The influential festival has spawned such plays as The Gin Game, Crimes of the Heart, Omnium Gatherum, Becky Shaw and more. According to the Nov. 13 announcement, 10 world premieres by 14 writers will play ATL's three-stage complex in downtown Louisville. The works play in rep for ATL subscribers and the general public; industry weekends lure agents, artistic directors, producers and critics.
The 2012 Humana Festival will run Feb. 26-April 1. The world-recognized event is supported by the Humana Foundation.
The coming Festival will include seven full-length plays (including a play by five writers commissioned by Actors Theatre and featuring the Acting Apprentice Company) and an evening of three ten-minute plays (yet to be announced).
Performances will play in Actors Theatre's 633-seat Pamela Brown Auditorium, 318-seat Bingham Theatre and 159-seat Victor Jory Theatre.
The seven full-length world premieres include The Veri**on Play by Lisa Kron; How We Got On by Idris Goodwin; The Hour of Feeling by Mona Mansour; Eat Your Heart Out by Courtney Baron; Death Tax by Lucas Hnath; Michael von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards by Greg Kotis; Oh, Gastronomy! by Michael Golamco, Carson Kreitzer, Steve Moulds, Tanya Saracho and Matt Schatz, performed by the Actors Theatre Acting Apprentice Company. Here are the works and writers of the 2011 Humana Festival of New American Plays at a glance:
The Veri**on Play
by Lisa Kron
Directed by Nicholas Martin
Feb. 26-April 1, 2012
"When Jenni called customer service, all she wanted was to fix a minor problem with her cell phone bill. Instead she was sucked into a vortex of unimaginable horror. Now she wants revenge — or to get her cell phone service turned back on. Part thriller, part screwball comedy, part inspired by events that have undoubtedly happened to YOU."
Lisa Kron's plays include In the Wake (included in Best Plays of 2010-2011, Lortel and GLAAD best play nominations), Well (included in Best Plays of 2003-2004, Tony Award-nominated) and 2.5 Minute Ride (Obie, L.A. Drama-Logue, GLAAD Media Award).
How We Got On
by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Wendy C. Goldberg
March 2-April 1, 2012
"Hank, Julian and Luann are the flip side to the A story of hip hop’s rise in the late 1980s — kids who forge a cultural identity in the white suburbs by dueling with poetry in parking lots and dubbing beats on a boom box. In this coming-of-age tale remixed, A DJ loops us through the lives of three Midwestern teen rappers who discover the power of harmony over discord."
Idris Goodwin is a playwright, poet, essayist and hip hop performer. Goodwin's stage work has earned awards from The National Endowment for the Arts and The Ford Foundation. His play How We Got On was developed at the 2011 National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. His play Braising was selected for the National New Play Network's 2005 National Showcase of New Plays.
The Hour of Feeling
By Mona Mansour
Directed by Mark Wing-Davey
March 6- April 1, 2012
Pamela Brown Auditorium
"It's 1967 and the map of the Middle East is about to change drastically. Fueled by a love of English Romantic poetry, Adham journeys from Palestine to London with his new wife, Abir, to deliver a career-defining lecture. As the young couple's marriage is tested, Adham struggles to reconcile his ambitions with the pull of family and home. But what if seizing the moment means letting go of everything he knows?"
Mona Mansour's plays include Urge For Going, The Hour of Feeling, Girl Scouts of America (co-written with Andrea Berloff) and Broadcast Yourself. Mansour's work has been presented at the Public Theater, New York Stage and Film, New York Theatre Workshop, Dance Theater Workshop, The Public's New Work Now and Emerging Writers Group's Spotlight Series, Golden Thread, Ojai Playwrights Conference, NYC Fringe Festival and Headlong Theatre (U.K.).
Eat Your Heart Out
By Courtney Baron
Directed by Adam Greenfield
March 9-31, 2012
"Alice and Gabe are desperate to adopt a child. Nance, a single mom just starting to date, struggles to connect with her teenage daughter Evie. And Evie wishes her best friend Colin could fall for her rather than just trying to fix things. With both humor and aching insight, these lives are woven together in a tale of parental hopes and fears, and of hearts consumed by longing."
Courtney Baron's work at Actors Theatre of Louisville includes The Blue Room as part of "Life Under 30" (1999 Humana Festival); Black Fish as part of "Back Story" (2000 Humana Festival). Her play A Very Common Procedure has been produced at MCC Theater and (under the title Morbidity and Mortality) at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. Baron is working on a play commission for P2 Productions titled Good Men Project.
