Orlando Shakes Updates 32nd Season In Response To Pandemic
In response to COVID-19, Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF has reshuffled and updated its upcoming season.
The wellbeing of patrons, artists, and staff is at the forefront of Orlando Shake's operations, particularly in the face of the global pandemic that has quarantined our community. The previously announced upcoming season has been reimagined to implement best practices in changed opening dates, sanitization, and creating a safe space for live professional theater to return to our region.
Although maintaining a clean building has always been a priority, Orlando Shakes will be exploring new measures, including social distancing, hand sanitation stations, masks, gloves, and thermal temperature devices, in its evolving plans as the company launches its Signature Series season with a delayed start of October 2020. Patrons will also be assured that each theater seat is sanitized before every performance and all touch-points and high traffic areas (railings, door handles, counters, and bathrooms) will be thoroughly sanitized multiple times each day. More specific information will be released in conjunction with any local, county, state and federal guidelines and updated in each performance reminder that comes to ticket holders and subscribers prior to their attendance.
To kick-off the Signature Series season, and just in time for Halloween, audiences are invited into the macabre mind of Edgar Allan Poe in Poe: Deep Into That Darkness Peering. For the holidays, The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge, the hit crotchety Christmas comedy sequel to Dickens classic, returns. In the new year, the popular love-crossed comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream will be followed by two productions that were postponed by the epidemic, the Bare Bard version of Henry IV, Part Two and the rolling world premiere production, My Lord What A Night. For the first time in the company's history, the company will end season 32 with two back to back musicals: the sci-fi comedy spoof favorite, Little Shop of Horrors and Orlando Shakes will transform the Mandell Theater into a Philadelphia night club complete with bar service for the bittersweet dramedy and Billie Holiday musical, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill.
When the current season was cut short, the theater made the decision to continue to chronologically present its Fire and Reign series. The Wars of the Roses plays have been pushed to a future season while Henry IV, Part Two and Henry V will be produced offering patrons the renewed opportunity to continue to participate in their passport program and receive their "I Saw The Rise of Henry V" dogtags. Details for Henry V will be offered at a later date.
The 2020-2021 Children's Series includes two family-friendly productions: in the fall, meet "some pig" and a delightfully charming spider in the classic Charlotte's Web in late September; and blast off into space with Interstellar Cinderella in Spring 2021. The previously planned summer 2020 production of The Snow Princess will be presented in summer 2021.
"This year, our Children's Series productions explore the theme of courage," Anne Hering, Orlando Shakes' director of education, said. "Bravery, confidence, and reaching for the stars are all subjects children have been forced to confront over the past several months."
Current Orlando Shakes subscribers may renew their subscription now by calling (407) 447-1700 ext. 1. New Signature 7 and Children's Series subscriptions will go on sale starting May 12, 2020. Choose Your Own 3 & 5 show passes will go on sale starting June 9, 2020. Patrons with outstanding credits for cancelled shows in the 19-20 season may donate or apply them to the upcoming season.
Student matinees are on sale now and group tickets (of 10 or more) for all regular performances go on sale May 26. Tickets to all productions go on sale July 7, 2020. 2020-2021 titles and dates are subject to change; additional information about the season, including creative teams and casting, will be announced at a later date.
Orlando Shakes 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. Orlando Shakes is funded in part by the Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Orlando Shakes is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of OrlandoAtPlay.com and UAArtsEd.com.
Orlando Shakes' Fire and Reign series is presented by Brian Phillips P.A. and Albert and Lisa Prast.
Poe: Deep Into That Darkness Peering
By Mark Rector and Mark Brown
October 7 - November 15, 2020
This deliciously dark and compelling drama is about one of America's most haunting poets and storytellers, Edgar Allan Poe. The play opens on the night before his untimely death as Poe undertakes a desperate wager to save his life. He must unravel an intricate puzzle that draws him into the macabre dreamland of his own stories and poems. Enjoy a riveting tour de force performance with a twisted ending you never saw coming.
The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge
By Mark Brown
November 18 - December 20, 2020
In this hilarious, twisted take on the holiday classic, it's one year after A Christmas Carol and Scrooge has returned to his miserly ways, putting The Ghosts of Christmas on trial for breaking and entering, kidnapping, slander, pain and suffering, attempted murder, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Both silly and sweet, The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge is a heartwarming comedy for the whole family!
A Midsummer Night's Dream
January 6 - 31, 2021
"Lord, what fools these mortals be!" Four young lovers wander into an enchanted forest where the king and queen of the fairies are having a dispute of royal proportions. When mischief-maker Puck gets a hold of a love potion, he sets in motion all the comical misunderstandings that arise from the young lovers' chase through the woods. Shakespeare's classic comedy charms everyone who enters its magical realm - but all's well that ends well in this glittering heartwarming favorite that celebrates ideal love.
My Lord, What a Night
January 20 - February 21, 2021
Risking scandal and controversy, iconic historical figures 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.
Bare Bard: Henry IV, Part 2
February 3 - 14, 2021
"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." See William Shakespeare's story of burnt bridges and growing pains stripped down to a lively, raw, rambunctious performance, like nothing you've experienced before. Orlando Shakes' actors will tackle Henry IV, Part 2 with less than 40 hours of rehearsal, no designers, and no director - just like the acting companies of Shakespeare's time! Henry IV, Part 2 is part of Orlando Shakes' Fire and Reign series.
Little Shop of Horrors
March 3 - 28, 2021
This campy Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop of Horrors, has devoured the hearts of theater goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.
The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names "Audrey II" - after his coworker crush. This saucy, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Seymour as long as he keeps feeding it... blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II's out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
March 31 - May 9, 2021
In this powerful musical production, you'll laugh as much as you cry while Billie Holiday sings her most famous songs and reminisces about the great triumphs and losses of her life. The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie's last performances-four months before her untimely death. With the help of her piano man, Jimmy Powers, she lets music tell her story, sharing soulful, heart-wrenching, and bawdy songs from her memorable canon including: "Strange Fruit," "God Bless the Child," "When a Woman Loves a Man," and "Taint Nobody's Business If I Do."
September 22 - November 1, 2020
This treasured tale, featuring madcap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship. Charlotte's Web is based on E.B. White's loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem: how to avoid winding up as pork chops! Charlotte, a fine writer and true friend, hits on a plan to fool Farmer Zuckerman. She will create a "miracle." Spinning the words "Some Pig" in her web, Charlotte weaves a solution which not only makes Wilbur a prize pig but also ensures his place on the farm forever.
Music and Lyrics by Laurie Berkner | Book by Barbara Zinn Krieger
| Based on the book Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood | Published by Chronicle Books LLC© 2015 | Originally commissioned and premiered by New York City Children's Theater
April 8 - May 14, 2021
With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince's spaceship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Audiences will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.