Lee Blessing's FOR THE LOYAL, BROOMSTICK & More Set for Orlando Shakespeare's PlayFest!, 11/8-10

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF proudly presents PlayFest! November 8-10, 2013. This engaging, fast-paced weekend is packed with lively discussions, engaging playwright panels, and new play readings, along with a keynote speech from playwright Lee Blessing. PlayFest 2013 is part of Harriett's New Play Series and marks the eleventh festival of new plays at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Tickets to individual PlayFest readings ($5) will be available to the general public on Tuesday, September 24, and may be purchased by calling the Box Office at (407) 447-1700, online at http://www.orlandoshakes.org, or in person inside the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins Street in Orlando's Loch Haven Cultural Park.

The 2013 PlayFest lineup promises a collection of groundbreaking new plays about love, magic, and humanity. Keynote Speaker Lee Blessing's For the Loyal follows a character's struggle to do the right thing against a wall of vested interests and denial. In (a love story) by Kelly P. Lusk, three couples set out to answer the eternal question "What is love?". Jennifer Hoppe-House's Bad Dog features a recovering addict who falls off the wagon as her family tries to cope with her wreckage and their own. In Broomstick by John Biguenet, a witch confesses all and reminds audiences why whiners wind up in casseroles. Lauren Gunderson's I and You brings two young people together in a simple poetry assignment that turns out to be much more. In Michael Aaron Santos' The Jericho Tree, magic and mayhem ensue as a history lesson intertwines with the fate of a special little tree. The seventh play in the festival will be announced at a later date.

"Introducing audiences to new plays that deal with issues and themes that are relevant to our contemporary culture has been an ongoing mission at Orlando Shakes," said Director of New Play Development Mark Routhier. "We look forward to working with these playwrights developing a new crop of plays at this fall's PlayFest."

PlayFest! is a nationally recognized program, representing one of the strongest commitments to new plays in the United States. Since it's inception in 2003, PlayFest has helped nurture and develop over 100 new plays - many of which have received subsequent productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Audience favorites from PlayFest are hand-selected and developed into full productions in Harriett's New Play Series.

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