Coming up: Red Chair, Shakespeare Gala, Improv Fest

It’s only the middle of July, but you ought to be filling up your calendar for August and September, when the arts season unofficially gets under way. (I hadn’t noticed it stopping for the summer, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, the self-proclaimed start of the arts season is the Red Chair Affair, set for Aug. 28. Then there’s the Orlando Shakespeare Theater Gala and the Orlando Improv Festival, both set for September. Here’s news about all three – first, Red Chair:

Red Chair Affair to Debut Orlando’s 2010-2011 Cultural Season

The 6th Annual Red Chair Affair kicks off Central Florida’s arts and cultural season on Saturday, August 28 at 8:00 p.m. at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. Don’t miss an exceptional evening with dynamic performing groups and local visual artists. It’s your ticket to sample this season’s cultural offerings throughout Central Florida. To build excitement for the season kick-off, there are a variety of events and opportunities leading up to the Red Chair Affair.

The annual Ikea Red Chair Silent Auction will be open online to the general public at starting August 1. This year’s auction focuses on “packaged experiences” and features backstage and onstage experiences as well as once in a life time opportunities from over 50 arts and cultural organizations and business partners. In addition, each auction item is paired with a decorated Ikea red chair. The highest online bids will begin the silent auction portion of the evening for VIP Guests. Auction items range from backstage and onstage experiences to dinners, shows and vacation packages. Online bidding is available to the general public until August 22. Decorated chairs will be on display at CityArts Factory from July 15 through August 13.

Red Chair Affair VIP tickets include a pre and post reception including food, beer, wine and complimentary valet parking. In addition, VIPs have the final opportunity to bid on the Ikea Red Chair Silent Auction and enjoy the best seats in the house for the main stage performance. The VIP pre reception begins at 6pm and VIP patrons are encouraged to dress in their best red.

In addition, the Red Chair Affair Visual Art Exhibit, curated by, will be on display at CityArts Factory from July 15 – August 13. This exhibition will show five works by each of nine selected artists. One work by each artist will have something to do with a red chair and be exhibited to the VIPs at the Red Chair Affair. To view artists’ portfolios visit 40% of all sales will benefit the Red Chair Project. Visual Artists include Toni Taylor, Sy Rosefelt, Lori Pitten Jenkins, Chris Johnson, Kyra Belan, Dave Phillips, Marla E, Gene Amoroso and Phyllis Jones Behrens.

Performances and entertainment will be provided at the Red Chair Affair by the following organizations: Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, Bay Street Players, Cirque du Soleil La Nouba, Emotions Dance with Tod Caviness, Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Gay Chorus, Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Sak Comedy Lab, VarieTease, Winter Park Playhouse and Yow Dance. Performers are subject to change.

The Red Chair Affair is proud to partner with the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc. as they kick-off Orlando’s Magical Dining Month. From Sept. 1 – 30, 2010, locals and visitors alike can indulge in Orlando’s haute cuisine featuring three-course dinners for $30 at some of the destination’s most popular restaurants. This year, $1 of each purchased dinner will be donated to the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Central Florida.  Some of the participating Magical Dining Restaurants will be providing food for the VIP portion of the Red Chair Affair.

The Red Chair Project is a community service, managed by the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Central Florida, designed to increase participation in Central Florida’s arts and culture. As a collaborative campaign involving more than 360 arts and cultural organizations, it promotes and grows the arts in the region through, a website with arts and cultural events, discounted tickets, classes/workshops, and cultural getaways.

The 6th Annual Red Chair Affair is sponsored by United Arts of Central Florida and Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Red Chair Affair
When: August 28, 2010 @ 8:00pm, doors open at 7pm.
Where: Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre
Cost: General Admission: $22, Students/Seniors: $15
Advanced Parking: $8 in advance for Orange Lot #1

VIP tickets are $225 each. Corporate packages are available.
VIP Reception begins at 6:00pm

Red Chair Visual Art and IKEA Red Chair Display
When: July 15 – August 13
Where: CityArts Factory
Cost: Free

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Next, the Orlando Shakes opening gala:

SAVE THE DATE! Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Annual Season Gala
Celebrity Alan H. Ginsberg of The CED Cos. Featured Auctioneer

What: Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Season Opening Gala
Featuring Auctioneer Alan H. Ginsburg, Chief Executive Officer of The CED Cos.

Where: Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 East Rollins Street, Orlando 32803

When: Sunday, September 12 at 5:00 PM

Tickets: Start at $150 per person/Corporate packages of 10 start at $1,500

Contact: Shannon Lacek, Director of Development at 407-447-1700 x 203

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF will hold its annual Season Opening Gala on September 12, 2010 at the beautiful Lowndes Shakespeare Center near downtown Orlando. Orlando Shakes is honored to feature celebrity auctioneer Alan H. Ginsburg of The CED Cos. at the event. A glamorous evening of delectable food, fun, and first-class entertainment, Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s black-tie gala celebrates more than 22 years of achievements that continue to impact the theatrical community nationally and close to home.

The event will help to raise funds that enable Orlando Shakespeare Theater to achieve the following:

  • Support the nationally acclaimed Signature Series productions.
  • Fund the growth of youth education programs that serve over 25,000 young people, families, and schools annually.
  • Further our commitment to the development of new plays through our Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays: PlayFest, which helped launch off-Broadway and regional hits Around the World in 80 Days, Opus, and Wittenberg.

In addition to an elegant stationed dinner paired with fine wines, the Gala will feature a sneak preview of the fast-paced, hilarious whodunit, The 39 Steps, Broadway’s longest running comedy. Exciting silent and live auctions give attendees the opportunity to bid on: a chance to view an Orlando Magic home game from a luxurious VIP Suite at the new Amway Center; a relaxing two-night stay at the secluded Mission Inn Resort and Club, including 18 holes of championship golf and a lavish dinner; a private event for 100 catered by Arthur’s Catering; a very special bracelet donated by arts angel Harriett Lake, and much more!

Tickets start at $150 per person, with corporate sponsorship packages for 10 starting at $1,500. All event proceeds benefit Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF. For more information and tickets, please contact Shannon Lacek at 407-447-1700 x 203 or visit

About Orlando Shakespeare Theater

With Shakespeare as its standard and inspiration, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF produces bold professional theater, develops new plays, and provides innovative educational experiences to more than 25,000 K-12 students throughout Central Florida.

Finally, the new Orlando Improv Festival:

Cheap Laughs | Comedy improv teams from Seattle, Atlanta, Sarasota and Orlando are gathering September 19-21, 2010 for the Inaugural Orlando Improv Festival! The Early Bird All Access Pass just went on sale today for $50, getting you access to every show in the fest (see rules). There are only 39 passes left. Hurry and get one now: it’s the best value, it comes with a swag bag and on August 22, 2010, the price increases to $60. Go here to buy:

Comments are closed.