Actors Theatre of Louisville

The Cinema at the Speed Art Museum: Aug.-Sept. 2019

One of the great treasures for the thinking community in Louisville is the 138-seat Cinema that opened as part of the Speed Art Museum’s expansion. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including 16mm, 35mm and DCI-compliant 4K digital projection systems, the venue screens films that otherwise would never be shown locally. Look for features that offer the Cinema+ experience, where after-screening talks and conversations feature artists and filmmakers tied to the projects. Here are shows scheduled for August and September 2019.

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Playwright Idris Goodwin talks ‘Hype Man’ and the BLM movement

Hype Man is one of Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production for the 2019-2020 season. The hip-hop centric drama touches on issues of race, class and music. Here’s what playwright Idris Goodwin had to say Actors’ resident dramaturg, Hannah Rae Montgomery.

Hannah Rae Montgomery: What inspired you to write Hype Man?

Idris Goodwin: On a basic level, Hype Man is about a band. It’s a workplace drama, the business just happens to be rap music.

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It’s never too early to count down for the Count … Dracula, that is

Labor Day barbecue menus haven’t even been planned yet, but already we’re ramping up for Halloween. The U.S.’s second-favorite holiday (spending for it falls behind only our spree at Christmas) seems to get our attention earlier each year. And if you live in Louisville, the first whiffs of pumpkin spice means one thing: Fifth Third Bank’s “Dracula” is stirring, ready to storm from the cave for a flight and a bite at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

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Warmed by the ‘Ring of Fire’

May I confess to you that my relationship to Johnny Cash has always been a bit on the cold side? I grew up in the ’60s in a home where Hee Haw was forced on my pre-teen self the way some kids were routinely dosed with cod liver oil. Neither leaves a pleasant taste when you’re 6 and would rather suck on Dum Dums and turn the dial to whatever was on Channel 41.

In fact, no one who might have appeared on either side of Grandpa Jones’ reciting the components of the night’s dinner menu, or who might sit in for a robust interlude of picking and grinning, stood much of a chance of being endeared to me.

“Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” reminds me of how much I’ve missed over the years.

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Actors Theatre of Louisville Announces New Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming

Robert Barry Fleming will join Actors Theatre of Louisville as Artistic Director. The appointment was announced Monday by Mac Thompson, President of the Board of Directors, and Managing Director Kevin E. Moore. Fleming comes to Louisville by way of Cleveland where he serves as Associate Artistic Director of Cleveland Play House; previously, he was the Director of Artistic Programming at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. His tenure at Actors Theatre begins June 1, 2019.

Fleming will be the theatre’s fifth Artistic Director, joining a lineage of distinguished leaders who have guided this nationally-recognized theatre. He comes to the appointment with a varied portfolio and substantial experience as an artistic leader, producer, director, choreographer, performer, teacher and coach. Fleming is also a native Kentuckian raised in the state capitol of Frankfort, about an hour from Actors Theatre in downtown Louisville.Fleming says, “To come home and lead this singular organization with its distinguished legacy of artistic excellence is humbling and simply mind-blowing. I look forward to being a part of the collaborative, radically humanizing and inclusive artistic work at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

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Actors Theatre of Louisville Presents: Pipeline – January 8 – February 2, 2019 – Bingham Theatre

Before rehearsals for Pipeline began, director Steve H. Broadnax III shared what he loves about Dominique Morisseau’s writing, and why he’s excited to return to Actors Theatre and bring this play to life for Louisville audiences.

“I am one of the primary directors of Dominique Morisseau’s work, and she’s also a friend of mine. I just love her voice. It ’s a voice of activism, one that gives a platform to communities who aren’t often heard—especially African-American communities and the working class. Every time I see or work on one of her plays, I’m very moved. She’s amazing!

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Actors Theatre of Louisville Presents: Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin – January 29 – February 17, 2019 – Pamela Brown Auditorium

Overview: Join us on a music-filled journey through the legendary career of Irving Berlin, starring virtuosic performer Hershey Felder. From Berlin’s humble beginnings to hitting it big writing for Broadway and Hollywood, Felder offers a lively portrait of the composer as a Jewish immigrant, American patriot, and devoted husband. Featuring cherished standards such as “God Bless America” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin melds story and song in a love letter to a man whose work helped define our national songbook.

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The Corpse Washer – March 1–April 7 – Actors Theatre’s 43rd Humana Festival of New American Plays – Bingham Theatre

In an Iraq beset by decades of war and occupation, Jawad faces a difficult choice. Must he follow in his father’s footsteps washing the bodies of the dead—an honored Muslim tradition—or can he pursue his dreams of being an artist? Adapted from Iraqi writer Sinan Antoon’s award-winning novel, The Corpse Washer is a haunting portrait of a young man coming of age and a society’s fight for survival, in a country where life and death are inextricably intertwined.

