Orlando Shakes 33rd Season Kicks Off Sept 22, 2021 .. #OrlandoShakes #OrlandoArts

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 Shakes2021-2022 “Homecoming” Season lineup will return to its artistic home inside the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, starting September 22, 2021.

Orlando Shakes, in partnership with UCF, will feature seven world-class, professional productions, all to be performed on the iconic Margeson Theater stage, including a great American classic musical featuring Broadway legend Davis Gaines and the long anticipated continuation of the Fire and Reign series.

“After a season away, we cannot wait to celebrate our homecoming return to the Margeson Theater,” Jim Helsinger, Orlando Shakes’ artistic director, said. “This season is full of fantastic productions and we could not be more excited to bring Davis Gaines back to Orlando Shakes. Our patrons will remember him from our productions of Les Misérables and Man of La Mancha, but of course he is best known as the longest running star of Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera.”

All of the upcoming season’s indoor offerings will appear on the Margeson Theater stage. While the space generally seats over 300 guests, at least the first two shows of the season will feature socially distanced seating.

Tickets to Orlando Shakes’ Homecoming Season go on sale to the public on August 31, 2021. For more information, or to purchase, visit OrlandoShakes.org.

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Here are the Signature Series shows coming to the 2021-2022 “Homecoming” Season:

Every Brilliant Thing
By Duncan MacMillan with Jonny Donahoe

September 22 – October 16, 2021

“One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.” – The Guardian UK

Laughter is the antidote to all things. When mom is depressed, a young child sets out to assemble a list of all the things that make life wonderful, from “ice cream” to “sunshine” to “laughing so hard milk shoots out your nose.” The list grows as the child progresses from adolescence to adulthood. Told in collaboration with the audience, this uplifting story explores resilience and the lengths we will go for those we love.


Intimate Apparel
By Lynn Nottage

October 27 – November 20, 2021

Set during the turn of the twentieth century, the drama, by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, deftly weaves together a story that explores the complexities of identity, vulnerability, and human resilience. Sewing exquisite lingerie gives Esther, an African American seamstress, an intimate look at the love lives of her diverse clientele, but leaves her yearning for a romance of her own. When a letter arrives from a stranger, she embarks on a journey to build the life she’s longed for.


A Christmas Carol
Original Book by Charles Dickens | Adapted By Jim Helsinger

December 1 – 24, 2021

The heartwarming Christmas classic comes to life onstage in an all-new adaptation by Artistic Director Jim Helsinger. The miserly and miserable Ebenezer Scrooge greets each Christmas with a “bah humbug,” until he is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Featuring your favorite carols and awe-inspiring special effects, this delightful rendition tells the iconic tale of one man’s chance to change for the better. Gather together to witness the Christmas magic and create a tradition for the whole family.


Sweet Water Taste
By Gloria Bond Clunie

January 5 – 22, 2022

All hell—and a little bit of heaven—break loose when Elijah Beckford, a prominent Southern Black undertaker, approaches his white cousin and demands to be buried in “the family cemetery.” First seen at Orlando Shakes as a PlayFest reading, this irreverent comedy takes a hilarious look at the modern racial divide as two families find the meaning in their shared history.


The Fantasticks
Words By Tom Jones | Music By Harvey Schmidt

February 2 – 26, 2022

Featuring Broadway legend Davis Gaines as the narrator El Gallo in a timeless and whimsical tale of young lovers, meddling parents, and a bond that matures in adversity. The longest-running musical in world history has been refreshed for the new century and is the perfect celebration of theatre and the eternal power of love. Featuring an award winning score including breakout songslike “Try to Remember,” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain” and many more.


Much Ado About Nothing
By William Shakespeare

March 9 – April 2, 2022

“When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.” Lies and deceit threaten to bring lovers together or tear them apart in Shakespeare’s sharp-tongued romantic comedy. Love’s in the air when Don Pedro’s army, including Claudio and Benedick, returns victorious from war. Claudio must navigate the passions and jealousies of courting when he falls smitten for the beautiful Hero. Meanwhile, their friends devise a scheme to spark a romance between the confirmed bachelor Benedick and his long-time adversary, Beatrice.


Bare Bard: Henry IV, Part 2
By William Shakespeare

April 13 – 24, 2022
The Fire & Reign Series returns in this stripped down Shakespearean special event.

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” 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! In this special event, you’ll 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.


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, has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida, and is head editor/writer at TheDisneyBlog.com. She's lived in Orlando near Walt Disney World since 1995, and still finds there's so much fun to be had in Central Florida.
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