Humana Festival Features New Plays by Colman Domingo, Pig Iron Theatre Company and More

News   Humana Festival Features New Plays by Colman Domingo, Pig Iron Theatre Company and More
Six world-premiere productions, exploring the relationships between families and friends as well as a new bluegrass musical, are featured in the The 39th Humana Festival of New American Plays which runs March 4-April 12.

The Festival will feature the plays in rotating repertory at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. Scheduled productions include new works by Jen Silverman, Erin Courtney and Colman Domingo, all making their Humana debuts, as well as the Philadelphia collective Pig Iron Theatre Company. Jeff Augustin, Diana Grisanti and Cory Hinkle and Charise Castro Smith's bluegrass musical is also scheduled for production, along with a work by Charles Mee.

A bill of three 10-minute plays will also premiere as part of the scheduled lineup. The plays and playwrights will be announced in January.

"We are delighted to be celebrating the 39th Humana Festival with an exciting and diverse range of new work," Actors Theatre artistic director Les Waters said in a statement. "New work is in Actors Theatre's DNA, and we champion writers by providing the resources, space and support necessary for them to fully realize their visions. Our unwavering commitment to full production as the most vital component of new play development continues to attract writers to the Festival. The result is, and always has been, a richly varied program of performances, showcasing some of the most innovative voices in American playwriting."

The festival's lineup follows:

The Roommate
By Jen Silverman
Directed by Mike Donahue
March 4, 2015–April 12
The Bingham Theatre

"Recently divorced and living in an old house in Iowa, Sharon finds a sensible roommate like herself — a woman in her fifties — to make ends meet. But she quickly learns that Robyn, a vegan from the Bronx, couldn't be further from the ladies in her book club. Hell-bent on getting to know Robyn despite their differences, Sharon deploys her friendly Midwestern charm at full force. Their sensibilities are humorously mismatched, but turning over a new leaf can have unintended consequences." Dot
By Colman Domingo
Directed by Meredith McDonough
March 10–April 12
The Pamela Brown Auditorium
Part of the Brown-Forman Series

"In the Shealy family home just a few days before Christmas, Dotty and her three middle-aged children gather with so much more than the holidays on their minds. Their anxieties go far beyond finding a suitable blue spruce for the living room: this wild and moving dark comedy, served with a large helping of the crackling humor that only families can incite, grapples with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of an inner city neighborhood."

I Will Be Gone
By Erin Courtney
Directed by Kip Fagan
March 13–April 12
The Bingham Theatre

"Seventeen-year-old Penelope goes to live with her Aunt Josephine in a small town in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains after her mom dies. Everyone in this small town — built right next door to a ghost town — is haunted by something or someone, and no one knows how to behave. Filled with apparitions, earthquakes, and strange attempts to mourn, this play explores the beauty and awkwardness of living with the knowledge that everything ends."

The Glory of the World
By Charles Mee
Directed by Les Waters
Commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville
March 20–April 12
The Pamela Brown Auditorium
Part of the Brown-Forman Series

"A series of toasts to Thomas Merton on the occasion of his 100th birthday erupts into a raucous party. Inspired by myriad points of view on the Kentucky-based Trappist monk, writer and social activist — or pacifist, Buddhist, Catholic, Communist, and more, depending on who you ask — Mee's exuberant play considers how we can live fully in all our contradictions, and leap into the unknown. A wildly theatrical meditation on happiness, love, the values of solitude and of engagement with the world, and seeking heaven on earth."

I Promised Myself to Live Faster
Directed by Dan Rothenberg
Text by Gregory S Moss and Pig Iron Theatre Company
Conceived and created by Pig Iron Theatre Company
March 27–April 12
The Victor Jory Theatre

"Tim's out trolling for a good time when an order of intergalactic nuns charge him with a quest: retrieve the Holy Gay Flame from the clutches of the evil emperor to save the race of Homosexuals and restore the balance of power in the universe. But when he's captured by the fabulously androgynous Ah-Ni, Tim's chances look bleak. Infused with a Charles Ludlam-esque theatricality and a delirious sci-fi sensibility, Live Faster paints a 21st-century allegory of epic proportions. (For mature audiences.)"

That High Lonesome Sound
By Jeff Augustin, Diana Grisanti, Cory Hinkle, and Charise Castro Smith
Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Performed by the 2014-2015 Acting Apprentice Company
Commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville
March 27–April 12
The Bingham Theatre

"Bluegrass has a long and winding history, from Scottish ballads to African-American work songs, from Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys to the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. In a lively theatrical album of scenes created for the Acting Apprentice Company, four writers respond with playfulness and poignancy to the signature sounds, inherited stories, and cultural impact of this very American — and very Kentucky — music tradition."

Call (502) 584-1205 or visit for more information.

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