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Orlando Shakes shine a spotlight on the popular play-reading festival, PlayFest 2023

PlayFest is an annual festival that provides a place for writers, theatre professionals, and audiences to connect and share ideas that promote thought-provoking stories.

Orlando Shakes

Central Florida's largest professional theater company, Orlando Shakes, and The Arts Bridge Charity presents PlayFest 2023, a play-reading festival that helps to develop the works of six dynamic playwrights and their groundbreaking new plays.

PlayFest 2023 which takes place at Orlando Shakes, will consist of six new play readings presented over two weekends, October 27 - 29 and November 3 - 4, 2023.

During each reading, patrons will experience groundbreaking new works while participating in the creative process by sharing their reactions directly with the playwright and creative team at a post-show talkback.

Since it first began 20 years ago, PlayFest has introduced over 163 new works to regional and nationwide audiences, including Karen Zacarías’ Native Gardens, Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, Mark Brown’s Around the World in 80 Days, Kathleen Cahill’s Charm, John Biguenet’s Shotgun, Jennifer Hoppe-House’s Bad Dog, William Missouri Downs’ The Exit Interview, Steve Yockey’s Blackberry Winter, and Steven Dietz’ Yankee Tavern.

Out of those readings, Orlando Shakes have produced 18 new plays in their mainstage season. Many PlayFest plays have also received productions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.

Single tickets are just $15 each per play reading. Plus, for just $20 more, join Orlando Shakes on Saturday, November 4 for a buffet-style dinner (catered by Pig Floyds) with select available playwrights and directors in-between readings that day!

It's all at Orlando Shakes! For more information or to order your tickets to PlayFest 2023, please call 407-447-1700 or visit here.

Orlando Shakes shines a spotlight on the popular play-reading festival, PlayFest 2023

Full line-up:

The Facts are as Follows: Sponsored by Rick Schell BY CHRISTOPHER WASHINGTON DIRECTED BY SHONN MCCLOUD Performance: October 27, 2023 Time: 8pm With a perfect memory and perfect LSAT score, James Ezekial Williams has just arrived on the East coast for his very first day of law school. Navigating a seductive, insidious curriculum designed by the genius Professor, James attempts to juggle microaggressions, critical race theory, and love. The Facts are as Follows:is about the consumption of whiteness, the folly of exceptionalism, and the creation of one’s own personal apocalypse.

Who Hurt You? Sponsored by Grant Gribble BY KATIE DO DIRECTED BY FELICHIA CHIVAUGHN Performance: October 28, 2023 Time: 8pm Ellie and Kira are two Vietnamese-American actors who always find themselves in the same audition rooms. As their lives become more intertwined with the same lovers, friends, and opportunities, Ellie’s jealousy spirals into a battle with insecurity, mental health and an epic heartbreak. When fear and coincidence bring Ellie to a life and death situation, her loved ones come together to ask, who hurt you?; how have we hurt ourselves?; and, most importantly, who hurt Ellie?

Hundreds and Hundreds of Stars Sponsored by Rita Lowndes BY SANDRA DELGADO DIRECTED BY CLARE LOPEZ Performance: October 29, 2023 Time: 4:30pm Like millions of Americans, Clara’s days are consumed with juggling work and family. Recently divorced, she’s taking care of her tween-age daughter, her aging father – and paying alimony to her under-employed ex-husband. But in the midst of all that stress, she’s got something to look forward to: a long planned for trip to Europe with her daughter Stella. In preparation, Clara, who immigrated to the US with her family as a child, decides to apply for full citizenship. She wants to be able to stand in the same customs line as Stella. But when her citizenship application is flagged, it sets off an unfathomable series of events that threaten to force her out of the only home she’s ever known. Timely and provocative, Hundreds and Hundreds of Stars asks challenging questions about our country’s most fundamental values.

Only Some of God’s Children or Mississippi Magnolias Sponsored by Jason Dion BY PARIS CRAYTON III DIRECTED BY ANGEL BATES CREEKS Performance: November 3, 2023 Time: 8pm Set two days after the 1963 March on Washington, John Malachi Curtis, and his best friend, William Cochise Brown, return home to Mississippi to unpack all of the emotions left over from the March, only to find, John’s son, Ezekiel, has been attacked during a sit-in protest. Betty, John’s wife, wants to leave Mississippi for good but the promise of land and remnants of love makes John unwilling to do so. Only Some of God’s Children or Mississippi Magnolias is a story of five different flowers just waiting to bloom.

Beheading Columbus Sponsored by The Mills Family Foundation BY DIANA BURBANO DIRECTED BY EDMARIE MONTES Performance: November 4, 2023 Time: 5pm Beheading Columbus follows two sisters down a trail of DNA deception and makes them face race and colorism in the Latinx community and in their own family. Lana looks white, Susi doesn’t and that’s been a point of conflict their whole life. Through DNA testing they discover that Lana has a white father. The DNA test also reveals that Susi, who is mixed race, has genes for the Alzheimers that are destroying their mother. Add to that, they discover that the previously unknown other father is a fertility doctor who has sired at least 40 mixed race children. Through love and a massive sense of humor, the sisters work at decolonizing themselves from the inside out.

Agathe Sponsored by Jason Dion BY ANGELA J. DAVIS DIRECTED BY JOSHIAN MORALES Performance: November 4, 2023 Time: 8pm In the spring of 1994, a plane crash will take the life of an African president and ignite a raging killing spree that the world will later recognize as the Rwandan genocide. The person who is next in line for the presidency is a university professor by training and an advocate for women and girls’ education. Agathe is inspired by the overlooked story of Agathe Uwilingiyimana, who served as Rwanda’s president for just fourteen hours and whose bravery and foresight are a beacon for all time. Fusing poetry and elements of magic realism with gripping docudrama, Agathe is a full-length play.

Orlando Shakes shines a spotlight on the popular play-reading festival, PlayFest 2023

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