and inventive comedy reminds us it's easier to text than talk - but autocorrect can be murder!
Thursday, May 3 at 7PM • ArtStage Studio Theatre

GARY by Bruce Graham
A zany comedy set in the very near future, Miles Farragut is in a battle of man vs. machine. Human beings are finding themselves obsolete and POTs (People of Technology - the politically correct word for robots) do everything for us and are taking all the good jobs. Miles sees nothing wrong with the march or progress...until he loses his job and a POT starts dating his daughter.
Friday, May 4 at 2PM • ArtStage Studio Theatre

BERTA, BERTA by Angelica Chéri
After committing an unforgivable crime and doomed to surrender his freedom, Leroy is granted one final wish: a chance to make amends with his long lost lover, Berta. Inspired by the prison chain gang song "Berta, Berta" that originated at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, this beautiful new play offers a fictional account of the song's origins.
Friday, May 4 at 8PM • ArtStage Studio Theatre

MAYBE, PROBABLY by Eric Henry Sanders
This quirky and truthful romantic comedy finds Kate and Guy ten months before their baby is born when Kate isn't pregnant and Guy isn't sure that they should have a baby. Babies are expensive, messy, they change the parents' lives, and have a huge environmental impact! A month later, though, Kate and Guy have a bun in the oven and "Maybe, Probably" follows their tribulations over three trimesters as they tackle the the impossible tasks pregnancy and parenthood.
Saturday, May 5 at 1PM • ArtStage Studio Theatre
Reading Sponsored by Guy Almeling and Linda Sebastian

Florida Rep celebrates the PlayLab's fifth anniversary by going back to its roots with keynote speaker, Daryl Lisa Fazio, whose play "Split in Three" was read in the first festival and chosen for a 2015 World Premiere in the theatre's 2014-15 season. Called by American Theatre Magazine, one of "a new breed of Southern female playwrights...leaving the front porch behind for a clearer view of a complicated region," Fazio's tireless work to write roles for strong Southern women has been noticed by theatres across the South and beyond. Fazio will speak on her journey as an actress, graphic designer, and now a powerful emerging voice in American Theatre. The evening also features a panel discussion and Q&A with all six festival playwrights with PlayLab Artistic Director, Jason Parrish, as the moderator.
Saturday, May 5 at 5PM • ArtStage Studio Theatre

ALABASTER by Audrey Cefaly
In this intimate portrait of two very different women finding common ground, a noted photographer sets out to explore the topography of "scars." Her journey lands her in the mysterious realm of an undiscovered folk artist hiding away in a small farmhouse on the outskirts of Alabaster, Alabama. This beautiful and edgy new play explores the meaning and purpose of art and the struggle of the lost and tortured souls that seek to create it.
Sunday, May 6 at 2PM • ArtStage Studio Theatre
Reading Sponsored by Emily Eason and Cos

HOSTAGE by Michelle Kholos Brooks
Based on true events, "Hostage" is an electrifying portrait of the ferocity of a mother's love. Patriotism is put to the ultimate test in a battle between politics and personal. In 1979, a group of students took over the American Embassy in Tehran, holding a group of American hostages for 444 days. The youngest hostage, a nineteen-year-old Marine, was in captivity for about six months when his mother flew from Wisconsin in hopes of seeing her son. This gripping new work imagines what happened in that room when a mother and her son were reunited, and the unintended consequences the mother faced when she returned home only to be a suspect in her own country.
Sunday, May 6 at 5:30PM • ArtStage Studio Theatre
Reading Sponsored by Noreen Raney

World Premiere Production
Chosen from the 2017 PlayLab Festival!
A hilarious comedy that follows the exploits of the women of the beleaguered New Bunion Historical Society as they battle the male city council to keep the doors open. With time running out to renew their lease, the ladies must find creative ways to snare new members and lure visitors to their sleepy, New England town. When a set of George Washington's dentures turns up in the hands of an unexpected rival, the ladies of the Society brace themselves for all-out war. Heartfelt and historic, this new farce proves that our differences don't divide us, they make us strong.
Playing Apr. 24 - May 13, 2018 in the Historic Arcade Theatre
Tue, Wed, Thur at 7PM; Fri & Sat at 8PM; Wed, Sat, Sun at 2PM
Sponsored by WGCU Public Media

Florida Rep is proud to be an Associate Member of the National New Play Network in Washington, DC, the country's alliance of nonprofit theaters that champion the development, production, and continued life of new plays, and has worked closely with the Network to develop relationships with playwrights, other theatre professionals, and theatres that champion new works.

Florida Repertory Theatre performs in the Historic Arcade Theatre and the ArtStage Studio Theatre on Bay St. between Jackson & Hendry with limited free parking in the Fort Myers River District. Visit Florida Rep online at FloridaRep.org, and by following the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

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