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This event is presented in collaboration with the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Generously supported by the Pabst Charitable Foundation of the Arts.


Tickets for Blackberry Winter are $20 and include reserved seating and valet parking for advance purchases. (Valet parking cannot be guaranteed for walk-up patrons.)


To raise awareness of caregiving in its various forms for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other conditions, Orlando Shakespeare Theater is remounting their production of last season’s Blackberry Winter by Steve Yockey as a staged reading with a post-show talkback with the playwright, caregivers, and performers.


Years of success, meticulous planning, and an eye for detail have in no way prepared Vivienne Avery for her mother’s slide into the grip of dementia. Vivienne recounts memories of her aging mother and the difficult decisions regarding her care. Interwoven with these stories is an evolving, wondrous 21st century Alzheimer’s creation myth—an origin story about a White Egret who tries to protect forest animals as they lose their memories to a blind, oblivious Mole. Blackberry Winter is a moving, occasionally humorous, and deeply human new work.


If this production were a movie, it would be rated R.

Originally commissioned and developed by Out of Hand Theater in Atlanta, GA.

Blackberry Winter was first produced in a rolling world premiere by Salt Lake Acting Company, UT; Actor’s Express/Out of Hand Theater, GA; Forum Theatre, Washington D.C.; Capital Stage Company, CA; New Repertory Theatre, MA; Oregon Contemporary Theatre, OR; and Kitchen Dog Theater, TX as part of the National New Play Network’s Continued Life Program. For more information please visit
The Playwright
Steve Yockey is a Los Angeles-based writer with work produced throughout the US, Europe, and Asia.  His plays Bellwether, Pluto, Afterlife, Octopus, Large Animal Games, CARTOON, Subculture, Very Still & Hard to See, The Fisherman’s Wife, Wolves, Disassembly, and Niagara Falls & Other Plays  are published and available from Samuel French.  Additionally, his play Joshua Consumed an Unfortunate Pear  (originally commissioned by Miami’s City Theatre) was included in the 2015 Humana Festival of New American Plays and the subsequent published anthology. Other plays include  Pluto,  The Thrush & The Woodpecker, Bleeding Hearts and Bliss. His new play Mercury opened this season at Salt Lake Acting Company in Salt Lake City, Utah and Stray Cat Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. Steve is an artistic associate at Forum Theatre in Washington, DC and a company member of Out of Hand Theater in Atlanta, GA. He holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.


Creative Team

Playwright – Steve Yockey
Producer – Kristin Clippard
Director – Michael Dove**
Scenic Designer: Vandy Wood
Lighting Designer – Bert Scott
Costume Designer – Denise R. Warner
Sound Designer – Britt Sandusky
Stage Manager – George Hamrah*


Vivienne – Suzanne O’Donnell*
White Egret – Mindy Anders*
Gray Mole – Kody Grassett


*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of
Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
**The Director is a member of the Stage Directors and
Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.
In the Media
Blackberry Winter is astounding in so many ways. This compassionate production not only takes a hard look at the universal question of how to care for aging family members but also how to care for one’s self through the process.” (Click here to read more)- Libby Champion,




About the Orlando Shakespeare Theater 

Founded in 1989, Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF produces classic, contemporary, and children’s plays. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Helsinger and Managing Director PJ Albert, Orlando Shakes has grown into one of the region’s most acclaimed professional AEA theaters, garnering national recognition from The Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout. “Hence the high quality of Orlando Shakespeare, a company that deserves to be far more widely known outside Florida.” With ambitious, highcaliber productions like 2016’s West Side Story, Love’s Labour’s Lost and 2014’s Les Miserables and Henry V, the Theater continues to provide an innovative world-class theatrical experience to its guests, while showcasing William Shakespeare’s legacy as the cornerstone of the company. Orlando Shakes also offers immersive educational programming that serves Central Florida schools and the local community at large. For more information visit

Our Partnership

Orlando Shakespeare Theater boasts a multifaceted, long-term partnership with the University of Central Florida. In addition to designating representatives to the Theater’s Board of Directors, UCF provides us with necessary philosophical and financial support each season. In return, the Theater provides a thriving Acting/Education Internship program which gives UCF students the opportunity to fulfill their MFA and undergraduate BFA requirements. University faculty and students may also participate as actors, designers, and directors for various projects, adding professional credits to their university experience. Additionally, our Artistic Director teaches classes and serves as a faculty member for Theatre UCF.