May 26, 2022

Lovers of new theatre and classics alike will appreciate UCF’s Pegasus PlayLab, a festival dedicated to developing plays by emerging playwrights. Over the course of four weeks – May 28-June 18 – audiences can attend three staged readings or “workshops”, experience a full production of a new play first workshopped at Orlando Shakes’ PlayFest 2021, and participate in discussions with the playwrights, directors, cast and creative teams.

“After the two years of adjusted summer schedules and blended production formats due to Covid-19, we are pleased to bring back our in-person Pegasus PlayLab Festival consisting of three workshops in the blackbox and a fully produced show on our mainstage,” says Theatre UCF Artistic Director Julia Listengarten. “This year’s festival celebrates many different forms of collaboration and brings together our current students, alums, faculty and professional theatre artists to experiment with new forms of theatre, develop exciting and challenging new work, and forge unique artistic connections.”

Pegasus PlayLab productions are a collaborative effort between the playwright and the students and faculty at UCF, with an end goal of fostering a healthy environment for new works in theatre. “Our goal is to be on the forefront of fostering new theatre and discovering new and exciting voices,” says 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 four plays at the 2022 festival were selected from more than 900 scripts submitted from around the country. Each playwright brings a unique perspective to campus, and plots involve a suspenseful tale surrounding a mysterious crate, a musical journey to find the Elixir of Life, a modern-day videogame quest and an examination of how a racially charged decision can create social division.

In addition to being a benefit to the playwrights and their creative process, the festival also provides an exciting opportunity for audiences to get an inside look at how a play comes to life and to offer input. “Experiencing one of the workshop readings or our full production takes the audience from passive viewer to active collaborator with opportunities to meet the playwrights in residence 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 patrons see on stage is the culmination of eight days of rehearsals, script changes and discussions between the actors, playwright, director, dramaturg and designers. 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, cast and the rest of the creative team. Patrons play a crucial role in the work’s development by providing 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. After developmental productions, the playwright will use what they saw and the feedback from the audience to continue to revise the script.

Pegasus PlayLab runs May 28 – June 18. Tickets are $10-$25. Tickets, info and more at arts.ucf.edu

Pegasus PlayLab Schedule

Workshops

The Body by Steve Moulds
May 28-29
Black Box
Tickets: $15; $10 students
Directed by Christopher Niess
While mom is away, Abby and her stepdad Joe spend a week together for the first time. Then an unusual crate appears on their doorstep, and they work to unravel the meaning of its contents—a life-sized doll with no face, and an instruction manual with no words. The deeper they delve into the secrets of this package, the more it threatens their tenuous emotional equilibrium. Was this doll sent here to repair their relationship? Or is it a harbinger of a more disturbing truth for Joe? This play involves moments of violence. 
After the performance, discuss what you saw and heard with the playwright, director, cast and the rest of the creative team.

Spells of the Sea by Guinevere Govea and Anna Pickett
June 4-5
Black Box
Tickets: $15; $10 students
Directed by Julia Flood
This musical tale follows a fifteen-year-old fisherwoman named Finley Frankfurter and an old lighthouse keeper named H.S. Crank as they journey through the ocean to find the Elixir of Life to cure Finley’s terminally ill father. This show involves the death of loved ones and the processing of grief. All topics are handled with a youth audience in mind.
Spells of the Sea is a collaboration with UT Austin’s Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities Program and Metro Theater Company.
After the performance, discuss what you saw and heard with the playwright, director, cast and the rest of the creative team.

Race to Infinity by Gian Arellano (UCF student)
June 11-12
Black Box
Tickets: $15; $10 students
Directed by Edmarie Montes ’14
All her life, Sara recalls being second to her brother, Samuel, due to the love their judgmental mother shows him. However, when senior year rolls around, Sara discovers a new version of the video game she used to play with Samuel growing up, and this helps launch her on a quest to prove herself to those around her. Race to Infinity follows Sara as she unpacks her shaky upbringing and struggles to find her worth when faced with expectations that seem impossible to reach. This play involves strong language and generational trauma.
After the performance, discuss what you saw and heard with the playwright, director, cast and the rest of the creative team.

Full Developmental Production

Affinity Lunch Minutes by Nick Malakhow
June 10-12 & 16-18
Main Stage
Tickets: $25; $10 students
Directed by Roberta Emerson
Ben and Jasmine are the only two Black teachers at Penn Valley, a private Quaker school. Jasmine is passionate and boundary pushing, while Ben has worked his way up the ranks at the school to be Diversity Dean thanks to his “agreeable” nature. A racially charged discipline decision ignites a divide at the school and in Jasmine and Ben’s collegial relationship. This play involves strong language and complex conversations about race and privilege.
Join us for a talkback with playwright Nick Malakhow on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 immediately following the performance.

Pegasus PlayLab 2022 Package: $60 Standard, $40 UCF Student/Faculty/Staff
Theatre UCF, 12700 Pegasus Dr bldg. 6, Orlando, FL 32816
407-823-1500
performingarts.cah.ucf.edu
boxoffice@ucf.edu