January 23 - February 21, 2009

“…new works by recognized and up-and-coming playwrights…high-quality acting and directing, and scripts with a lot of potential…”
— Elizabeth Maupin, theatre critic, Orlando Sentinel

PlayFest is a 10-day celebration packed with dynamic new play readings, workshops, panel discussions and keynote addresses from nationally recognized playwrights. The mission of PlayFest is to celebrate and cultivate new plays, nurture new playwrights, and introduce the community to new theatrical voices. This is a rare opportunity for you to participate in the creative process. Many of our readings have returned as full productions, includingOpus, Around the World in 80 Days, Every Christmas Story Ever Told, The
Island of Dr. Moreau
, Robinson Crusoe, and Crime and Punishment.


Keynote Event

Another Side of the Island
Adapted from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”
By Olympia Dukakis, Margo Whitcomb & Gregory Hoffman

Friday, January 30 at 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 31 at 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Margeson Theater
$25 VIP Seating; $10 Regular Seating

Another Side of the Island re-imagines Shakespeare’s The Tempest in a surprising, often hilarious, and deeply affecting fantasy. When a woman of power is at the center of this story, set in motion by vengeance, the events look very different. Set on an island of the imagination where anything is possible and gender-bending is the norm, Prospera conjures a magical tempest that brings her former enemies to shore. At last, she restores her rightful claim to the throne of Milan, insures her daughter’s future and learns timeless lessons of love, the thirst for power and aging. With music ranging from gospel to funk and a highly theatrical style, this re-imagined classic is at once uproarious and profound.


Full Productions

By David Davalos
January 21 – February 15
Wednesdays, Thursdays at 7 p.m.
Fridays, Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.
Goldman Theater
In this sprightly and hilarious battle of wits, university colleagues Dr. Faustus and Martin Luther struggle for the soul of young Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Come hear the story behind the story of Hamlet in a highly entertaining and humorous exploration of reason versus faith. Featuring Eric Hissom and Jim Helsinger.


The Velveteen Rabbit: A New Musical Family
Based on the original story by Margery Williams
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Patrick Flick
Music and Orchestration by Amanda Wansa

January 17 – February 22
Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Sundays at 4:30 p.m.
Margeson Theater
Adapted for the stage, this new musical version of The Velveteen Rabbitremains true to the original children’s classic story by Margery Williams and is set in the simpler America of the early 20th Century. Let the Orlando Shakespeare Theater ignite your child’s imagination with classic children’s theater!


Special Events

Panel Discussion
What is the Role of a Director in New Play Development?
Sunday, Jan. 25 — Noon -1:30 p.m.
Mandell Theater
Join us as directors, writers and actors discuss how directors directly contribute to the development of new plays.


Play-in-a-Day Selection
Sunday, Jan. 25 at 1:30 p.m.
Mandell Theater
Orlando International Fringe Festival Artistic Director, Beth Marshall, and Associate Director of PlayFest, David Lee, lead the charge to select actors, writers and directors for Play-in-a-Day. Come watch the fun!

Monday, Jan. 26 — 7 – 9 p.m.
Margeson Theater
Play-in-a-Day returns! Local and national writers, directors and actors join forces to create six ten-minute plays in just 24 hours.



Fringe 101
Sunday, Jan. 25 at 2 – 4 p.m.
Dr. P. Phillips Patrons’ Room
How to Produce Your Fringe Show with Orlando International Fringe Festival Artistic Director, Beth Marshall.

Master Class with Olympia Dukakis
Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 6 – 9 p.m.
Mandell Theater (Audit Only — Limited Seating)
Olympia Dukakis leads a master class in scene work using Orlando Shakespeare and UCF MFAs and Interns. This is your chance to audit an acting class with this Oscar-winning actress!

Fringe 102
Sunday, Feb. 1 at 2 – 4 p.m.
Patron’s Room
How to Tour Your Fringe Show with Orlando International Fringe Festival Artistic Director, Beth Marshall.



The Chimes
By Kevin Christopher Snipes
Saturday, Jan. 24 at 8:15 – 10:15 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 25 at 2:15 – 4:15 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 31 at 3 – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 1 at 8 – 10 p.m.
Mandell Theater
On the eve of World War II, four boys in a New England boarding school are brought together by their love of Shakespeare and torn apart by the approaching war.

