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“One of the best bets on Central Florida’s arts and entertainment calendar.”

– Central Florida Future

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Harriett's New Play Series

November 8 - 10, 2013

Tired of the classics and looking for a challenge? Take a risk on new plays. We dare you.

An engaging, fast-paced weekend packed with world premiere plays, distinctive panels, and lively parties, PlayFest offers audiences the rare opportunity to be a part of new play development. Converse with playwrights, directors, and actors, while absorbing groundbreaking new works. This three-day event tears down the barrier between artist and audience, putting YOU at the heart of the process.

Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF is dedicated to the development of new plays, one of our country's most enduring art forms. PlayFest is a nationally recognized program and represents one of the strongest commitments to new plays in the U.S. Over the years, Orlando Shakes has helped nurture and develop over 100 new plays – many of which have received subsequent productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington D.C.

Many audience favorites from PlayFest have been developed into full productions in Orlando Shakes' Harriett’s New Play Series. Your input is vital to the extended life of new plays.

Keynote speakers and performances have included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Olympia Dukakis, Theresa Rebeck, John Pielmeier, Israel Horivitiz, Tony Award winner Jon Jory, and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan.

SOLD OUT - Festival Pass

An all-inclusive approach to PlayFest, the Festival Pass enables you to see all seven readings. A fantastic bargain!

Special Events

Saturday, November 9 at 7:00 pm (FREE)
Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods was nominated for Tony and Olivier Awards and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His plays have twice won the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics’ Association Award, among many other honors. Both the Signature Theatre and Portland, Oregon’s Profile Theatre have devoted full seasons to Blessing’s plays. Notable world and regional premieres: A User’s Guide to Hell, Featuring Bernard Madoff, Project Y Theatre, NYC; When We Go upon the Sea, 59E59th St. in New York and InterAct Theatre, Philadelphia; Great Falls, Humana New Play Festival of the Actors Theatre of Louisville and Ensemble Theatre, Sydney, Australia; Courting Harry, History Theatre, St. Paul, MN; A Body of Water, Tyrone Guthrie Theater and Old Globe Theatre. Recent works include “Seven Joys” and “Wood for the Fire” for London’s Tricycle Theatre. Until recently, Blessing headed the graduate playwriting program at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He is married to playwright and TV writer-producer Melanie Marnich.

From Page to Stage: The Process of Having Your Play Produced and the Challenges of Second Productions
Sunday, November 10 at 2:15 pm (FREE)
Join PlayFest actors and directors in an enlightening discussion about the importance of new plays and their future in American Theatre.

Readings (Single tickets are just $5!)

Deb Laufer


Friday, November 8 at 7:30 pm
By Michael Aaron Santos
Directed by Brad DePlanche
a dark comedy to root for
Gavin has a secret. The Jericho Tree, passed down through his family for two centuries, is a small inconspicuous tree that possesses immense power. Trouble brews when Gavin’s ex fiancé teams up with a mobster and his right-hand-hit-man in an evil plan to steal the tree. Mayhem and magic ensue as a paralleled history lesson of the famous meeting of Pope Leo I and Attila the Hun intertwine the fate of the tree, and the fate of the souls who wish to possess it. [get tickets]

Philip Nolen* as Gavin
Jennifer Christa Palmer* as Karen
Kenny Babel* as Donny
T. Robert Pigott* as Michael

John Biguenet(a love story)
Saturday, November 9 at 12:00 pm  
by Kelly P. Lusk
Directed by Kate Ingram
a play that gets to the heart of it
Love. We’ve killed over it. We’ve fought wars over it. Books dissect and explore it. We’ve been told by The Beatles that it’s all we need. But what is it? (a love story) tells the tale of three couples who set out to answer this eternal question. But what happens when you love someone more than they love you? Or they love you more than you love them?... [get tickets]

Vince Hannam as Greg
David Weiland as David
Jayne Claire as Emily
Jay Pastucha as Richard
Ginger Lee McDermott* as Anne
Matt Horohoe* as Jack
Alex Bair as Chorus 1 - Boy - doubles as Sprout
Jeff Nathan* as Chorus 2 - Man - doubles as Sprout
Olivia Grace Murphy as Chorus 3 - Girl - doubles as Sprout

John W. Lowell


Saturday, November 9 at 3:00 pm
By Jennifer Hoppe-House
Directed by Jeremy Cohen
an epic family drama that bites
After ten years clean and sober, Molly Drexler tumbles off “the wagon” and drives her Prius through the house. A sedan-sized hole in the living room wall serves as a metaphor for what can no longer be ignored. As the events of Molly’s blackout (and the ghosts that chase her) emerge, her family tries to cope with her wreckage, but end up running headlong into their own. [get tickets]

