Uppity Theatre Company, Mad Cow Theatre, & The Association For Theatre In Higher Education Present AFTER ORLANDO

As we commemorate the three-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, the largest episode of civilian gun violence in the history of the US, The Association for Theatre in Higher Education appropriately turns to theatre to help us commemorate the occasion through After Orlando.

On Friday, August 9, 2019, at 8 pm at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, That Uppity Theatre Company and Mad Cow Theatre, in association with the Association for Theatre In Higher Education, Missing Bolts Productions Inc., and NoPassport Theatre Alliance, will present several excerpts from After Orlando, a collection of short plays. These plays were specifically written and curated in response to the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016, that took the lives of 49 LGBTQ+ and allied people, and injured 53 more.

The plays are roughly three to eight minutes in length. The readings will feature a professional cast of ten, directed by Monica Tamborello, Tara Kromer, Kenny Howard and Joan Lipkin.

Admission is free to the public. A post show discussion will follow the readings.

After Orlando is an international playwright-driven theatre action created by Blair Baker and Zac Kline of Missing Bolts Productions Inc. and Caridad Svich of NoPassport Theatre Alliance. In the fall of 2016, After Orlando has been read across the country and in the UK at over 75 venues, featuring work from over 80 playwrights from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Africa.

Previous locations and productions include professional theatres, community centers, podcasts, classroom settings, and more. Some of the partner venues for After Orlando have included The Finborough Theatre (London, England), Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and the LGBT Center (New York City, NY), Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center (Washington D.C.), The Inge Center (Independence, KS), Shot Gun Players (Berkeley, CA), Boston Court Theatre, the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA), and Miami New Drama (Miami, FL).

In the days following the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Blair Baker of Missing Bolts Productions came to Zac Kline and Caridad Svich and suggested that fellow theatre makers needed to respond to the shooting. A shooting that was part of a long line of mass violence in American, but unlike others because it specifically affected two communities the theatre community: friends, colleagues and comrades who identify as LGTQIA and Latinx.

"With fire, with anger, with mourning, with hope that collective and individual voices can make a space for response and change, we galvanized a group of twenty writers to write plays in response to the shooting. Over a period of months that initial group grew from twenty to forty to ultimately eighty writers, an international collective of voices from Orlando, New York, London, Canada, Africa and Wales. As we pass the three-year anniversary of the shooting at Pulse, we hope these plays continue to have life and forge a path for change," said After Orlando co- creator Kline.

That Uppity Theatre Company in conjunction with the St. Lou Fringe, first produced After Orlando in St. Louis at the Kranzberg Arts Center in November 2016, and produced a more expanded reading at the Contemporary Art Museum in partnership with R-S Theatrics in June 2017. When the ATHE venue was announced, Producing Artistic Director Joan Lipkin said she wanted to produce the readings in Orlando during the conference and to work intimately with an Orlando company, directors and actors to center and honor them.

"There's something urgent and necessary about reading and staging these plays and that may be why there has been such response internationally to the material. To perform and to watch is to enter the experience of the other. It is a crucial gateway to empathy and one more way to encourage appreciation of diversity. And its format makes it ideal for academic settings," said Lipkin.

Mitzi Maxwell, Artistic Director of Mad Cow said she was honored to be asked to co-produce After Orlando for an international academic theatre conference and to showcase Orlando artists. "In our 24-hour news cycle, many people have moved on to focusing on the latest episode of gun violence. But it is not over for us in Orlando. Pulse Nightclub is closed operationally but lives on in our hearts. Many people are still dealing with the aftermath of the shooting. It is very, very present for this community," she said.

Award-winning playwright and publisher of NoPassport Theatre Alliance, Caridad Svich said, "It is easy to forget, some say. We live in a culture of forgetting, after all. But one of art's goals is to record and remember. How many ways can we remember those felled by hatred and rage, and those, too, that live with the memories of tragedy as they go about their lives? After Orlando theatre action began, in part, as a memorial project - one written by over 70 playwrights from multiple perspectives. An action to remember, honor, grieve with, celebrate the lives of, and hold hands figuratively and metaphorically with those still standing. Pulsamos/We pulse. And offer our voices of faith and love as we remember.

For tickets or more information, call Mad Cow Theatre's Patron Services at 407-297- 8788 ext 1 or go online to madcowtheatre.com.



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