Looking to catch a play? The performing arts are alive and well in Louisville. Our city is literally bursting with opportunities to take in a show. The theaters listed below are all non-profit organizations striving to produce engaging, entertaining and thought-provoking plays.
Image courtesy of Actors Theatre of Louisville
Founded in 1964, Actors Theatre of Louisville is a Tony Award-winning institution. The standard season for Actors includes approximately five plays. In addition, every spring, Actors launches the Humana Festival of New American Plays, a nationally recognized event. The festival takes place at the close of the season, and is an event where the company takes on the challenge of staging six new plays, as full productions, during a six-week period. Actors Theatre of Louisville is the official state theater of Kentucky.
There are three stages in the Actors Theatre complex; the capacity for each is listed.
318 - Bingham Theatre, in-the-round arena seating.
637 - Pamela Brown Auditorium, often used for main stage and holiday productions.
159 - Victor Jory Theatre, stage level seating, ideal for experimental productions.
Actors Theater of Louisville
316 West Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
The mission of Alley Theater is “to produce progressive theater and to provide an affordable venue for both traditional and experimental artists. The Alley Theater strives to include the entire community in its audiences and on its stage.” The Alley often offers amusing and comedic productions such as the musical versions of Gilligan’s Island and Evil Dead. There is also children’s programming—The Alley Theater for Young Audiences—which is dedicated to encouraging creativity and providing age appropriate entertainment.
Cabaret style theater.
The Alley Theater
1205 East Washington Street, Suite 120
Louisville, KY 40206
Image courtesy of Bard's Town
The Bard’s Town Restaurant and Pub, a Shakespearean-themed restaurant, is below this local theater. The bar and restaurant sales help to support the artists, musicians and performers who utilize the space. Known for mining local talent, Bard’s Town frequently features the works of Kentucky playwrights. In time, the Bard Town would like to have resident artists—playwrights, actors and a technical staff. In preparation, they now stage their own productions as well as host comedians and poets.
Room is cabaret-style with approximately 50 seats.
The Bard’s Town
801 Bardstown Rd.
Louisville, KY 40205
Now located in the historic Henry Clay Building—a neo-classical beauty built in the 1920s and was once a hotel and then a women’s community center—the Bunbury produces original and previously produced plays, often bringing in local talent for acting roles. The group was founded in 1985. Bunbury’s mission is “to create enriching, diverse and live theatrical experiences for the community and its artists in an intimate professional setting.”
Located on the third floor, but handicapped accessible, Bunbury’s space is intimate and comfortable, with 144 seats.
604 S. Third Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Uniting Music Theatre Louisville and Stage One Children’s Theatre, Stage One Family Theatre presents affordable family entertainment. Offering clean fun for children and adults, Stage One performances reach over 100,000 children, parents and teachers each year. The talent of Music Theatre, and the high-scale musicals they produce, are an asset to the merger.
Stage One Family Theatre utilizes several performing venues in Louisville. Seating varies depending on venue.
Stage One Family Theatre
Image courtesy of Pandora Productions
For over a decade, Pandora has been entertaining Louisville. Known for pioneering productions that illustrate the trials and tribulations of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community, Pandora has staged both the work of emerging artists and long-standing favorites like The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Pandora Productions utilizes several performing venues in Louisville, from the Kentucky Center to the Victor Jory Theatre of Actors Theatre of Louisville. Seating varies depending on venue.
Image courtesy of Theatre 502
Launched in 2011, 502 is a new favorite in town. Developing great theater on the off-season (summer), Theatre 502 stages contemporary plays by respected playwrights, works that often speak to the concerns prompted by living in today's culture. The company is run by four longtime theater collaborators—friends, coworkers and couples—who have experience working for other local performing arts organizations, such as Actors Theatre, the Alley Theatre and ZFX Flying Effects.
Theatre 502 utilizes several performing venues in Louisville, from the Iroquois Amphitheater to the Victor Jory Theatre of Actors Theatre of Louisville. Seating varies depending on venue.