February 8 – February 17, 2008

“…new works by recognized and up-and-coming playwrights…high-quality acting and directing and scripts with a lot of potential…” – Orlando Sentinel

PlayFest has grown into a 10-day celebration of new play readings,
workshops, panel discussions and keynote addresses from nationally
recognized playwrights. Many of our readings have returned as full
productions including Around the World in 80 Days, Every Christmas
Story Ever Told
, Robinson Crusoe, Crime and Punishment, and this year’sOpus. PlayFest…it’s what’s next!

 

Showtimes

Mandell Studio and throughout the Lowndes Shakespeare Center
Various Times

Full Productions
Opus
By Michael Hollinger
February 6 – March 9, 2008
Wednesdays, Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Fridays, Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Goldman Theater
The huge hit reading of PlayFest! 2007 becomes the premiere this season.
A world-renowned string quartet has only a week to rehearse Beethoven’s
“Opus 131” for a performance at the White House. Tempers and partners flare as the pressure increases. The Orlando Sentinel proclaimed, “The audience loved this comic drama.”

 

Special Events

A Keynote Address
Writing What Matters
John Pielmeier, Author of Agnes of God
Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Margeson Theater
Free with PlayFest button
Followed by a one-time only reading of the first act of his new play, Madonna and Child. Madonna and Child contains strong language and mature content.

Panel Discussion
What Is The Role Of The Critic In New Play Development?
Panel will include Representatives from the American Theater Critics Association, The Dramatists Guild and Guest Playwrights
Sunday, Feb. 10 at Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Mandell Theater
Free with PlayFest button

Play-in-a-Day
Produced for PlayFest by Orlando Fringe Festival Artistic Director, Beth Marshall
Monday, Feb. 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Margeson Theater
$5 with PlayFest button
Enjoy brand new 10-minute plays that were created in only one day — from blank page to the stage. Six adventurous writers will learn the theme of their play and meet their director and cast through a random drawing held Sunday, Feb. 10 following the Panel Discussion.

Typewriter Plays
Assorted typewriters will be scattered throughout the Shakespeare Center Lobby. Try your hand at a one-page, 2-character play. Typewriter plays will be collected and a winning entry will be selected by a specialized team of judges for a cool prize at the end of PlayFest 2008!

 

Classes

Fringe 101 and 102
Orlando International Fringe Festival Artistic Director, Beth Marshall
Sunday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 17
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. both days
McLaughlin Studio
Cost $10 + PlayFest button

Master Playwriting Class
John Pielmeier, Author of Agnes of God
Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Cost $50 + PlayFest button
Mandell Theater

Classical Adaptation Class

Orlando Shakespeare Theater Artistic Director, Jim Helsinger
Saturday, Feb. 16 at Noon – 2:00 p.m.
Cost $50 + PlayFest button
Studio B

 

Workshops 

THE BLUE-SKY BOYS
By Deborah Brevoort

Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15 at 8:00 – 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 16 at Noon – 2:30 p.m.
Mandell Theater

The engineers behind the first Apollo moon landing are in big trouble. President Kennedy has ordered the United States must beat the Russians to the first manned landing on the moon. Time is running out, so there is only one thing left to do…Blue Sky it! Enter Buck Rogers, Icarus, Galileo, Snoopy, and the Red Baron as the heavenly heroes that inspired these NASA engineers to pursue their boyhood dreams of space exploration.

THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO
By John Minigan (past PlayFest author – Breaking the Shakespeare Code)

Friday, Feb. 8 at 8:00 – 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 16 at 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8:00 – 10:30 p.m.
Mandell Theater

Prince Manfred has ruled Otranto for years, despite his fear of a prophecy that he will lose power when the true owner of the castle grows “too large to
inhabit it.” When a giant helmet falls from the sky killing son Conrad on his wedding day, followed by enormous body parts appearing throughout the castle, Manfred must scramble to divorce his wife, marry his son’s fiancee and produce a male heir before the prophecy is fulfilled.

THE UNFORTUNATES
By Aoise Stratford

Saturday, Feb. 9 at 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17 at 5:00- – :00 p.m.
Mandell Theater

Mary Jane Kelly has a problem. She’s a pound forty behind in her rent, she’s lost her key and her boyfriend has moved out. It’s 1888 — not a good time to
be poor and unfortunate on the streets of London. Somewhere out there in the foggy shadows of night, one of the history’s most notorious criminals, Jack
the Ripper, is at work. Mary only has two ways to secure her own front door. One of them is prostitution. The other is selling something she shouldn’t posses in the first place, something she’ll have to betray her murdered best friend and herself to give up.

 

Readings

Alfred Kinsey: A Love Story

By: Mike Folie

Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 - 10:00 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17 at 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.

