Vote for your Orlando Fringe favorites in the second annual Watermark Splash Awards

By : Watermark Staff
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Orlando Fringe has officially kicked off and this year’s festival is already buzzing about some amazing shows and brillant performances.

Just as we started last year, we want to know what are readers think about the shows and which ones are the best of the beat in LGBTQ-themed theater, so here we are back with the second annual Watermark Splash Awards.

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Latinx diversity finds outlet on STARZ show ‘Vida’

By : Brian T. Carney OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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On Sunday, STARZ breaks down some serious barriers with the premiere of “Vida.” Set on the Eastside of Los Angeles, the series was created by a queer Latinx woman who also serves as showrunner, features a non-binary actor in a lead role and has a writer’s room where the entire staff is Latinx and most of the team is LGBT and/or female-identified.

The series got started when executives at STARZ called Tanya Saracho in for a meeting. Saracho is a Chicago-based writer who has written for “Devious Minds,” “Girls,” “Looking” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” Her plays include “Mala Hierbe” and “Fade,” which was inspired by her experience as a “diversity hire” for a television studio.

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Winter Park’s inaugural “Weekend of the Arts” Celebration

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Rediscover arts and culture in Winter Park at the city’s first “Weekend of the Arts” Friday, February 16, thru Monday, February 19. Be inspired with extraordinary performances, unique exhibits, and exciting events at over 20 arts organizations throughout the city. Each day features a new and exciting cultural experience. #wpinspires

The Parliament House Footlight Theatre 2017-2018 Season Program

By : Jake Stevens
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All of the amazing theater shows happening at the Footlight Theatre!

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After Orlando Project is local artists uniting for healing

By : Anna M. Johnson
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The Orlando theater community is about to gain visibility in an international way. Hometown playwrights’ pieces are going to be performed as part of an anthology series all over the United States and the world, with venues from New York City to London. On Oct. 17 though, the playwrights’ work will be showcased in a very local way at the Orlando Shakesspeare Theater.

The After Orlando Project is an “International Theatre Action” put on by Missing Bolts Productions and NoPassport Theatre Alliance and Press; both groups are based out of New York.

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Kristofer Geddie and the Venice Theatre would like to diversify your theater-going experience

By : Jeremy Williams
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Venice, Florida, is a quaint little town of a little more than 20,000 people just south of Sarasota. It isn’t as worldly known as some of the bigger cities surrounding it – Tampa, St. Petersburg or Orlando – but the small Gulf Coast town is home to one of the most well-known theaters in the U.S., the Venice Theatre.

“Who knew that would happen here? Before I came here I never knew that Venice’s community theater was one of the largest in the country,” says Kristofer Geddie, Venice Theatre’s director of diversity.

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Win tickets to “Ragtime the Musical: In Concert”

By : Jamie Hyman
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Watermark is giving away 2 pairs of tickets to see Ragtime The Musical: In Concert, presented by Encore! at the Dr. Phillips Center, July 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Simply comment on this post and tell us your favorite Ragtime song.

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Orlando 2016 Fringe Review: Darlings

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Darlings
Pink venue, find showtimes

It seems ever since Finding Neverland debuted on Broadway, references to Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, Captain Hook, the Lost Boys and Mr. Smee have become ubiquitous in pop culture, especially theater—and the show Darlings is a great example of the re-imagining and re-working of the ever-loved story of Peter Pan.

Playing in the Pink Venue and put on by Animal Engine Theatre Company from New York, the show features, and was created by, the company’s two artistic directors Karim Muasher and Carrie Brown, who are also husband and wife. Brown plays Mrs. Darling and Muasher plays Mr. Darling, and you’re thrust into their world the moment you step into the venue. The show is a whirlwind of pain, giddiness, longing and childish innocence, as the play tells the traditional story of Peter Pan but from a new perspective: in the eyes of the Darling parents.

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Orlando 2016 Fringe Review: 21 Chump Street

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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21 Chump Street
Purple venue, find showtimes

From the opening lines to the fast-paced rap lyrics, you can tell this show was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, but Troupe 1139 from Boone High School definitely bring it to life.

This 15-minute show follows the story of Justin, a straight-A senior in high school, who gets caught up in drugs to impress and woo an attractive new girl named Naomi, who is really an undercover cop. The show is based on an episode of “This American Life”, an NPR radio show, which was a part of the show’s Valentine’s Day show titled “What I Did for Love.”

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Orlando Fringe 2016 Review: The Space Pirate Puppy Musical

By : Nicole Dudenhoefer
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Tasty Monster Productions Presents: The Space Pirate Puppy Musical
Yellow venue, find showtimes

With a title like The Space Pirate Puppy Musical, this production is expected to entertain and it certainly does not disappoint.

The audience must bounce their attention between the shifting characters as the four cast members take on the roles of the dogs, pirates, and a ninja kitten, oh my!

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Orlando Fringe 2016 Review: Chocolate Cake

By : Nicole Dudenhoefer
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chocolate cake

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Toasted Theatre Company Presents: Chocolate Cake
Purple venue, find showtimes

Chocolate Cake follows the story of Marsha and Marty, aka the Modern Day Marthas, and their quest for fame and fortune via YouTube.

As Marsha continues to obsess over the best formula for Internet stardom, she finds her recipe for success doesn’t go to plan.

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5.5.16 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

It was a sweaty, stinky mess lingering beneath swaying light bulbs and an odd sense (scent?) of danger – bathrooms not necessarily included. At least that was the hurry-up-and-wait feeling that I got upon my arrival via tarnished spaceship in Orlando in 1997, plopped down in the middle of theater festival without a theater or air conditioning. The Orlando Fringe never existed on pretense, though, so postscript stands second only the euphoria of the moment, right next to that strange guy looking at you like you’re a strange guy, then laughing and the barriers being broken on stage. Orlando and Fringe were a match made in heaven. In the late ‘90s, the Fringe stood in stark contrast to the Lou Pearlman boy-band brigade seeking to whiten the city’s teeth. It was Haight-Ashbury more than hating ass-berries, and as such, it was the de facto cultural clutch the city needed.

Make no mistake, the Orlando Fringe is this town’s matted underdog made good. For every quizzical glance into maladroit disorders and kinky extroversion, there have always been bright eyes staring toward trails of glitter lighting up the path to the colors of its venues, the talent of its participants, the magic of theater on a shoestring. It’s a messy affair, but most good things are. It’s also the place where performance comes from: within not without. And as such, Orlando’s Fringe festival, the longest winding road in this country (if you don’t count actual roads but only the histrionic ones), it’s earned its place in Central Florida’s kaleidoscopic pantheon.

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