Humana Festival Will Stage Plays by Sam Marks, Jeff Augustin, Mallery Avidon, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Will Eno

By Kenneth Jones
12 Nov 2012

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

The 37th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays Feb. 27-April 7, 2013, will feature world premieres by Jeff Augustin, Mallery Avidon, Will Eno, Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Sam Marks, Sarah Ruhl and Anne Washburn, Actors Theatre of Louisville announced on Nov. 11.

A "suite of three one-act plays" by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn was commissioned by Actors Theatre and performed by the Acting Apprentice Company. Also expect an evening of ten-minute plays featuring a new play by Sarah Ruhl, among others yet to be announced.

The longer-form, fully-produced world premieres are by Augustin, Avidon, Eno, Jacobs-Jenkins and Marks.

The Festival is underwritten for the 33rd consecutive year by the Louisville-based Humana Foundation. The festival has spawned such works as Crimes of the Heart and Omnium Gatherum over the years. Its legacy includes introducing more than 400 plays into the American theatre repertoire.



The festival, and the Tony Award-winning ATL, are under the leadership of new artistic director Les Waters. Jennifer Bielstein is Actors Theatre's managing director.

The program of Ten-Minute Plays is still under consideration and the full bill, culled from Actors Theatre's National Ten-Minute Play Contest, will be announced in January. (Two Conversations Overheard on Airplanes by Sarah Ruhl is among the 10-minute plays). This 2012 Humana Festival will feature (in chronological order of opening):

Full-length World Premieres

The Delling Shore by Sam Marks
Directed 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
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."

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.

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.

Single tickets for the 2013 Humana Festival of New American Plays go on sale Nov. 15. For residents of Louisville and Southern Indiana, Actors Theatre is offering the Humana Festival Locals Pass. The Locals Pass is just $75 and includes access to five Festival productions and two panel discussions, with the flexibility to select show dates and times.

On April 6, 2013, the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) presents the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and Citations followed by the Ten-Minute Plays.

For more information or reservations, visit actorstheatre.org.