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Spotlight on Lab 2019 24-Hour playwright Candice Sanzari


The Laboratory Theater 24-Hour Playwriting Project is back! It happens November 23rd.

A perennial favorite, the premise is simple – take four playwrights, lock them the theater overnight to create a show that will be performed on stage the very next evening. They are given a series of items, costumes, sounds, and lines that must be included, all before learning the overarching theme of the play. Then they have until breakfast to deliver a 10-12 minute script.

This year’s playwrights are Aricka Shuck, Kayleigh O’Connell, Darlyne Franklin, and Candice Sanzari.

Candice Sanzari is a talented young writer whose genres include prose, poetry and scripts. An emerging playwright, her previous works include Dead Weight, Trash Talk and Other Damages, and Thanksgiving is for Nutters. She is currently adapting her first full-length play, I Became Us, into a screenplay.

Thanksgiving is for Nutters won the Critics’ Choice Award at Lab Theater’s 24-Hour Playwriting project. The one-act play bristled with biting banter by and between a caustic, condescending landlady, a prickly pill-popping pixie and a cross-dresser prone to whole body paroxysms each time he hears a grammatical mistake such as “irregardless” or “these ones” (substitute your own). Heather McLemore Johnson directed the play, which featured Justin Larsche, Kaleigh O’Connell and Stacy Stauffer.

Earlier this year, Candice participated in Lab Theater’s inaugural Festival of Tens. However, it was not her first experience with play festivals. She produced both a monologue and a one-act play for the FAU Theatre Lab New Play Festival in 2015. The monologue featured a single mother begging a police officer following a traffic violation to let her off with a warning given that she’s just scraping by. She works several jobs to feed and shelter her child, who suffers from terrible night terrors. The play, titled Dead Weight, depicted two friends bickering over the murder of their neighbor, who had previously had minor altercations with them. While the male freaks out over what his friend has done, she morbidly plans to hide the body by cooking it in a casserole to feed to their other neighbors.

While Sanzari’s passion for constructing stories places her mostly behind the curtain, she occasionally ventures onto the stage. For example, she has been an actor in two previous 24 Hour Playwriting Projects, along with some staged readings.

Sanzari honed her writing skills as an English major at Florida Atlantic University, but earned an MA in Sarcasm at Real Life U.

Disguised as an acupuncture receptionist by day, Candice is constantly concocting stories about unsung characters, while furthering her training in Krav Maga, dabbling in film and making questionable life choices.

Join The Lab for a night of zany hilarity on Saturday, November 23. The fun starts at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available online at or by calling 239.218.0481.

November 12, 2019.


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