Actors Theatre of Louisville to Open 37th Humana Festival with Sam Mark's THE DELLING SHORE, 2/27

February 14
5:43 PM 2013


The 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays, made possible by a generous grant from the Humana Foundation, opens with the world premiere of Sam Mark's The Delling Shore, directed by Actors Theatre's associate artistic director Meredith McDonough. The Delling Shore is playing in the Bingham Theatre and begins previews on February 27, opens March 1 and runs through April 7. Tickets are on sale now to the public and can be purchased at The Actors Theatre Box Office by calling 502-584-1205 or online at The Delling Shore was developed, in part, with the assistance of The Sundance Institute Theatre Program.

From the moment Frank Bay and his daughter Adrianne arrive at Thomas Wright's secluded lake house, Thomas andhisdaughter are out to get them. Thomas' writing has brought him fame and fortune, but fellow novelist Frank still struggles to find a foothold in the literary world for himself and for Adrianne, also an aspiring author. Over the course of one fraught evening, as the men confront their professional jealousies and personal failures, their offspring are drawn inexorably into the fray-and words become weapons.

Sam Marks, who was chosen as one of "50 Playwrights to Watch" by The Dramatist Magazine,will make his Actors Theatre debut with The Delling Shore. He received his Off-Broadway debut with The Joke at Studio Dante, directed by Sam Gold. His plays have been workshopped at The Atlantic Theater, The Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Manhattan Theater Club, New York Theater Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, The Rattlestick Theater, The Vineyard and many others. Marks' other works include The Old Masters, Brack's Last Bachelor Party, The Joke, Nelson, The Bigger Man and Craft. He holds an MFA in playwriting from Brown University.

Meredith McDonough recently made her directorial debut as associate artistic director at Actors Theatre of Louisville with The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez. She previously co-directed Back Story and Heaven and Hell (On Earth) at Actors Theatre, as well as numerous shortplays in the Humana Festival. Some of her credits include serving as Director of New Works at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, developing work with theater companies across the nation and serving as Associate Artistic Directorof The Orchard Project. She is also a Drama League Fellow, alum of The Women's Project Directors Laband a Kesselring Award Panelist. McDonough received her M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego, where she studied with Actors Theatre Artistic Director Les Waters.

The cast includes Jim Frangione (Thomas) who has held roles at Long Wharf Theater, Merrimack Rep, Geva Theater, Alley Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, Mark Taper Forum and on Broadway. Bruce McKenzie (Frank) is returning to Actors after appearing in the first show of the 2012-2013 Season, Romeo and Juliet. Catherine Combs (Adrianne) is also returning after performing in Adam Rapp's The Edge of Our Bodies during the 35th Humana Festival and has held roles in major films such as The Blind Side and 13 Going on 30. Meredith Forlenza (Ellen) has appeared in the Broadway Productions A Behanding in Spokane and Pal Joey and is making her Actors Theatre debut.

The production team includes Daniel Zimmerman (Scenic Designer) whose work was last seen at Actors in Romeo and Juliet and Lorraine Venburg (Costume Designer) whose most recent work at Actors was for The Whipping Man. Russell H. Champa (Co-lighting Designer) will be designing for Actors for the first time and his credits include In The Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) and Julia Sweeney's God Said, "Ha!" on Broadway. Dani Clifford (Co-lighting Designer) is returning to Actors after working on several shows including ReEntry and Cruising the Divide. We also welcome back Benjamin Marcum (Sound Designer) who has been designing sound at Actors Theatre of Louisville for 11 years.

This year's Humana Festival of New American Plays runs February 27-April 7 and showcases six full-length plays: The Delling Shore by Sam Marks; Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; Cry Old Kingdom by Jeff Augustin; Gnit by Will Eno; O Guru Guru Guru, or why I don't want to go to yoga class with you by Mallery Avidon; Sleep Rock Thy Brain, a play by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn commissioned by Actors Theatre and featuring the Acting Apprentice Company and an evening of three ten-minute plays: 27 Ways I Didn't Say "Hi" to Laurence Fishburne by Jonathan Josephson,Two Conversations Overheard on Airplanes by Sarah Ruhl and Halfway by Emily Schwend.

