November 2 - 4, 2012

An engaging, fast-paced weekend packed with world premiere plays, distinctive panels, lively parties, and dynamic networking events. PlayFest is the perfect opportunity to converse with artists, establish lasting connections, and absorb groundbreaking new works. This three-day event is ideal for anyone who loves great theater!

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF is dedicated to the development of new plays, one of our country’s most enduring art forms. PlayFest! The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays is a nationally recognized program and represents one of the strongest commitments to new plays nationally. Over the years, Orlando Shakes has helped nurture and develop over 100 new plays – many of which have received subsequent productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Audiences favorites from PlayFest are hand-selected and developed into full productions in Orlando Shakes’ Studio Series. Your input is vital to the extended life of new plays.

Keynote speakers and performances have included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Olympia Dukakis, Theresa Rebeck,John Pielmeier, Israel Horivitiz, and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan.

Festival Pass

A no-frills approach to PlayFest, the Festival Pass enables you to see all seven readings. A fantastic bargain!

Special Events

Saturday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. (FREE)
Tony Award winner Jon Jory’s career in theater has been long and lauded. As the Producing Director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, he conceived the Humana Festival of New American Plays, directed over 125 plays, and produced over 1,000 plays. He was the Artistic Founding Director of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut and has been inducted into New York’s Theatre Hall of Fame. He has also written original plays and several adaptations for the stage, including Pride and Prejudice,Sense and Sensibility, and Emma, among many others. For his commitment to new plays, he has received the Margo Jones Award twice, the Shubert Foundation’s James N. Vaughan Memorial Award, and the Special Tony Award for Achievement in Regional Theatre.

Saturday, November 3 at 9:45 a.m. ($50)
Jon Jory will teach a two hour Master Class in Acting. Not only has he directed the finest theater actors in the country, he has written the seminal text, Tips: Ideas for Actors, that sits dog-eared and coffee-stained in thousands of actors’ libraries. If you are hungry to hone your craft, this is a class not to be missed.

Sunday, November 4 at 2:15 p.m. (FREE)
Join our playwrights as they discuss their impulse to write. What drives them to write a play? Why do they feel they need to write this play at this particular moment? Why a play and not a screenplay or a novel or a poem? Do they have their finger on the pulse of some collective unconscious? Is it a discipline or a calling? We will reach down deep and try to get to the why of it all.


Leveling Up

By: Deb Laufer

Friday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m.

How do you straddle the fuzzy line between reality and virtual reality when you’re playing video games 20 hours a day? Ian, Zan, and Chuck are two years out of college when the government comes looking for expert gamers to launch remote missiles. And the bombs and the guns and the screams and the victories look so much like the ones on their Xbox.

Night Train

By: John Biguenet

Saturday, November 3 at 12:00 p.m.

In this dark comedy, a scruffy man with a second-class ticket insinuates himself into the first-class compartment of a wealthy banker headed back home in the middle of the night. Full of questions but with a knack for conveniently forgetting the answers, the unwanted traveling companion may have in mind more than mere conversation by the time the train arrives at its destination the next morning.

The Standby Lear

By: John W. Lowell

Saturday, November 3 at 3:00 p.m.

When you’ve waited for the chance of a lifetime, what do you do when you realize it may have come too late? The standby’s dream turns into the actor’s nightmare, as Augie and his wife confront the choices of their life together and the inevitable slow curtain.

Tom Jones

By: Jon Jory

Saturday, November 3 at 8:00 p.m.

When the amorous and well-intending Tom Jones sets off in quest of the virtuous Shannon Western, hilarity ensues. It seems the fates are at odds with the lovers, as Tom is met at every turn with debauchery and illicit rendezvous. Brimming over with scandal, intrigue, and all-out bawdry, this humorous adaptation of TOM JONES puts true love to the test.


By: Lia Romeo

Sunday, November 4 at 12:00 p.m.

In a world where we are all constantly connected to the internet, and via the internet to one another, why do so many people still feel so alone? In a series of interwoven vignettes – a young girl’s most embarrassing moment goes viral, a high school student must choose between real life and role-playing games, a teacher is accidentally seduced by her student on an internet dating site – CONNECTED examines love and friendship in the age of social media.

Three Wolves And A Lamb

By: Yussef El Guindi

Sunday, November 4 at 4:00 p.m.

Set in the U.S., four American peace activists gather in an apartment to prepare for the arrival of Palestinian and Israeli kids, who are coming to participate in a weekend peace camp. Certain skeletons in the closets of these peace activists tumble out and threaten to turn an evening talking about peace into a full-out war between them.

The Cortez Method

By: Rob Keefe

Sunday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m.

Sara and Bill will do whatever it takes to prepare for their new arrival, but an unexpected visit from Bill’s brother Walter, unravels their plans and makes it clear their shiny future has been built on the troubled foundation of their past. What happens when you make a bad decision for all the right reasons? Fertility, home improvement and family collide in this darkly comic roller coaster ride.