Florida Festival of New Musicals

WINTER PARK — The Winter Park Playhouse has selected the six winning plays that will be performed as part of the 3rd annual Florida Festival of New Musicals this summer, and the selections range from the supernatural to classic literature.

In fact, the Playhouse will be holding auditions for its these Festival productions on Tuesday, April 9 from 3-9 p.m. and Wednesday, April 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Auditions are by appointment only and will take place at their theater at 711 Orange Ave., Suite C, in Winter Park. Call 407-645-0145 to schedule an audition time.

The Playhouse is looking for professional Equity (Staged Reading Contract) and Non-Equity musical theatre performers. As part of the audition, performers are being asked to:

· Prepare 16-32 bars of an up-tempo and a ballad, with classic musical theater pieces preferred and a one-minute comic monologue.

· Bring sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. Tapes or CDs will not be accepted.

· Bring three non-returnable headshots and resumes.

For the list of productions and a detailed character breakdown with vocal ranges, visit their website and click on
“Get involved” and “Auditions.”


What Is the Florida Festival of New Musicals?


The annual Florida Festival of New Musicals will be held June 20-23, and was created to advance and elevate the original American art form of musical theatre by fostering the development of new musicals. The Playhouse, which frequently brings in brand new musicals making their Central Florida debut, also aims to boost the artistic growth of writers and composers.

This 4-day event will showcase six new musical that are currently in the development stage and haven’t been produced on stage yet. The Festival also enables the writers and composers to get exposure to not only the public, but the news media and to regional theater producers and directors.

The first act of each musical will be fully read and sung concert-style by the actors chosen from this week’s auditions. As the Playhouse noted, “Audiences will have the unique and exciting opportunity to see musicals in the early stages of development.”


Which Musicals Were Selected This Year?


The six featured musicals will be:

Book and Lyrics by Kate Hanenberg and Ned Paul Ginsburg
Music by Ned Paul Ginsburg and Mary Lloyd Butler

This musical is based on the novel Habberdy Dick by K.M. Briggs. It “weaves historical and supernatural elements into the story of a hobgoblin spirit who is charged with the protection of an emotionally broken Puritan family and the old English manor where they come to live,” the Playhouse notes.

Book, Lyrics and Music by Ned Wilkinson

“Flaming Volcano,” by Playhouse musician Ned Wilkinson, “highlights the story of Karen who quits her mundane administrative job to open a Bed and Breakfast,” the Playhouse notes. “As guests arrive for their first night, odd occurrences and a magical cocktail force the group of travelers and the proprietor together, revealing details of their lives. Ultimately, this challenges everyone to gain personal clarity and find their individual power.”

* GOOD GIRLS ONLY (New York City)
Book and Lyrics by Charles Leipart
Music by Jamey Grisham

This musical covers six decades, following the lives a group of young women living in two adjoining brownstones on West 53rd Street in New York City. “Coming from small towns and big cities, from farms and far countries, with their suitcase full of dreams, it is a story of how they became women and artists in the most magical of cities, in the most magical of professions – the theatre,” the Playhouse notes.

Book and Lyrics by Jennifer Enchin and Jaclyn Enchin
Music by Dylan MarcAurele

This musical is about Grace, who recently graduated college with a degree in astrophysics, and her friend Nikki — who finds themselves transported to The Island of Misfit toys from the 1964 animated Christmas classic Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. “There the pair help solve the problem of Santa who has gone missing, battle the evil Charlotta, and with the help of the toys, discover that ‘misfits’ can be assets in setting things right,” the Playhouse writes. “After returning, Grace enlightens us all by expressing the truth that there is always hope (even in the darkest galaxies there is always light) and that we are truly infinite.”

Book and Lyrics by Bryan Leys
Music by James Campodonico

Based on the classic story of Lysistrata, this musical comedy “retells the play as a rollicking burlesque farce and is openly bawdy, comedic and irreverent,” the Playhouse notes. “It tells the tale of Liz (Lysistrata) organizing a band of troublemakers to execute her plan to withhold sexual privileges in an effort to force peace negotiations from an ongoing war. It takes swipes at our contemporary military industrial complex and is a nod to A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and The Boys From Syracuse.”

* THREE TIMES FAST (Toronto, Canada)
Book by Naomi Matlow and Teresa Lotz
Music by Teresa Lotz and Lyrics by Naomi Matlow

This is a coming of age story is about a 15 year old girl, Olivia Klemons, “and the growth of the individual characters in her orbit, as she wades through the stress of high school, her mother’s new engagement, a move to a new house and her diagnosis with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,” the Playhouse writes. “Ultimately, Olivia learns to coexists with OCD in order to grow and emerge as a person not controlled by her disorder.”




The Florida Festival of New Musicals will be held at The Winter Park Playhouse. Tickets are $10 per show, and a 6 show “Festival Fun Pack” will be available is $50.

Tickets are now on sale, and can be purchased by calling the box office at 407-645-0145 or by visiting them online.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Of Cats And Wolves.” Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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