Actors Theatre of Louisville Names New Artistic Director

by Gabe Bullard on November 29, 2011

The new artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville will begin work in January.

Les Waters will be the fourth artistic director in the company’s 47-year history. He comes from California, where he has been director of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre since 2003.

Waters has directed a number of new plays in Berkeley and other cities…including Louisville. He directed productions in the 2000 and 2004 Humana Festivals and he says he’s excited to now have a hand in steering the annual festival at Actors Theatre.

“It’s an esteemed organization with a wonderful reputation. It’s a leading job,” he says.

Among the plays Waters has directed is the Obie Award-winning “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play),” which later went on to Broadway. Waters has been praised for embracing new writers while also working with distinguished playwrights and leading reworkings of classic productions.

“We people who work in the theater are descendants of people who, in their own time, were revolutionary or changed the face of theater, he says. “The thing I think about traditional work is that it has enormous humanity in it. The reason why it has survived is because it still has something to say to us.”

Waters’s appointment ends an extensive search that began in May, when previous director Marc Masterson left for a job with the South Coast Repertory in California.

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