By Kenneth Jones
13 Nov 2008
|Photo by Aubrey Reuben|
In addition to the six full-length world premieres by these writers, a special "anthology" play called BRINK!, with contributions by many writers, and three one-act plays (to be announced later) will be presented. Expect special weekend packages, panels and discussions throughout the rotating-repertory festival.
The Humana Fest is internationally recognized as a major breeding ground for new American plays. The Gin Game, Keely and Du, Omnium Gatherum and more started here.
In total, 18 playwrights are to be represented at 2009 Humana, in Louisville, KY.
"The Humana Festival is a celebration of the diversity and strength of new American theatre," Masterson, the ATL artistic director, said in a statement. "The artists in this year's festival represent a cross-section of our culture and include new voices as well as some of the most established and respected writers and directors working in the theatre today."
BRINK!, performed by the ATL apprentice company, is written by Lydia Diamond, Kristoffer Diaz, Greg Kotis, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and Deborah Stein.
Here's the 2009 Humana Festival of New American Plays at a glance:
Wendell Berry was born in Henry County, KY. He has taught at Georgetown College, Stanford University, New York University and University of Kentucky, his alma mater. The author of over 40 books of poetry, essays and fiction, Berry has received numerous fellowships and awards. He lives and works with his wife, Tanya Berry, on their farm in Port Royal, KY."
Kazan is an actor/writer currently residing in Brooklyn. As an actor, she has worked in film and both on and Off-Broadway. She is currently appearing on Broadway in The Seagull. This play, her first, was workshopped at Lincoln Center Theater LAB and had readings at The Vineyard Playhouse, The Ensemble Studio Theatre and Yale University.
Mee has written Big Love, True Love, First Love, bobrauschenbergamerica, Summertime and Wintertime, among other plays. All of his works are available online and are made possible by the support of Richard B. Fisher and Jeanne Donovan Fisher.
Moore is a displaced Texan living in Minneapolis, where she is a 2007-2009 Bush Artists Fellow and a 2008-2009 McKnight Fellow. Her plays include End Times (Kitchen Dog Theater), American Klepto (Illusion Theater), Hazard County (2005 Humana Festival), Urgent Fury (2003 Cherry Lane Mentor Project) and Eighteen (2001 O'Neill Playwrights' Conference).
Gamal Abdel Chasten, a founding member of UNIVERSES, is a songwriter/poet/screenwriter. His work has toured more than 25 U.S. cities and five countries. Writing credits include The Last Word, God Took Away His Poem and the UNIVERSES shows The Ride and Slanguage. Chasten is working on the screen projects Red Moon, Joe Bloe and North Borough.
Mildred Ruiz, a founding member of UNIVERSES, is a playwright/actor/vocalist. Acting credits include The Denver Project (Curious Theatre), One Shot in Lotus Position (The War Anthology, Curious Theatre), Blue Suite, Rhythmicity (2003 Humana Festival), Slanguage (New York Theatre Workshop), The Ride and Alfred Jarry's UBU:Enchained (Teatre Polski in Poland).
William Ruiz (aka Ninja), a founding member of UNIVERSES, has been seen in Slanguage, Ti Jean Blues, Tree Tails, Salome, Latin Howel and Run Baby Run (Houston Astrodome, Texas). He was playwright/director of Waiting for Gordo (an adaptation of Samuel Beckett's play) and Ambassador of Music for the 2008 Jazz at Lincoln Center: Rhythm Road.
Steven Sapp is a founding member of UNIVERSES. Credits include The Denver Project (Curious Theatre), One Shot in Lotus Position (The War Anthology, Curious Theatre), Blue Suite, and the UNIVERSES shows Rhythmicity (2003 Humana Festival) and Slanguage (New York Theatre Workshop). As a director he has staged The Ride (playwright/actor/director), The Architecture of Loss (assistant director to Chay Yew), Will Powers' The Seven (University of Iowa) and Alfred Jarry's UBU:Enchained (Teatre Polski in Poland).
Wallace's work has been produced in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. She received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Kesselring Prize, Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award and an Obie Award. Wallace was also a recipient of the MacArthur Fellows Program Award.
The festival plays will be presented in rotating repertory in Actors Theatre's 637-seat Pamela Brown Auditorium, 318-seat Bingham Theatre and 159-seat Victor Jory Theatre.
Theatre Professionals Weekend (March 27–29) is for artistic directors, literary managers and playwrights.
Special Visitors Weekend (April 3-5) is for press, producers, directors and casting agents from stage, film and television.
New Play Getaway ticket packages (available for weekends in March and April) are offered for theatre lovers and include discounts to multiple plays with guaranteed seating, hotel discounts and a festival guide.
The College Days Package (March 20-22) is an educational and professional development experience that includes a package of plays, seminars, post-show discussions and an insider's look behind the scenes.
For New Play Getaway or College Days package information, call group sales manager Sarah Peters at (502) 585-1210 or GroupSales@ActorsTheatre.org.
Humana Festival single ticket prices range from $24 to $55 and will be available beginning Nov. 25. For more information or reservations call (502) 584-1205 or 1-800-4-ATL-TIX, or visit Actors Theatre's website at www.ActorsTheatre.org.
The festival is sponsored by Humana Foundation. The festival represents the largest and longest current partnership between a corporation and a theatre in the United States.