Audience advisory: Contains strong language and discussion of war violence.
Age recommendation: 16+

adapted for the stage by Ismail Khalidi and Naomi Wallace
from the novel of the same name by Sinan Antoon
directed by Mark Brokaw
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville

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“Everybody Black” – Actors Theatre’s 43rd Humana Festival of New American Plays – March 19 – April 7 at Pamela Brown Auditorium

When some wealthy white folks offer a big paycheck, a black historian agrees to write the definitive version of The Black Experience™. The problem is, the historian has never met another black person. What emerges is a blisteringly funny satire filled with unforgettable characters, including a brazen Barack Obama here to set the record straight, and a talk show about black people addicted to dating white people. With searing wit and bold candor, Everybody Black explores how we chronicle—and make sense of—Black History.

by Dave Harris
directed by Awoye Timpo

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Bourbon Classic Announces Returns to Louisville in 2019 – Tickets Available Now!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Audience502 partner, the Bourbon Classic, is excited to announce their return to Louisville to celebrate the best of Bourbon at its seventh annual event, February 20 – 23, 2019.

Highlights will include Top Shelf, a tasting event featuring Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon, Cocktail and Culinary Challenge, showcasing classic and contemporary Bourbon cocktails paired with a chef’s Bourbon-themed culinary complement, Bourbon University, breakout classes focused on a variety of bourbon-themed topics; and TASTE, which will provide ample opportunities for the public to sample top brands of Bourbon, food pairings from featured restaurants and Bourbon-inspired products.

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Actors Theatre Presents The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Actors Theatre of Louisville is thrilled to announce the upcoming production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time from September 18 – October 10, 2018, presented as part of the Brown-Forman Series. In this Tony Award-winning adaptation of the bestselling novel, autistic teenager Christopher investigates the mysterious death of his neighbor’s dog after he’s wrongly accused of the crime.

Tenacious and intelligent, Christopher is an autistic teenager who’s better at solving equations than reading social cues, and he sometimes struggles to navigate a world that’s stubbornly out of sync with how his mind works. But when his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he dares to strike out on his own, embarking on a thrilling adventure in this Tony Award-winning adaptation of the bestselling novel.

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How ‘A Christmas Carol’ Became A Holiday Classic

The long-standing annual Holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, is underway at Actors Theatre now through December 23rd. Here is a look back at the famous play and how Charles Dickens created what would become a classic tradition and the Invention of Christmas.

When Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in 1843, Christmas wasn’t a major holiday in England. It had become somewhat unfashionable among the middle and upper classes, and the working-class families who did celebrate it barely had time to do so—Ebenezer Scrooge’s reluctance to give Bob Cratchit a day off was no exaggeration!

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David Sedaris and The Santaland Diaries – Actors Theatre through Dec. 23

What has become one of the most popular holiday performances at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Santaland Diaries brings great humor to the season through December 23rd.

The play was written by David Sedaris, before he became a bestselling author, who once survived by working odd jobs where he could find the opportunity. He picked apples in Oregon. He reinforced the edges of window screens with a stapler (to keep squirrels from invading attics) in Chicago. He cleaned apartments in New York City. And, broke and jobless after first moving to the Big Apple, he got a gig playing an elf at Macy’s “SantaLand,” which would inspire his beloved and hilariously biting personal essay, “Santaland Diaries.””

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Scene by Audience: Dracula Premier – September 7, 2018 – Actors Theatre

The premier of Dracula is always one of the most anticipated nights of the season at Actors Theatre. Derived by Bram Stoker in 1897 as a novel, it has been transformed into one of the stage classics and a tradition passage to the fall Halloween season.

Guests came dressed to impressed to this year’s premier on September 7th, and were thrilled from the scenes of Dr. Seward’s sanatorium and environs in Purley, England.

Performances run through October 31st and tickets are available at Actors Theatre.

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Louisville’s Favorite Vampire is Back! Actors Theatre Hosts Annual Community Blood Drive on Sept 5 and Dracula begins Sept 7

Overview: Actors Theatre of Louisville and Managing Director Kevin E. Moore are thrilled to announce the return of Fifth Third Bank’s Dracula, in the Bingham Theatre from September 7 – October 31, 2018. With fangs bared and eyes aglow, Louisville’s favorite vampire is back! Based on Bram Stoker’s gothic tale of the immortal Transylvanian count and his unexpectedly feisty human prey, this fast-paced, fright-filled adaptation is a Halloween treat that drips with suspense—and even more blood.

For over 20 years, Actors Theatre has brought this exhilarating, high-stakes vampire adventure to Louisville audiences and this year is no exception. 

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Show Spotlight: The Making of Dracula – Sept. 7-Oct. 31 @ Actors Theatre

Dracula is one of the most recognized vampire stories in history. The plot derives from an 1897 novel by Irish author, Abraham Stoker and tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse.

Stoker was born in 1847 in a seaside town north of Dublin, Ireland and suffered a mysterious ailment in his childhood which kept him unable to walk until he was seven. Both of his parents were storytellers: his father, a civil servant, told vivid tales about the theatre. His mother told him Irish folk tales as well as stories from her childhood—stories about drinking the blood of the family cow for nourishment during the Potato Famine and about the cholera epidemic of 1832, during which some victims were mistaken for dead and buried alive.

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