“It’s about two sisters who get to have a sister’s weekend at one of the sister’s boss’s super-rich estate, and of course the boss crashes the sister’s weekend. And it’s about class and family and identity,” says playwright Molly Smith-Metzler.
“Maple and Vine is about a modern couple feeling somehow dissatisfied and unhappy with their 21st century lives and they meet a man from a fully-contained kind of gated community where everyone goes about their lives pretending that it’s 1955,” says playwright Jordan Harrison.
When you go to the theatre to see a production of a classic, think Shakespeare or even A Christmas Carol, your focus is probably on the actors. Or the director. Or the costumes and set design.
That’s because those stories are well known and part of the reason people see familiar plays is to see how an old story is being retold. But that’s not how it works at the Humana Festival of New American Plays.
It costs Actors Theatre about $1.5 million to put on the festival, and the Humana Foundation will be contributing almost half of that. The foundation will contribute $700,000 toward the festival each year for the next three years. That’s a $25,000 annual increase over the previous award.
“We read seven or eight hundred scripts a year and we talk about them, we debate them and we choose seven full-length works and what I try to do in that mix of plays is to provide a spectrum of different kinds of writers and different kinds of work,” says Actors Theatre Artistic Director Marc Masterson.
The festival is one of the most important events of the year in American theatre. Hundreds of theatre professionals from the U.S. and abroad come to see the plays that debut at Actors Theatre during the festival.
Actors Theatre Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein says Masterson’s work on the Humana Festival has led to numerous plays—and playwrights—getting additional opportunities.
Actors Theatre Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein says the board will soon hire a search firm to find a new artistic director who meets the right criteria.
“A skillset in new play production and development because that is our core strength and what attracts people to us nationally and from around the world. And someone who will be a good person at developing relationships and being a goodspokesperson for the arts and for Actors Theatre in this community,” she says.
Actors Theatre of Louisville had a formal kickoff today for its 34th Humana Festival of New American Plays, which opens this week. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more. (Click on Listen to the story to hear the comments from members of all of the full-length productions in this year’s festival.) This year’s festival has seven full-length […]