It’s 1953. Famous sex researcher Alfred Kinsey is giving a speech in Troy, NY when he is accosted by a young woman in the audience who is strongly opposed to any scientific study of human sex. Kinsey tries to respond, but plagued with a weak heart since childhood, collapses. The play then travels back and forth in time to examine Kinsey’s life and work. It is a highly theatrical and fictionalized biography, which reveals the raw emotions that often hide beneath the seemingly cold search for scientific truths. Alfred Kinsey: A Love Story contains sexually explicit material. Mature audiences only.

Erratica

By: Reina Hardy

Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2:00 - 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.

Professor Samantha Stafford is trying to write a book on Shakespeare in the midst of a host of distractions. One of her students is madly in love with her.
Her publicist wants her to do something more commercial. And she is persistently haunted by an entity claiming to be the ghost of Christopher Marlowe. Meanwhile, Jack Hooper, a librarian who just might be a match for Dr. Stafford, has lost a prized manuscript to a mysterious thief.

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame By Victor Hugo

By: Adapted by Suzanne O'Donnell from the novel by Victor Hugo

Saturday, Feb. 9 at 5:00 - 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8:30 - 11:00 p.m.

It is evening in a Parisian tavern, Pomme d’Eve. Pierre Gringoire, celebrated poet and playwright enters and is begged by the patrons to give a speech or recite a poem. Instead, granting a particular request from a mysterious man at the bar, he begins to tell the infamous tale of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Kafka's Shorts

By: Adapted by David Karl Lee

Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5:00 - 6:45 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17 at Noon - 1:45 p.m.

Three of Franz Kafka’s most elusive and phantasmagorical short stories, The Hunger Artist, A Report to an Academy and The Country Doctor are brought to the stage. The transformation of the animal and human body and soul are examined amidst swirling snow storms, raging seas and a dark and mysterious circus midway menagerie.

Letters To Sala

Based on Sala's Gift by Ann Kirshner. Originally conceived by Laurena Sacharow

By: Arlene Hutton

Sunday, Feb. 10 at 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

In 1940, sixteen-year-old Sala Garncarz volunteered to take her sister’s place in a Nazi forced labor camp. During the next five years, in seven different camps, Sala received over 350 pieces of mail. Risking her life, she managed to save every single letter…and then hide them for almost fifty years.

Madonna And Child

By: John Pielmeier

Saturday, Feb. 9 at 8:30 p.m.

Reading of Act I only.
A brutal murder. An abandoned child.
A disenchanted son. A desperate mother.
A dying saint. A wayward priest.
A passionate detective. A lost masterpiece.
And nothing is quite what it seems.
A new play by John Pielmeier tackles faith, art, and the politics of disbelief.

Miss Julie: Freedom Summer

An adaptation of August Strindberg's original play

By: Stephen Sachs

Friday, Feb. 8 at 8:00 - 10:00 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 at Noon - 2:00 p.m.

Limited engagement! It’s the 4th of July, 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi – just two days after the signing of the Civil Rights Act by President Johnson. Miss
Julie, the daughter of a wealthy white Superior Court Judge is drinking and dancing with the servants in the barn. Meanwhile her father’s African American
chauffeur, John, and cook Christine are judging her in the kitchen. But a moment of passion will soon change the lives of all three for eternity.

Missing Celia Rose

By: Ian August

Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2:30 - 4:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14 at 7:00 - 9:15 p.m.

On a bleak, autumn evening in 1921, a young boy named Geoffrey Pitts discovers that the beloved wife of the Baptist minister, Mrs. Celia Rose Richards, has stolen the only car in town and vanished without a trace. Neither his parents, his teacher, nor townsfolk know anything about the mysterious flight. With the aid of his friend and confidante, Taffy Prull, Geoffrey decides to find Celia Rose and uncover the truth about her disappearance. But in doing so, Geoffrey uncovers hometown secrets that will change life there forever.

Trog And Clay

By: Michael Vukadinovich

Saturday, Feb. 9 at Noon - 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

It’s 1880 and Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse are in the middle of the War of Currents, as Westinghouse’s Alternating Current becomes a serious rival to Edison’s Direct Current. Westinghouse is trying to hold onto his scheming wife, Margueritte, who wants to be an actress, Thomas Edison is using her to get William Kemmler to kill his wife, and Trog and Clay are two foolish, dogcatching hobos at the center of it all. Based on actual events, court transcripts and a little imagination.

Wittenberg

By: David Davalos

Friday, Feb. 15 at 8:00 - 10:45 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2:00 - 4:45 p.m.

Set during late October of 1517, this sprightly and audacious battle of
wits features university colleagues Dr. Faustus (a man of appetites), Martin
Luther (a man of faith), and their student Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (a
youth struggling not only with his beliefs but also with his tennis game).
Playwright David Davalos brings us the story behind the story of Hamlet in a
highly entertaining and accessible exploration of reason versus faith.