Season Preview: Beth Marshall Presents

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Beth Marshall Presents' 2012-13 season runs the gamut from an Orlando premiere to a Neil Simon classic, and the company takes over production of "Play-in-a-Day" as well.

The Orlando premiere is "American Alphabet," written and performed by Lisa Cordes. Beginning with the Civil War and her slave-owning great-great-grandfather through the election of President Barack Obama, Cordes weaves personal narrative with the larger history of race and sex in America.

Cordes is a freelance theater artist and writer. Her play "Prop 8 on Trial" was produced by Beth Marshall Presents this year. She has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council and consulted and written for the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

The Neil Simon classic in question is "Biloxi Blues," which will be the first of two Beth Marshall Presents productions to be staged at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden.

Rob Anderson will direct Simon's show about a young Army recruit who learns about life and love in the shadow of World War II. The comedy won the 1985 Tony Award for best play.

Carl Krickmire stars in a cast that also includes Tyler Cravens, CK Anderson, Michael Osowski and Stephen Pugh.

The second production hosted by Garden Theatre will be "Children of a Lesser God" by Mark Medoff.

The play is the recipient of the Tony Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award. Many are familiar with the movie version, which led to an Oscar for star Marlee Matlin.

A speech therapist falls in love with a deaf woman in the drama, which Marshall will direct.

Finally, the Play-in-a-Day will move to a new location, at Lake Howell High School in Winter Park. More than 50 veteran theater professionals, working with high-school students, will write, rehearse and stage 15 short plays within a 24-hour time span.

Penguin Point Productions will lend a hand, with that group's James Brendlinger serving as associate producer of the event.

Proceeds will support the 2012-13 Beth Marshall Presents season as well as District 3 Thespians by creating a new theater scholarship for a graduating high-school student.

Another change: A dance component will be added to proceedings, through the creation of a dance work in 24 hours. The VarieTease troupe, led by dancer/choreographer Blue, will be part of that effort.

Here's a chronological listing of the Beth Marshall Presents 2012-13 season (Note that tickets may not be on sale yet):

  • Play-in-a-Day: 7 p.m. Nov. 10. Lake Howell High School Theater, 4200 Dike Road, Winter Park. $12; $10 (with 2012 Orlando Fringe Festival button), $8 students. BethMarshallPresents.com
  • American Alphabet: Jan. 18-20. Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando. $20. BethMarshallPresents.com
  • Biloxi Blues: Feb. 8-24. Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden. $25; $21 students and seniors. GardenTheatre.org
  • Children of a Lesser God: March 15-31. Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden. $25; $21 students and seniors. GardenTheatre.org
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