Orlando, FL, April 16, 2012– Orlando Repertory Theatre (The REP), in partnership with UCF, is proud to announce its 10th Birthday Season! The REP is Orlando’s only professional theatre for families and young audiences and has boasted recent box-office hits such as PINKALICIOUS: The Musical, Lyle the Crocodile, and A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas, as well as mentions in the Wall Street Journal and ABC’s Nightline News.
The REP’s 10th Birthday Season kicks off the fall with the musical The Paper Bag Princess (September 6 – 30, 2012) by Jennifer Kirkeby and Shirley Mier, based on the picture book of the same name by Robert Munsch. A dangerous dragon kidnaps the handsome prince on his wedding day and its fiery breath burns up all the clothes in the palace. The brave princess finds a paper bag to wear and off she goes to rescue her love. Cleverly tricking the dragon, she enters the cave where the prince, still beautifully dressed, is held captive. When he questions her attire, she quickly realizes that maybe she should find someone else who appreciates her bravery and intelligence, rather than outward appearance!
Just in time for the election season is Chasing George Washington (October 18 – November 18, 2012), a delightful new musical with book and lyrics by Karen Zacarias and music by Debbie Wicks La Puma. Field trips are fun, especially when your destination is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue- the White House! Dee Dee, Jose, and Annie accidentally knock George Washington out of his portrait and into real life, turning their tour into an unexpected adventure! As they try to get the nation’s first President back into his painting, the threesome encounters other famous White House residents, including Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd, Dolley Madison, and Jackie Kennedy. Together, they learn that the White House isn’t just a historic building; It’s also a home for all Americans, no matter ethnicity or economic class.
Junior Claus (November 15 – December 23, 2012) by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond rings in the holiday season. Junior, Santa’s only son, must save the day when a depleted Christmas “belief-o-meter” puts the jolly old man in a deep slumber. Junior must quickly master the art of climbing down chimneys, driving reindeer, reading GPS in a blizzard, and everything else that goes into the greatest delivery in the world. With the help of an elf friend, a homesick penguin, and a youngster who fully believes in the Christmas spirit, Junior may just save Christmas in time in this joyful new musical.
The New Year begins with The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (January 24 – February 24, 2013), adapted by Ernie Nolan from the novels of Hugh Lofting. Learn how to talk to the animals! Follow nine-and-a-half-year-old Tommy Stubbins as he meets everyone’s favorite animal doctor, John Dolittle and his friends Polynesia the Parrot, Chee Chee the Monkey, Jip the Dog, Gub Gub the Pig, and Dab Dab the Duck. Join them on the adventure of a lifetime as they travel from quiet Puddleby-on-the-Marsh to the bottom of the sea to meet The Great Glass Snail.
The REP is thrilled to present the southeastern premiere of a brand-new production of Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (February 14 – March 24, 2013), based on the book by Dr. Seuss and adapted by Katie Miller for the National Theatre of Great Britain. From games and mischief, to Thing One and Thing Two, The Cat in the Hat is the perfect friend for a boring rainy afternoon. But will Sally and her brother be able to explain the mess to Mother? This Dr. Seuss classic leaps onto the stage with chaotic exuberance!
The season wraps up in high spirits with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer TYA (April 18 – May 26, 2013), based on the novel by Mark Twain, and conceived and written by Ken Ludwig, with music and lyrics by Don Schlitz. This special Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) version of the Broadway musical production finds Tom matching wits with stern Aunt Polly and taking the adventure of his life with Becky Thatcher and that irresistible renegade, Huckleberry Finn. Filled with foot-stomping, toe-tapping songs, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a tale of thrilling escapes, comedy, and inspiration for the whole family.
