Works by Will Eno, Sarah Ruhl and More Set for Actors Theatre of Louisville's 37th Humana Festival; Lineup Announced!


Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein have announced the lineup of plays, playwrights and directors for the 37th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, running February 27–April 7, 2013. The Festival, underwritten for the 33rd consecutive year by the Louisville-based Humana Foundation, will feature fully-produced world premieres by Jeff Augustin, Mallery Avidon, Will Eno, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Sam Marks; a suite of three one-act plays by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn commissioned by Actors Theatre and performed by the Acting Apprentice Company; and an evening of ten-minute plays featuring a new play by Sarah Ruhl, among others yet to be announced.

"Actors Theatre is honored to be able to provide a supportive space for playwrights to develop their work, and to know that the Humana Festival directly impacts the theatrical landscape on both a local and national level," said Les Waters, Artistic Director. "From renowned playwrights like Will Eno, Rinne Groff and Sarah Ruhl, to emerging writers Jeff Augustin and Mallery Avidon, who'll see their work produced on this scale for the first time, the Humana Festival proudly celebrates the strength and diversity in American playwriting today."

Under the new artistic leadership of nationally acclaimed director Les Waters, a recognized champion of important new theatrical voices, Actors Theatre celebrates its 37th Humana Festival. A pioneer in the field of new play production, Actors Theatre has grown the Humana Festival from a trailblazing theatre event into one of the most prestigious showcases of new work in the country. It boasts a legacy of having introduced more than 400 plays into the American theatre repertoire, and remains a vital platform for launching new plays and playwrights to the national stage with an impressive track record of numerous subsequent productions.

Jennifer Bielstein, Actors Theatre's Managing Director, said,"With the generous support of The Humana Foundation, the Festival continues to be a defining force in the ecology of the American theatre, creating a gathering space for lively conversation and a highly influential launch pad for numerous plays and playwrights. Drawing audiences of almost 40,000 each year, the Humana Festival is a standout event on the cultural calendar. Last year's Humana Festival attracted visitors from 32 states and 5 countries, further evidence that our strong investment in new play production is vital to our local, national and international arts communities."

This year's Festival program will feature (in chronological order of opening):

Full-length world premieres:

The Delling Shore by Sam Marks
directed by Associate Artistic Director Meredith McDonough
Over the course of one fraught evening at a country lake house, two feuding novelists confront their professional jealousies-and their personal failures-as their daughters are caught in the fray.

Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
directed by Gary Griffin When three siblings descend upon a former plantation to liquidate their dead father's estate, a disturbing discovery among his possessions brings a heated family reunion to an outright boil. A play about family secrets, memory loss, and the art of repression.

Cry Old Kingdom by Jeff Augustin
directed by Tom Dugdale Haiti, 1964. When an artist in hiding persuades a young man to pose for a painting, he feels alive for the first time in years. But under a repressive regime, with revolution brewing, no one's life is safe.

Gnit by Will Eno
directed by Artistic Director Les Waters
Step right up! See the amazing Not-Very-Good Man! Watch as he crams a lifetime of bad moves into under two hours! Revel in your own sense of somehow being better!

O Guru Guru Guru, or why I don't want to go to yoga class with you by Mallery Avidon
directed by Lila Neugebauer
Lila grew up in an ashram, but she does not want to go to yoga class with you. A disarming look at the precarious process of becoming yourself.

Sleep Rock Thy Brain by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn
conceived by Amy Attaway and Sarah Lunnie
directed by Amy Attaway
The mind at night is anything but quiet. Three daring playwrights and the Acting Apprentice Company let their imaginations take flight, harnessing science and spectacle to explore the rich complexities of the sleeping brain.

Plus an evening of Ten-Minute Plays, including Two Conversations Overheard on Airplanes by Sarah Ruhl.

For full length descriptions of the 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays world premiere lineup and biographies of each of the playwrights and directors, click HERE.

The program of Ten-Minute Plays is still under consideration and the full bill, culled from Actors Theatre's National Ten-Minute Play Contest, will be announced in January.

Productions are presented in rotating repertory in all three theatres at Actors Theatre's downtown complex-the 633-seat Pamela Brown Auditorium, 318-seat Bingham Theatre and 159-seat Victor Jory Theatre. In addition, Sleep Rock Thy Brain, commissioned by Actors Theatre and featuring the Acting Apprentice Company, will be performed at the Owsley Brown II Theater at Lincoln Performing Arts School, located a mile east of Actors Theatre's downtown complex.

