A fond farewell to Lora “Dorothy” Devers and Sarah Lockard

Two of my favorite actresses leave Orlando; plus eight shows to see now

Lora “Dorothy” Devers (née Massey, aka “Ruby Darling”) left Orlando Feb. 7 for a new life in Hawaii with her husband, who is in the military. Devers is best known as founder of Skill Focus: Burlesque, a pioneer in Central Florida’s now-flourishing “nerdy strip-tease” scene bringing bare boobs to grateful gamers and sci-fi geeks from Fringe to I-Drive. She told me, “SFB is the greatest gang of co-conspirators a girl with a dream of nudie nerdity could ask for. I’m going to miss all my friends and fans I’ve made along the way, but I can’t wait to see what Rosita Sparkles and Cherry Bob-omb bring to the table now that they’re in command, with all the love in my nerdy heart.”

Likewise, local actress-dancer Sarah Lockard is leaving March 3 for Seattle to be with her boyfriend, a performer with Theater Simple whom she met during 2013’s Fringe. Lockard has been seen in both comic and dramatic roles at Orlando Shakes and Mad Cow, as well as rolling around outside area museums with my wife’s company, Voci Dance. I’ve enjoyed working with both of these women for nearly a decade – going back to early Empty Spaces Theatre Co. productions Oedipus and Stripped – and will deeply miss their talents and friendships.

Their departure leaves a hole in Fringe 2014’s lineup (Lockard once performed in three different shows simultaneously) that you can help fill. Unified auditions for a dozen Fringe Festival shows will be held at Edgewater High School on the evenings of Feb. 22 and 23; prepare a pair of contrasting one-minute monologues (or another performance piece), and email [email protected] to reserve an appointment.

Jester Theatre’s Harvey, through Feb. 23 at Orlando Shakes … Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, through Feb. 23 at Garden Theatre … Spank!, through Mar. 23 at the Abbey.

Empty Spaces’ Terminus, opens Feb. 21 at Orlando Shakes … Hay Fever, opens Feb. 21 at Theatre Downtown … Tina Packer’s Women of Will, Feb. 23 only at Orlando Shakes … War Horse, opens Feb. 25 at Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre … Pluto, opens Feb. 27 at Orlando Shakes.

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