293x198 293x198 293x198
 |   |  the hayes project  
  • UP NEXT MAY 20-29 2022

    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.

    ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL                                                 
    $12 + Fringe button
    TICKETS AVAILABLE 12pm, APRIL 19, 2022
  • JUNE 3 2022 2PM

    JOSEPH REED HAYES/ATLANTIC CENTER COMMUNITY OUTREACH

    A workshop/seminar/Q&A about the process of developing the language of a play, how an idea makes its way to the stage, incorporating music into a non-musical, and the very deep rabbit hole of researching the history behind a play set in 1945 Florida—and discovering things that people no longer remember.
    ACA: Harris House
    214 South Riverside Drive
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    FREE

  • JUNE 16-20 2022

    The full production. Laughter, tears, music, pride and fear; strong women and willful men; longing and unrequited desires; family and home; the past, the future and the magic of citrus blossoms.    

    Orlando Science Center Digital Adventure Theater $10-$30

The four events of The Hayes Project might seem unrelated at first.
But they're not.

IF I HAD MY WAY is about life: laughter, tears, music, pride and fear; strong women and willful men; longing and unrequited desires; family and home; the past, the future and the magic of citrus blossoms.

I am taking the creation and evolution of the play through some winding steps from reading to final production.

The Project began in December with an open reading of the script for IF I HAD MY WAY.

It took a right angle into spoken word/jazz improvisation for JAZZ SPOKEN HERE, with myself and the jazz trio La Lucha, exploring the rhythms behind the words.

In May, THE MOCKINGBIRD NEWS , a one-person show with live percussion that explores the path of stories, fables and lies in 5 short acts, marks a return to Orlando Fringe for my 20th anniversary as a playwright. 


Finally, everything learned from those events will feed back to IF I HAD MY WAY, with a full production in June, 2022. Looking at the evolution of a play from seemingly unrelated angles is probably not something audiences or would-be playwrights would consider, and the addition of musical elements in decidedly non-musical plays often sparks new ideas for creating new works. 


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 shared experiences of farm help, the children of enslavement (in its many forms) and people, 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.

THE SHOWS

  • IF I HAD MY WAY - STAGED READING DECEMBER 2021

    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.
  • JAZZ SPOKEN HERE - JANUARY 2022

    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 by Joseph Reed Hayes for The Hayes Project and more. Bassist Alejandro Arenas, drummer Mark Feinman and pianist John O’Leary tour and perform at jazz festivals around the world as La Lucha, creating music which transcends genres and classifications. These artists will create a one-of-a-kind, one night only theatrical improvisational jazz experience for their 10th collaboration.
  • THE MOCKINGBIRD NEWS - ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL MAY 2022

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

    Stories, fables and lies, accompanied by improvised percussion. An anthology of connected short scenes, with five different aspects of the same person.

  • IF I HAD MY WAY - FULL Production JUNE 2022

    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

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. 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.