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History Reveals Itself in MY, LORD, WHAT A NIGHT at Orlando Shakes

History Reveals Itself in MY, LORD, WHAT A NIGHT at Orlando Shakes

Inspired by a true friendship, Deborah Brevoort's My Lord, What a Night produced by Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF - Central Florida's largest professional theater company, runs from March 18 - April 26, 2020. This production of My Lord, What a Night is part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Tickets (starting at $30) are available now by phone (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, online at, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).

Risking scandal and controversy, iconic historical figures-with distinct approaches to facing inequality-grapple with overcoming injustice during a turbulent time in our nation's history. The World Premiere of Deborah Brevoort's bold, new script reveals the real untold story of a true friendship between Jewish-American scientist Albert Einstein and African-American singer Marian Anderson. In 1937, when Anderson is denied a hotel room based on the color of her skin, Einstein invites her to stay in his home. From there, a foreshadowing conversation about racial politics opens up as great minds gather over tea and Swiss chocolate.

"This enlightening script was a patron favorite at PlayFest 2018," says Cynthia White, Orlando Shakes' director of new play development. "Now, we have the opportunity to share this story as a full production as a part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere, alongside Contemporary American Theatre Festival (Shepherdstown, WV) and Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota, FL). The conversations had between the characters in this play explore the philosophies that sparked the civil rights movement of the 20th century."

Orlando Shakes' My Lord, What a Night stars:

Eric Zivot* as Albert Einstein. Orlando Shakes: Ralph Waldo Emerson in Charm; Claudius in Hamlet; Parolles in All's Well That Ends Well; Malvolio in Twelfth Night; Gloucester in King Lear; Jaques in As You Like It; Macduff in Macbeth. Patrons may remember him as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman at Mad Cow. Nationally and internationally: The American Conservatory Theater: Saturday, Sunday, Monday; Cyrano de Bergerac; Hamlet; and The Cocktail Hour. Marin Shakespeare: Macbeth. Colorado Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale and Henry V. The Kingsman Shakespeare: As You Like It. The Stratford Festival of Canada: Measure for Measure; Twelfth Night; King Lear; and The Government Inspector. The Manitoba Theater Center: Richard III. Winnipeg Jewish Theater: Beau Jeste. The Fountain Theater: Declarations. Film and Television: JAG, The Alarmist, Two Voices, Looking for Lola, Babylon 5, Sunset Beach, and The Biggest Game in Town, now available on Amazon Prime. Eric is a member of both Actor's Equity and SAG/AFTRA

Sheryl Carbonell* as Marian Anderson. Previous Orlando Shakes credits include Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird and the understudy who performed Shakespeare's Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. Classically trained singer, Sheryl sang professionally with the Orlando Opera Company until its doors closed. Since then, she began working in regional theatres, recently American Stage as Ruth Younger in A Raisin in the Sun and Mad Cow Theatre as Rose Maxson in Fences. She recently shot independent films and for network, LeBlanc and Riviera, as well as two commercials for Zaxby's and Mercury Insurance. She gives thanks to God, family, and her teachers for their guidance, love and support. To see her work and hear her sing visit

J.D. Sutton* as Abraham Flexner. J.D is a familiar face to Orlando Shakes' audiences, having appeared in productions of Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, Nicholas Nickleby, and as the irascible "Oscar Hoffman" in The Luckiest People. He has also appeared in numerous book-in-hand readings for PlayFest, including this year's The Grand Illusion Show.

As a writer, his solo play as Thomas Jefferson, Twilight at Monticello, was the first script chosen for a PlayLab workshop, and has since been performed off-Broadway, and at venues throughout the "Original 13", including Philadelphia's historic Carpenters' Hall. His Jefferson & Jupiter, about the friendship between Jefferson and one of his slaves, was named Best Drama at 2016's Orlando Fringe Festival. Bartram's Travels, about 18th century botanist, explorer and artist William Bartram, has been performed throughout the southeast, and has been featured on PBS' Florida Frontiers.

Avis-Marie Barnes* as Mary Church Terrell. Bio coming soon. Orlando Theater: The Best of Enemies; Up The Ladder, Down the Slide; The Giver; and The Trayvon Martin Project. Film/TV: Jeepers Creepers, Waves, Greenleaf, Lodge 49, Atlanta, Stranger Things, and The Purge.

The artistic team includes Director Kel Haney***, Scenic and Lighting Designer Stephen Jones**, Costume Designer Denise R. Warner, Sound Designer Britt Sandusky, and AEA Stage Manager Paige Gober*.

Haney's recent credits include: Julia Doolittle's Tell Them I'm Still Young (featuring Andre Braugher and Michele Pawk - American Theater Group), Haney/Comfort's The Elephant in Every Room I Enter (Next Door at New York Theater Workshop & La MaMa), Laura Maria Censabella's Paradise (featuring Grant Shaud - Luna Stage; Passage Theatre), Chris Cragin-Day's A Woman (59E59 -- world premiere), Sharyn Rothstein's A Good Farmer (Premiere - American Theater Group), Christopher Wall's The Inherent Sadness of Low-Lying Areas (World Premiere - New World Symphony, Miami), Foster Mom (Premiere Stages), and Quiara Alegria Hudes's Water by the Spoonful. She has directed/developed new work with Abingdon Theatre Company, The Amoralists, Ars Nova, Atlantic Theater Company, Cherry Lane, Keen Company, Labyrinth, The Lark, Ma-Yi, Naked Angels, New Dramatists, New Georges, Partial Comfort, Playwrights Realm, Rattlestick, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Westport Country Playhouse, Williamstown & Working Theater. Also: MTC Directing Fellow, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Mabou Mines Residency, Old Vic/New Voices Exchange and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. Ms. Haney also directed the critically acclaimed short films, I Am Them and Stay Close.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association
**Member of United Scenic Artists


Preview Dates: March 18 & 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Opening Date: March 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Senior Matinees: March 25, April 1, 8, 15, & 22 at 2:00 p.m.

Talk Back Performance: April 5 at 2:00 p.m.

Opening Night Party & Pre-Show Chat - Friday, March 20

Arrive at 6:15 p.m. to enjoy free light appetizers, followed by a brief, informative discussion about the creative process with the director and members of the creative team. Free to all opening night ticket holders. No RSVP necessary.



Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and every Sunday and select Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. - starting at $30

Preview Performances and Senior Matinees - starting at $20

DISCOUNTS (May not be combined with any other offers)

Group Sales: 20% off groups of 10+

Student Rush: $15 - 30 minutes prior to show w/ valid student ID

Student and Active/Retired Military: $10 off single ticket prices w/ valid ID (Only available in Price Levels A and B)

$25 Under 35: Patrons under 35 years old can purchase $25 tickets for the afternoon and evening weekend performances on April 1 - 5. Call the Box Office at (407) 447-1700 ext. 1 or purchase online with code word: 25UNDER35 (Only available in Price Levels B and C.)

If it were a movie, My Lord, What a Night would be rated "PG-13". Children under 5 will not be admitted to our Signature Series productions. For the complete content advisory, please visit:

My Lord, What a Night is produced at Orlando Shakes as a part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Other partnering theaters are Contemporary American Theatre Festival (Shepherdstown) and Florida Studio Theatre. For more information please visit

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