Actors Theatre of Louisville Unveils 2013 Humana Festival Lineup

LOUISVILLE, Ky.– Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein are proud to announce the lineup of plays, playwrights and directors for the 37th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville that runs Feb. 27–April 7, 2013.

The festival, underwritten for the 33rd consecutive year by the Louisville-based Humana Foundation, will feature fully-produced world premieres by Jeff Augustin, Mallery Avidon, Will Eno, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Sam Marks; a suite of three one-act plays by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn commissioned by Actors Theatre and performed by the Acting Apprentice Company; and an evening of ten-minute plays featuring a new play by Sarah Ruhl among others yet to be announced.

“Actors Theatre is honored to be able to provide a supportive space for playwrights to develop their work, and to know that the Humana Festival directly impacts the theatrical landscape on both a local and national level,” says Waters. “From renowned playwrights like Will Eno, Rinne Groff and Sarah Ruhl, to emerging writers Jeff Augustin and Mallery Avidon, who’ll see their work produced on this scale for the first time, the Humana Festival proudly celebrates the strength and diversity in American playwriting today.”

Under the new artistic leadership of nationally acclaimed director Les Waters, a recognized champion of important new theatrical voices, Actors Theatre celebrates its 37th Humana Festival. A pioneer in the field of new play production, Actors Theatre has grown the Humana Festival from a trailblazing theatre event into one of the most prestigious showcases of new work in the country. It boasts a legacy of having introduced more than 400 plays into the American theatre repertoire, and remains a vital platform for launching new plays and playwrights to the national stage with an impressive track record of numerous subsequent productions.

Jennifer Bielstein, Actors Theatre’s Managing Director, said,“With the generous support of The Humana Foundation, the Festival continues to be a defining force in the ecology of the American theatre, creating a gathering space for lively conversation and a highly influential launch pad for numerous plays and playwrights. Drawing audiences of almost 40,000 each year, the Humana Festival is a standout event on the cultural calendar. Last year’s Humana Festival attracted visitors from 32 states and 5 countries, further evidence that our strong investment in new play production is vital to our local, national and international arts communities.”

This year’s Festival program will feature (in chronological order of opening):

Full-length world premieres:

The Delling Shore by Sam Marks 9directed by Associate Artistic Director Meredith McDonough)

Over the course of one fraught evening at a country lake house, two feuding novelists confront their professional jealousies — and their personal failures — as their daughters are caught in the fray.

Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (directed by Gary Griffin)

When three siblings descend upon a former plantation to liquidate their dead father’s estate, a disturbing discovery among his possessions brings a heated family reunion to an outright boil. A play about family secrets, memory loss, and the art of repression.

Cry Old Kingdom by Jeff Augustin (directed by Tom Dugdale)

Haiti, 1964. When an artist in hiding persuades a young man to pose for a painting, he feels alive for the first time in years. But under a repressive regime, with revolution brewing, no one’s life is safe.

Gnit by Will Eno (directed by Artistic Director Les Waters)

Step right up! See the amazing Not-Very-Good Man! Watch as he crams a lifetime of bad moves into under two hours! Revel in your own sense of somehow being better!

O Guru Guru Guru, or why I don’t want to go to yoga class with you by Mallery Avidon (directed by Lila Neugebauer)

Lila grew up in an ashram, but she does not want to go to yoga class with you. A disarming look at the precarious process of becoming yourself.

Sleep Rock Thy Brain by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn (conceived by Amy Attaway and Sarah Lunnie and directed by Amy Attaway)

The mind at night is anything but quiet. Three daring playwrights and the Acting Apprentice Company let their imaginations take flight, harnessing science and spectacle to explore the rich complexities of the sleeping brain.

Plus an evening of Ten-Minute Plays:

Two Conversations Overheard on Airplanes by Sarah Ruhl will be part of that slate, with others added from submissions to Actors Theatre’s National Ten-Minute Play Contest that be announced in January.

Productions are presented in rotating repertory in all three theatres at Actors Theatre’s downtown complex — the 633-seat Pamela Brown Auditorium, 318-seat Bingham Theatre and 159-seat Victor Jory Theatre. In addition, Sleep Rock Thy Brain, commissioned by Actors Theatre and featuring the Acting Apprentice Company, will be performed at the Owsley Brown II Theater at Lincoln Performing Arts School, located a mile east of Actors Theatre’s downtown complex.

Ticket packages go on sale Tuesday, Nov. 13; single tickets are on sale two days later. For ticket packages and more on the 2013 Humana Festival of New American Plays click here.

*Poster art by Penelope Dullaghan courtesy Actors Theater of Louisville.

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