The deadline to submit new full-length plays for PlayFest presented by Harriett's Charitable Trust (November 2016) has passed. Please check back in January 2017 for next season’s submission guidelines.

PlayFest presented by Harriett's Charitable Trust represents one of the strongest commitments to new plays in the nation. Over the years, the festival has helped develop over 125 new works – many of which have received subsequent productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, and Washington D.C.

PlayFest is unique among New Play Festivals in two ways:

PlayFest nurtures the playwright during the creative process. Writers are afforded the opportunity to work with top directors and actors in Orlando and beyond to help them in their process from page to stage.

PlayFest partners with theater companies across the nation, as well as new play development organizations, to provide audiences with the opportunity to see the work of many groups.

Due to the success of PlayFest, Central Florida is now identified as a place where exceptional new works are making their debut. Join us in discovering the next great American playwright!

November 3 - 6, 2016

About PlayFest presented by Harriett’s Charitable Trust

PlayFest offers you the rare opportunity to participate in the development of new plays. Converse with playwrights, directors, and actors while absorbing groundbreaking new works. This four-day event tears down the barrier between artist and audience, putting YOU at the heart of the process.

Your input is vital to the extended life of new plays. Many audience favorites from PlayFest have been developed into full productions in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Signature Series!

This season we’re dedicating PlayFest to six new plays plus a special reading of The Laramie Project. All selected plays explore issues surrounding the Pulse tragedy that occurred in Orlando in the early morning of June 12, 2016.  In selecting plays for the weekend, we’re concentrating on plays that explore the following issues:

  • LGBTQ struggles and responses to violence and hate
  • Discrimination against Hispanics/Latinos and efforts for acceptance and inclusion
  • Terrorism acts
  • Mental health and gun violence
  • Individual and community responses to mass violence

Individual Reading Tickets: $10

Save now with a PlayFest Package!

  • PlayFest Pass $49 per person (Value: $70)
    See all 7 Readings and save with a PlayFest Pass! Click here to book a PlayFest Pass.
  • PlayFest VIP – $100 per person
    Want to make sure you get one of the best seats in the house?  We’re offering the opportunity to upgrade your PlayFest Pass to VIP status to ensure a reserved seat for all six new plays and The Laramie Project.  Become a PlayFest VIP to reserve your seat up front in one of the first four rows of the Margeson Theater. Click here to become a PlayFest VIP.
  • PlayFest Patron – $250 per individual
    Reserved seating in the front rows of the Margeson Theater, complimentary drink tickets, special recognition in the program, and a private event with the PlayFest playwrights. Make your experience a memorable one! Please email development@orlandoshakes.org for more information.

Make a commitment to new plays! Call the Box Office at 407-447-1700 ext. 1 for more information. All Passes Expire November 12, 2016.


Keynote Event: After Orlando and Global Theatre Initiatives

Playwright Caridad Svich will give a keynote address on Saturday, November 5 at 8 p.m. titled “Creating After Orlando and Global Theatre Initiatives.” Ms. Svich has instigated six theatre actions addressing social issues that have gone global. In response to the Pulse Tragedy, Missing Bolts Productions and NoPassport Theatre Alliance & Press (of which Ms. Svich is the founder) created After Orlando, a collection of over sixty short three-minute plays exploring the issues surrounding the tragedy.

Ms. Svich’s keynote will be followed by readings of an encore performance of a number of the plays from After Orlando, including several written by members of the Orlando theatrical community. The After Orlando reading is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.

After Orlando is presented in partnership with Missing Bolts Productions (Blair Baker & Zac Kline, artistic directors) and NoPassport Theatre Alliance & Press (Caridad Svich, founder). Read more about After Orlando in an article by American Theatre Magazine. Additional support provided by Dr. Mary Palmer.

Special Event: Moises Kaufman and The Laramie Project

Finally, on Saturday, November 12 at 7 p.m. we’ll present a reading of Moisés Kaufman and The Tectonic Theatre Project’s The Laramie Project, followed by a conversation and audience Q&A with playwright Moisés Kaufman about the creation of the play. The Laramie Project is presented in collaboration with Mad Cow Theatre.

Moisés Kaufman, along with the Tectonic Theater Project, created The Laramie Project a play which explores the issues surrounding the death of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998.  This was the first use of the “Angel Action Wings” in a counter-protest to hate groups who came to Laramie.  

Orlando Shakespeare Theater spearheaded Angel Action Wings in Orlando which marched at the funeral of Drew Leinonen on June 19, 2016. All funds from The Laramie Project will be donated to the care and cleaning of the Action Angels Wing for Orlando project. Additional support provided by The Bryce L. West Foundation.


