Orlando Shakes Announces Titles for 2022-23 Season

Central Florida’s largest professional theater company “shakes it up” with six classics and new works that will appear in its ambitious 34th season

ORLANDO, Fla. — From high-stepping and fan-favorite musicals to compelling award-winning dramas, Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF has announced its upcoming productions for the 2022-23 season.

With a Signature Series lineup that includes such show-stopping productions as Kinky Boots, Noises Off, and A Christmas Carol, plus the return of its popular children’s series, PlayFest, and Courtyard Cabaret Series, Orlando Shakes’ 34th season is certain to have something for everyone.

“I am so excited about this upcoming season,” said artistic director Jim Helsinger, who will be entering his 28th season with Orlando Shakes. “From September through April, we will be entertaining Central Florida audiences with some of the most popular – and electrifying – musicals, comedies, and dramas we have ever done.”

The new season will kick off with the side-splitting, multiple Tony Award-winning Noises Off, a hysterical look behind the scenes of a play-within-a-play. In October, the ground-breaking and dynamic Apologies To Lorraine Hansberry (You Too, August Wilson) – winner of the 2021 Yale Drama Series Prize – takes the stage. In December, Orlando Shakes’ holiday tradition A Christmas Carol returns to warm the hearts of the entire family. The Fire and Reign series continues in the new year with Henry V – an epic, powerful conclusion to King Henry V’s rise to the throne. Next up, audiences are invited to one of Billie Holiday’s final performances in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Finally, the smash-hit, six Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots closes out the season in an extravagant fashion.

“Fans of not just the Broadway musical, but also of the hit 2005 film, have been asking us to add Kinky Boots to our lineup for years,” said Helsinger. “I am so excited to say that, yes, Orlando Shakes will have Kinky Boots on its stage!”

In this upcoming 2022-23 season, Orlando Shakes will bring back its Children’s Series, featuring three family-friendly productions. [The series was canceled last season due to the pandemic.] In the summer, audiences will be whisked away to an enchanted castle to witness a retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. In the fall, Charlotte’s Web will spin a heartwarming tale of bravery and friendship. And to close out the Children’s Series in the spring, beloved children’s book characters Jack and Annie return to Orlando Shakes in the exciting musical extravaganza Jackie Robinson’s Big Day: A Magic Tree House Adventure, another special collaboration with the Magic Tree House authors.

In addition to the Signature Series and Children’s Series, Orlando Shakes will present several special events, including five concerts in the patron-favorite Courtyard Cabaret Series, PlayFest 2022, and a Season 34 Gala.

Current Orlando Shakes subscribers can renew now by calling 407-447-1700 or visiting the Box Office up until April 10, 2022. New subscriptions will go on sale starting May 17. Single tickets and Choose Your Own packages will go on sale on June 14.

2022-2023 titles and dates are subject to change; additional information about the season, including creative teams and casting, will be announced at a later date.


Noises Off
By Michael Frayn
September 9-25, 2022

One of the funniest plays ever written, this hysterical play-within-a-play is filled with screwball antics, prat-falls and sight gags. A professional theater director must prevent his half-baked actors and an overworked crew from sabotaging his production with their off-stage shenanigans – and on-stage bedlam! This side-splitting comedy proves the adage – The show must go on!

Apologies to Lorraine Hansberry (You Too, August Wilson)
By Rachel Lynett
October 7-30, 2022

In this “historically inaccurate” world – imagine the US had a second Civil War that segregated the country. A community of an all-Black state raises concerns after a resident’s partner, who is Afro-Latinx, moves to town. This dynamic, funny, and heart-wrenching winner of the 2021 Yale Drama Series Prize was previously seen at Orlando Shakes as a part of PlayFest 2020. Now see this ground-breaking, fully produced production!

A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens | Adapted by Jim Helsinger
December 2-24, 2022

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. Witness the classic, heartwarming story of Orlando Shakes’ holiday tradition, in a magical and musical spectacle for the whole family.

Henry V
By William Shakespeare
January 20 – February 5, 2023

In this continuation of the Fire and Reign series, King Henry V of England wages war with France in an attempt to claim his throne – against all odds. Don’t miss this epic, thrilling, and powerful conclusion to the rise of Henry V!

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
By Lanie Robertson
February 10 – March 4, 2023

In a seedy bar in 1959 Philadelphia, celebrated singer Billie Holiday gives one of her final unforgettable performances to a captive audience, serving up a riveting, humorous, and ultimately tragic journey through her life and legendary career. This musical features many of her greatest hits – "I Can’t Give You Anything But Love," "God Bless The Child," "Strange Fruit," and more!

Kinky Boots
Book by Harvey Fierstein | Music & Lyrics by Cyndi Lauper
Based on the film written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth
April 7-30, 2023

A fierce drag queen and a struggling factory owner must embrace their differences and work together on an outlandish new idea to save the owner’s shoe business – producing a line of stunning stiletto heels. This huge-hearted, smash-hit, with 16 original songs by Cyndi Lauper, is the winner of every Best Musical award, including the Tony®, Grammy®, and London’s Olivier® award. Don’t miss this over-the-top extravaganza!


Beauty and the Beast
By Brandon Roberts | Based on the fairy tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
June 23 – July 24, 2022

In this treasured fairy tale, a beauty named Belle is imprisoned in a castle, far, far away by a frightening beast! Will Belle learn to see beyond his monstrous appearance? Witness one of the most magical tales of all time in this funny and engaging retelling of the classic story, where the audience plays a part!

Charlotte’s Web
Adapted by Joseph Robinette | Based on the book by E.B. White
October 18 – November 12, 2022

This treasured tale, featuring madcap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship. A sensitive pig named Wilbur and a wise spider named Charlotte spin a plan to ensure Wilbur doesn’t end up as pork chops on the farmer’s dinner plate! Based on the beloved book by E.B. White.

Jackie Robinson’s Big Day: A Magic Tree House Adventure
Book & Lyrics by Will Osborne and Jenny Laird | Music and additional lyrics by Randy Courts | Based on A Big Day for Baseball (Magic Tree House #29) by Mary Pope Osborne
February 21-March 18, 2023

Jack and Annie are back in this musical journey, based on the book A Big Day for Baseball from the acclaimed Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne! The Magic Tree House whisks the siblings away to a baseball game in 1947 Brooklyn, New York, where they meet baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson and must figure out what’s so special about this specific game – in under nine innings!


Courtyard Cabaret Series
August 11-14, 2022 – Cabaret TBD
September 29-October 2, 2022 – Sondheim Celebration
December 8-24, 2022 – Holiday Cabaret
February 2-5, 2023 – Cabaret TBD
March 16-19, 2023 – Cabaret TBD

Orlando Shakes’ cabaret series nearly doubles in size from the previous season, with five different concerts – including a holiday cabaret that stretches over three weekends! This series features some of Central Florida’s finest entertainers performing in one of the most intimate venues in town – outside, underneath the tented stage in the Darden Courtyard.

October 28-30, 2022 – Weekend One
November 4-6, 2022 – Weekend Two

A two weekend festival of new plays features several 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.


Learn more at orlandoshakes.org


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