Missing Celia Rose Drama
By Ian August
Saturday, Jan. 24 at 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 31 at Noon – 2 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 1 at 5:15 – 7:15 p.m.
Mandell Theater
After the Civil War, a small town harmoniously integrated its freed slaves. But when a young white boy uncovers the secret behind the disappearance of the minister’s wife, his discoveries change the town forever.





By: Kathleen Cahill

Sunday, Jan. 25 at 5:15 - 7:15 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 1 at 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Charm is a magical dance through the life of the writer and women’s rights activist Margaret Fuller, which focuses on a brilliant imagining of Ms. Fuller’s personal life. As our hearts are pulled into her personal passions, we are given a first-hand view of her robust and complex relationships with the writing and philosophical giants of her time — Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, and others.

The Ghosts of Sleepy Hollow

By: Eric Hissom

Saturday, Jan. 24 at 2:30 - 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 1 at 5:30. - 7:30 p.m.

A haunting retelling of this classic American tale. You’ll laugh your head off! When you’re not too busy being TERRIFIED!

Notre Dame de Paris

Based on Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (English title)

By: Adapted by Suzanne O'Donnell

Saturday, Jan. 24 at Noon - 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 1 at 2:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Notre Dame de Paris is based on characters and events in Victor Hugo’s masterpiece The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Cathedral is both the setting and a catalyst as Hugo’s iconic characters play out their tragic fates.

The Queen's Physician

By: John MacNicholas

Sunday, Jan. 25 at 8 - 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 31 at 8:15 - 10:45 p.m.

A depiction of an erotic power struggle in the court of Queen Elizabeth I involving her Jewish physician, Roger Lopez, and her young lover, Essex. Watch these historical figures dissect heroic loyalties, conflicting in a world poisoned with defeated love, fear of Hispanic dominance, and religious fanaticism.


By: John Biguenet

Friday, Jan. 23 at 7:45 - 9:45 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 6:15 - 8:15 p.m.

Set four months after the flood, a white man and his teenage son made homeless by Katrina rent half of a shotgun double from an African-American woman, whose own father has lost his house in the Lower Ninth Ward and moved in with her. These four New Orleanians, white and black living under one roof, try to rebuild their lives in a city still in shambles. Seething racial tensions bubble to the surface when love blossoms.

The Tragedy of John Wilkes Booth

By: Chris Gavaler

Sunday, Jan. 25 at 5 - 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 - 10 p.m.

Macbeth, Hamlet, Marc Anthony—John Wilkes Booth played Shakespeare’s greatest tragic heroes, and in an afterlife encore, he remains trapped in those roles as he relives his plot to kill the President.

Yankee Tavern

By: Steven Dietz

Saturday, Jan. 24 at 5:30 -7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 1 at Noon - 2 p.m.

A young couple is caught in a web of conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks, when in an instant outlandish hypothesis becomes dangerous reality as critical facts continue to emerge.

Orlando Opera Presents... The Dark Lady of the Sonnets

Based on the play by George Bernard Shaw

By: Music by Philip Hagemann Libretto by the Composer

Friday, Jan. 23 at 8:15 - 10:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7:15 - 9:15 p.m.

Mandell Theater
It’s nearly midnight, around the year 1600, on the terrace of the Palace of Whitehall. A beefeater is standing guard outside Queen Elizabeth’s quarters. Shakespeare slinks onto the terrace for a rendezvous with his Dark Lady. Instead he encounters the pensive queen, who hides her identity. Shakespeare feels romantic sparks when the mysterious woman shows a flair for poetic speech. A word thief, he is quick to jot down usable phrases. Intrigue and worse break out when the Dark Lady arrives. But at the end the queen suggests a secret collaboration with Shakespeare on a play for which she has a working title, “Twelfth Night.”

Women Playwrights' Initiative Presents... The Galt Regency

By: Judith Montague

Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 31 at 2:15 - 4:15 p.m.

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson was the second wife of President Woodrow
Wilson, marrying him shortly after the death of his first wife. She was
known as “the Secret President,” because in 1919, the President had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and severely disabled. The Galt Regency tells the compelling story of Mrs. Wilson during these years of Wilson’s prolonged illness, when she very strictly controlled access to the President, decided which if any government matters should be presented to him, and kept even his closest advisors away from her husband and in the dark about the severity of his condition. The actions of this strong and formidable woman left those close to the President wondering who indeed was running the country.