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Orlando Shakespeare Theater
The Orlando Shakespeare Theater is famous for more than just performances of William Shakespeare's famous plays; the theater is also a popular entertainment destination for other featured programs as well, including world premiers of many famous and iconic plays. Local Floridian plays have also opened at the theater, including Around the World in 80 Days and Crime and Punishment.
The Orlando Shakespeare Theater was previously part of the Orlando-University of Central Florida Shakespeare Festival whose first production was in 1989. Despite breaking off into its own production company, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater remains in partnership with UCF in several ways outside the theater. From internship programs, educational outreach, to MFA degree programs, many festival staff members teach UCF students, and many UCF faculty members participate in theater productions both on and off stage. Many UCF alumni go on to become a part of the theater company after graduating.
The theater also offers rental space for special events, as well as renting of costumes, sets, and props available to schools, local theater groups, and individuals. Known for its use of innovative concepts and non-traditional format, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater features classic shows as well as modern programs, catering to a broad audience including children, young adults, seniors, and families.
Operating as part of the League of Regional Theaters in conjunction with the Actors' Equity Association, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater isn't just about plays and productions. A dedicated development program for new plays that fosters new talent and productions is part of the theater's mission. The theater supports Play Fest! The Harriet Lake Festival, where playwrights may get the guidance needed to bring an idea to fruition from start to finish.
The “Orlando Shakes,” as the company is often called, also works with local groups on educational outreach programs. They work with teachers in providing educational tools as well as provide training credits for teachers in learning how to teach Shakespeare in a school environment.
Located close to downtown Orlando, just off I-4, at the JRL Shakespeare Center in Loch Haven Park, the theater is also a popular entertainment venue for local productions and other theater companies. Parking in free in the park, although space may be limited during special events. Additional parking is available at the nearby Orlando Repertory Theater and the Orlando Sicence Center on Mills Avenue.
Nearby attractions include the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orlando Fire Center, the Orlando Science Center, the Mennello Museum, the Orlando Garden Club and the Orlando Repertory Theater.
Popular shopping areas such as Park Avenue, and Ivanhoe Row are also within walking distance, if museums aren't your thing.