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A LITTLE CRAZY

An award-winning comedy about real life (or a drama with some very funny bits. A contemporary play about two men — Avram, an 84-year-old Russian immigrant, and his great-nephew, Harry and their sometimes turbulent relationship.

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"Playwright Joseph Reed Hayes captured the essence of the Jewish spirit in A Little Crazy, a beautifully written and acted drama that was among the best of the 28 shows I saw." - Orlando Weekly

Every family has an Uncle Avram — the holder of the secrets, the storyteller, the heart. Audiences connect with A Little Crazy on many levels, whether it's the memory of a distant relative or the echo of a half-forgotten story. They laugh (a lot), and they cry, renewed in the idea that one generation can connect with another, and that regardless of the accent, words can change lives.

"An Orlando playwright using smartphones and a computer tablet is at the forefront of a growing movement to harness the power of the Internet to increase participation in the arts." - Orlando Sentinel

The inaugural performance of the House Theater Project, Crazy was Joseph Hayes' first produced play in 2002 and, ten years later, became the first play in Orlando performed in a living room setting, with the audience mere inches away from the actors, and streamed live to a worldwide audience using state-of-the-art portable technology.

REVIEWS

  • Joseph Hayes' House Theater Project to be staged this weekend

    "United Arts of Central Florida makes annual grants to local artists who 'strengthen artistic excellence' in Central Florida. In 2012, local playwright (and former OW dining critic) Joseph Hayes received $2,400 for his House Theater Project, a theatrical-technological hybrid that brings live performances from Hayes’ home to the worldwide web – it doesn’t get much more local than the artist’s own couch. Hayes will stage A Little Crazy, his 2002 play about an elderly Jewish man sharing tales of the past with his nephew in the small time he has left before death (a comedy!) in front of the Collabracam, a breakthrough bit of tech that leashes together multiple cameras and an iPad to make a performance available in real time to anyone with an Internet connection. Earlier this year, United Arts said House Theater Project would 'expand the definition of live performance'; a decade ago, our theater critic Steve Schneider called A Little Crazy 'beautifully written.' To further heighten the contrast between local and global, live audience members will be seated right on the set, and three of the four shows will include refreshments – one show will be catered by Big Wheel’s Tony Adams, one by Sweet! cupcake mogul Hollis Wilder and one by the playwright himself."


  • A Little Crazy

    "Writer Joseph Reed Hayes has two nuggets of gold in A Little Crazy, a quiet little two-man comedy inspired by memories of his Russian Jewish grandfather. One is the character of Avram Mordecai Saltzman, who brings back to life the entire generation of immigrants who came to this country with the ways of the old country firmly entrenched. And the other is Orlando actor Paul Wegman, who turns Avram into a charmer who deserves many long and happy days. Hayes' work is appealing and sometimes downright lyrical. And Wegman makes it dance."


  • That the [Eyewitness Theatre] reading was such a success considering its very American and particularly Jewish themes and humour is in no small part owing to the writing's lyrical structure. The actors found it delightfully challenging to work with. The dialogue was both native and universal at the same time and what impressed me most of all about the script was the way its message had an appeal to a wide audience crossing age and cultural boundaries with consummate ease." — Peter McGarry, Artistic Director, Eyewitness Theatre, Manchester England

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.

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.

playwright

  • My plays take place on buses and in bars, in hotel rooms and government offices, farmhouse kitchens and jazz stages. 36 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. "Best local playwright - Joseph Hayes" - Orlando Sentinel

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. Board member, Timucua Arts Foundation.