The 21st annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville (ATL) has announced its 1997 roster of works. These six full-length works will be presented March 4-April 13, 1997 in the 3 theatres comprising ATL's downtown complex.
Here are the plays to be produced:
Lighting Up The Two-Year Old by Benjie Aerenson (prev March 8, opens March 9). A look at the dark side of horseracing. When one pony fails to meet expectations, three men on that horse conspire to beat the odds illegally. Aerenson is the author of The Possum Play and When Cuba Opens Up.
Laszlo Marton directs the drama, which features Bob Burrus, Gregory McClure and Allen Fitzpatrick. Sets are by Paul Owen, lighting by Ed McCarthy, costumes by David Zinn.
Private Eyes, written & directed by Steven Dietz (prev March 4, opens March 5). A play-within-a-play-within-a-play, as a married woman has an affair with her director. The show world premiered at the Arizona Theatre Company. Deitz is the author of Lonely Planet, God's Country and Still Life With Iris. Appearing in Private Eyes are Lee Sellers, Kate Goehring, V. Craig Heidenreich, Twyla Hafermann and Adale O'Brien. The designers are the same as for the Aerenson play.
Upcoming full-length works in the Humana Festival include:
Polaroid Stories And Songs From A Girl With No Tongue by Naomi Iizuka, stars March 28. Ovid's Metamorphosis reimagined for the 1990's, wherein the life of street-kids is shown as an elegy of emptiness, desire and fear. Iizuka's plays include Marlowe's Eye and Scheherazade..
Director Jon Jory likens the play to classical myths, in that the characters "live under constant threat of destruction." Featured in the play are Scot Anthony Robinson, Caitlin Miller, Monica Bueno, Kim Gainer, Bruce McKenzie, Michael Ray Escamilla, Miriam Brown, Denise Casano, Nelson Vasquez and Danny Seckel.
In Her Sight by Carol K. Mack, starts March 21. Beautiful blind pianist is cured by Dr. Mesmer, but now that she can see, she can no longer perform. Mack, an assistant professor of creative writing at NYU, is a member of the Women's Project and the Dramatists Guild.
Directed by Robert Scanlan, In Her Sight features Fred Major as both Ben Franklin and Baron Anton von Stock. Also in the cast are Angela Reed (Maria), David Staller, Allen Fitzpatrick, Tommy Schrider, Brian Carter, Christine Carroll, Toni Gorman and Dianne Archer.
Icarus by Edwin Sanchez, starts March 12. A woman, her brother and an eccentric "dream-catcher" at an empty beachhouse meet a masked stranger who shows them what they'll give and give up for love. Sanchez's other plays include Fatty Tissue and Trafficking In Broken Hearts.
Gunshy, by Richard Dresser, starts March 15. A separated couple reunite in this New England-in-winter comedy. Richard Dresser's Below The Belt was produced Off-Broadway with Judd Hirsch.
On Feb. 19, the theatre announced its choice for 3 short plays to complete the Festival this year, to be performed April 4 & 6. Two of the works, Romulus Linney's 1996 Stars and Adam LeFevre's 1995 Waterbabies, were winners of the Actors Theatre's Heideman Award for an outstanding 10-minute play. The third piece will be Neena Beber's Misreadings.
Linney's Stars concerns two strangers in a beautiful Manhattan penthouse. LeFevre's Waterbabies pits a young mother against a swim instructor with a knack for teaching infants to swim. Beber's Misreadings pits a college student against the professor who wants her to drop the class.
This year's Heideman Award Winners were the aforementioned Stars and Dale Griffith Stamos' The Unintended Video, which was staged as part of ATL's Winter Showcase of 10-Minute Plays. The Heidemans were started in 1979 and have been sustained by grants given by Louisvillian Ted Heideman.
For Humana Festival tickets and information: (502) 584-1205.
The Actors Theatre Of Louisville, now in its 33rd season, also offers the Brown-Forman Classics In Context Festival and Flying Solo & Friends performances. Underwritten by the Humana Foundation, the Festival draws writers, journalists and theatre critics from across the country.
--By David Lefkowitz