Jester Theater Company
Dedicated to explore, create and produce comedy in all its forms
Owners / Managers - Jay and Diana Hopkins

Central Florida's only all-comedy Theater Company / Est. 2004    
Information # 407-928-5860

May 4, 2014
Dear Jester friends and family,

Many of you have been asking about our next season. Well, here’s where we stand.
After 10 years of producing comedies that we feel were professional, quality, funny theater, we have reached the point where we have to decide what we would like to do going forward. And we have decided. Jester is closing its doors. 

Many factors have brought us here. We’ve worked with literally hundreds of talented actors, designers and technicians in the Orlando theater community and made valuable lifelong friendships. We have gotten to produce shows we’ve dreamt of putting on. We have been able to perform at several wonderful local theater spaces, as well as some out of town and even as far away as Germany. Everything we’ve produced has been of a quality we are proud of, and has been well received by everyone who has seen it, give or take a single review here and there ;-)  

Some of our proudest accomplishments include not just producing shows here in town, but creating new works as well. Jester Theater will always be named as the original producing company of THE ILIAD, THE ODYSSEY AND ALL OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY IN 99 MINUTES OR LESS. That show has been published by Samuel French, Inc and is now being produced around the United States and has already been seen overseas as well. We have explored several styles of comedy and created new original works like IS THIS SEAT TAKEN? And we’ve had the chance to collaborate with so many people, like Chase Padgett on the wildly successful 6 GUITARS and NASHVILLE HURRICANE.

We’ve been able to do all of this while staying in the black. We are able to make this decision having paid for every space we’ve ever rented, every author has been paid their royalties, and every single actor, designer and member of a Jester crew has been paid. We are closing our doors while remaining debt-free, an accomplishment that very few small theater companies can boast. 

This decision carries some sadness with it, of course. Our only real regret in this decision is that in the past we were not able to pay more to each and every one of our talented and deserving casts and crews. 

Jester Theater has been able to survive through the kindness of a few generous sponsors and the friendliness and cooperation of many of Orlando’s other theater companies. Plus we never could have accomplished so much without every single person who ever bought a ticket to one of our shows.

So moving forward, we have decided it would be smartest for us to stop producing on a regular theater season schedule. We still reserve the right to produce a show at Fringe now and again or somewhere else if the mood strikes us. We love to collaborate; we just reached the point where we don’t want to produce ourselves anymore.  There are still so many of you with whom we want to work. Jay is still available for directing (Come see ESCAPE FROM BALDWIN PARK this Fringe, or come to Bay Street Theatre this Christmas!) We look forward to a more relaxed time frame and the ability to create on our own schedule (look for Jay’s new play, THE TRENCHES, in the near future). And we look forward to being in the house of your next show, a luxury we have had to abandon and cannot wait to enjoy again. 

Thank you all for your support, friendship and kindness.
Laugh All You Can,
Jay and Diana Hopkins



Friday night - July 12th at 8:00PM

Sarasota Improv Festival
Sarasota, Florida
A new improv format created byJay Hopkins 
Performed by
Gemma Fearn, Diana Hopkins,
Jay Hopkins and Brett Waldon


The Big Oz
Adapted and directed by Jay Hopkins
Originally created and performed by the SAK Theatre Ensemble

Fr/Sat @ 8pm and Sundays @ 2pm
**SPECIAL BOGO free on Black Friday
Nov. 15 - Dec. 1, 2013
Lowndes Orlando Shakespeare Center 
in the 
Mandell Theatre
Tickets $18 - open seating
For tickets visit the Box office link below or call 407-447-1700


by Mary Chase
Directed by Jay Hopkins
Starring Will Hagaman as Elwood

February 7 - 23, 2014
Fr/Sat @ 8pm and Sundays @ 2pm
Lowndes Orlando Shakespeare Center
in the 
Goldman Theatre

Tickets $18 - open seating
For tickets visit the Box office link below or call 407-447-1700

Then the Orlando Fringe Theatre Festival 
May 2014 - Fingers crossed

Past seasons

July 20-21, 2012 - Florida Studio Theatre
Sarasota, Florida
Near Sighted Justice
written by Jay Hopkins and John Hunter
Starring: Gemma Fearn, Mike Carr, Jay Hopkins and Brett Waldon 


September 7 - 16, 2012 - Mandell Theatre
Orlando Shakespeare Theatre
Loch Haven Park, Orlando

Parallel Lives
written by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy
Starring Michele Feren (Simms), Jodi Chase,
Maria Ragen and Karen White


January 11 - 19, 2013 - Goldman Theatre Orlando Shakespeare Theatre
Loch Haven Park, Orlando

Almost Maine
written by John Cariani
Starring Ryan Gigliotti, Gemma Fearn,
Michele Feren (Simms) and Don Fowler


February 2 - 16, 2013 - Footlights Theatre
Parallel Lives
written by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy
Starring Michele Feren (Simms), Jodi Chase,
Maria Ragen and Karen White

May 16 - 29, 2013
The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival  Pink Venue / Mandell Theatre
Lowndes Orlando Shakespeare Center  
Jester Theater Company proudly presents:
The Boxer
written by Matt Lyle
Starring: Brandon Roberts as the boxer

THE BOXER Performs to a Sold Out Audience at 2009 FringeNYC Festival

By Maria Esteves - September 22, 2009

The 13th Annual 2009 New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) sold out, standing room theatrical presentation of THE BOXER, written and directed by Matt Lyle was held at The Connelly Theater, August 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30.

A Bootstraps Comedy Theater production, THE BOXER is a superb heartfelt award winning one hour silent comedy play with live music set in the 1940s depression era. The play depicts young Velma (Kim Lyle) who posed as a man in order to find work humorously ends up becoming the boxer's (Jeff Swearingen) manager


The Iliad, the Odyssey and
all of Greek Mythology
in 99 Minutes or Less
by Jay Hopkins and John Hunter    

This wonderful play (published by Samuel French) created by Jester's own Artistic Director Jay Hopkins and his writing partner John Hunter can be seen at or has been performed at over 85 Theatres and schools across the country and is translated into several languages!

Performance location list (partial)

The Studio Theatre in Orlando, Florida

Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, Florida

Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida - twice

Rantoul Theatre Group in Rantoul, Illinois

The Stage III Community Theater in Casper, Wyoming

The Linkville Theatre in Klamath, Oregon

The Pelican Playhouse in Miami Springs, Florida

Saint Edward’s School in Vero Beach, Florida

Poly High School in California 

Zach Theatre / Summer Program in Austin, Texas

Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvannia

Alaska Theatre of Youth in Anchorage, Alaska

North Florida Community College

PRCC - Hattiesburg, PA

Effingham Theatre

LaSalle College

Buhl, Idaho

Midwestern State University

Grayson County College

Harlequin Theatre - Sandusky Ohio

Oviedo High School - Florida

and many more to come!

We are so proud of this
hilarious and historical play!!

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