Mad Cow Theatre
Mad Cow Theatre began in late 1997 as a simple two-show project among a group of actors/directors in a former blueprint studio in Maitland, Florida. After an initial four-year period of renting space from such mainstay Central Florida organizations as Rollins College, Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival, Civic Theatre of Central Florida, and the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, Mad Cow is now celebrating its 20th Season in Downtown Orlando. Mad Cow has built collaborative relationships with other downtown businesses and has received two Golden Brick Awards for outstanding contribution to downtown life. Mad Cow Theatre has also been named "Best Theatre" by Orlando Magazine for several years in a row.
Mad Cow Theatre is a professional theatre company presenting works of theatre for a wide-range of audiences. With the start of the 2016-2017 season, Mad Cow has presented more than 160 productions. Mad Cow Theatre works with Actors' Equity Association under the Orlando Area Theatre contract and holds open auditions annually.
The 2012-2013 Season was Mad Cow's first season in its new location on West Church Street in the heart of downtown Orlando. That season included such shows as Sunday in the Park with George and Death of A Salesman.
Mad Cow now produces 10 shows a season -- six in the larger theatre, the Harriett, and four in the intimate Zehngebot-Stonerock Theatre.
The Harriett Theatre
- 1776 – Sept. 23-Oct. 23, 2016
- Pygmalion – Nov. 18-Dec. 18, 2016
- Picasso at the Lapin Agile – Jan. 20-Feb. 19, 2017
- Three Sisters – March 24-April 16, 2017
- Animal Crackers – June 2-July 2, 2017
- Fences – Aug. 4-27, 2017
The Zehngebot-Stonerock Theatre
- The God Game – Oct. 21-Nov. 20, 2016
- Constellations – Feb. 17-March 19, 2017
- Skylight – June 16-July 9, 2017
- The Amish Project – Aug. 11-Sept. 10, 2017
- Teatro Español: La Casa de Bernarda Alba – Sept. 27 and 28, 2016
- It Was A Very Good Yule at the Movies! – Dec. 8-23, 2016
- Mad Cow’s fourth annual Science Play Festival – Jan. 27-29, 2017
- Teatro Español: Yerma – Feb. 7 and 8, 2017
- The 15th annual Orlando Cabaret Festival – April 28-May 14, 2017
Mad Cow Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Mad Cow is supported in part with public funds from United Arts of Central Florida, the State of Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and Orange County through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Large support has been given by Orlando's theatre enthusiasts as well.
Mad Cow has a staff and board of directors working every day for the good of the theatre and the community. The staff is led by executive director Mitzi Maxwell and includes David Mink, director of operations; Audrey McGowen, manager of operations and community engagement; Crystal Edwards, manager of creative development; Waylon LeMasters, assistant technical director; Danielle Paccione, assistant production manager; Lisa Buck, manager of art & design; and Ryan Rosa, Jen Thomas, Matt Underwood, and Julia Thorncroft, box office assistants.
The original founders were Rus Blackwell, Trudy Bruner, Alan Bruun, and Dennis Neal.
Members of the board of directors are local business people, educators and community volunteers who have ties to and a passion for the arts. Brian McDowell serves as president, with board members including Elizabeth Maupin (vice president), Dr. Jonathan Miller (secretary), Alan Wilson (treasurer), Alan Lunin, Jean Siegfried, Dr. Alvin Y. Wang, and Wendy Zehngebot.
Adult and teen acting classes are directed and taught by local talent and professors from Rollins and UCF.
The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
Mad Cow Theatre has collaborated with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for several concerts, presented at Bob Carr Theater. Those productions have included The Music Man, Sweeney Todd, My Fair Lady, and Guys and Dolls, and have attracted star talent, including Davis Gaines and Faith Prince. They have also collaborated on a series of concert opera productions, including Carmen and Porgy and Bess to fill the void left by the now-defunct Orlando Opera.
In October 2012, Mad Cow moved to its new home at 54 W. Church St. The location, which was formerly a Hooters, is in the middle of the Church Street Market. The build was a part of Reclaim Church Street. It houses two theatres, which share a common lobby, box office, and coffee and wine bar. The facility can house a total of about 260 people at one time and has private restrooms across a small hall.
The Harriett Theatre
The larger of the two theatres, the Harriett is a fully equipped theatre with 161 fixed seats and six flexible seats for guests with special needs. This venue is used for the regular season and the Orlando Cabaret Festival, as well as for business meetings and community and social events. It is named after Harriett Lake, a prominent figure in Orlando's arts scene. Limited-view seats are included in the total count due to a structural column in the theatre.
The Zehngebot-Stonerock Theatre
The Zehngebot-Stonerock Theatre is a fully equipped black-box theatre with flexible seating for 50-65 patrons. This venue is used for productions in the regular season, as well as the Orlando Cabaret Festival, the Science Play Festival, and community events. It changes looks with each production, with a seating arrangement that is completely movable.
- Schneider, Steve (2000-10-03). "NEWS+FEATURES: The lessons of history". Orlandoweekly.com. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Celebrating Theatre, The Word and The Actor, in The Heart of Downtown Orlando". Mad Cow Theatre. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Theatre History". Mad Cow Theatre. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Auditions". Mad Cow Theatre. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Production History". Mad Cow Theatre. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
- "On Stage". www.madcowtheatre.com. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
- "Board of Directors". Mad Cow Theatre. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
- "Adult Classes". Mad Cow Theatre. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "United Arts of Central Florida Announces 2009 Arts+ Awards Recipients" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Classical Music Review: Orlando Philharmonic delivers perfectly pitched 'My Fair Lady' - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 2010-05-09. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "News - Orlando Philharmonic and Mad Cow Theatre present Guys and Dolls concert starring Faith Prince". Frank Loesser. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Concert review: "Carmen" with the Orlando Philharmonic – Orlando Arts Blog – Orlando Sentinel". Blogs.orlandosentinel.com. 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "For concert stagings, the music takes center stage - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2012-05-07.
- "Rentals". Mad Cow Theatre. Retrieved 2012-05-07.