Orlando Shakes Announces Directors And Casts For PLAYFEST 2018

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Orlando Shakes Announces Directors And Casts For PLAYFEST 2018Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF invites patrons to the center of the creative process at PlayFest presented by Harriett's Charitable Trust (PlayFest 2018) from November 2 - 4 and 10 - 11, 2018. The two weekend festival features seven readings of new plays in development. Tickets to individual PlayFest readings ($10) will be available to the general public on Wednesday, September 26 at 12:00 PM and may be purchased online at orlandoshakes.org, by phone at (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, or in person at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street). PlayFest Passes ($56) and PlayFest VIP Passes ($100) are on sale now and may be purchased by phone or in person.

This season's PlayFest lineup will feature groundbreaking new works from Hilary Bettis, Mark Brown, Robert Moulthrop, Meridith Friedman, Steven Dietz, Deborah Brevoort, and Emily Dendinger.

"PlayFest is a fun and exciting opportunity for audiences to be a part of shaping and creating art," said Director of New Play Development Cynthia White at Orlando Shakes. "With the playwright in attendance, patrons are able to provide feedback and ask questions in real time."

PlayFest is made possible through the generous support of Harriett's Charitable Trust with additional support from Frank Santos & Dan Dantin. This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program.

PlayFest is a nationally recognized program, representing one of the strongest commitments to new plays in the United States. Since its 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, Washington, D.C., and across the country. Audience favorites from PlayFest are handpicked and developed into full productions in the theater's Signature Season.

Orlando Shakes 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.


72 miles to go...

By Hilary Bettis

Immigration Drama

Friday, November 2, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

When a mother is deported to Mexico for the second time, the family struggles to reunite, despite the red tape in their way. Set against the volatile backdrop of immigration in the United States during the Obama administration, 72 miles to go... gives us a glimpse at one family's journey over eight years.

Director: Paul Castañeda

Stage Manager: Kaylyn Kriaski

Stage Directions Reader: Karen Marulanda

CAST: Joe Llorens as Billy, Leesa Castañeda as Anita, Diego Zozaya as Christian, Ana Martinez Medina as Eva, and Rico Lastrapes as Aaron.


By Emily Dendinger


Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.

"God punishes the wicked and rewards the good. #repentorperish" Having attended her first picket at five years old, Laurel is proud of the good work she has done in the name of the Lord. While being groomed to be the next leader of her radical church (a fictional church similar to Westboro Baptist), Laurel takes to Twitter to spread the Word. When her tweets are responded to by an agnostic college student, a rabbi, and a few Twitter trolls, Laurel struggles to determine the true meaning of her faith and define her relationship with God.

Director: Kristin Clippard

Stage Manager: Lisa Hardt

Stage Directions Reader: Summer Pliskow

CAST: Amanda Anne Dayton as Laurel, Mandi Lee as Colleen, Christine Gervais as Grace, Andy Gion as Donny, Carlos Pereyo as Joshua, James Putnam as Noah, and Mark Davids as Rabbi Cohen.

Love, the Cracksman

By Mark Brown


Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

Feats of derring-do are nothing new for the sauve James Willoughby Pitt. Relying on his wits to stay one step ahead, Pitt bets he can commit the perfect crime. His determination takes him on a whirlwind adventure across the Atlantic. Reputation, fortune, and true love are at risk for Jimmy in this witty, fast-paced comedy.

Director: Mark Shanahan

Stage Manager: Paige Gober

Stage Directions Reader: William Allred

CAST: Logan Benedict* as Actor 1, Sarah Hubert as Actor 2, Cameron Francis* as Actor 3, Jason Parrish* as Actor 4, Brian Brightman* as Actor 5, and Dan Kremer* as Actor 6.

Jane Burgoyne

By Robert Moulthrop


Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

"Do you really want to keep this, Mother?" Three generations of Burgoyne women are brought together as Jane prepares to move from her beloved family home to an independent living facility. With tensions at an all time high, a lifetime of hurt bubbles up to the surface. In this intense family drama, three smart, strong women attempt to unpack their past and plan for whatever the future holds.

Director: Tony Simotes

Stage Manager: Alli Gersbach

Stage Directions Reader: Melissa Landy

CAST: Kate Young* as Jane, Michelle Brightman* as Katherine, and Megan Valle as Allison.


By Meridith Friedman


Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

Armed with sharp tongues and dry wit, Richard and David navigate complex family relationships on the eve of their wedding. Despite hindrances ranging from white lies to life-altering secrets, I CAN GO uncovers human truths about the ones they love most. This contemporary and wryly humorous dramedy is the final installment in a series of three plays by Meridith Friedman, following The Luckiest People (produced by Orlando Shakes in April 2018) and Your Best One (read at PlayFest 2017).

Director: Tara Kromer

Stage Manager: Jackqueline Hilliker

Stage Directions Reader: Kaley Pharr

CAST: Dan Bright* as Richard, Alexander Mrazek* as David, Suzanne O'Donnell* as Laura, Connar Vidman as Josh, Kate Denson as Nancy, and Terence Lee as Matt.

The Great Beyond

By Steven Dietz

Supernatural Drama

Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

Despite their differences, sisters, Monica and Emily, reunite to tie up loose ends after their father's death. With the help of a medium, the siblings attempt to summon their father's spirit to gain forgiveness and discover the truth.

Director: Cynthia White

Stage Manager: Alli Gersbach

Stage Directions Reader: Krystal Rajkowski

CAST: Courtney Bahr as Monica, Melanie Whipple* as Emily, Cameron Francis* as Rex, Chelsey Panisch as Rene, Mark Ferrara as Coach Mayes.

My Lord, What a Night

By Deborah Brevoort

Historical Drama

Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 1:00 p.m.

When famed African-American singer Marian Anderson is refused lodging because of her ethnicity, she finds an unlikely friend in Albert Einstein. Quick witted debates attempt to solve the nation's problems over tea. Inspired by true events, this story explores the racial, religious, and gender-based struggles plaguing two of the most iconic entities of the 20th century.

Director: Kel Haney

Stage Manager: Justin Little

Stage Directions Reader: Rachael Lord

CAST: Eric Zivot* as Albert Einstein, Sheryl Carbonell* as Marian Anderson, and J.D. Sutton* as Abraham Flexner.

The role of Mary Church Terrell will be announced at a later date.

*Member of Actors' Equity Association

Photo by Megan Pridemore features Eric Zivot, E. Mani Cadet, and Lucy Carney in PlayFest 2017's Gertrude and Claudius

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