May 23, 2019
Performer from El Wiz at UCF Celebrates the Arts

Experience familia, fantasy, tragedy and comedy at Theatre UCF‘s second annual Pegasus PlayLab, a festival dedicated to developing plays by emerging playwrights. Audiences can hear three staged readings, watch a full developmental production and participate in discussions with the playwrights, casts and directors throughout June.

Each production is a collaborative effort between the playwright and the students and faculty at UCF. This year’s four playwrights bring four unique perspectives to UCF with a LatinX inspired musical, a fantastical journey through a robot-inhabited world, a modern-day Greek drama and an examination of social media’s power to hurt and heal.

The four plays were selected from the over 300 scripts submitted from around the country. “Our goal is to be on the forefront of fostering new theatre and discovering new and exciting voices,” says Theatre UCF Artistic Director, Julia Listengarten. “This is a unique educational opportunity for our students to experience how a play is created and to collaborate with a playwright in shaping the work.”

The festival also provides an exciting opportunity for audiences to guide the future of these plays and get an inside look at how a play comes to life. “Experiencing one of the workshop readings or our full production takes the audience from passive viewer to active collaborator with opportunities to meet all four playwrights during the festival,” says Listengarten. “Receiving feedback and reactions from the audience is a fundamental part of developing these works.”

What to expect at a workshop

What you will see on stage is the culmination of two weeks of rehearsals, script changes and discussions between the actors, playwright and director. Actors will bring the new work to life in front of the audience with scripts in-hand and minimal staging.

After the performance, discuss what you saw and heard with the playwright, director and cast. You play a crucial role in the work’s development through your feedback.

What to expect at a full developmental production

This is a play that has already been through workshops and readings and is ready for a fully-staged production with a set, costumes, lighting and a full rehearsal schedule.

This does not mean that this is the final version of the script, however. After developmental productions, the playwright will use what they saw and the feedback you give to continue to revise the script.


We hope you’ll be part of creating the next great play!


Pegasus PlayLab runs June 1 – 23 with an encore production of #GodHatesYou August 29 – September 1. Tickets, info and more at




El Wiz

June 1-2 | Black Box

Book by Paul Castaneda, Music by Juan Cantu

Directed by Paul Castaneda, Music Direction by Josh Ceballos

In a LatinX homage to The Wizard of Oz, El Wiz is a heartwarming musical tale of faith and familia. Expelled from Puerto Rico by the wrath of Hurricane Maria, Dorothy is magically transported to the spectacular land of NYOz!

After the performance, discuss what you saw and heard with the playwright, director and cast.



It’s a Small World (or The Robot Play)

June 8-9 | Black Box

By Amber Palmer
Directed by Christopher Niess

Anne, a recovering drug addict, reconnects with her childhood best friend after he abandons his robot son/coffeemaker at Disney World. This contact leads to a long road trip from Orlando to Canandaigua, New York, where the duo meets people and small kitchen appliances who are just as lost as they are. They are reminded of what it means to be human and, as e. e. cummings put it, that “love is the every only god.”

It’s A Small World (or The Robot Play) received its initial staged reading at Activate Midwest New Play Festival. The play was developed, in part, at Flint Repertory Theatre’s New Play Festival.

After the performance, discuss what you saw and heard with the playwright, director and cast.


They Must Be Women Now!

June 15-16 | Black Box

By Nedra Pezold Roberts
Directed by Michael Wainstein

Charleen (alias Sweet Tea), like her ancient predecessor, Sophocles’ Antigone, has a big mouth that gets herself into trouble. Fired from her high-powered job in Atlanta where she finally had enough of men interrupting her and taking credit for her ideas, she returns to her home in Half Way, Georgia, where her feisty mother is the owner of Miss Althea’s Bridal Boutique and Bail Bonds. Caught in traps forged by their own time, culture and journeys, it is the characters’ jobs to discover themselves—and become women now.

After the performance, discuss what you saw and heard with the playwright, director and cast.

Full Developmental Production



June 13-23 and August 29-September 1 | | Main Stage

By Emily Dendinger
Directed by Cynthia White

Having attended her first picket at five years old, Laurel is proud of the good work she has done in the name of the Lord. Groomed to be the next leader of her radical church, Laurel takes to Twitter to spread the Word. When her tweets are responded to by an agnostic college student, a rabbi and a few Twitter trolls, Laurel struggles to determine the true meaning of her faith and define her relationship with God.

Join us for a talkback with playwright Emily Dendinger on Thursday, June 13 and Friday, June 14 immediately after the performance.

On Thursday, August 29, we will be joined by WMFE’s very own Three Wise Guys for a post-show talkback about the play, religion and social media.


Workshops: $10

#GodHatesYou: $20 standard, $10 UCF ID

Theatre UCF, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando



The School of Performing Arts at the University of Central Florida comprises the academic programs in Music and Theatre presenting year-round performances and educational events on the UCF campus and surrounding communities. The School of Performing Arts provides students with the best education possible through meaningful and diverse experiences in performance, education, composition, scholarly research and service to the university and beyond. The School also collaborates with community partners, which include the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. For more information about performances and programs, visit