Single tickets and festival packages are now available. For more information or reservations call (502) 584-1205 or 1-800-4-ATL-TIX, or visit Actors Theatre's website at

Humana Festival Locals Passes are available to Louisville area residents for only $75. The Locals Pass enables you to see five festival productions on your terms. Humana Pass holders receive 5 Extra Seat Passes for The Delling Shore, Cry Old Kingdom, Appropriate, Gnit, and the Ten-Minute Plays. Humana Pass holders also receive: 50% off any additional tickets to the festival, priority placement in the Extra Seat Pass Line and 2 additional vouchers good for any public panel discussion.

Sam Marks' (The Delling Shore) plays include The Old Masters, produced in Steppenwolf's First Look Repertory of New Work and directed by Daniel Aukin, and Brack's Last Bachelor Party, which received its world premiere from Babel Theatre Project at 59E59 Theaters. Marks received his Off-Broadway debut with The Joke at Studio Dante, directed by Sam Gold. His plays have been workshopped at The Atlantic Theater, The Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Manhattan Theater Club, New York Theater Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, The Rattlestick Theater, The Vineyard and many others. Marks was chosen as one of "50 Playwrights to Watch" by The Dramatist Magazine. Other New York productions include Nelson and The Bigger Man (Partial Comfort Productions), and Craft (The Bat Theater Company). He holds an MFA in playwriting from Brown University.

Meredith McDonough (Director,The Delling Shore) joined Actors Theatre as associateartistic director in September 2012. McDonough previously co-directed Back Story and Heaven and Hell (On Earth) as well as numerous short plays in the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Most recently, McDonough has been the Director of New Works at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, where she directed the world premieres of Laura Schellhardt's Upright Grand and Auctioning the Ainsleys, as well as Now Circa Then, [title of show] and Opus (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards:Best Director and Best Production). Other San Francisco credits include A Steady Rain at Marin Theatre Company,The Lily's Revenge and the premiere of Anna Ziegler's Another Way Home at the Magic Theatre.Regionally, favorites include Fair Use (SteppenwolfTheatre Company), Eurydice (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Hazard County (Actor's Express) and Washington, D.C.'s premiere ofthe musical Summer of '42. In New York City, McDonough has developed work with Roundabout Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, Keen Company and Ars Nova. She was the Associate Artistic Director of The Orchard Project and was the New Works Director for the National Alliance forMusical Theatre, a Drama League Fellow, alum of The Women's Project Directors Lab and a Kesselring Award Panelist. McDonough received her B.S. from Northwestern University and her M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego, where she studied with Actors Theatre Artistic Director Les Waters.

Jim Frangione (Thomas-The Delling Shore) has appeared in The Front Page at Long Wharf Theatre, The Pursuit of Happiness and The Seafarer at Merrimack Repertory, American Buffalo at Berkshire Theater Festival and Geva Theatre, Oleanna (the original New York production) at the Alley Theater and also the National Tour, and Romance at New York's Atlantic Theater Company and Mark Taper Forum. Broadway: The Old Neighborhood,The Night Heron, Hobson's Choice, Edmond, Sea of Tranquility and Hellhound on My Trail (Atlantic Theatre Company). Film: Transamerica, Spartan, Heist, State and Main, The Spanish Prisoner, Homicide, Suits, Claire Dolan, Maryam, Frozen Impact and The Last Days of May. Television: Brotherhood, The Unit, Law & Order (original, SVU and CI). Additional Credits: Frangione is co-artistic director of The Berkshire Playwrights Lab in Great Barrington, Mass.

