Corthron, Rebeck Among 2003 Humana Fest Playwrights in Louisville, Starting March 2

News   Corthron, Rebeck Among 2003 Humana Fest Playwrights in Louisville, Starting March 2 Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2003 Humana Festival of New American Plays, a mecca for those who are passionate about new works, will include six full-length plays by a diverse group of writers whose works will play in rep March 2-April 13.

ATL artistic director Marc Masterson announced the plays and playwrights of the 27th annual fest Dec. 16. The mainstage writers are Bridget Carpenter, Kia Corthron, Russell Davis, Rinne Groff, Quincy Long, Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros (who are collaborating on a play).

The season, presented in repertory on ATL's three stages — the 637-seat Pamela Brown Auditorium, the 318-seat Bingham Theatre and the 159-seat Victor Jory Theatre — includes:

The Faculty Room, by Bridget Carpenter, directed by Susan Fenichell. "The faculty room at Madison-Feurey High School is the place where firearms are stowed after Morning Checkpoints, and the teachers can say what's really on their minds (unless the principal's eavesdropping over the P.A. system). Idealistic Carver has just arrived but soon finds that this inner sanctum is not so much a refuge as a battleground for his burned-out and sharp-tongued colleagues, Zoe and Adam. With their students packing heat and rhapsodizing about the Rapture, tensions run wild amongst this trio of lost teacher souls."

Slide Glide the Slippery Slope, by Kia Corthron, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton. "Twins reunited after a lifetime apart find they are as different as two people can be. Erm likes her isolated life on the farm, talking to the sheep and devouring scientific journals about the possibilities and limitations of human cloning. Elo, a recent exile from the big city, is looking for a way out of an abusive relationship and a way back to the daughter she lost in an accident. When cloning becomes the answer she is searching for, both sisters must ask themselves: is it better to create what you wish for, or to love what is?"

The Second Death of Priscilla, by Russell Davis, directed by Marc Masterson. "The Second Death of Priscilla takes place in Priscilla's bedroom, in a forest, and in the big blue sky outside. It is about a woman who sets out in her mind to slay what lurks like a wolf outside her window, waiting for her house to blow down. In this richly imagined universe, playwright Russell Davis tears away the veil that separates this world from the next to reveal a place where monsters are real, and they may well be the ones telling the story." Orange Lemon Egg Canary, by Rinne Groff, directed by Michael Sexton. "Great is a magician with a dangerous past and a promising future. Trilby is looking for the truth behind the illusion. In this mysterious love story filled with top hats, disappearing coins, floating objects and seemingly impossible feats, everyone has a few tricks up their sleeves. Is it all smoke and mirrors? Only the lovely assistant knows for sure."

The Lively Lad, a play with songs, written by Quincy Long with original music by Michael Silversher, directed by Timothy Douglas. "Jonathan Van Huffle's heart is all aflutter, for he's in love with the scrumptious and scrupulous Miss McCracken. A woman of conscience, she wants the wealthy Jonathan to think less about having more — and she's particularly opposed to what she considers an inhumane custom that's making a comeback: the procurement of eunuchs for rich debutantes like Little Eva, Jonathan's spoiled and insistent offspring. In this hilarious, stylish and slyly satirical comedy (with songs), Quincy Long creates a world that's oddly reminiscent of our own."

Omnium-Gatherum, by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, directed by Will Frears. "A lively, contentious debate is the heart and soul of every dinner party — and that's why Suzie, a domestic artist and perfect hostess, has brought together an assortment of sharp, opinionated personalities to share her surreally-exquisite meal. At this magnificent feast of food and argument, the dinner guests confront a moment when history is turning over, and when a culture must face grave danger and global responsibility. An urgent, impassioned and hilarious conversation about the implications of the September 11th attacks and beyond."

Tickets for the Humana Festival go on sale Dec. 16 to Actors Theatre's season subscribers and on sale Dec. 20 to the public. Theatre subscribers see selected festival plays as part of their series and receive 50 percent off tickets to extra plays not in their season ticket package. The new Humana Premiere Pass offers four admissions for $100 for use in any combination to any festival play.

For information or reservations call (502) 584 1205 or (800) 4-ATL-TIX, or visit Actors Theatre's website at www.actorstheatre.org.

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Bridget Carpenter is a 2002 Guggenheim Fellow and member of New Dramatists. Her play, Fall, is the recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Award. She is completing a new play commission for South Coast Repertory, and her play, Up (The Man In The Flying Lawn Chair), will premiere this spring at Alaska's Perseverance Theatre, where she is the NEA/TCG Playwright in Residence.

Kia Corthron's Slide Glide the Slippery Slope will be produced by the Mark Taper Forum in June 2003. In February 2003, The Venus de Milo Is Armed, will be produced by Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Corthron's plays have also been produced at London's Royal Court Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Atlantic Theater Company, New York Stage & Film, Center Stage, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club and Hartford Stage, among others.

Russell Davis' plays have been produced at various theatres including People's Light & Theatre Company, Long Wharf, Center Stage and St. Louis Repertory. Davis was an NEA/TCG Playwright in Residence at People's Light & Theatre Company. He received two earlier playwriting fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and grants from the McKnight Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts. He is also a juggler.

Rinne Groff is a playwright, performer and founding member of Elevator Repair Service Theater Company. Her plays include Jimmy Carter was a Democrat, Inky, The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem, House of Wonder and The Ruby Sunrise and have been produced by PS122, Target Margin Theater, Clubbed Thumb, HERE, Soho Rep and New Georges. She is a member of Dramatists Guild and is a graduate of Yale (1991) and New York University (1999).

Quincy Long's plays include The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite, The Virgin Molly, Shaker Heights and The Year of the Baby and have been produced by Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Magic Theatre, among others. Long, from Warren, OH, is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and lives in New York City.

Theresa Rebeck's Off-Broadway plays include The Butterfly Collection, View of the Dome, The Family of Mann, Loose Knit and Spike Heels. Rebeck's plays have been produced at Long Wharf, Victory Gardens, The Source, New York Stage and Film and Hartford Stage. Her film and television credits include "Law and Order: Criminal Intent," "Harriet the Spy," "Brooklyn Bridge," "Dream On" and "NYPD Blue." Rebeck has a Ph.D. in Victorian Melodrama from Brandeis University.

Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros' plays include My Thing of Love at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Jefferson Award), Supple In Combat at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, I Never Told Anyone, a short play at the McCarter Theatre, The Mimi Variations at the Steppenwolf Theatre and the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Summer 2003. As an actress, she has appeared in productions in New York at EST, Second Stage, Primary Stages, HOME and on Broadway.

The 2003 Humana Fest, sponsored by the Humana Foundation, will also include three 10 minute plays, a dramatic anthology written by 16 playwrights that uses phobias as its inspiration and a Spoken Word Poetry project. The anthology and 10-minute playwrights and the Spoken Word project artists will be announced at a later date.