Orlando Shakespeare Theater & Holocaust Center to Present THE BEST OF ENEMIES, 10/15-11/16

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF and the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida are proud to present The Best of Enemies from October 15 - November 16, 2014 in the Goldman

Theater. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the passage and signing of the Civil Rights Act, the powerful new play by Mark St. Germain exposes the poison of prejudice and the beauty of friendship. Single tickets to The Best of Enemies ($10 - $45) are available now by calling (407) 447-1700 ext. 1, visiting www.orlandoshakes.org, or in person at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center (812 East Rollins Street).

Based on the bestselling novel by Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies is a true story about the relationship between C.P. Ellis, a Grand Cyclops of the KKK, and Ann Atwater, an African-American civil rights activist, during the 1971 court-ordered desegregation of the Durham, North Carolina schools. Forced to co-lead a steering committee that represents all community viewpoints, Atwater and Ellis must face each other, and in doing so, are forced to face the best and worst in themselves.

"After reading The Best of Enemies, I knew that it needed to be part of our 26th Season," said Orlando Shakes Artistic Director Jim Helsinger. "The play's depiction of hate and racism may seem so far from where we've come, but the lessons these characters learn will still prove timely for today's audiences."

The Best of Enemies features Corey Allen as Bill Riddick. Recent New York credits include Kid Don't Cry (Drama League DirectorFest) and Created Equal (Red Fern Theatre Company). Regional acting credits include A Few Good Men (Pioneer Theatre Company); A Raisin in the Sun and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Huntington Theatre Company); The Fall of Heaven (The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis); Othello, Twelfth Night, and others (Great River Shakespeare Festival); and The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Cyrano de Bergerac (Utah Shakespeare Festival).

The production also features Avis-Marie Barnes as Ann Atwater. Central Florida credits include The Giver and The Miracle Worker (Orlando Repertory Theatre); Sonnets of an Old Century and Yellowman (Mad Cow Theatre); As it is in Heaven (The Vine Theatre); and Seven Guitars and The Old Settler (The People's Theatre). Extensive film and television credits include Jeepers Creepers, Graceland, Burn Notice, Army Wives, and The Glades.

Additional casting to be announced.

Director of New Play Development Mark Routhier will direct the production, coming off the critical success of last spring's Rolling World Premiere, Pluto. The Orlando Shakes production team includes Scenic Designer Bob Philips, Lighting Designer Kevin Griffin, and Costume Designer Kristina Tollefson. Sound Designer to be announced.

Photo Landon St. Gordon

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