|   |  the hayes project  

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
If I Had My Way is set in 1945 Florida, where the realities of WWII and its drain on local manpower meant a shortage of workers on local farms, a shortage addressed by the US Army by "lending" residents of area POW camps to fill the gap - Kissimmee Air Base was developed as an Italian detainee camp and became such a part of local community that POWs would often be seen shopping in downtown Kissimmee and even going to the movies. The play touches on the common experiences of farm help, the children of enslavement (in many different forms) and men, often forced into warfare, who find themselves captured, put on ships and told to work during the day and live behind barbed wire at night. 

I am taking the creation and evolution of the play through some winding steps to go from reading to final production.The Project begins in December with an open reading of the script for IF I HAD MY WAYoccupying the stage of the iconic Timucua Arts Foundation.

It then takes a right angle into a spoken word/jazz improvisation evening for JAZZ SPOKEN HERE , with myself and the jazz trio La Lucha, where we explore the rhythms behind the words.

In the spring comes THE MOCKINGBIRD NEWS , a one-person show with live percussion that explores various aspects of the same personality with stories, fables and lies in 5 short acts.

Finally, everything learned from those events will feed the script of IF I HAD MY WAY, with a full production in June, 2022. This play has been in development for a dozen years; this is the first time it will be produced.

The idea of looking at the evolution of a play from various, seemingly unrelated angles is probably not something audiences, writers or would-be playwrights would consider, and the addition of musical elements in decidedly non-musical plays very often sparks new ideas in those wanting to create new works or appreciate different ways of enjoying theater.

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 previous Joseph Hayes/La Lucha collaborations, improvised jazz meets unrevealed spoken word, where the destination of the performance is unknown until we get there. JAZZ SPOKEN HERE highlights new music by Alejandro Arenas, Mark Feinman and John O'Leary, with words written for The Hayes Project and more. Bassist Alejandro Arenas, drummer Mark Feinman and pianist John O’Leary have toured and performed at jazz festivals around the world as La Lucha, creating music which transcends genres and classifications. The three brilliant artists will create a one-of-a-kind, one night only theatrical jazz experience for this 10th collaboration, primarily in an improvisational setting.
  • 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, stories and lies, 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.

CONTACT ME


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. James Beard Foundation judge, knowledgable champion of world cuisine and avid advocate of undiscovered chefs.

EVENT 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.