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“Shrek The Musical TYA” | Press Release and Review

Orlando, FL (March 31, 2015) – Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP) presents Shrek The Musical TYA (April 7 – May 17, 2015), based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture and the book by William Steig, with book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori. This production is presented by Universal Orlando and OUC, The Reliable One, with supporting sponsor Nuance Lighting. Based on the Oscar® winning DreamWorks film that started it all, Shrek The Musical TYA brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to dazzling new life on the stage. In a faraway kingdom, things get turned upside down when an unseemly ogre shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a dozen other fairy tale misfits and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand… and his name is Shrek. “The themes in Shrek challenge our intrinsic ideas of beauty,” says director Steve MacKinnon. “Living in our media-filled world, images of beautiful pop stars, gorgeous actresses, and rambunctious reality TV stars lead us to believe that yes, these are the people who have it all. As superficial as it sounds, these views are commonplace and parallel the beloved fairy tales we grew up on. Every girl wants to be the beautiful princess, every boy imagines himself as the handsome hero, …

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“Diary of A Worm, A Spider, and A Fly” Brings Rock and Roll Fun to The REP

Orlando, FL (March 4, 2015) – Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP) presents Diary of A Worm, A Spider, and A Fly (March 2 – April 5, 2015), adapted from the Diary of a Worm series by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss, with book, music, and lyrics by Joan Cushing. This production is presented by Clear Channel Outdoor, with supporting sponsor Walt Disney World. It’s a bug’s life in this rock-n-roll romp that captures all the droll humor and whimsy of the wildly popular books by Doreen Cronin, with book, lyrics, and music by Joan Cushing, who brought us The REP’s Junie B. Jones and A Little Monkey Business. Spider waits anxiously to shed his skin; Worm feels self-conscious and embarrassed for having no legs; and Fly’s 327 brothers and sisters drive her so crazy that she can hardly focus on schoolwork. Whether the dream is being able to stand on your own two feet or a dream about superhero powers, this hysterical coming-of-age musical will have the whole family cheering on the dreams of the quirky crawlers, as they face problems and milestones common to us all. “This bright musical captures the victories and challenges of growing up and learning about your very own, important place in the world,” says director Gary Cadwallader. “Even though Fly, Spider, and Worm are the best of friends, they …

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Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Costume Designer Yao Chen

  When did you decide to become a costume designer? I started to dream about becoming a costume designer when I was around 10 years old. I viewed many wonderful films and I was impressed by the intricate design of the costumes in them. Then, I started to pick up the pen to draw images and design characters using my own imagination and stories.   About how long did it take you to envision and flesh out the costumes for Diary of A Worm, A Spider, and A Fly? Where did you go for inspiration? It was great that I got the director’s vision in the first production meeting. We are not going for cartoon-style animal suits. We wanted to create a world that mimics children’s school. That meeting gave me a great direction for creating a blended visual bridge between the insect world and the real world.   Spider molting his skin must have presented an interesting challenge. How did you visualize this particular costume change? It was quite an interesting conversation with the production team about how we can make this molting happen on stage. The final decision is that Spider would dress as a child with a spider-like pattern and texture in the first place. Then he would take off the garments piece by piece. A more colorful garment choice would be …

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“The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg” | Press Release

Orlando, FL (February 2, 2015) – Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP) presents The Mostly True Adventure of Homer P. Figg (January 26 – February 22, 2015), based on the Newberry Honor-winning book by Rodman Philbrick, and adapted for the stage by Tom Isbell. This production is presented by Darden Restaurants Foundation.  During the Civil War, a 12-year-old boy who never even owned a pair of shoes steps up to become a hero by saving his older brother at the Battle of Gettysburg. Then he helps lead the Union to victory! Sound too heroic to believe? It’s true. At least mostly true. You see, Homer P. Figg does not always tell the whole truth about, well, anything. But from Maine to Pennsylvania, facing Union soldiers and Confederates, Underground Railroad conductors and circus ringleaders, Homer will tell any tale it takes to save his brother. Join Homer as he journeys through thieves, spies, and scallywags, and makes his way through history. “The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg is about a young boy’s adventurous search for his brother during one of the most decisive moments of American history: the Civil War,” says director Mark Brotherton. “Although many of his travels are light-hearted and entertaining, it is also about a boy’s coming of age in a world of trickery and ignorance, a war that split a country, …

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Writes of Spring 2015: Do You Hear Me?

Orlando, FL (January 22, 2015) – Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP) presents the 12th Annual Writes of Spring: Do You Hear Me?, January 30, 2015 at 7:00pm, adapted from the select writings of over 900 Central Florida students, and sponsored by Florida Blue, Winn Dixie, and a generous anonymous donor. Writes of Spring is a unique writing contest designed to support literacy and promote creative expression, and is a collaboration between Orlando Repertory Theatre, the graduate students in the UCF Theatre for Young Audiences MFA Program, and the young people from the greater Orlando community. Each year The REP accepts submissions from Kindergarten through 12th grade students. Top entries are compiled to create an original play using the students’ words and ideas. The resulting script is produced by The REP and UCF graduate students, and presented in a fully staged production at The REP. Winning writers will be honored and recognized at the performance and post-show celebration. In its 12th year, over 900 participants experienced a special edition of Writes of Spring, or should we say “Rights” of Spring? This year’s contest serves to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement and a connection to one of Central Florida’s Civil Rights champions. The writing prompt this year is inspired by Robert Petree, a local hero whose legacy encourages young people to make a difference in …

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“A Christmas Story, The Musical” | Press Release

  Orlando, FL (November 10, 2014) – Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP) presents A Christmas Story, The Musical (November 10 – December 28, 2014), based on the story by Jean Shepherd with book by Joseph Robinette, and words and music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. This production is presented by Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs with directing sponsor Clear Channel Outdoor and supporting sponsor Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. A Christmas Story, The Musical is the classic account of Ralphie Parker’s hilariously desperate quest to ensure that the most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas – a Red Ryder® Carbine-Action BB Gun! All the cherished moments are here – the Old Man’s leg lamp, the tongue-on-a-flagpole, the bunny suit, the Santa slide, and all of Ralphie’s extravagant daydreams! Enjoy the perennial favorite in a new way with this Tony-nominated Best Musical. “The minute we saw that A Christmas Story was being adapted into a musical, we knew that it must be on our stage as soon as possible,” says Artistic Director, Jeff Revels. “Our audience has loved this story, so much so that we have done it twice in our past eleven seasons. So, for our twelfth season, it is back with wonderful songs by Pasek and Paul, an incredibly talented musical team that we have been following for …

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