But that’s not all! The 2012-2013 season also includes two special limited engagements by magician and comedian Tony Brent! FAR OUT! The Outrageous Comedy & Magic of Tony Brent performs twice on January 19, 2013. Tony Brent, a star on the rise since the 1980’s, has performed to standing-room-only crowds in live concert shows, colleges, private events, and corporate performances. As a performer with the Walt Disney Company, he was tapped to star in the dinner show called “The Night of Wonder Show” (later renamed the “Outta Control Dinner Show”) and performed over 5,000 shows in one venue alone. He has since won the critical acclaim of local and international tourism industries alike and been named “Best Dinner Show” by WESH-TV and CW-18. Additionally, Tony Brent performs PIP-SQUEAK: An Anti-Bullying Magic Show on the mornings of January 14, 15, 17, 18, 2013. Because of his small size as a child, Tony was bullied in the cafeteria, in the gymnasium, on the playground and generally anywhere there were no adults present. Now using comedy, amazing magic tricks, juggling, and a coat-rack loaded with costumes, Tony gently and humorously teaches children how to cope with being bullied. In addition, children learn to recognize the signs of bullying and whether or not they themselves might be guilty of bullying. Tony portrays various people from his childhood and role-plays with children about various ways they could respond if they or a friend are bullied. These performances are ideal for school groups but are also open to the general public.
Too excited to wait until the fall, The REP will kick off its’ birthday celebration at the annual Target Family Theatre Festival in July! The popular Party in the Park and many family friendly acts and artists is anchored by two exuberant musicals: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair and Katie Couric’s The Brand New Kid. The REP’s Youth Academy presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair on July 20 – August 5, 2012. Set against the colorful backdrop of an American heartland tradition, State Fair follows the Frake family as they leave behind the routine of the farm for three days of adventure at the annual Iowa State Fair. Mom and Pop have their hearts set on blue ribbons while their daughter and son find romance and heartbreak on the midway. Set to the magical strains of an Academy Award-winning score and augmented by other titles from the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook, State Fair is the kind of warm-hearted family entertainment only Rodgers & Hammerstein could deliver! Fresh from performing in Miami and West Palm Beach, Katie Couric’s The Brand New Kid is presented at The REP on July 21-29, 2012 and is a co-production with Miami’s City Theatre. Adapted from Couric’s popular picture book, the musical proves that it is always best to be yourself. Lazlo S. Gasky is the new kid in school and because he does not look or speak quite like the others, the teasing and taunting begin. When Ellie McSnelly realizes how tough Lazlo has it, she risks being ridiculed herself to spend an afternoon with him. After playing soccer, eating strudel, and making new friends, the two teach their classmates a valuable lesson- the need to give others a chance.
On October 20, 2012, The REP is teaming up with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate their respective birthdays- The REP’s 10th and the Philharmonic’s 20th; hence, the performance on 10-20! Details are still being developed for this birthday extravaganza which features the Philharmonic performing Americana music, with The REP’s Power Chords joining in for a few numbers, and a special number from The REP’s Chasing George Washington. Performed outdoors in Loch Haven Park, families are encouraged to bring picnics and enjoy Mr. Richard and the Pound Hounds beginning at 6pm and the Philharmonic beginning at 7pm. The best thing about the event is that in celebration of our birthdays, we are presenting the concert completely free, as our gift back to our amazing community.
As a special way to continue the 10th Birthday Season celebration, The REP shines the spotlight on some very special citizens in our community- our child heroes! The REP is adopting a program established by its’ colleague, the Tony-Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, called the Heroes Program. The REP’s Heroes is a unique program that celebrates young people making a difference in our community. Anyone will be able to nominate a child, siblings, or group of children that truly exemplify civic heroism. Selected children are to be recognized at the opening of each production at The REP. Nominating details and program qualifications are currently being developed. The REP is thrilled to share our stage with real-life young heroes!
The season also includes fall and spring performances by students of the Youth Academy and the annual Writes of Spring production, comprised of winning entries from Central Florida’s school children. The REP continues its successful community engagement programs with such groups as Edgewood Children’s Ranch, Girl Scouts of America, and the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. The REP is pleased to announce a developing partnership with Blue Man Group focused on sharing arts integration techniques with Central Florida educators.
Public performances of The REP’s productions are on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm and 5:30pm with tickets starting at just $11. School matinee performances are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Season subscriptions are now on sale. For tickets or more information about The REP’s 2012-2013 season, please call 407.896.7365 or visit www.orlandorep.com.