Category Archives: Playwrights

Playwrights’ Round Table announces full(er) season

Playwrights’ Round Table, which up until now has shown up a few times a year, is expanding its offerings of new plays by (mostly) local playwrights. Here’s the word:

Playwrights’ Round Table announces first full season of new plays

Playwrights’ Round Table is very pleased to announce that the organization has signed a new contract with the fine folks at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and will present a full season of all-original works for the first time in its 14-year existence.

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Theater folks coming to speak at Rollins

There’s a string of theater people at work at Rollins in the next few months, and an actual bevy of them here in the next couple of weeks. All of them will be interacting with students and with the public — and my experience has been with Rollins visitors in the past has been that if you possibly can make it to hear these people, you should. All of the public events are free.

Let’s start with this weekend and move onward:

Critic/author Terry Teachout back at Rollins

Writer Terry Teachout, theater critic for the Wall Street Journal and author of the best-selling biography Pops, about Louis Armstrong, is back at Rollins College this month as part of the Winter Park Institute.

He’s already presented one program (the e-mail notice went out late) but has two more in store. Here they are (and theater fans may want to note that local actor Dennis Neal appears in the second of these programs):

Cocoa Beach theater hosts playwriting contest

Here’s news of another contest for some local playwrights:

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News you can use

Here’s a rundown of news and announcements that happened while I was away for the holidays:

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Playwright Arlene Hutton at Rollins

Playwright Arlene Hutton, whose play Letters to Sala will be presented Feb. 11-19 at Annie Russell Theatre, is at Rollins this week in preparation for that production.

She’ll talk about her play, and about the process of adapting a work from the page to the stage,  at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at Annie Russell Theatre. Hutton is here as part of a series sponsored by the Winter Park Institute, which will look at women in the Holocaust.

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Playwrights’ Round Table chooses plays (auditions to follow)

Auditions are this weekend for Playwrights’ Round Table’s Launch 2011, a collection of short plays by — drum roll, please — David Strauss, George Loukides, Al Pergande, Sandi Lacey, Jamie Cline, Andy Haynes and Stephen J. Miller.

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Sondheim talks (and talks, and talks …)

Stephen Sondheim, now 80 and in a ruminative mood, is pushing a new book called Finishing the Hat, in which he writes about his lyrics, and others’.

Yesterday he spoke with Terry Gross on NPR‘s Fresh Air about the book. You can read about the interview here and listen here.

Good news for Lynn Nottage (and her fans)

New York playwright Lynn Nottage (Ruined, Intimate Apparel) has won the $200,000 Steinberg Award for playwriting, the most lucrative award in theater.

Meanwhile, Nottage’s acclaimed drama Ruined, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009,  will be on television, although it may be a while. Nottage is in the early stages of working on the screenplay version for Oprah Winfrey’s production company and HBO films.

All of that is welcome news to those of us who like good drama. Stay tuned.

Theater auditions: Playwrights Round Table’s new shows

Here’s an audition notice from Playwrights Round Table:

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Local theaters branch out? Well, not so much.

Every year American Theatre magazine publishes a list of the 10 most widely produced shows of the coming season — and most years that list is a look at what’s new and interesting and not so well-known. Granted, a small-cast Pulitzer-winner from a season or so before is likely to get a lot of productions across the country. But, besides A Christmas Carol and the plays of Shakespeare, you’re sure to see a lot of titles on that list that are just trying out their wings.

Not so much in Central Florida, where I just took a semi-systematic look at what’s scheduled for the 2010-2011 season and found a whole lot of same old, same old. The most popular playwright among the 60-plus theaters across Central Florida this season? Neil Simon, who’s now 83 years old and who hasn’t turned out a really good play (forgive me, but it’s true) in nearly 20 years.

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Tony Kushner coming to Rollins

A big deal for the theater community: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, whose masterpiece Angels in America is being revived this coming season in New York, will be at Rollins next spring as a guest of the Winter Park Institute.

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Playwrights coming to Atlantic Center

Here’s big news for local playwrights and theater lovers.

Atlantic Center for the Arts is doing an artist-in-residence program focusing on playwrights this season, and big-deal playwrights Dael Orlandersmith, right, and Annie Baker, below right, will be among the three writers who will be working there during the summer of 2011.

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Valencia looking for new plays

It’s time again for Valencia Community College’s annual quest for Florida plays — and specifically for one to be given a full production next spring at the Valencia Character Company’s home on Valencia’s east campus.

Here’s the deal:

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Mad Cow adds another title to new season

Mad Cow Theatre just announced its 2010-2011 season on Friday, but here’s an addition already: Karen Zacarias’s play Legacy of Light, which premiered this past season at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and will be staged at Mad Cow July 29-Aug. 28, 2011.

In 2006 Zacarias won the Francesca Primus Prize, given by the American Theatre Critics Association to honor a female theater artist, for her play Mariela in the Desert. Here’s a link to a story about her from the Washington Post in 2009.

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On Shakespeare: Did he or didn’t he?

In the Village Voice, Michael Feingold writes a compelling review of what sounds like a compelling book — James Shapiro’s take on the Shakespeare authorship question, and whether the man from Stratford actually did write all those plays. Now I have to read the book.

Eatonville’s Norm Lewis to be featured on Sondheim recording

Norm Lewis, who grew up in Eatonville and graduated from Edgewater High School, will be among those on the Broadway cast recording of Sondheim on Sondheim, which will be recorded this weekend and released in August.

Along with Lewis, the cast features Barbara Cook, Vanessa Williams and Tom Wopat, plus Leslie Kritzer, Euan Morton, Erin Mackey and Matthew Scott. Among the songs is Lewis’s rendition of the Sondheim classic “Being Alive.”

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From the Fringe: ‘Full of Grace’

Fringe review: ‘Full of Grace,’ Feline Five, Orlando

By Elizabeth Maupin

Not every Fringe performer gets a one-woman drama written just for her. But Kathy Baker Wood is not just any Fringe performer: Last year she won the Fringe’s best-actress award in The Dream Jar, and this year she’s back in Full of Grace, a solo piece she wrote with Dream Jar’s Mik Jacobs. It’s an engaging script, but the best thing about it is that it lets you spend nearly an hour with Wood.

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Opening this week:

Here’s a big batch of shows opening this weekend:

‘My Fair Lady,’ Orlando Philharmonic and Mad Cow Continue reading

Happy birthday, Will

In honor of William Shakespeare’s 446th birthday, here’s a little something from Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie: