Orlando Shakespeare Theater Unveils List of Productions for 2016-2017 Season

Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert have announced the 10 productions that will comprise Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF’s upcoming 2016-2017 Season.

Orlando Shakespeare Theater 2016-2017 Season

The list features a legendary Broadway musical, two adapted literary classics, boisterous and adventurous Shakespeare romances, a critically acclaimed new work, and stories ripped from the pages of today’s most popular children’s books.

Orlando Shakes will be opening their upcoming season with the internationally-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning American musical, West Side Story on September 7.

Here is the full list of 2016-2017 Orlando Shakespeare productions:

SIGNATURE SERIES

West Side Story
Book by Arthur Laurents | Music by Leonard Bernstein | Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Based on Concept of Jerome Robbins
September 7 – October 9, 2016
Idealistic young lovers Maria and Tony find themselves caught between rival street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas of our time. West Side Story’s legendary jazz, Latin, and classical-inspired score features the treasured songs “Maria,” “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “America.”

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher
Based on the novella “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
October 12 – November 13, 2016
Dr. Henry Jekyll is a brilliant scientist frustrated by dull “respectable” life in 1888 Victorian London. He creates a potion to unleash his inner bestial nature, transforming him into the brutish, but eerily endearing Edward Hyde. Hyde lives the high life while Jekyll’s mundane doctoral career continues—until Hyde’s passions begin to turn up a body count. Equal parts thrilling and deviant, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will captivate those brave enough to step into Dr. Jekyll’s laboratory.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)
By Michael Carlton, James Fitzgerald and John K. Alvarez | Original music by Will Knapp
November 30 – December 30, 2016
What begins as an annual production of A Christmas Carol, soon devolves into an irreverent look at all of our favorite “Beloved Holiday Classics” including It’s a Wonderful Life, Frosty, Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and more! Three actors (with the help of Santa) send up everything from Dickens to Dr. Seuss in 90 minutes of high-octane jollity and frivolity.

Blackberry Winter
By Steve Yockey
January 4 – February 5, 2017
Years of success, meticulous planning, and an eye for detail have in no way prepared Vivienne Avery for her mother’s slide into the grip of dementia. Vivienne recounts memories of her aging mother and the difficult decisions regarding her care. Interwoven with these stories is an evolving, wondrous 21st century Alzheimer’s creation myth—an origin story about a White Egret who tries to protect forest animals as they lose their memories to a blind, oblivious Mole. Blackberry Winter is a moving, occasionally humorous, and deeply human new work.

Love’s Labour’s Lost
By William Shakespeare
February 22 – March 25, 2017
Self-denial is in fashion at the court of Navarre where a young King and three of his courtiers solemnly forswear all pleasures in favor of serious study. But the Princess of France and her all-too-lovely entourage have other ideas. The men soon find that love’s labor complicates and conquers all things in Shakespeare’s boisterous romantic comedy about love and marriage.

The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald | Adapted for the stage by Simon Levy
February 8 – March 26, 2017
When Young Nick Carraway is befriended by his mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby, he is drawn into his glitzy world of lavish parties and secret speakeasies. But as Gatsby’s elusive past is uncovered and his intentions revealed, Nick finds himself a pawn in a love triangle so scandalous it threatens to destroy all those around him. This American classic is a poignant examination of prohibition America, exploring the notions of love, morality, identity, and the corruption of the American Dream.

Antony and Cleopatra
By William Shakespeare
March 29 – April 30, 2017
The victors of Rome’s civil war have divided the Empire amongst themselves and Marc Antony has traveled to exotic Egypt to take up rule over his corner of the globe. There he encounters Egypt’s mysterious monarch, the irresistibly entrancing Cleopatra. Their impassioned affair ultimately pits their two countries against each other and will change the face of the ancient world forever.

CHILDREN’S SERIES

Beauty and the Beast
By Brandon Roberts | Adapted from the story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
June 16 – July 24, 2016
Set in an enchanted castle in a far away land, Beauty and the Beast spins a magical tale where a young beauty has been locked away by a terrible Beast. The young woman’s honest and enduring love for the unsightly Beast ultimately becomes a gift of kindness that brings magical results. From the team that created Orlando Shakes’ The Frog and the Princess comes a bold new telling of the classic French fairy tale.

Stuart Little
Based on the book by E.B. White | Adapted by Joseph Robinette
October 27 – November 18, 2016
Stuart Little is an extraordinary mouse born into an ordinary New York City human family. Through a series of adventures—a boat race in Central Park, a drive in a gasoline-powered model car, and a chase to find his best friend, Stuart expertly navigates the challenges of being a small mouse in a big world.

Pinkalicious, The Musical
Book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann
Music by John Gregor | Lyrics by John Gregor, Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann
April 6 – May 7, 2017
Based on the wildly popular children’s book, Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe—a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament. Now celebrating ten pinkamazing years!

Current Orlando Shakespeare Theater subscribers may renew their subscription now by calling (407) 447-1700 ext. 1 or in person at the Box Office (812 East Rollins Street). New subscriptions will go on sale starting April 26. Tickets to all remaining productions in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s 28th go on sale June 21. Individual tickets to the Children’s Series production of Beauty and the Beast are available for purchase starting May 3, 2016, while group sales (10 or more tickets) are now available.

For more information on these or any other Orlando Shakespeare Theater productions, visit orlandoshakes.org.

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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