Orlando Shakes adds two hits to season lineup

Orlando Shakespeare Theater has added two recent Broadway hits,  Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage and John Logan’s Red, to its 2011-2012 season, artistic director Jim Helsinger has announced.

The theater company also will present Sleigh, the PB&J Theatre Factory Christmas show, as a special event.

Those additions make a nine-show Orlando Shakespeare season, plus Sleigh (for which tickets will be sold separately).

Orlando Shakes originally announced that one play next season would come from the recent PlayFest, but that slot is being taken by God of Carnage. The theater is presenting no full PlayFest production next season, and PlayFest is being scaled back to only four days.

Red, which won the Tony Award as best play of the 2010-2011 Broadway season, is a drama about abstract artist Mark Rothko; Alfred Molina was nominated for a Tony as best actor in a play for his role as Rothko, and Eddie Redmayne won a Tony as best featured actor for his role as Rothko’s assistant.

God of Carnage, which rode to the Tony as best play in 2009-2010 with the benefit of an all-star cast, is a dark comedy about the disintegrating relationship among two married couples whose small sons get into a fight. Marcia Gay Harden won the Tony as best actress in a play for her role in Reza’s hit, and Matthew Warchus won as best director.

Sleigh, PB&J’s physical comedy on Christmas themes, premiered in 2009 at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden.

Here’s the company’s announcement of the new season additions:

This morning, OST Artistic Director Jim Helsinger announced the addition of Yasmina Reza’s 2009 Tony Award-Winning comedy of grownups behaving badly, God of Carnage, and the Orlando premiere of Red, John Logan’s electrifying new drama about artist Mark Rothko that won six 2010 Tony Awards including Best Play.

In addition to the nine plays of the subscription season, we’re thrilled to announce the addition of PB&J Theatre Factory’s Sleigh, an Orlando-audience favorite that received its premiere at the Garden Theatre (Winter Garden, FL) in 2009 and offers an alternative festive family outing during the holidays.

Sleigh is not part of the 2011-2012 Subscriptions or Flex Passes, but season ticket holders have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to this special event.

Single tickets for all shows in the 2011-2012 Season go on sale to the general public on June 14, 2011.

For more information about our 2011-2012 Season, please visit our website at http://www.orlandoshakes.org or call the Box Office at (407) 447-1700.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Theater for Young Audiences
Written by Maurice Berger | July 7 – August 7, 2011
An interactive family adventure, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs tells the magical tale of a sweet girl who lives in the woods with a most unusual family – and of the Wicked Queen who will stop at nothing to be the most beautiful woman in the kingdom.

The Importance of Being Earnest | Signature Series
By Oscar Wilde | September 14 – October 9, 2011
A rousing escapade of romance, effervescent wit, and Victorian manners, two charming bachelors lead double lives to woo the young ladies who have won their hearts.

God of Carnage | Signature Series
By Yasmina Reza | October 12 – November 13, 2011
A civilized discussion over a playground fight becomes a finger-pointing, fur-flying, hilarious brawl between two couples in this savagely caustic comedy. Currently being developed as a major motion picture, God of Carnage nabbed the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play and earned knockout reviews.

Playfest! The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays | Special Event
November 3 – 6, 2011
An engaging, fast-paced weekend packed with world premiere plays, distinctive panels, lively parties and dynamic networking events. It is the perfect opportunity to converse with PlayFest artists, establish lasting connections and absorb groundbreaking new works.

Miss Nelson is Missing | Theater for Young Audiences
Book, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing | October 20 – November 19, 2011
Miss Nelson’s rude and rowdy students are misbehaving AGAIN! But the students of Room 207 are in for a surprise when Miss Nelson is replaced by Viola Swamp, the scariest substitute teacher ever. Where did Miss Nelson go, and will she ever return?

A Tuna Christmas | Signature Series
By Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams | November 30 – December 30, 2011
Join us for all the laughs as two talented men portray all 24 citizens of Texas’ third smallest town, where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.

Sleigh | Special Event
Presented by PB&J Theatre Factory | December 1 – 18, 2011
A young couple spends their first Christmas together, tackling holiday traditions with very different expectations. Two shopkeepers re-define rivalry as they coax customers away from their competitor. And three determined mail carriers fight the elements to make an important delivery.

Romeo and Juliet | Signature Series
By William Shakespeare | January 25 – March 17, 2012
Pure and passionate, tempestuous and true – the feverish intensity of youth explodes in the most enduring love story of all time. Shakespeare’s masterpiece has never been so captivating, or so dangerous, as in this stirring new production.

Cymbeline | Signature Series
By William Shakespeare | February 8 – March 18, 2012
Shakespeare’s epic fairy tale is a sweeping adventure story of love, laughter, betrayal and redemption. After Princess Imogen is falsely accused of adultery, she bravely sets forth on a treacherous and miraculous journey to reclaim her place in society and reunite with her true love.

Red | Signature Series
By John Logan | March 21 – April 22, 2012
Hailed as “intense and exciting” by the The New York Times, Red took Broadway by storm with this electrifying drama about abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. John Logan, the Oscar-nominated author of Gladiator, wrote this smart, scintillating portrait of an artist’s ambition and vulnerability, and its production won six Tony Awards.

Charlotte’s Web | Theater for Young Audiences
By Joseph Robinette/Adapted from the book by E.B. White | March 29 – April 29, 2012
Celebrate the true meaning of friendship with Charlotte the spider, Wilbur the pig, and all animals on the Zuckerman farm. When Wilbur learns of his ultimate fate at the butcher, Charlotte, a talented writer and loving friend, weaves a creative solution that ensures his place on the farm forever.

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