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THE MOCKINGBIRD NEWS

The rhythms of a life remembered,
and misremembered,
in connected short stories.
Multiple aspects of the same person, unfolding with humor and trauma, magic, love, heartbreak and survival.

Accompanied by improvised percussion.                                                  

PART 1: THE SCORE
PART 2: STAND UP TRAGEDY
PART 3: THE PLAN
PART 4: AND I FEEL LIKE I OWE IT TO SOMEONE
PART 5: THE REST OF THE STORY

A one-act play in 5 acts, portraying various disparate aspects of one personality, looking at the rhythmic side; the funny/dramatic side (in an act called "Stand Up Tragedy"); a life looked at as planned from future to past; the poetic, ADD side; and finally, the complete person, whom we meet for the first time at the end. All accompanied by a lone improvising jazz drummer. It's funny, sad, contemplative, intellectual, and entertaining.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first play and first Fringe production by Joseph Reed Hayes.

Premiere Production
FRI 5/20, 6:45 PM
SUN 5/22, 7 PM
TUE 5/24, 8:40 PM
SAT 5/28, 9:35 PM
SUN 5/29, 1:20 PM

Orlando Fringe Festival
Green Venue
TICKETS $12 + Fringe button
5/20 SHOW $6
$2 DISCOUNT FOR STUDENTS, SENIORS, MILITARY, FRINGE VOLUNTEERS

TICKETS AVAILABLE 12pm, APRIL 19, 2022

REVIEWS

  • Orlando Fringe 2022 Review: 'The Mockingbird News'

    "Native mythology holds that the mockingbird, nature’s news-delivering mimic, taught people how to talk. If that’s so, Sarah Lockard has learned its lessons well, as she embodies a vast range of voices in playwright Joseph Reed Hayes’ delightfully ADD tone poem about the power of human language. Across five tenuously connected acts, Lockard leaps fluidly from persona to persona — a Lenny Bruce-boosting stand-up comic in one scene, an aging carny looking back on her abusive childhood in the next — all while propelled by the beats of live percussionist Robed Fenelus. With its mix of beat poetry, bad magic tricks, and Borscht Belt one-liners, this show could fit comfortably into Mrs. Maisel’s Gaslight Café. But beyond the gags, Hayes is reaching to say something real about the relativity of time. Even if I couldn’t always grasp what that something was, under Lisa Halstead Castañeda’s dreamlike direction, the luminous Lockard makes every minute of this expansive ethereal experiment an entrancing experience."


  • Orlando Fringe review

    "Local playwright Joseph Hayes’ “The Mockingbird News” (Green, 60 minutes) takes a wider view of life and time and sound and art and meaning. It’s a dense play, full of rhythmic sentences that echo the beat of the percussion underscore. The work is lightened by the radiant Sarah Lockard, who tells the stories with gusto and approachability, as directed by Leesa Halstead Castaneda. Drummer Robed Fenelus adds to the sense of movement and helps set the mood with his beats — like the ticking of a clock that is impatient to move forward. There’s a lot here, and I occasionally just let the sound of voice and instrument wash over me rather than digest every well-chosen word literally. In other words, it’s a thinker. Like life itself, you aren’t always sure where it’s going, and you feel as if you don’t always understand everything, but by the end you’re sure you’ve had a journey — and an enjoyable one at that."

THE May 2022 CAST

  • Sarah Lockard
    Sarah Lockard: Actor, writer, dancer, and puppeteer Sarah Lockard has performed comic and dramatic roles in Orlando for more than a decade, at Orlando Shakes, Garden Theater, Voci Dance, Mad Cow Theatre, Playlist Seattle and Studio Theatre Tierra Del Sol.

    Sarah plays:

    THE STORYTELLER
  • Robed Fenelus
    Robed Fenelus is a drummer and percussionist, a recent Dean's List graduate from Rollins College, and is heading for a Master of Music degree at the Valencia, Spain, campus of Berklee College of Music. (senior recital)

    Robed plays:

    IMPROVISED DRUMS/PERCUSSION
  • Leesa Halstead Castañeda
    Director Leesa Halstead Castañeda is a legend in the Orlando theater community. Her one-person show, "La Reina Yolanda", received Patrons Pick and Best Female Performer Critics Choice awards at Orlando Fringe. In addition to her directing credits she has also performed with Greater Orlando Actors Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Mad Cow Theatre, Theatre Downtown, and others. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and has many film and TV credits as a proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

    Leesa is:

    THE DIRECTOR

  • Joseph Reed Hayes
    Joseph Reed Hayes celebrates 20 years of writing and producing plays with this Project and this play. To date, he has had 50 productions and readings of his work from coast to coast and in three countries. The Mockingbird News is the third event of The Hayes Project, a yearlong four-part series of related events culminating in a full production of the central play, If I Had My Way, in June.

    Joseph is:

    THE AUTHOR — My first play, and first Orlando Fringe show, was in May, 2002. For my 20th anniversary, I’ve written a play that maps the chaotic, poetic, ADD mind that has created 17 shows – so far – and if this brain that do that, so can yours. The Mockingbird News is part personal history, part cabinet of curiosities, part voyage of pure fiction. You might have to see it more than once to figure out which is which.
     ~ Joseph Hayes, Mystic and Life Member of St. Merryn Druids, Cornwall UK*

    *true

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

My plays take place on buses and in bars, in hotel rooms and government offices, farmhouse kitchens and jazz stages. 50 productions and readings of my plays from coast to coast and in three countries; creator of House Theater Project and the year-long 13in13 series of shows.

"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.