“Humana Festival of New American Plays”

Critics Honor Humana Festival Play

by Erin Keane on April 1, 2012

On the final Saturday night of the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Actors Theatre of Louisville packs the Pamela Brown Auditorium for an evening of ten-minute plays. But first, the best of the previous year’s regional premieres are recognized.

The American Theatre Critics Association hands out a combined $40,000 from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust to honor the top three plays to premiere outside of New York City.

Playwright Yussef El Guindi won the $25,000 New Play Award for “Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World.” But it’s the wild applause greeting the announcement of A. Rey Pamatmat’s runner-up citation for “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” that nearly brings down the house. [click to continue…]

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“Michael von Siebenburg” Seeks Redemption in Smart, Dark Comedy

by Erin Keane March 26, 2012

You can’t go back to Constantinople, the song cautions. And anyway, according to 500-year-old Crusades survivor Michael von Siebenburg, “Christendom isn’t what it used to be.” What is? A man accepts that uncovering the secret to life everlasting means leaving behind all he once had. But now, not even the tender meat of the innocents […]

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“Oh, Gastronomy!” Serves a Feast for the Stage

by Erin Keane March 26, 2012

Take a director and a dramaturg with one big idea. Add five playwrights, 22 young actors, and at least one banjo to make “Oh, Gastronomy!,” this year’s witty and surprisingly touching Actors Theatre of Louisville apprentice showcase. Conceived by apprentice/intern company associate director Amy Attaway (who also directed) and literary manager Sarah Lunnie (dramaturg) and […]

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Humana Plays Look at the End of Life, and What Happens if There Isn’t One

by Laura Ellis March 24, 2012

With just over a week left in the Humana Festival of New American Plays, WFPL’s Erin Keane is still interviewing playwrights and giving us her take on the new work premiering at Actors Theatre. She joined us on Friday’s State of the News to review Lucas Hnath’s “Death Tax,” a psychological thriller about end-of-life issues […]

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Money Talks in Psychological Thriller “Death Tax”

by Erin Keane March 23, 2012

“Nobody does something for nothing,” Maxine states flatly from her hospital bed. That’s the golden rule for the characters of Lucas Hnath’s “Death Tax,” a dense psychological thriller centered around an elderly woman’s ability to manipulate her caretakers and family. Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, “Death Tax” premiered Thursday at Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 36th […]

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Man vs. Monster: “Michael Von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards” Playwright Talks Cost of Living for the Undead

by Erin Keane March 23, 2012

Baron Von Siebenburg is a man out of time. Immortality isn’t what it used to be for the 500-year-old vampire anti-hero of “Michael Von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards,” playwright Greg Kotis’s dark comedy premiering Saturday in the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. “It’s a play about a man […]

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Honesty Has Its Price in ‘Eat Your Heart Out’

by Erin Keane March 22, 2012

Honesty might be a virtue, but its price, vulnerability, proves steep for some in Courtney Baron’s “Eat Your Heart Out,” a forthright exploration of the demands of unfulfilled desire. Directed by Adam Greenfield, “Eat Your Heart Out” is the fourth play to open in the 36th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre […]

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Humana Festival Plays Feature Big Concepts and Small Moments

by Laura Ellis March 1, 2012

The 36th Humana Festival of New American Plays began last night at Actors Theatre of Louisville. WFPL’s Todd Mundt spoke with WFPL’s Erin Keane about the festival’s lineup, and the influence of new artistic director Les Waters.

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Humana Festival Play Examines Sinister Side of Customer Service

by Erin Keane March 1, 2012

Few critical terms are as overused as “Kafkaesque,” which has come to serve as shorthand for tedious bureaucratic snarls of all stripes. But Lisa Kron’s “The Ver**on Play,” a dark yet broad comedy about the hidden machinations and motivations of faceless corporations bent on crushing their customers’ spirits, does its best to live up to […]

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Humana Festival of New American Plays Opens at Actors Theatre

by Erin Keane March 1, 2012

It starts with a script that fights its way past nearly 1,000 competing stories to the top of the stack and onto the final bill. It ends with the thrill of discovery, as audiences experience the new work for the first time. The 36th Humana Festival of New American Plays opened Wednesday at Actors Theatre […]

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