Florida Repertory Theatre Announces Plays and Playwrights for 2023 PlayLab Festival

After a two-season hiatus due to the pandemic, Florida Rep's popular festival for new works and emerging artists returns.

By: Mar. 31, 2023
Florida Repertory Theatre Announces Plays and Playwrights for 2023 PlayLab Festival

Florida Repertory Theatre will hold its PlayLab Festival May 4 - 7 in the Historic Arcade Theatre. The 2023 PlayLab lineup includes five plays reflecting Florida Rep's mission to produce a wide variety of work by emerging and well-established writers.

Tickets are $25 per reading or $120 for an all-access pass that includes admission to five readings plus the playwright's panel. For more information or to purchase tickets visit Click Here or call 239-332-4488 or toll-free at 877-787-8053.

Selected works include: "See Monsters of the Deep" by Mark Shanahan, "Trouble (at the Vista View Mobile Home Estates)" by Audrey Cefaly, "One-Shot" by Andrew Rosendorf, "Long Layover" by Michelle Tyrene Johnson, and "Mountain Mamas" by Daryl Lisa Fazio.

Each of the festival playwrights works with a professional director and cast of actors and receives 15 hours to workshop and develop their piece before it has one public reading during the intensive weekend festival. The plays are each in consideration for a future premiere production in a subsequent Florida Rep season. The festival culminates with a playwright panel session moderated by Jason Parrish, Florida Rep's associate artistic director.

"Each reading performance includes a talk-back and a discussion with the playwrights, directors and actors," said Jason Parrish, the festival organizer. "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."

Examples of past plays selected for production by Florida Rep include "Alabaster" by Audrey Cefaly produced in 2019, "Damascus" by Bennett Fisher, "The Dingdong" by Mark Shanahan in 2016, and "Split in Three" by Daryl Lisa Fazio produced in 2015.

Lee Moore and Dee Whited are grand sponsors of the 2023 Festival, with major support from playwright circle sponsors Darlene and Val Arnold, networking sponsor Naomi Bloom, and reading sponsors Dr. Susan B Herbel, Dr. Gail D. McClure, and Judy Weiner. Selected plays were chosen from an open call for submissions to literary agents and playwrights - some affiliated with the National New Play Network, of which Florida Rep is an Associate Member.



Thursday, May 4 | 7 PM
There are such things as monsters. Aren't there? August, 1937. A strange creature has been spotted swimming in the waters off Massachusetts. Are the local fishermen's reports to be believed? And what of the giant footprints recently found on the shore? Determined to confront his fear of the unknown, a young man from Brooklyn journeys to a small island off the coast of New England to learn the truth about the mysterious and elusive beast. Instead, his quest provides more questions than answers, a roller coaster ride filled with impenetrable mystery, enchanting characters, the thrill of romance...and the adventure of a lifetime.

TROUBLE (at the Vista View Mobile Home Estates)

by Audrey Cefaly
Friday, May 5 | 7 PM
An electrifying new play from the author of Alabaster and Maytag Virgin! In small-town Alabama, ex-mill worker, Euba, desperately does not want the birthday party her mother insists on throwing for her. On the eve of the celebration with their mutual friends, underlying tensions erupt to the surface in this surprising and compassionate dramedy of generational scars and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters.

ONE-SHOT by Andrew Rosendorf

Saturday, May 6 | 2 PM
It's 1999. Ellen has already come out on her TV show. Jack's about to do the same on Dawson's Creek. And David and Martín - two young video store employees, film buffs, and best friends - are waiting to hear about a film scholarship to NYU that could change the trajectory of their lives. An exploration of privilege, identity, and the ever-present celluloid closet, One-Shot examines who gets the space to tell what stories.

LONG LAYOVER by Michelle Tyrene Johnson

Saturday, May 6 | 7 PM
Lorraine is a single black woman at a crossroads. Unhappy with her life in Dallas, big decisions weigh her down. Kelly, her therapist, wants Lorraine to picture herself in her safe space when she's in a therapy session. Oddly for Lorraine, her safe-space is an airport waiting room. Facing a layoff, Lorraine has the chance to start over - should she move to Africa with her boyfriend...or Amsterdam to start a new career in cosmetics...or back to Memphis to care for her aging father? Long Layover is a powerful and inventive play about a woman trying to figure out what she wants, what she's become, and how to step into power, happiness, forgiveness, and love.

MOUNTAIN MAMAS by Daryl Lisa Fazio

Sunday, May 7 | 4 PM A moving and humor-filled portrait of women coal miners in West Virginia. Patsy Armstrong is a coal miner. Just like her daddy, Earl. And just like her mother, Wanda, who was one of the first women ever hired underground in a union mine - who's still there at 60 years old. Patsy's back in mother and daddy's house after a mining accident that left her unable to move or communicate. When the family gets news about the settlement from Patsy's accident, Livvy (her bright 18-year old daughter) jumps into the fray. And Patsy, now forced to listen and observe more than she ever did as a healthy person, is plagued by nightmares and revelations she's able to share only with us. In this story of resilience and redemption, it doesn't take long for Patsy to realize she has to learn a new way of being if she's going to save her entire world.


Sunday, May 7 | 6:30 PM

Following the final reading of the 2023 PlayLab, audiences will hear from all of the festival playwrights in a roundtable discussion. Moderated by Associate Artistic Director, Jason Parrish, the playwrights will talk about their plays, their work as writers, and what it takes to make a living as a playwright in the American Theatre. The playwrights will be joined by special guests from the literary world and the National New Play Network.

Florida Repertory Theatre 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.

This season Florida Rep celebrates 25 years of producing professional, live theatre in the Fort Myers River District. Performances are held in the Historic Arcade Theatre and the ArtStage Studio Theatre on Bay St. between Jackson & Hendry. Florida Rep's parking lot opens 2 hours before each performance and offers guests FREE PARKING across the street from the Arcade Theatre.

Subscriptions are now on sale for the 2023-2024 season and offer the best pricing and flexibility. Packages for 9, 8, 7, and 6 shows start at $234 for 6 shows. Tickets and information are available through the box office at 239-332-4488 or toll-free at 877-787-8053.

Visit Florida Rep online at Click Here to see what's on stage or to view the upcoming 2023-2024 season line-up of comedies, dramas, musicals, and new works. Follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for updates, behind-the-scenes insight, special offers, and more. Florida Repertory Theatre is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.

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