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Actors Theatre of Louisville Sets Ten-Minute Play Lineup for 40th Humana Festival


Actors Theatre of Louisville Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein are delighted to announce the three ten-minute plays chosen to be performed during the 40th Humana Festival of New American Plays (March 2 - April 10, 2016) on Saturday, April 9 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m. This year's selected ten-minute plays are Coffee Break by Tasha Gordon-Solmon, This Quintessence of Dust by Cory Hinkle, and Trudy, Carolyn, Martha, and Regina Travel to Outer Space and Have a Pretty Terrible Time There by James Kennedy.

Tasha Gordon-Solmon's play Coffee Break was most recently produced at Actors Theatre this January as part of the Apprentice/Intern Tens, an evening of new ten-minute plays performed by the 2015-2016 Acting Apprentice Company. Along with Actors Theatre, her plays have been developed and produced at various other organizations, including Ars Nova and Clubbed Thumb. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post and other publications, and she is a Dramatists Guild Fellowship recipient.

Cory Hinkle has been named the winner of the 2015 Heideman Award for This Quintessence of Dust, also seen in this January's Apprentice/Intern Tens. Previously at Actors Theatre, Hinkle was one of the four commissioned writers for That High Lonesome Sound, which premiered during last season's Humana Festival, and the co-author of Fissures (lost and found) in the 2010 Humana Festival. His work has been produced and developed at the Guthrie Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, HERE Arts Center, and other venues. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the McKnight Advancement Grant and two Jerome Fellowships.

James Kennedy's play, Trudy, Carolyn, Martha, and Regina Travel to Outer Space and Have a Pretty Terrible Time There, premiered alongside Hinkle's and Gordon-Solmon's plays in January's Apprentice/Intern Tens. A current Actors Theatre directing intern, Kennedy has worked on various Apprentice/Intern Company projects throughout the 2015-16 Season, and has assisted directors on productions in the Brown-Forman Series and the Humana Festival. Playwriting honors include the Betsy Carpenter Playwriting Award and the Rod Parker Playwriting Fellowship.

Each year, Actors Theatre features an evening of ten-minute plays as part of the Humana Festival, culled from submissions to the National Ten-Minute Play Contest. The plays join a lineup that includes six full-length world premieres, including two new works commissioned by Actors Theatre. The Ten-Minute Plays are performed in the Pamela Brown Auditorium during the final weekend of the Humana Festival of New American Plays on Saturday, April 9 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling the Actors Theatre Box Office at 502.584.1205.

Actors Theatre celebrates the 40th Humana Festival with its underwriter, the Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana, Inc. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

The Ten-Minute Plays:

Coffee Break
by Tasha Gordon-Solmon
directed by Meredith McDonough

Is love written in the stars? Is it written in the coffee foam? Sometimes, it can be so hard to read the signs.

Tasha Gordon-Solmon's plays have been developed and produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville (The Tens), Dixon Place, Ars Nova, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and The Flea Theater. She is a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Fellowship, a member of the Clubbed Thumb Falcons Writers' Group, a lyricist in the BMI Workshop, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a member of the Project Y Playwrights Group, and an alumna of the Ars Nova Play Group. Her writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, The Dramatist and The Huffington Post. Gordon-Solmon received her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing at New York University and attended the National Theater Institute. She is a proud 52nd Street Project volunteer.

This Quintessence of Dust
by Cory Hinkle
directed by Les Waters

A play about that time when Jane went on vacation to Los Angeles to meet up with friends, but in a moment of weakness had coffee with her ex-boyfriend, Chip...and then the end of the world happened.

Cory Hinkle's Actors Theatre credits include That High Lonesome Sound (2015 Humana Festival) and Fissures (lost and found) (2010 Humana Festival). Hinkle's other plays have been produced and developed at the Guthrie Theater, the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, Jackalope Theatre, Cape Cod Theatre Project, HERE Arts Center, and the Southern Theater, among others. He co-ran the playwright-driven company Workhaus Collective from 2008 to 2012; is the recipient of a McKnight Advancement Grant, two Jerome Fellowships, a MAP Fund Grant, and the Jerome Travel and Study Grant; and is a former MacDowell Colony Fellow. He is an affiliated writer at the Playwrights' Center and a member of the Playwrights Union in Los Angeles. Hinkle received his M.F.A. from Brown University. More information is available at

Trudy, Carolyn, Martha, and Regina Travel to Outer Space and Have a Pretty Terrible Time There
by James Kennedy
directed by Jessica Fisch

A crew of astronauts share the quiet beauty of infinite space and a peaceful reflection on our place in the universe. But it's been nineteen weeks. And that's just about long enough.

