Monday, November 5, 2018

#God Hates You

#GodHatesYou by Emily Dendinger is part of the PlayFest line up at the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins StOrlando, FL).

“God punishes the wicked and rewards the good. #repentorperish” Having attended her first picket at five years old, Laurel (Amanda Anne Dayton) is proud of the good work she has done in the name of the Lord. While being groomed to be the next leader of her radical church (a fictional church similar to Westboro Baptist), she 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.

Laurel is a smart woman who believes in the sincerity of the message of hellfire and brimstone that she helps to spread. Via Twitter she converses with a rabbi who she considers to be damned. He ironically likes his exchanges with her and his theological arguments make her start to think. The play will incorporate projections so the audience can see the text exchanges as they happen. It was fascinating to follow her journey, because she was a good person, just raised in a hate filled congregation.

Probably the funniest moment came when the church members were shouting their hate in a demonstration. They knew exactly how long their permit allowed for the demonstration and when the time came, someone’s phone alarm went off with the silliest of elevator music ring tones. The signs went down and the demonstration was over. I only saw the first act in the rehearsal I sketched, but I am rooting for Laura to find her own voice and moral bearings.

What was truly fascinating about the rehearsal was that Emily, the author was refining and updating
the scrips as the actors did the read through. The creative process continues right until the moment the play opens to an audience.

Director: Kristin Clippard, Stage Manager: Lisa Hardt, Stage Directions Reader: Summer Pliskow, CAST: Mandi Lee as Colleen, Christine Gervais as Grace, Andy Gion as Donny, Carlos Pereyo as Joshua, James Putnam as Noah, and Mark Davids as Rabbi Cohen.

PlayFest runs November 2 – 4 and 10 – 11, 2018

A two weekend festival of new plays features seven readings of raw, as of yet 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.

Tickets to individual PlayFest readings ($10) on sale now!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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