Local Impact: Where’s The Local Flavor In HumanaFest?

A notice for auditions for local actors posted by the Actors Theatre of Louisville appeared Sunday in The Courier-Journal. The timing was odd, in part because it was also the last day of the theatre’s 2013 Humana Festival of New American Plays. “The theater’s casing department seeks to expand its local talent pool and recruit actors […]

Appropriate in Six Words

Some plays generate a lot of talk. Branden Jacobs-Jensen’s Appropriate is about family and legacy and secrets and shame. And even though the word is only used twice in the script, it’s also about lynching. Difficult subjects all. How do you tell your friends what this play is about? We asked Saturday night’s sold-out audience […]

We Can Get Down: Artist and Critic Talk Hip Hop and Theatre

Humana is down with hip hop. In 2008, Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s solo piece the break/s: a mixtape for the stage had its co-premiere in Louisville. Joseph dances through stories he collected as a “hip-hop educator,” and in my review, I compared him to a rapper. Last year, Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On, an homage […]

The ATL Apprentice Company: Niceness Counts

“We’re probably the country’s only practical training program,” boasts Michael Legg, the director of the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Apprentice Company for the past six years. This troupe of young actors helps keep the Humana Festival—and, indeed, the year-round Actors Theatre of Louisville season—running smoothly. Apprentice Company members are chosen through a rigorous audition process, […]

Critical Debate: To Read or Not Read The Play First

Chris: Okay, I’ve got homework tonight. Lou: No, you don’t. You don’t have to read plays before you see them. Chris: I do, you know. I’ve always done it. Lou: I would suggest that, in most cases, especially at a new play festival, it’s counterproductive. Why would you want to rob yourself of the primary […]

Backstory: What happens after Humana?

“I saw it at Humana.” Sure, but did you see it anywhere else after that? How quickly do plays launch out of the Humana Festival into the wider theatrical world? How high do they fly? How often do they stay put on the Louisville launch pad? It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: […]