Patrick Flick, head of new-play development at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, has sent over descriptions of the plays slated for April’s PlayFest. Here you go:
- Don Quixote – The Reckoning, by Mark Brown. A Comic, Epic Adventure. Don Quixote – The Reckoning is an irreverent and comical retelling of the Cervantes novel. It’s not your mother’s Man of La Mancha.
- Glassheart, by Reina Hardy. A Fairy Tale Ending. In this comedy of disenchantment, a Beast and his one remaining magical servant sign the lease on a shabby Chicago apartment. In the threatening, impossible, completely ordinary world of paying rent and taking public transportation, is a happy ending even possible?
- Anno Menander, By Ross Maxwell. An Ancient Greek Brothel Comedy. Anno Menander is a good old-fashioned family sex farce set in post-Golden Age Athens, and follows the many mishaps of the arrogant-but-cowardly playwright, Menander, inventor of the sitcom. Loveably crass and poignantly vulgar.
- Bakersfield Mist, by Stephen Sachs. A National New Play Network Showcase Selection. Comedy/Drama. Maude Gutman, an unemployed chain-smoking bartender living in a trailer park, believes the painting she bought in a thrift store for three bucks is really a priceless Jackson Pollock worth millions. Is it authentic or not? Inspired by a true story, Bakersfield Mist is a lively and delightful comedy/drama about the meaning of art.
- Do Not Go Gentle, by Patricia Cornelius. In Partnership with PlayWriting Australia. A Drama of Epic Proportions. In this exploration of the ageing process, the story of Scott’s failed attempt to conquer the South Pole is used as an allegorical parallel to the lives of the residents of an aged-care facility. The result is a vital, compassionate and sometimes hilarious depiction of the human condition.
- Exit, Pursued by a Bear, by Lauren Gunderson. Southern Revenge Comedy. Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a play based on one violent stage direction (Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale). Likewise, our heroine will sacrifice it all to get out in this hilariously brutal comedy — part I Love Lucy, part Jacobean revenge tragedy, part nature special, and part feminist power ballad set in the North Georgia mountains. Exit is not over till the bears are in pursuit.
- Jericho, by Jack Canfora. A National New Play Network Showcase Presentation. A Laugh Out Loud Tragedy. Set in Manhattan and its suburbs, Jericho is a thought-provoking exploration of how people cope with collective and personal tragedy. In 2005, a Jewish 9/11 survivor and a Palestinian 9/11 widow find themselves embroiled in one family’s personal and political dramas. With surprising humor, Jericho reminds us that all struggles, even political ones, are ultimately personal.
- ReEntry, by Emily Ackerman & KJ Sanchez. Documentary Theater. An unflinching look at the lives of Marines getting ready for and returning
from combat, ReEntry is a docudrama exploration of the relationships between Marines and the civilians they fight for overseas and must contend with when they return home. Honest, moving, and surprisingly funny, this play is based entirely on interviews with Marines and their families.
- Sweet Water Taste, by Gloria Bond Clunie. A Serious Comedy. All hell and a little bit of heaven breaks loose when Elijah Beckford, a prominent Southern black undertaker, approaches his wealthy white cousin, Charlie Beckford, and demands to be buried in “the family cemetery.” Hilarious and irreverent.
- The Exit Interview, by William Missouri Downs. An Absurdist Comedy. The Exit Interview is a comic look at existential uncertainty and metaphysical isolation. If you have ever wanted to know the answer to the question, why does God hate civil servants?, you’ve got to see this play.