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
March 20-April 1, 2012
Victor Jory Theatre
"Maxine is rich. Maxine is dying. Maxine thinks Nurse Tina is trying to kill her. When the patient confronts her caretaker, her accusations have unforeseen — and irrevocable — consequences, in this tightly-wound thriller about money, power and the value of a human life."
Lucas Hnath returns to Actors Theatre where his ten-minute play, The Courtship of Anna Nicole Smith, was performed in 2010. Hnath's work has also been presented and developed at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Target Margin and Ontological Theater. He has enjoyed playwriting residencies with The Royal Court Theatre and 24 Seven Lab and is currently a resident playwright at New Dramatists.
Michael von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards
By Greg Kotis
Directed by Kip Fagan
March 22-April 15, 2012
Pamela Brown Auditorium
"Meet Baron Michael von Siebenburg: a 500-year-old Austrian bachelor living in an American city, whose secret of eternal youth involves endless first dates and a special meat tenderizer. But when his landlady gets suspicious and the ghost of a medieval comrade commands him to take Constantinople back from the Turks, Michael finds himself haunted by past and present. A hilariously dark comedy about the rigors of vampiric immortality."
Greg Kotis is the author of Yeast Nation (book/lyrics), The Truth About Santa, Pig Farm, Eat the Taste and Urinetown (for which won the Tony for both book and score/lyrics).
2012 Apprentice Anthology
By Michael Golamco, Carson Kreitzer, Steve Moulds, Tanya Saracho and Matt Schatz
Directed by Amy Attaway
Co-conceived and developed with Sarah Lunnie
Performed by the 2011-2012 Acting Apprentice Company
Commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville
March 16-April 1, 2012
"Food, that most delicious human unifier, is rife with contradiction. It can signal both comfort and compulsion, imply both nourishment and deprivation, and make your mouth water — or your stomach turn. Get ready to dig in, as five hungry playwrights join forces with 22 ravenous Acting Apprentices to serve up the pleasures — and paradoxes — of food."
Michael Golamco is a Los Angeles-based playwright and screenwriter. His play Year Zero received acclaimed runs at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago and New York City's Second Stage Theatre; it was also the Grand Prize Winner of Chicago Dramatists’ Many Voices Project. His play Cowboy Versus Samurai has had several productions since its premiere in New York City, including in Canada and Hong Kong. Golamco is the recipient of the 2009 Helen Merrill Award and is a member of New Dramatists.
Carson Kreitzer's plays include Behind the Eye, 1:23 and The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer which premiered at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Other work includes The Slow Drag (The American Place Theater, The Whitehall Theater, West End), and SELF DEFENSE or death of some salesmen (New Georges). She is currently writing a play for Marin Theatre and a musical with Matt Gould for Yale Repertory.
Steve Moulds is currently the National New Play Network Playwright in Residence at Curious Theatre Company in Denver. A former member of the Actors Theatre literary office, three of his ten-minute plays have been produced here. He also directed the Humana Festival premiere of Dream of Jeannie-by-the-Door. Other productions include Emergency Prom; Compound/Complex (Brouhaha Comedy Festival); Von Rollo (Illusion Theater, Minneapolis); Principles of Dramatic Writing (Source Festival); and three plays in the Minnesota Fringe Festival: Killer Smile, Buyer's Remorse and See You Next Tuesday.
Tanya Saracho was born in Sinaloa, México and is a resident playwright emerita at Chicago Dramatists, a Goodman Theatre Fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago, an artistic associate with About Face Theatre and founder and former artistic director of Teatro Luna. Her plays include Enfrascada (Clubbed Thumb); El Nogalar (Teatro Vista/Goodman Theatre), an adaptation of "The House on Mango Street" for Steppenwolf Theatre SYA and Our Lady of the Underpass with Teatro Vista.
Matt Schatz is thrilled to return to Actors Theatre after writing the music and lyrics for Michael Lew's Roanoke (2009 Humana Festival). Other plays and musicals include The Tallest Building in the World (Luna Stage, 2011), Love Trapezoid (Astoria Performing Arts Center, 2012) and Richie Farmer Will Have His Revenge on Durham with Diana Grisanti ("Best of Fest" at Austin’s FronteraFest 2011).
For more information about the Humana Festival of New American Plays, call (502) 584-1205 or (800) 4-ATL-TIX or visit ActorsTheatre.org.