Jennifer Bonner as Molly Drexler
Eric Zivot* as Walter Drexler
Elizabeth Murff as Lois Drexler
Anne Hering* as Becky Davis
Suzanne O'Donnell* as Linda Drexler
Marta Velasco* as Sondra Drexler
Ame Livingston as Abby Cory
Brandon Roberts* as Cop, Larry Kaufman, and Contractor

Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 pm
By Lee Blessing
Directed by Mark Routhier
a drama ripped from the headlines
Set nearly twenty years before the Penn State child-molestation cover-up scandal, For the Loyal examines a similar situation from the perspective of a young assistant coach's wife. Reality and time smear together as she struggles to "do the right thing", slamming into a wall of vested interests and denial. [get tickets]

Sophie Bell as Mia
A. Ross Neal as Toby
Rus Blackwell* as Coach Tanner Hale
Riley Clermont* as Coach Mitch Carlson
Jeffrey Todd Parrott as Boy

Sunday, November 10 at 12:00 pm
By John Biguenet
Directed by Thomas Ouellette
a bewitching one woman show in iambic pentameter
A witch confesses all: her first love affair, how she discovered her powers, and how she has used them. A completely unsentimental moralist who knows everything about the human heart—having been both its victim and avenger throughout her long life—she metes out inexorable justice, immune to our pleas for mercy and cackling at our excuses. In Broomstick, whiners wind up in casseroles. [get tickets]

Lisa Wolpe* as the Witch

Yussef El GuidiniI AND YOU
Sunday, November 10 at 4:00 pm
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Lauren Gunderson
a valentine to youth, life, and love
One afternoon in your town, Anthony arrives at Caroline’s door bearing waffle fries, a beat-up copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and an urgent assignment from their high school lit teacher. Caroline is as quick and sardonic as Anthony is athletic and popular. As these two let down their guards and share their secrets, this seemingly vanilla poetry assignment unlocks a much deeper mystery that has brought them together. I and You is an NNPN Rolling World Premiere. [get tickets]

Joshian Morales* as Anthony
Gracie Winchester* as Caroline

Yussef El GuidiniITHAKA
Sunday, November 10 at 7:00 pm
By Andrea Stolowitz
Directed by Michael Marinaccio
a homecoming of Odyssean proportions
How long does the battle continue after a soldier comes home? A Marine Captain has just returned from her latest tour in Afghanistan, but this time things are different. Drawing from interviews with real veterans and their families, Stolowitz transports audiences on a soldier’s Odyssean journey through the American landscape as she battles monsters and tries to find her way back home. [get tickets]

Ryan Kim* as Odysseus (Doubles as Jacob)
Melanie Whipple* as Captain Elaine "Lanie" Edwards
Trenell Moorning* as Eve "Evie" Richardson (Doubles as Pixie/Celeste the Cat)
Dan Bright* as Bill Edwards
Avis-Marie Barnes* as E.M. Richardson

New Play Patron

Be on the cutting edge of new play development and rub elbows with tomorrow's literary stars. New Play Patrons receive an all-access pass to PlayFest readings, reserved seating, a private event with the playwrights, and recognition for their special contribution in programs, curtain speeches, Orlando Shakespeare Theater's website, and more! For more information, contact the Director of Development at (407) 447-1700 ext. 206 or email development@orlandoshakes.org.



Schedule - No Late Seating

Friday, November 8
The Jericho Tree 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 9
(a love story) 12:00 p.m.
Bad Dog 3:00 p.m.
Keynote Address with Lee Blessing 7:00 p.m.
For the Loyal 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 10
Broomstick 12:00 p.m.
New Play Panel: "From Page to Stage" 2:15 p.m.
I and You 4:00 p.m.
Ithaka 7:00 p.m.

Harriett's New Play Series Sponsors

Harriett Lake

Ingrid & Coleman Cordell

Frank Santos & Dan Dantin


United Arts

Florida Arts & Culture

Red Chair Project

New Play Patrons

Marilyn Goldman
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Yochum
Frank Santos and Dan Dantin
Ken and Trisha Margeson
Gordon and Susan Arkin
John and Rita Lowndes
Ingrid and Coleman Cordell
Molly O'Neill
Harriett Lake
Simon and Ellen Snyder
Helen Routhier


Past Years
PlayFest 2012 - November 2 – 4, 2012
PlayFest 2011 v2 - November 3 – 6, 2011
PlayFest 2011 - April 8 – 17, 2011
PlayFest 2010 - April 2 – 11, 2010
PlayFest 2009 - January 23 - February 21, 2009
PlayFest 2008 - February 8 – 17, 2008
PlayFest 2007 - February 23 – March 4, 2007
PlayFest 2006 - February 8 – 19, 2006





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