Category Archives: New plays

Stay tuned — the songs of Alexander Sage Oyen

I was making my way into my almost-last Fringe show this past spring (Captain Discovery: The Edible Musical) when I was accosted, among the throng of eight or nine people crowding into a closet otherwise known as the Jamie Mykins Theater, by a young man wearing what looked something like a centurion’s helmet.

“I’ve got something for you,” he said, and he reached into his backpack and handed me a CD.

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Dennis Neal to play Louis Armstrong in world-premiere play

Dennis Neal

Orlando actor Dennis Neal will star as legendary jazzman Louis Armstrong in the world-premiere production of Satchmo at the Waldorf, author and Wall Street Journal theater critic Terry Teachout’s play based on his biography Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

Rus Blackwell will direct the play, which will have its first production at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Orlando Sept. 15-Oct. 2.

Neal, who has acted extensively around Central Florida (most recently as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Garden Theatre and in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Shotgun), also will play Joe Glaser, Armstrong’s controversial manager, in the play about Armstrong’s final performance before his death.

Here’s information about the folks involved, who also include designer William Elliot:

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PlayFest submission deadline is coming up

Just a reminder that the deadline is fast approaching for this fall’s PlayFest 2.0 at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. It’s a new, shortened version of the new-play festival, and here, once again, are the submission guidelines:

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Postcard from Broadway: ‘The Motherf**ker With the Hat’

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater

If you know the playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis from his dramas Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot – both of which have been produced by Orlando’s Empty Spaces Theatre Co(llaboration) – you will most likely be shocked by his latest offering (and his Broadway debut), The Motherf**ker With the Hat.

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Valencia looking for Florida playwrights

Valencia Community College’s theater department is conducting its annual competition for a Florida playwright, whose winning work will be produced at Valencia next season:

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Playwrights’ Round Table looking for new scripts

Playwrights’ Round Table needs new scripts for its annual John Goring Memorial One-Act Fest and for Fringe 2012. Here are the guidelines and further info:

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Theater auditions: Playwrights’ Round Table’s ‘Summer Shorts’

Here’s an audition notice from Playwrights’ Round Table:

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‘Bitches’ to move to Parliament House for Gay Days

Lisa Sleeper and Robyn Scrivener in 'Bitches of the Kingdom!'

The Oops Guys’ Bitches of the Kingdom!, probably the biggest hit at this year’s Fringe, already has a follow-up date — June 3 and 4 at the Parliament House for Gay Days.

Here’s the full info from presenter Michael Wanzie:

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PlayFest 2.0 looking for submissions

A new, shortened version of Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s PlayFest — scheduled for Nov. 3-6 of this year — is seeking submissions. Here are the guidelines:

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Playwrights’ Round Table chooses scripts, looks for more

It’s busy time over at Playwrights’ Round Table, where they’ve chosen the scripts for the Summer Shorts series and are on the lookout for a full-length play to be produced in March 2012.

The list of Summer Shorts titles and writers:

Orlando Rep announces 2011-2012 season

Here’s the coming season from Orlando Repertory Theatre, including a world premiere co-developed by the Rep and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.:

Local writer needs audience and actors for new-play reading

Here’s a request from local playwright Carol Rose Offutt:

I would like to invite theater enthusiasts to participate in a reading of my play, Distant Runway Lights, a military romance set in the 1940s.

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‘Clybourne Park’ wins drama Pulitzer

Bruce Norris

Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris’s drama suggested by the story of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for drama today.

The play had its premiere Feb. 21, 2010 at Playwrights Horizons in New York and ran only a month, until March 21. A different production opened in London in August 2010 and then transferred to the West End.

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Theater critics award top prize — again — to playwright Bill Cain

Bill Cain

For the second year in a row, New York playwright Bill Cain has won the $25,000 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Award for a new play — this time for 9 Circles, a harrowing but ultimately uplifting play about war and redemption.

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Theater review: Orlando Shakespeare’s ‘Charm’

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater

Katherine Michelle Tanner (Margaret Fuller), Allison DeCaro (Lydian Emerson) and Brandon Roberts (Henry David Thoreau) in 'Charm.' Photo by Tony Firriolo/Orlando Shakespeare Theater.

Kathleen Cahill’s Charm is a contradiction unto itself – a comedy with serious undertones, a history that keeps morphing into fantasy, a 19th-century story that leaps forward into the 21st.

Cahill’s heroine, Margaret Fuller, may have been one of the most formidable figures among a whole bunch of formidable types known as the Transcendentalists. But in Cahill’s hands – and in the exhilarating performance of actress Katherine Michelle Tanner – Orlando Shakespeare Theater shows Margaret Fuller forging new meanings for a simple word like charm.

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Playwright Cori Thomas wins 2011 Osborn Award

Cori Thomas (photo courtesy of City Theatre Company, Pittsburgh)

Playwright Cori Thomas, a New York-based writer who has lived in seven countries, has won the American Theatre Critics Association’s M. Elizabeth Osborn Award for her play When January Feels Like Summer, a dark comedy about a multicultural neighborhood and its residents’ search for assimilation and identity.

Thomas will receive the $1,000 prize — meant to honor a playwright who has not yet won national attention — April 2 in Louisville, Ky., at the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

(I was one of the members of the ATCA awards committee that chose Thomas for this prize.)

Here’s more on Thomas and her play:

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Orlando Shakes announces PlayFest schedule, Mark Brown talk

Mark Brown

Playwright Mark Brown, whose comedies Around the World in 80 Days and The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge have been Orlando Shakespeare Theater hits, will take part in PlayFest’s keynote event, a conversation between him and Orlando Shakes artistic director Jim Helsinger, on April 8.

The theater has announced the entire PlayFest schedule, and here it is, followed by some info on Mark and good PlayFest stuff:

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Spidey to shut down for a while

The tale of Spider-Man gets more and more tangled. It’s now been reported in the New York Times that the production — rather than opening next week, as had been scheduled — is going to shut down for a few weeks and that rehab is expected to take three more months. At that point, the Times says, director Julie Taymor may or may not still be around.

Here’s the story.

And here’s the official announcement saying that Taymor is out — sort of.

Theater auditions: Revised call for ‘Bitches of the Kingdom’

Here’s a revised audition notice for the Oops Guys’ Fringe show:

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Playwrights’ group looking for short plays

It’s time once again for Playwrights’ Round Table to begin gathering scripts for its annual Summer Shorts production. Here’s how to enter:

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