2014 marks the the 38th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Each year, new theatrical voices are brought to the spotlight through the event. Watch a contemporary play and, if you want to make a night of it, sample food from Chef Ed Lee’s restaurant below the theatre.
When is it?
The festival takes place February 26-April 6, 2014.
What plays are being staged?
Below is the 2014 play lineup.
Who is the playwright: Dorothy Fortenberry
Who is directing the show: Lila Neugebauer
"Clare has big plans with her best friend Ezra—starting a food truck, making him marry his boyfriend—until an unexpected windfall forces them to face how they truly feel about money and commitment. A witty, incisive look at two young couples struggling with personal finance, the meaning of marriage, and the deeply human capacity for self-sabotage—as they decipher the ongoing mystery of how to be an adult."
Who is the playwright: Lucas Hnath
Who is directing the show: Les Waters
"Twenty years ago, Pastor Paul’s church was nothing more than a modest storefront. Now he presides over a congregation of thousands, with classrooms for Sunday School, a coffee shop in the lobby, and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. Today should be a day of celebration. But Paul is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundations of his church’s belief. A big-little play about faith in America—and the trouble with changing your mind."
Who is the playwright: Jordan Harrison
Who is directing the show: Ken Rus Schmoll
"Kai is a ten-year-old boy sitting at his grandfather’s feet, listening to a story. Or else he’s a young television writer weathering the humiliations of the Hollywood rat race. Or else he’s a salty old man in a wheelchair, receiving an award for "not being dead yet." Has Kai run afoul of some powerful magic, or is he just living an ordinary, too-quick human life? A time-bending, sad, funny adventure about how to survive growing up."
brownsville song (b-side for tray)
Who is the playwright: Kimber Lee
Who is directing the show: Meredith McDonough
"Tray is only 18 when an act of senseless violence in his Brooklyn neighborhood brings his young life to a halt, leaving his family to grapple with the weight of his absence. In brownsville song time moves in scattered rhythms, pivoting unpredictably between before and after, as Tray’s loved ones stumble through loss, find each other, and fight their way toward hope."
Who is the playwright: Music and lyrics by Julia Wolfe, original text by Kia Corthron, Will Power, Carl Hancock Rux and Regina Taylor. Recorded music performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval. Performed and created by SITI Company.
Who is directing the show: Anne Bogart
"The legend of John Henry, deeply rooted in Appalachian folklore surrounding the construction of the American railroad, has existed in many variations and forms—from illustration to tall tale, political polemic to popular song. With music from Bang on a Can’s Julia Wolfe, and incorporating text from four remarkable playwrights, Anne Bogart and SITI Company explore the human impulse to tell stories through the rich tales surrounding this American folk hero."
Who is the playwright: Jackie Sibblies Drury, Idris Goodwin, Basil Kreimendahl, Justin Kuritzkes and Amelia Roper
Who is directing the show: Ian Frank
"In honor of Actors Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season, we’ve commissioned five adventurous writers to craft a fresh and diverse evening of short pieces, inspired by iconic plays from throughout the Humana Festival’s 38-year history. Created for the Acting Apprentice Company, this playful experiment pays homage to the groundbreaking work of Festivals past, while celebrating singular voices blazing new trails of their own."
In addition to the productions above, there will be an evening of ten-minute plays. Some of these short plays are winners of Actors Theatre’s National Ten-Minute Play Contest.
Tickets to individual shows and complete packages can be purchased at the Actors Theatre of Louisville website. If you are wondering what Actors Theatre looks like, or where it is located, check it out on the Main Street walking tour.