Playwright’s Panel: Answering the Call to Community Issues

New Play Development Director Cynthia White will lead a discussion with PlayFest: After Pulse playwrights on the topic “Answering the Call to Community Issues.”

  • John Biguenet, playwright of Ever After
  • Lee Blessing, playwright of Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Allison Gregory, playwright of Motherland
  • Caridad Svich, playwright of After (in After Orlando) and artist/activist curator of After Orlando (Missing Bolts Productions and NoPassport Theatre Alliance & Press)

Where do members of the community turn when faced with a tragedy or a natural disaster? In our time theaters and individual artists are stepping forward both to offer helping hands and to offer a place and a framework in which to share pain, grief, and healing. What roles are our playwrights shouldering? What does it mean to answer the call in support of our communities in times of need?

*play titles and dates subject to change.

Readings

The Day Before Yesterday

By: Israel Horovitz

Thursday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m.

| Runtime: 80 minutes with no intermission followed by a talk back.

Based around the terrorist attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, The Day Before Yesterday chronicles the lives of three couples over the course of 72 hours, from before the attack when they were strangers living in Paris, Miami, and Brooklyn, to the next morning when they collectively take refuge at a nearby apartment.

Native Gardens

By: Karen Zacarías

Friday, November 4 at 7:30 p.m.

| Runtime: 75 minutes with no intermission followed by a talk back.

A young Latino couple moves into a Washington, DC neighborhood next door to a middle-aged Caucasian couple and both battle for control of the property line in their backyard, all the while attempting to balance the expectations and requirements of their own “American dream.”

Motherland

By: Allison Gregory

Saturday, November 5 at 4:30 p.m.

| Runtime: 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission followed by a talk back.

Standing at the intersection of what’s strictly legal and what can turn a profit, Mother seeks to carve out a life for herself and her children. When the law, love, and opportunity show up all at once, her courage is put to the test.

Caridad Svich | After Orlando

By: multiple playwrights

Saturday, November 5 at 8:00 p.m.

| Runtime: Reading is 1 hour and 20 minutes with one 15 minute intermission. Entire experience is anywhere from 2 hours to 2 hours and 15 minutes long.

Playwright Caridad Svich has instigated six theater actions addressing social issues that have gone global. In response to Pulse, Missing Bolts Productions and NoPassport Theatre Alliance & Press (of which Svich is the founder) created After Orlando, a collection of over sixty three-minute plays exploring the issues surrounding the tragedy. Svich’s keynote will be followed by readings of a number of the plays from After Orlando, including several written by members of the Orlando theatrical community. All funds from the After Orlando reading will be donated to the “One Pulse Foundation” to assist the victims and families of the Pulse tragedy.

Playwrights Panel: “Answering the Call to Community Issues”

Sunday, November 6 at 12:00 p.m.

| Runtime: 45 minutes long with no intermission

New Play Development Director Cynthia White will lead a discussion with PlayFest: After Pulse playwrights on the topic “Answering the Call to Community Issues.” This is a ticketless event.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

By: Lee Blessing

Sunday, November 6 at 1:00 p.m.

| Runtime: 95 minutes with no intermission followed by a talk back.

A celebrated crime novelist leads two different lives, one as Randall, the middle-aged husband and father, and the other as Mandy, the newly-wedded wife and stepmother. In a play that is both poignant and bitingly funny, Mandy/Randall struggles with the complexities and repercussions of an identity too vast to fit within binaries.

Ever After

By: John Biguenet

Sunday, November 6 at 3:15 p.m.

| Runtime: 90 minutes with one 15 minute intermission followed by a talk back.

In Ever After, parents of a son and a daughter killed in a mass shooting invite two survivors of the tragedy to Thanksgiving dinner. Their unexpected stories explore grief, guilt, and the possibility of healing.

Special Event: The Laramie Project Discussion and Reading

By: Moisés Kaufman

Saturday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m.

| Runtime: Reading is 2 hours and 30 minutes with one 15 minute intermission. Entire experience is anywhere from 3 hours to 3 hours and 15 minutes long.

In a special PlayFest event taking place the following weekend on Saturday, November 12 at 7 p.m., we'll present a reading of Moisés Kaufman and The Tectonic Theatre Project’s The Laramie Project, followed by a conversation and audience Q&A with playwright Moisés Kaufman about the creation of the play. In collaboration with Mad Cow Theater, the performance will feature many of the original actors from the Mad Cow production in 2002. All ticket sales from The Laramie Project will go toward the Angel Action Wings of Orlando.