Winter Park Playhouse Anniversary Series

WINTER PARK — Fresh off a successful run with their annual Festival Of New Musicals in June, The Winter Park Playhouse just announced its fall season lineup, which also marks this musical theater’s 20th Anniversary.

The six professional musicals in the Playhouse’s 2022-2023 series will include some audience favorites from previous years, along with brand new casting, choreography and sets. 

What Show Kicks Off The Playhouse’s New Season?

The Playhouse’s Anniversary Series begins in August with the Off-Broadway musical comedy Murder For Two. Billed as a zany blend of comedy, mystery and music, this production will run from Aug. 5 -28, with two preview performances on Thursday Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m.

Written by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, Murder For Two premiered at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in 2011 and has played to sold-out audiences around the country ever since. This comical whodunit is notable for having one actor plays the inspector and a second actor play all 13 suspects, while both accompany themselves on the piano throughout the show.

The Playhouse version will feature local singer and actor Kevin Kelly along with Boston actor Jared Troilo. The Playhouse’s artistic director, Roy Alan, is serving as director and choreographer.

To purchase tickets for Murder for Two or the 20th Anniversary Series, call the box office at 407-645-0145 or visit online at  www.winterparkplayhouse.org  

How Did This Year’s Festival Of New Musicals Go?

While the Playhouse and its audience is looking forward to their celebratory Anniversary Series, their annual Florida Festival of New Musicals got stronger this year. The recent 5th Annual Festival held June 23 -26 received positive feedback from the writers, composers and theatre patrons alike, noted Lisa Melillo, the theater’s marketing director.

Showcasing six never-before-produced musicals, the Festival featured a one-hour reading of each one, sung concert-style by the actors, without staging. The only one of its kind in Florida, the Playhouse launched this festival “to advance and elevate the musical theatre genre by fostering the development of new musicals and the artistic growth of writers and composers,” the theater noted in a news release.

“Not only were there lines to see the new musical works holding steady from Thursday through Sunday evening, but the various creative teams that traveled in from all over were also extremely pleased with the structure and workshop format presented at the Festival,” the Playhouse noted.

Bill Wandel, author of the musical play Thirty Seconds, which had its premiere at the Festival, noted that he and his composer were “absolutely blown away by this entire experience; by the amazing cast, stellar direction and musical direction, professional production team and incredible staff…there’s really no way to express our gratitude for everything this program has contributed towards the development of our show…Your festival program is truly one of kind and we thank you so much for this incredible experience.”

The 6th annual Florida Festivals of New Musicals is now accepting submissions for new musicals through Sept. 15, 2022. Visit the Playhouse’s website and click the “New Musical Festival” tab and follow the guidelines. The 6th annual Festival will be held June 22-25, 2023.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book When I Woke Up, You Were All Dead. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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