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Sarasota Players to Premiere 2023 New Play Festival Winner June 13


SARASOTA — The Sarasota Players will present Happy Dale, winner of the 2023 New Play Festival, beginning June 13 at The Players Centre for Performing Arts in Sarasota.

Following the death of his wife, Ben Lieberman's outlandish behavior lands him in court, where the judge remands him to an assisted living facility in New Jersey, Happy Dale, under the supervision of Ben’s son, Jake, a lawyer.

Ben, a liberal retired English teacher, plots his escape from Happy Dale, enlisting help from his roommate, Don Marshall, a conservative African American retired policeman, and Henry, a Jamaican orderly.

Instead of decreasing his bad behavior, Happy Dale provides Ben with accomplices and a stage for more outrageous antics. Becky, a sweetheart resident, Hilda, a Haitian caregiver, and Lucy, a therapist, are unknowingly drawn into Ben’s escape plans.

Can these new friends and frenemies help Ben grow beyond his painful and too-small world of grief and enable him to get to a better place?

Landon was a Broadway theatre manager for nearly 40 years, working on over 9000 performances of 50 shows. His memoir, From the Back of the House, will be released in conjunction with the play's opening.

"This is my love letter to Broadway and all the stars and luminaries my job allowed me to meet and know," said Landon. "In these pages, you’ll meet them, too, as they wait in the wings, glow in the spotlight, and take their bows."

The play will be performed June 13-15 and 20-22 at 7:30 pm and June 16 and 23 at 2 pm. The Players Centre for Performing Arts is located at The Crossings at Siesta Key, 3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130, Sarasota, FL 34239. Click here for ticket information.


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