Check out Freeline Productions’ haunting original novels

Koby the stray kitten longs for a home. (Graphic designed by Sherrie Smith).

ORLANDO — Freeline Productions is the source for original fiction novels by author Michael W. Freeman, which reflect the anxiety, turbulence and often harsh realities of life following the Great Recession.
His novels “Bloody Rabbit” and “Koby’s New Home” were both written at times when the author found himself downsized from the volatile field of print journalism, searching for his next opportunity. The lead characters in both books, R.T. Robeson and William Grabinski, struggle to cope in these frustrating, emotionally demoralizing times when all that’s left is the new part-time “gig” economy. They’re living on the margins, like so many others.
At the same time, these novels are not simply about economic dislocation. In a deeply chilling way, the novels take the reader into a nightmarish existence where social norms appear to be breaking down, and a collective anger among average workers has created a hostile environment where outbursts of violence can happen at any second. Everyone is on edge, and losing control seems dangerously easy. Both Robeson and Grabinski, two mild-mannered and discrete men, find themselves living in a half-dream state where old realities have faded away. Their sense of alienation grows. Humanity is omnipresent — and oppressive and corrupting. Suddenly it’s as if the entire world was made up of James Joyce’s Jesuits, ranting about the horrors of the grave. Continue reading

Community theater is a part of Freeline’s mission

"Murder Sleep" will premiere in May at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival.

“Murder Sleep” was performed in May 2016. (Photos by Scott Sharky Hodges; poster designed by Jim Cundiff.).

ORLANDO — Freeline Productions started in 2008 with an original play simply called “Hooked.”
Playwright Michael W. Freeman had written the darkly comic play in the mid-2000s, and submitted it to the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival in November 2008. It was accepted, and “Hooked” had its premiere at the Orlando Fringe, the longest running Fringe Festival in the United States, in May 2009. Along the way, Freeman created Freeline productions as the artistic vehicle to produce the play.
Since then, Freeline Productions was expanded to become a full service freelance writing and editing business, but it remains a vehicle for Freeman’s passion for community theater, and will continue to produce original plays in the Orlando area. Continue reading

Fringe Review: “Theodore’s Super Fun Adventure”

Theodore's Super Fun Adventure Orlando Fringe

There are plenty of laughs to be found watching “Theodore’s Super Fun Adventure” at the Orlando Fringe Festival.

ORLANDO – “Theodore’s Super Fun Adventure” starts off as a gay-meets-cute comedy, has a wonderfully engaging performance by lead actor Mike Van Dyke, tosses out plenty of funny quips … and then it takes a radical, startling change in tone at the end.

The very light beginning is almost a bit misleading at first, and as I thought about the play afterwards, I realized I had missed the initial clues about the direction it was heading in.
But they were there from the start.
“Theodore’s,” now playing at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, was written by local funnyman Bobby DeSormier and directed by veteran performer Rob Ward. It begins as a comedy about a nervous, socially awkward young gay man from the sticks, Theodore (Van Dyke), who just moved to the Big Apple, found himself an apartment above a local restaurant, and even has a gay bar right across the street. Continue reading

Fringe Review: “Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets”

bAKER's dozen orlando fringe

Adam Francis Proulx is performing his show “Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets” at the Orlando Fringe Festival.

ORLANDO – Adam Francis Proulx is a very funny performer, a comedic talent with an arsenal of voices that he switches back and forth to with a tremendous amount of skill. He has an ability to create a seemingly endless array of quirky, goofy personas.
That skill comes in handy during his show at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, as Proulx comes onto a bare stage, and then entertains by creating one hilarious character after another.
Oh, and he gets some help — from the puppet he carries, and the kit filled with eyes, mouths and wigs to help transform that solitary puppet into — well, the many jurors at the trial that makes up his show, “Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets.”
Proulx’s show is about the ongoing trial following the shocking discover that the local Baker has been found dead in his bathtub. The Baker’s husband, the Butcher is the main suspect, and is now on trial for the crime.
But the jurors also need to decide what role the the mysterious Candlestick Maker — who also happened to be in the bathtub at the time — may have played in this case. And the Candlestick Maker is missing.
It’s all up to that 12-member jury to sort out the facts for us.
Proulx’s show is a lot of fun — think of it as a bit more risqué than “Sesame Street,” but not quite as outre as “Avenue Q.”
It follows the basic concept of the 1957 Hollywood movie “12 Angry Men,” only in this case there are several women on the jury, and they’re a diverse bunch, often more interested in one another — not always in a good way — than the case. Continue reading

Lake County Animal Shelter hosting “Hot Dogs, Cool Cats” pet adoptions

hot dogs cool cats

Marshmallow is one of the dogs available for adoption at the Lake County Animal Shelter.

TAVARES — Anyone who has spent more than a couple of summers in Central Florida knows by now how to beat the heat – from hitting those well air-conditioned malls and movie theaters to jumping in the pool or driving to the beach.
Now, how about your pets? Keep in mind that while people can shed their coats, dogs and cats can’t — although the fur that keeps them warm in the winter can also protect them in the summer from taking on too much heat.
So your pets may enjoy being outdoors with you during the summer.
And if you don’t have any pets? As the Lake County Animal Shelter is pointing out, summer is the ideal time to consider adopting one.
To help promote pet adoptions, the Lake County Animal Shelter is teaming up with L.E.A.S.H., Inc., the non-profit group that works to assist feral cats and shelter animals.
Together, they’re sponsoring “Hot Dogs, Cool Cats,” a summer long pet adoption event they’re billing as “the hottest of the summer.” Continue reading

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