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THE HAYES PROJECT

Staged reading, in person and streaming live
December 5, 2021
Timucua Arts Foundation, Orlando FL

Premiere Production

June 16-20 2022
Orlando Science Center
Digital Adventure Theater
Orlando FL

  • An Evening of Words and Jazz with La Lucha, in person and streaming live
    January 30, 2022, 2 shows
    Timucua Arts Foundation
    Orlando FL

  • Premiere Production
    Spring 2022
    Orlando FL
Theatrical experiences usually begin with a reading, then eventually lead to production. We're following that path with THE HAYES PROJECT ... but in an unorthodox way

It begins in December with an open reading of the script for IF I HAD MY WAY , a tale of life, love and hardship in rural Florida in the 1940s. Occupying the stage of the iconic Timucua Arts Foundation. This play has been in development for a dozen years; this is the first time it will be produced.

JAZZ SPOKEN HERE takes some of those words, as well as other pieces written for this show, and presents them with improvised jazz to experiment with the rhythms of the words. This innovative work will feature the artistry of nu-jazz pioneers La Lucha.

THE MOCKINGBIRD NEWS , a connected yet independent new play written for this series, unearths the language of fables and stories, accompanied by unaccompanied percussion, in 5 short acts, exploring the multiple aspects of one person.

And, finally, all of the lessons learned during the Project will work their new mythology back into the premiere production of IF I HAD MY WAY at the end of the series in June, 2022.

THE SHOWS

  • IF I HAD MY WAY - READING                 

    The illogical logic of relationships and the threats of bigotry in wartime in a small citrus town in 1940s Florida.

    Florida, 1945. A young woman, educated in the North, reluctantly returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing mother. Finding herself in the same citrus farm kitchen that her mother toiled in all her life, she resents every aspect of her situation, rejecting friendship and suitors, until her abrasive and bitter attitude is broken by a person she considered invisible; the Italian POW brought to the ranch as replacement help. Steeped in the blues and based on little-known Central Florida history about Italian POW camps in the Orlando/Kissimmee area.
  • JAZZ SPOKEN HERE         

    Returning to the Timucua Arts stage with jazz phenoms La Lucha

    In the grand tradition of nine previous Joseph Hayes/La Lucha collaborations, improvised jazz meets unrevealed spoken word, where the destination of the performance is unknown until it gets there. JAZZ SPOKEN HERE will highlight new music by Alejandro Arenas, Mark Feinman and John O'Leary, with words written for The Hayes Project and more.
  • THE MOCKINGBIRD NEWS

    Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first Hayes play at Orlando Fringe with new work

    One person's life, seen from five different angles. Fables and stories, accompanied by unaccompanied percussion and special guests.

    IF I HAD MY WAY - Production                 

    The first full production of a new work about life in 1940s Florida.

    Florida, 1945. A young woman, educated in the North, reluctantly returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing mother. Finding herself in the same citrus farm kitchen that her mother toiled in all her life, she resents every aspect of her situation, rejecting friendship and suitors, until her abrasive and bitter attitude is broken by a person she considered invisible; the Italian POW brought to the ranch as replacement help. Steeped in the blues and based on little-known Central Florida history about Italian POW camps in the Orlando/Kissimmee area.

freelance writer

As a writer on assignment, I've traveled to Italy, Scotland, England, New Orleans, California and New York City, with a specialty on all things Orlando. Whether it's a story about Arts & Crafts houses in Florida or new styles in computers, a Mounted Police squad or alien abduction insurance, I've written it. Environmental issues, music, movie and theater reviews and in-depth conversations with legends in jazz. Interviews and personality profiles are my specialty.

playwright

49 productions and readings of my plays from coast to coast and in three countries since 2001; creator of House Theater Project and the year-long 13in13 series of shows. My plays take place on buses and in bars, in hotel rooms and government offices, farmhouse kitchens and jazz stages. "Best local playwright: Joseph Hayes" - Orlando Sentinel

food writer

Florida Magazine Association Award winning food writer and Orlando restaurant critic, currently for Orlando Magazine. James Beard Foundation judge, knowledgable champion of world cuisine and avid advocate of undiscovered chefs. I can write about the front of the house of a restaurant as well as the kitchen with equal expertise. Founding member, goFLA/SunshinePlate Central Florida.

jazz producer

Producer of the Jazz On Edge series, spotlighting new and original jazz from Central Florida since 2008, showcasing the best that Central Florida has to offer in jazz to appreciative audiences, giving creative hometown and nationally-known musicians a place to perform their own music, without boundaries, in person and online. Founder Word Play series, former Chair of Alternative Programming, Timucua Arts Foundation.