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Take A Risk On New Works At PLAYFEST 2019

Take A Risk On New Works At PLAYFEST 2019

The Basel-Kiene Family joins City Beverages in presenting PlayFest. Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF's PlayFest 2019 is set for November 1 - 3 and 8 - 9, 2019 and features seven readings of new plays in development.

At the two-weekend festival, patrons will experience ground-breaking new works while participating in the creative process. Tickets to individual PlayFest readings ($10) may be purchased online at, 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 Kara Lee Corthron, Emily Dendinger, David Valdes, Richard Henry and Eric Hissom, Michael Hollinger, Jan Neuberger, and Tammy Ryan.

"PlayFest is such an incredible event because it brings together artists and patrons on the local and national level, while serving our company's mission to foster the growth of thought-provoking new plays," said Cynthia White, Director of New Play Development at Orlando Shakes.

PlayFest is made possible through the generous support of the Basel-Kiene Family and City Beverages 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 Series. Orlando Shakes' 2019 - 2020 Season features the PlayFest alumnus My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort. Brevoort's script was a PlayFest 2018 finalist and is now a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Through NNPN's support, three theaters will mount My Lord, What a Night within a 12-month period, allowing the playwright to develop the work with multiple creative teams in multiple communities. The playwright is part of the process, working on the script and making adjustments based on what is learned from each production. My Lord, What a Night will appear at Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Orlando Shakes, and Florida Studio Theatre.

Orlando Shakes is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and 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.


The Wake

By Tammy Ryan

Friday, November 1, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.

The Wake by Tammy Ryan brings Maggie and Rosemary home to the Florida Coast for their sister Colleen's wake -- in the wake of Hurricane Colleen.


Director: Cynthia White

Stage Manager: Sarah Nicholson

Stage Direction Reader & Dramaturg: Lisa Hardt


Maggie Lynch: Laura Hodos*

Rosemary Lynch: Ginger Lee McDermott*

Doyle: Timothy Williams*

Ed: Cameron Francis*

The Virgin Queen Entertains Her Fool

By Michael Hollinger


Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

We welcome back Michael Hollinger! Michael Hollinger's witty comedy The Virgin Queen Entertains Her Fool tells the tale of three people sharing the Queen's death chamber and trying to leverage her death to bring themselves to power after she is gone. Set in the past in an unknown European country with timeless allusions.


Director: Dan Kremer

Stage Manager: Lauren Koval

Stage Direction Reader & Dramaturg: Lexie Hoag


Adalia: Cynthia Beckert*

Mare: Meghan Colleen Moroney*

Ermo (the fool): Kyle Masteller

Blanchard: Steven Lane*

Shakespeare and the Zombie Plague of 1590

By Richard Henry and Eric Hissom


Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.

We welcome back Eric Hissom! Richard Henry and Eric Hissom bring new laughs by inviting zombies to Shakespeare's canon that we know and love in their play Shakespeare and the Zombie Plague of 1590.


Director: Jason Parrish
Composer & Music Director: Liz Filios

Stage Manager: Sydney Whittaker


Shakespeare: James Putnam

Macbeth: Jason Blackwater

Romeo: Ben Cohen

Glendower/Bloody Sergeant/Witch: Jeffrey Allen Sneed

Lady Macbeth: Laura Mansoori

Elizabeth: Kate Thomas-Denson

Juliet/Witch: Samantha Potak

Paulina: Sarah Hubert

Doctor: Elijah Vazquez

Gravedigger 1: Mark Davids

Gravedigger 2: Alex Hehr

Way Beyond Water

By Jan Neuberger


Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 2:30 p.m.

We welcome back Jan Neuberger! In the Alabama Wiregrass of 1963, Earl McCall is dying. So is his pal Jim Crow. Their shared demise unearths buried secrets, exposing at once the iron grip and the fragility of a tragic connection that binds two women together.


Director: Roberta Emerson

Stage Manager: Bobby Malke

Stage Direction Reader & Dramaturg: Diana Negron


Jean Rose Handy: Candice Critchfield

Jean Rose Handy at 17: Jennifer Fraser

Alvanette Jackson: Trenell Mooring*

Alvanette Jackson at 17: Elisabeth Christie

Earl McCall: Mark Brotherton*

Up the Ladder, Down the Slide

By David Valdes


Friday, November 8, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.

Three is definitely a crowd in this beautifully relatable comedy. Up the Ladder, Down the Slide by David Valdes shares the story of three longtime best friends and their aging parents.


Director: Nick Bublitz

Stage Manager: Jazlynne Williams

Stage Direction Reader & Dramaturg: Laura Swindoll


Laurel: Avis-Marie Barnes

Karen: Tiza Garland

Joann: Karin Amano*

Mamita: Blanca Goodfriend*

Vee: Alanna Fagan

Oscar: Bert Rodriguez*

The Commodore: Michael Morman

Lonnie/Nurse Mike/Bar Back: Sean Andric

What Are You Worth?

By Kara Lee Corthron


Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

Follow a ragtag group of friends and lovers - as well as slave and slavers - as they grapple with the meaning of human value through 800 years of people owning other people.


Director: Chip Miller

Stage Manager: Sarah Nicholson

Stage Direction Reader & Dramaturg: Sara Hoyer


Lucretia: Christy Clark*

Samuel/Octavia/Alyssa/Bess/Tavia: Ana Martinez Medina

Christopher/Topher/Crisdean: Chris Creane

William/Will/Father: Macoy Stewart

The Grand Illusion Show

By Emily Dendinger

Historical Comedy

Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.

We welcome back Emily Dendinger! In Emily Dendinger's The Grand Illusion Show, Adelaide Herrmann must fight her nephew Leon with wit, will, and magic to win the rights to her dead husband's magic show. "This play is a magic trick, and like all good magic tricks, what you think is happening in the text isn't necessarily what's really happening in the story."


Director: Timothy Williams

Stage Manager: Sydney Whittaker

Stage Direction Reader & "GHOST": Cameron Francis*


Adelaide Herrmann: Sissy Anne Quaranta

Violet Winters: Sarah Yarborough

John Bolton: J.D. Sutton*

Leon Herrmann: Ben Cohen

Christopher Dalton: Hayden Palmer

*Member of Actors' Equity Association

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