Annie Russell Theatre Announces 2017–18 Season

The Annie Russell Theatre’s 85th season includes The Cradle Will Rock, Sense and Sensibility, The Women of Lockerbie, and 9 to 5: The Musical.

Rollins College’s Annie Russell Theatre, the longest running theatre in Central Florida, has announced its 85th season. The four-performance season, which runs from September 2017 through April 2018, is inspired by acts of revolution and resistance, big and small.

The Cradle Will Rock

September 29 – October 7, 2017
Book, music, and lyrics by Marc Blitzstein
Directed by Tony Simotes
Music direction by Jason M. Bailey

Written in 1937 by Marc Blitzstein, The Cradle Will Rock is a musical allegory about political corruption and corporate greed. Set in “Steeltown, USA,” it follows the efforts of Larry Foreman to unionize the town’s workers. He’s thwarted at every turn by Mr. Mister, a local businessman who controls the town’s factory, newspaper, and church. Cradle was originally produced by the Federal Theatre Project and directed by Orson Welles. Four days before its opening night on Broadway, the Works Progress Administration barred the opening of any projects due to “budget cuts.” To circumvent the injunction on opening nights, the show was performed with Blitzstein playing piano on stage and the cast members singing their parts from the audience.

Sense and Sensibility

November 17 – December 2, 2017
Written by Kate Hamill
Based on the novel by Jane Austen
Directed by Marianne DiQuattro

A spirited new adaptation of the beloved Jane Austen novel follows the Dashwood sisters as they navigate life after the sudden death of their father, which leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Elinor, the “sense,” is governed by her head, and Marianne is all heart and “sensibility.” With a band of female gossips serving as an ever-present reminder of the social mores of late 18th-century England, the play is boldly theatrical and refreshingly funny. Sense and Sensibility examines our reactions, both reasonable and ridiculous, to societal pressures. When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart?

The Women of Lockerbie

February 16–24, 2018
Written by Deborah Brevoort
Directed by Eric Zivot

In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed by a terrorist bombing. The plane crashed into residential areas of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 257 passengers and crew on board as well as 11 people on the ground. Set seven years after the attack, The Women of Lockerbie is the fictional account of a couple from New Jersey who has come to the rolling hills surrounding Lockerbie to honor the anniversary of their son’s death aboard the flight. They meet a group of women who are fighting the U.S. government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim’s families. A poetic drama about a community’s response to terrible suffering, Lockerbie celebrates the triumph of love and connection.

9 to 5: The Musical

April 20–28, 2018
Music and lyrics by Dolly Parton
Book by Patricia Resnick
Directed by Missy Barnes
Music direction by Jason M. Bailey
Choreographed by Robin Gerchman

Based on the 1980 hit movie, 9 to 5 is a joyful musical comedy about female friendship—the kind of friendship that inspires you to stand up for yourself, find love, or follow a dream. Coworkers Violet, Judy, and Doralee fantasize about getting even with their sexist boss, Mr. Hart. In a hilarious turn of events, their fantasies turn into a scheme to rid Consolidated Companies of Mr. Hart for good and give the whole business the makeover it so desperately needs. With loveable characters and songs you love, 9 to 5 is bull-headed besties in bell-bottom suits.

Season subscription packages are $65. Discounts are available for seniors, students, and Rollins alumni. Visit to purchase a subscription online, or call the box office at 407-646-2145.

Additional free season offerings are provided by the student-produced and student-directed Second Stage Series, performed in the Fred Stone Theatre. The 2017–18 Second Stage Series includes:


October 25–28, 2017
Written by Lee Blessing
Directed by Kaitlyn Harrington ’18

The Flick

February 7–10, 2018
Written by Annie Baker
Directed by Nicholas D’Alessandro ’18

On the Verge or The Geography of Yearning

April 11–14, 2018
Written by Eric Overmyer
Directed by Nicole Colangelo ’18

For more information about the Department of Theatre and Dance at Rollins College, please visit