Orlando Shakes Announces 2019-2020 Theatrical Season @OrlandoShakes

Orlando Shakespeare Theater has announced it has changed and shortened its name to "Orlando Shakes," as a way to better represent the theater's mission and diverse body of work.

Orlando Shakes, in partnership with UCF, has announced the upcoming productions for their 2019-2020 Season, and they include an Andrew Lloyd Webber hit musical, three Shakespearean classics, a new Christmas staple, two new works that shed new light on history, and three children’s stories brought to life.

Orlando Shakes’ season opens with another stunning musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, followed by a visually striking production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley brings your favorite Jane Austen characters together in a heartwarming, comical sequel.

Next up, America’s sex therapist Ruth Westheimer recounts her extraordinary life’s journey, from fleeing the Nazis to serving as a sniper in Jerusalem, in Becoming Dr. Ruth.

The Fire and Reign series continues with Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, playing in repertory with the swashbuckling classic, The Three Musketeers. Finally, the season ends with My Lord, What a Night, an insightful new script that sheds light on the true story of the unlikely friendship between Albert Einstein and Marian Anderson.

In addition to the seven show series, Orlando Shakes presents special events including their annual fundraising Gala, new play festival PlayFest 2019, and the 12th Annual John R. Hamilton Mock Trial.

Additionally, Orlando Shakes will introduce a new special event that gives audiences the opportunity to see Shakespeare stripped of modern frills, in the Bare Bard production of Henry IV, Part 2. Actors will tackle this Shakespearean production with less than 40 hours of rehearsal, no designers, and no director – just like the acting companies of Shakespeare’s time.

The 2019-2020 Children’s Series includes three family-friendly productions: this summer go into the woods with a new adaptation of Snow White; in the fall, solve a mystery with the class of Miss Nelson is Missing!; and blast off into space with Interstellar Cinderella in Spring 2020.


Current Orlando Shakes 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 25, 2019.

Individual tickets to Snow White will be available for purchase starting May 2, 2019. Group tickets (of 10 or more) are on sale now by calling the Box Office. Tickets to all remaining productions go on sale June 11, 2019.

Visit OrlandoShakes.org for tickets or more information.

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Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber | Lyrics and book by Tim Rice
September 4 – October 6, 2019
Evita charts the young and ambitious Eva Peron’s meteoric rise to sainthood. Set in Argentina between 1934-1952, the Tony Award winning musical follows Eva Duarte on her journey from poor illegitimate child to ambitious actress to, as wife of military leader-turned-president Juan Peron, the most powerful woman in Latin America.

By William Shakespeare
October 9 – November 24, 2019
“Something wicked this way comes.” Experience a visually striking production of Shakespeare’s Scottish play in an intimate setting. Blind ambition and twisted prophesy lead Macbeth to murder the Scottish king and seize the throne. An impulse for destruction and a loose grip on sanity define Lord and Lady Macbeth’s foothold on power that can only end in tragedy.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
December 4 – 29, 2019
A sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set two years after the novel ends, Miss Bennet continues the story, only this time with bookish middle-sister Mary as it’s unlikely heroine. Mary is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings’ romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love.

Becoming Dr. Ruth
By Mark St. Germain
January 8 – February 9, 2020
Everyone knows Dr. Ruth Westheimer from her career as a pioneering radio and television sex therapist. Few, however, know the incredible journey that preceded it. From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport and joining the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America, Becoming Dr. Ruth is filled with the humor, honesty, and life-affirming spirit of Karola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became “Dr. Ruth”, America?s most famous sex therapist.

The Three Musketeers
By Catherine Bush | Adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas
February 5 – March 22, 2020
This witty and action packed swashbuckler follows the friendship of young D’Artagnan and his band of Musketeers as they fight to protect the ones they love from the evil Cardinal Richelieu. A story of double crossings, kidnappings, and carefully guarded secrets, complete with lavish sword fights and sweeping romance, set in a time when love and honor ruled the world.

Henry IV, Part 1
By William Shakespeare
February 19 – March 21, 2020
“Two stars keep not their motion in one sphere.” King Henry IV attempts to pass on his knowledge of the kingdom in vain, while his reckless son, Prince Hal, squanders his youth at the taverns with his lowbrow comrades. When a fierce rival threatens the throne, will the young prince rise to the occasion? Henry IV, Part 1 is part of Orlando Shakes’ Fire and Reign series.

My Lord, What a Night
By Deborah Brevoort
March 18 – April 26, 2020
When famed African-American singer Marian Anderson is refused lodging because of her ethnicity, she finds an unlikely friend in Albert Einstein. Quick-witted debates attempt to solve the nation’s problems over tea. Inspired by true events, this story explores the racial, religious, and gender-based struggles plaguing two of the most iconic entities of the 20th century.

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Snow White
Adapted by Brandon Roberts
June 13 – July 28, 2019
The Brothers Grimm fairy tale comes to life onstage, in a fast-paced, comical rendition of the classic story of love, envy, and magic. Jealous of Snow White’s beauty, the wicked queen banishes the innocent princess to the woods. Will her courage and wit be enough to outsmart the queen’s evil plot?

Miss Nelson is Missing!
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Joan Cushing | Based on the book Miss Nelson is Missing and Miss Nelson is Back by Harry Allard
October 17 – November 22, 2019
Miss Nelson can’t control her crazy classroom because she’s just too nice. But when she disappears, her replacement is the hard-as-nails, detention-loving, recess-canceling, homework-overloading substitute teacher Viola Swamp! With the Big Test approaching, the kids suddenly realize how much they miss Miss Nelson and they’ll do anything — including hiring a private eye — to solve the mystery of her disappearance and bring her back.

Interstellar Cinderella
Music and Lyrics by Laurie Berkner | Book by Barbara Zinn Krieger
| Based on the book Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood | Published by Chronicle Books LLC© 2015 | Originally commissioned and premiered by New York City Children’s Theater
April 9 – May 2, 2020
With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince’s spaceship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Audiences will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.

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Season 31 Gala
September 22, 2019
Join Orlando Shakes for an evening of exceptional food, live entertainment, and memorable conversation at the Theater’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

PlayFest 2019
November 2019
A two weekend festival of new plays features seven readings of raw, unproduced works! PlayFest gives audiences the opportunity to be involved with the creative process by giving feedback in real time and mingling with the playwrights, actors, and directors.

John R. Hamilton Mock Trial
March 2020
The Margeson Theater will transform into a hilarious, interactive courtroom as Orlando Shakes actors take the meaning of live theater to a whole new level in an over-the-top, rollicking trial amidst a panel of celebrity judges.

Bare Bard: Henry IV, Part 2
By William Shakespeare
March 26 – 29, 2020
“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” See William Shakespeare’s story of burnt bridges and growing pains stripped down to a lively, raw, rambunctious performance, like nothing you’ve experienced before. Orlando Shakes’ actors will tackle Henry IV, Part 2 with less than 40 hours of rehearsal, no designers, and no director – just like the acting companies of Shakespeare’s time! Henry IV, Part 2 is part of Orlando Shakes’ Fire and Reign series.

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2019-2020 titles and dates are subject to change. Additional information about the season, including the creative team and casting, will be announced at a later date.

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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