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THE WENDY HOUSE to Open at LAB Theater Project

Sebastian seeks answers at his childhood haunt as John endeavors to solve a cold case.

THE WENDY HOUSE to Open at LAB Theater Project

LAB Theater Project will present the world premiere of The Wendy House by Hector Melendez-Figueroa, running May 6 - 23, 2021, at 812 E Henderson Avenue in Ybor City, with options for viewing In Person, Livestream, or On Demand.

In The Wendy House, playwright Hector Melendez-Figueroa has crafted a play that uses a beloved story as a backdrop and ties it closely to his story without making it a parody or spinoff of the original Barrie story. Directed by Owen Robertson and starring Katie Calahan, Ricardo Fernandez, Zachary Finley, Emma Hurlburt, Miles Randolph, and Tyler Wood, The Wendy House, follows Sebastian who has come home for his father's funeral. While visiting the gravesite, he encounters his father's law enforcement partner, John. Sebastian seeks answers at his childhood haunt as John endeavors to solve a cold case. Everything comes to a head when both men return to the Wendy House and face memories, old friends, and the truth.

A young Latinx resident of Tampa, playwright Hector Melendez-Figueroa says, "The inspiration for The Wendy House came to me in a vision as I was working on the job and listening to Nirvana's "All Apologies." I imagined a girl on the edge of the bridge ready to jump, telling the world, "How sorry she is for being here." And before she finally makes the jump, she thinks about flying to Neverland. This vision was of my past when I was a kid living in the Bronx, and things were extremely tough at home and on the streets. I always wished I could fly to Never-Neverland. So, I thought it would be vital to tell a story about escapism and facing your past head-on."

Executive Producer and Director Owen Robertson added, "Why this play? Because, as much as it looks at escapism, it also makes us look at mental health, the foster care system, the justice system, and truth. Contained within this intertwining escapism story and a murder mystery are moments that just grabbed my heart and made me pay attention to the beautiful work of this young Latinx playwright, this man who has overcome so many personal battles to tell his tale and who has remained humble through it all."

Melendez-Figueroa worked for six years to perfect his play, working closely with Robertson. Melendez-Figueroa explained, "At LAB, everything they do and focus on is to grow a writer's skills and story, and further the education of theater artists, helping them develop a lifelong practice in the field. The collaboration at LAB is incredible, and if it weren't for that, The Wendy House wouldn't come alive." Robertson continued, "Bringing new works to life" is not just the catchphrase of LAB; it is our mantra. The Wendy House is a perfect model of what we do. Hector pitched this idea to me six years ago, when LAB was beginning. As one of our very first students, we worked together, and after countless revisions, redirections, and reimagining, the story became what is premiering on our stage."

The Wendy House is rated M for Mature audiences. This program should be viewed by adults or older teens (17+) that have parental permission. Content in this show may contain the following: suggestive dialogue, strong coarse language, sexual situations, or intense violence. Some content may be difficult for those with directly relatable experience to the subject matter portrayed.

The Wendy House runs May 6 - 23, 2021, 2021. Performance times are Thursday through Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday matinee at 3 pm. Shows are available both by live stream and limited in-house seating. For the live stream online option, audience members will be emailed a link for home viewing the day of the performance. Please note that only 20 seats will be made available per performance for the in-house option, and the house opens 30 minutes before curtain. LAB Theater Project has prepared the theater space firmly adhering to physically distanced guidelines for actors, crew, and audience safety. LAB Theater Project wants patrons to feel safe coming to the theater; full health and safety procedures may be found at http://www.labtheaterproject.com/covid-19.

Both in-person and Livestream tickets are $28 and available only by Advance Purchase, not at the door. Starting the third week of the run, May 20, 2021, LAB will offer Video-on-Demand tickets for that weekend and extend the offer for an additional week. There will be no Livestream tickets available during the final weekend of the run, May 20-23, 2021. To purchase tickets, please visit our website at https://www.labtheaterproject.com. For specific questions or interview requests, please contact our Box Office at 813-586-4272, or email us at information@labtheaterproject.com.


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