The 2013 Humana Festival schedule also features special Industry Weekend Packages, networking opportunities, discussions, and celebrations, making Louisville the place to be in American theatre this spring.

Single tickets for the 2013 Humana Festival of New American Plays go on sale November 15. For residents of Louisville and Southern Indiana, Actors Theatre is offering the Humana Festival Locals Pass. The Locals Pass is just $75 and includes access to 5 Festival productions and 2 panel discussions, with the flexibility to select show dates and times.

Actors Theatre celebrates the 37th 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.

37th Humana Festival Artwork Commission: Designer Penelope Dullaghan has been commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville to create the poster artwork for the 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays. Dullaghan is an illustrator who started her freelance career after a five-year stint as an art director. Since then, she has worked with a variety of clients including Oprah, Starbucks and Target, and has been recognized by Communication Arts, 3x3 Magazine, Society of Illustrators LA and Print Magazine. Dullaghan chronicles her artistic development at her website,, and heads up and contributes to a weekly creative outlet and participatory art exhibit: Dullaghan currently works and lives in North Carolina with her writer husband and three-year-old daughter.

37th Humana Festival of New American Plays Events:

Numerous community-wide events will be held throughout the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Some highlights include:

February 26, 6 p.m.-37th Humana Festival of New American Plays Opening Party and Kickoff Celebration. Free to the public.

March 2, 7 p.m.- Behind-the-Scenes Tech event for Appropriate

March 12, 7 p.m.-Behind-the-Scenes Tech event for Gnit

March 21, 10 p.m.-Cocktails with the Cast event for Gnit

March 30, 10.30 p.m.-Soiree at Hillbilly Tea in partnership with the Motherlodge Festival

April 6, 9 p.m. - American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) presents the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and Citations followed by the Ten-Minute Plays.

April 6, 10 p.m.- Humana Festival Gala


College Days (March 22-24): An energizing opportunity to enjoy fresh new work during this educational weekend that hosts the theatre professionals of tomorrow. Get inspired by new work and new leaders. You can also take advantage of package perks such as guaranteed reserved seating and great hotel discounts. For more information, contact Sarah Peters at (502) 585-1210 or

Theatre Industry Weekends: Join us for one of two customized weekends for industry professionals, press, producers, directors and agents-the ultimate experience of the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Receive the best available seats, exclusive benefits and Actors Theatre of Louisville's exceptional hospitality. There is no better place to gain inspiration through a continuing conversation with your peers. The Festival creates an atmosphere of exchange, stimulation and devotion to new writing that makes it one of the nation's great theatrical events.

Industry Weekend # 1 (March 29-31): An engaging theatre retreat, this is an intimate weekend with theatre professionals and enthusiasts alike. Meet others who share your interest in great theatre and take advantage of the many exclusive Festival benefits, including networking events, shuttle service and discounted hotel rates.

Industry Weekend # 2 (April 5-7): A marathon weekend of world premieres that attracts the theatre industry's elite. It's fast-paced playgoing at its finest, with Festival benefits that include networking events, shuttle service, discounted hotel rates and the closing Gala.

For more information on Industry Weekend packages, contact Stephanie Spalding at (502) 584-1265 or If you are planning on attending an Industry Weekend, note that the Ten-Minute Plays are running April 6 & 7 only.

Humana Festival single ticket prices start at $25. Tickets will be available to Season Ticket Holders as ofNovember 12. Single Tickets and Festival Packages go on sale to the general public on November 15. For information or reservations call (502) 584-1205 or 800-4-ATL-TIX, or visit our website at

Humana Festival Locals Pass. Locals Passes can be used throughout the run of the Festival, and enable you to attend two panel discussions and see 5 Humana Festival productions that are staged in the Bingham Theatre and the Pamela Brown Auditorium on an Extra Seat Pass basis. Passes are only $75 and will go on sale November 15, 2012.

New Play Getaway packages offer you a unique opportunity to see a variety of Humana Festival plays over a weekend. Whether you are looking for a leisurely weekend in Louisville, a marathon of theatergoing or something in between, Actors Theatre has a package for you. For more information, contact Sarah Peters at (502) 585-1210 or

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 Charles L. Mee's Big Love, Jane Martin's Anton in Show Business, Stephen Belber's Tape, Rinne Groff's The Ruby Sunrise, Theresa Rebeck's The Scene, Gina Gionfriddo's After Ashley and Becky Shaw, The Civilians' This Beautiful City, UNIVERSES' Ameriville, Rude Mechs' The Method Gun, and Jordan Harrison's Maple and Vine. 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 almost 40 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 350 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.

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