Bruce McKenzie (Frank-The Delling Shore) At ActorsTheatre: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Noises Off, Othello, Polaroid Stories, Aloha Say the Pretty Girls, At theVanishing Point and The Blue Room. Selected Regional Credits: Curse of the Starving Class (Wilma Theatre),Three Sisters (Yale Repertory),The Hopper Collection (Huntington Theatre), Big Love (Goodman Theatre), Skin, Krapp's Last Tape (Dallas Theatre Center), Fetes de la Nuit, Homebody/Kabul, Concerning Strange Devices...(Berkeley Repertory), Iago in Othello, Angelo in Measure For Measure (California Shakespeare Theatre), The Tempest, Wintertime, Paris Commune and Current Nobody (La Jolla Playhouse). Selected New York Credits: The Farnsworth Invention (Music Box), Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire,True Love (New York Theatre Workshop), Marlowe's Eye (Theatre at St. Clements/Tectonic Theatre) and Big Love (BAM Next Wave Festival). Additional Credits: McKenzie plays music in three outfits: Maquiladora (sweet, tweaked acid-folk), Buzz Or Howl (free-form psychedelic noise unit), and a solo incarnation, Peckinpah (blissed-out dronefolkambientamericana). With these he has toured Europe twice and Japan four times, and has released records in five countries.

Catherine Combs (Adrianne-The DellingShore) At Actors Theatre: Bernadette in The Edge ofOur Bodies, dir. Adam Rapp, part of the 2011 Humana Festival.Regional Theatre: Hamlet and A MidsummerNight's Dream (Santa Susanna Repertory Company) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Kingsmen Players). Other Theatre: Manner house Manor and Chickspeare along with numerous other improvised shows at the National Comedy Theatre in Los Angeles. Film: The Blind Side and 13 Going on 30. Television: The Mentalist (CBS).

Meredith Forlenza (Ellen-The Delling Shore) Broadway: A Behanding in Spokane and Pal Joey. Off-Broadway: Completeness, All-American and A Contemporary American's Guide to a Successful Marriage.Other Theatre: Steel Magnolias, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. Film: Not Fade Away and Hannah Has a Ho-Phase. Television: Mercy, Guiding Light and As the World Turns. Additional Credits: Forlenza graduated from Northwestern University.

The Humana Festival is an internationally acclaimed event that has introduced more than 400 plays into the American and interNational Theatre's general repertoire, including three Pulitzer Prize winners-The Gin Game by D. L. Coburn, Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley and Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies-as well as Rinne Groff's The Ruby Sunrise, Jane Martin's Anton in Show Business, Charles L. Mee's Big Love, Theresa Rebeck's The Scene, Gina Gionfriddo's After Ashley and Becky Shaw, UNIVERSES' Ameriville, Jordan Harrison's Maple and Vine, Stephen Belber's Tape and The Civilians' This Beautiful City. Over 380 Humana Festival plays have been published in anthologies and individual acting editions, making Actors Theatre a visible and vital force in the development of new plays.

The Humana Festival is the premier event of its kind in the nation, drawing audiences of nearly 40,000 last year. For the past 36 years, hundreds of the industry's most distinguished leaders, producers, critics and admirers have descended upon Louisville for a month-long celebration of new writing for the stage. The Festival culminates in two industry weekends which bring together a collection of amazing new plays with one-of-a-kind panels, cocktail parties, discussions and networking events. It is the perfect opportunity to see new work, make new connections and support the creation of new American theatre.

Now in its 49th season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, has emerged as one of America's most consistently innovative professional theatre companies. For more than 30 years, it has been a major force in revitalizing American playwriting. Its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays is recognized as the premier event of its kind and draws producers, journalists, critics, playwrights and theatre lovers from around the world for a marathon of new works. More than 380 plays from Actors Theatre have been published, making them available to producers and readers, and creating a significant addition to the nation's dramatic literature. Actors Theatre's programming includes a broad range of classical and contemporary work, presenting more than 500 performances each season. The company performs annually to nearly 200,000 people and is the recipient of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre: a special Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement, the James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and the Margo Jones Award for the Encouragement of New Plays. Actors Theatre's international appearances include performances in 29 cities in 15 foreign countries. Currently, there are 40 books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in publication and circulation.

Actors Theatre of Louisville is located at 316 W. Main St, Louisville KY. The 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays runs Feb. 27 - April 7, 2013. For more information, visit

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