James Kennedy is a directing intern at Actors Theatre this season, where he has directed members of the Acting Apprentice Company in Steve Moulds's The Wedding Guest, Cory Hinkle's This Quintessence of Dust (Apprentice/Intern Tens), and multiple solo performance projects. He served as the assistant director for Seven Guitars, A Christmas Carol, Peter and the Starcatcher, For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday, and Cardboard Piano. As a playwright, he has received the Betsy Carpenter Playwriting Award, the Rod Parker Playwriting Fellowship, and an award in Actors Theatre's in-house Small Starving Artist Contest. He has previously apprenticed with The Lark Play Development Center and HowlRound, and he is the Associate Director of The Orchard Project's Core Company. He received his B.A. from Emerson College. More information is available at

The involvement of the Humana Foundation in the Humana Festival of New American Plays is very important to us. We would greatly appreciate inclusion of its participation in your coverage. The Humana Festival represents the largest and longest-running active partnership between a corporation and a theatre in the United States.

Sponsored by Actors Theatre, the National Ten-Minute Play Contest is designed to discover outstanding ten-minute plays by writers at all levels of experience. All ten-minute plays submitted are considered for the Heideman Award ($1,000) and for production in the Apprentice/Intern Company's The Tens, as well as in the Humana Festival of New American Plays. For more information on the National Ten-Minute Play Contest, visit

The Heideman Award, given annually since 1979, is made possible by a sustaining grant from the late Ted Heideman of Louisville, and is bestowed upon the winners of the National Ten-Minute Play Contest.

The Humana Festival is an internationally acclaimed event that has introduced nearly 450 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 Marsha Norman's Getting Out, John Pielmeier's Agnes of God, Charles Mee's Big Love and The Glory of the World, Naomi Iizuka's Polaroid Stories and At the Vanishing Point, Jane Martin's Anton in Show Business, Rinne Groff's The Ruby Sunrise, Theresa Rebeck's The Scene, Gina Gionfriddo's After Ashley and Becky Shaw, UNIVERSES' Ameriville, Rude Mechs' The Method Gun, Jordan Harrison's Maple and Vine, Will Eno's Gnit , Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Appropriate, and Lucas Hnath's Death Tax and The Christians. More than 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 theatre lovers, journalists, and film and stage producers from around the world. About 36,000 patrons attend the five weeks of plays and associated events, including students from more than 50 colleges and universities. 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 52nd Season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, is the flagship arts organization in the Louisville community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein, Actors Theatre serves to unlock human potential, build community, and enrich quality of life by engaging people in theatre that reflects the wonder and complexity of our time.

Actors Theatre presents more than 350 performances annually and delivers a broad range of programming, including classics and contemporary work through the Brown-Forman Series, holiday plays, a series of free theatrical events produced by the Apprentice/Intern Company, and the Humana Festival of New American Plays-the premier new play festival in the nation, which has introduced nearly 450 plays into the American theatre repertoire over the past 40 years. In addition, Actors Theatre provides more than 15,000 arts experiences each year to students across the region through its Education Department, and boasts one of the nation's most prestigious continuing pre-professional resident training companies, now in its 44th year.

Over the past half-century, Actors Theatre has also emerged as one of America's most consistently innovative professional theatre companies, with an annual attendance of more than 140,000. Actors Theatre has been the recipient of some of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre, including a 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 has toured to 29 cities and 15 countries worldwide, totaling more than 1,400 appearances internationally. Currently, there are more than 50 published books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in circulation -- including anthologies of Humana Festival plays, volumes of ten-minute plays and monologues, and essays, scripts, and lectures from the Brown-Forman Classics in Context Festival. Numerous plays first produced at Actors Theatre have also been published as individual acting editions, and have been printed in many other anthologies, magazines, and journals -- making an enduring contribution to American dramatic literature.

For more, visit

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