Artistic Director Jim Helsinger announced today that a two-part repertory production of Charles Dickens' epic "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" will headline Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF's 25th Anniversary Season. Adapted by playwright David Edgar from the comic novel by Charles Dickens, the play will be the biggest production in Orlando Shakes' history, with 30 actors playing more than 150 characters.
Orlando Shakes' Artistic Director Jim Helsinger, who will co-direct the play along with Theatre UCF Artistic Director Christopher Niess, said that Dickens' masterpiece will be brought to life with all the colorful characters, incredible twists of fate, sly humor, and complex interweaving stories that only Dickens' could create.
London Theatre Guide called the plays "exemplary storytelling on a monumental scale ... not to be missed."
The play is six and a half hours long, and shown as two performances on different nights. However, audiences may opt to "Spend a Day at the Theater" to see the show in its entirety with a dinner break between the performances. A complete calendar for "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" as well as the remainder of Orlando Shakespeare Theater's season will be revealed in March 2013.
"This will be a theater experience like no other," said Helsinger. "The Central Florida community boasts a vibrant arts culture and a loyal, eager audience, so we're pulling out all the stops for an endlessly entertaining event!"
With an event this massive in development, Orlando Shakes' continuing partnership with the University of Central Florida will be as crucial as ever. The Theatre UCF program will be working in tandem with the Orlando Shakes in all areas of the production from costume construction to giving UCF students their first professional acting credits.
"Jim (Helsinger) has worked and contributed a great deal to our collaboration," said Christopher Niess. "We all are very excited about how that partnership supports each organizations' educational mission. An event of the scale of "Nicholas Nickleby" will not only benefit participating students and faculty, and the UCF and Central Florida community, but also raise interest in educational and theatrical institutions throughout the country."
Season subscriptions for the 25th Anniversary Season will be available starting March 2013. Single tickets and package deals for this production will be available in June 2013 and may be purchased by contacting the Orlando Shakes Box Office at (407) 447-1700.