Orlando Shakes announces 35th anniversary season including Broadway hits, Shakespeare classics

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Shakes has announced a year-long celebration with a series of vibrant, intense and dramatic works, in addition to two Tony-winning musicals, for its 2023-2024 season.


The season begins in January with a production of the Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet,” which tells the story of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins in Sun Record Studios together in 1956.

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“We are so excited by this lineup,” said Helsinger. “New and returning guests of Orlando Shakes have so much to choose from this upcoming season, with our seven Signature Series blockbuster productions plus our annual holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Also, our Children’s Series returns this October with The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, the fun musical production of the best selling book.”

The series runs through next spring.

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See the full series lineup below:


Million Dollar Quartet

By Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux

August 2-20, 2023

It was December 4th, 1956, and Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee was about to become the mecca of music for a magical moment in music history. Be witness to this true to life jam session – credited by many to be the direct influence of rock ‘n roll in the late 50s and 60s – between Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins! Come hear “Blue Suede Shoes,” “I Walk the Line,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog” and many more!

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Comedy of Errors

By William Shakespeare

September 6-October 1, 2023

Set during the revelries of Mardi Gras and featuring New Orleans Jazz, Zydeco and Delta Blues music, Shakespeare’s non-stop hilarious farce of love, mistaken identity, and two sets of twins separated as babies - gets swept up in the carnival  celebrations. Bring your Mardi Gras beads and let the good times roll!

Boulevard of Bold Dreams

By LaDarrion Williams

October 4-29, 2023

A dynamic story about the night Hattie McDaniel (Gone with the Wind) made Hollywood history by becoming the first Black artist to win an Oscar. When Hattie stops at a bar and decides not to attend the awards ceremony, the bartender, Arthur, and the maid, Dottie, do everything in their power to convince her to go and claim her historic win. A story of dreamers striving to overcome considerable obstacles and fighting for recognition amidst the racism and inequity of Hollywood.

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Henry VI Part I: Joan of Arc

By William Shakespeare

January 10-21, 2024

The world whirls out of control in the thrilling tale of France’s Joan of Arc, the English warrior Talbot, and the young King Henry VI. Shakespeare’s epic, powerful beginning of the Wars of the Roses is riveting storytelling that never lets up.  In this raw, “Bare Bard/Original Practices” production, Orlando Shakes’ actors will perform the play with less than 40 hours of rehearsal, no designers, and no director – just like the acting companies of Shakespeare’s time!

Venus in Fur

By David Ives

February 7-March 3, 2024

Sexy. Provocative. Hilarious. Hailed as “seriously smart and very funny” by The New York Times, Venus in Fur is a laugh-out-loud study of the politics of sex and power that’s guaranteed to charm and mesmerize. When Vanda arrives several hours late to her audition for a play based on a nineteenth-century erotic novel, the director is less than impressed. But Vanda’s masterful performance flips the script and the audition turns into a tango for dominance between actress and director.

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Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey

Written and Performed by Debra Ann Byrd

March 13-30, 2024

Interspersed with verses from Othello and dynamic multimedia elements, Byrd bares her soul in this vulnerable, personal, and resonant story of perseverance, discovery, and unconditional love. Directed by Shakespeare & Company founder Tina Packer and written by and starring the Founding Artistic Director of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival and Artistic Director at Southwest Shakespeare Company Debra Ann Byrd.

Ain’t Misbehavin’

Conceived by Murray Horwitz and Richard Malby, Jr.

April 10-28, 2024

This Tony Award winning Best Musical also won the Drama Desk award for Outstanding Musical. A sizzling celebration of Fats Waller’s music - songs that he made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages around the world.  This delightful Broadway revue evokes the humor and infectious energy of this American original to provide an evening of humor, romance and thrilling music, including “Keepin’ Out of Mischief,” “This Joint is Jumpin’,” “Mean to Me” and title song, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”.

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The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!

Book and lyrics by Robert Kauzlaric | Based on the book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

October 18 - November 11, 2023

There are two sides to every story, and when the Big, Bad Wolf takes the stand in the Trial of the Century, he finally gets his say. But whether he’ll get a fair trial in a corrupt piggy court is anyone’s guess!  Enter the jury box and decide the fate of Big ‘n’ Bad in this fun and funny musical adaptation of the hit children’s book.


A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens | Adapted by Jim Helsinger

November 29 - December 24, 2023

The miserly and miserable Ebenezer Scrooge greets each Christmas with a “bah humbug,” until he is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Witness the classic, heartwarming story of Orlando Shakes’ holiday tradition, in a magical and musical spectacle for the whole family.

Massey Services Opening Nights

Every opening Friday night of the season becomes a not-to-miss party starting 90 minutes before the curtain goes up!  Featuring a live musical guest, a delicious restaurant partner for small bites, and an exclusive pre-show chat with each production’s creative team. Last season, this new opening night celebration series launched each production. The party continues bigger and better in our 35th season.


October 27-29, 2023 - Weekend One

November 3-5, 2023 - Weekend Two

A two weekend festival of new plays features several readings of raw, unproduced works! PlayFest gives audiences the opportunity to be involved with the creative process by giving feedback in real time and mingling with the playwrights, actors, and directors.

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Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.