LOUISVILLE, KY — Actors Theatre of Louisville and Executive Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming proudly announce the lineup of 2020–2021 virtual programming, presented through Actors Theatre Direct, the company’s multi-channel, transmedia approach to storytelling. Fleming shares,
“In envisioning a new season of work at this time in our community, we seek to rigorously reimagine how a 21st century theatre can be shared and of service to our Louisville and Kentuckiana family who are continuing to process the tragic murder of Breonna Taylor and a weekend of protests and violence, during the ongoing disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On June 12, we will present Fix It, Black Girl, an original curation of spoken word poetry, essay and song by Hannah L. Drake, Louisville-based and nationally-recognized poet, author and blogger, and a group of black female Louisville artists. This will be a free, virtual event to celebrate resilience and the power generated by a collective meditation on black women’s role in civic and social action.”
By investing in a multimedia, multiplatform strategy to share our storyworlds, be it audio, video, or animation, Actors Theatre’s innovative new digital season seeks to broaden access to our work while forging new pathways for imaginative interaction.
Robert Barry Fleming describes Actors Theatre’s approach to virtual programming:
“Actors Theatre is meeting this turbulent moment of global uncertainty and national unrest with a season of stories that meditate on historical legacy, the transformative nature of courage, conviction and hope. When informed by an inclusive spirit of adventure, great disruption can lead to prodigious periods of innovation and inspired strides in the development of new media have led to some extraordinary intersections with storytelling that have (r)evolutionized new and emerging technologies and, most importantly, their impact on deepening human connections. We are fully embracing this opportunity to indulge in hyper-theatricality through a transmedia approach where our story universes unfold on different platforms and give diverse audiences interactive and one-of-a-kind artistic experiences. I invite audiences to join us in this unprecedented moment of exploration: tell us what intrigues you, spread the word and join us as we iterate, innovate, entertain and envision the future of the American theatre.”
Chief External Relations Officer Patrick Owen shares what audiences can expect this season:
“In addition to experiencing a full menu of artistic offerings, we invite the Actors Theatre family to participate in conversation with weekly Facebook Live series ‘Actors Theatre Unscripted,’ a new podcast, ‘Borrowed Wisdom with Robert Barry Fleming,’ and new supplemental artistic content, resources and experiential activities like shared watch parties and talkbacks that we are designing to enhance audience engagement with the work. Next month, we will roll out flexible tiered subscription packages for on-demand access to the season’s projects. For each announced title, virtual single tickets will come on sale on a rolling schedule and will feature pay-what-you-can pricing levels and opportunities to engage with supplemental artistic content throughout the season.
By engaging in this new work as subscribers and ticket buyers, sharing it with others, and providing us feedback, audiences play a critical role in supporting the team of artists and staff at Actors Theatre. We are excited to go on this journey with you.”
- Fix It, Black Girl – By Hannah L. Drake
Featuring Erica Denise, Hannah L. Drake, Janelle Renee Dunn, Robin G, Sujotta Pace and Kala Ross.
June 12, 2020 at 7 p.m.“My sole purpose in speaking and writing is not that I entertain you. I am writing to shake a nation.” —Hannah L. DrakeHannah L. Drake, Louisville-based and nationally-recognized poet, author and blogger, presents Fix It, Black Girl, an original curation of spoken word poetry, essay and song performed by Drake and Louisville artists in a free, virtual event to celebrate resilience and the power generated by collective action.
- The Keep Going Song – created and performed by The Bengsons
Slated for Fall 2020Indie-folk duo Abigail and Shaun Bengson (Where the Mountain Meets the Sea) return to Actors Theatre with this intimate evening of storytelling through song. In the darkest times, people have long found solace in the sound of their shared voices around a small light, and The Bengsons humbly invite you to come lean into the small glow of your phones and computers as they explore living fully even in moments of fear, choosing to love fiercely, and cultivating joy as a form of personal activism.
- COVID-Classics: a collection of one-act plays for the age of quarantine slated for Fall 2020
This vibrant assortment of short plays brings together tales from trailblazing writers whose creative experiments redefined the possibilities of theatre in moments of seismic change. Reimagining works by master dramatists Anton Chekhov, Luigi Pirandello, August Strindberg, and surrealist writer Guillaume Apollinaire, this lively, eclectic collection reaches into the past and finds surprising echoes in the present.
- Where Did We Sit on the Bus? – by Brian Quijada directed by Matt Dickson
Slated for Fall 2020During a third-grade lesson on Rosa Parks, a Latinx child wonders: where did my people sit on the bus? Infused with an energetic mix of rap, hip-hop, and spoken word, this one-person show captures the experience of growing up in an immigrant family, searching for a place in American history and finding identity in making art.
- Fifth Third Bank’s Dracula: A Radio Play – inspired by Orson Welles and John Houseman’s radio adaptation of the novel by Bram Stoker; new adaptation by Hannah Rae Montgomery and Jenni Page-White; executive producer Dan Gediman; directed by Robert Barry Fleming; sound design by Sue Zizza
Slated for Fall 2020Join the hunt for the world’s most infamous vampire! Inspired by master of suspense Orson Welles’s innovative broadcast, this electrifying listening experience comes to bloodsucking life with the talents of Actors Theatre’s creative team, in collaboration with award-winning radio professionals. Tune in for a spine-chilling trip to Transylvania that you won’t soon forget!
- Fifth Third Bank’s A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play – based on the novella by Charles Dickens; adapted by Amy Wegener; executive producer Dan Gediman; directed by Robert Barry Fleming; sound design by Sue Zizza; slated for Winter 2020This holiday season, Actors Theatre brings Dickens’s tale of redemption, connection, and generosity into your home for the whole family to enjoy. This spirited listening experience, brought to life by our creative team in collaboration with award-winning radio professionals, is infused with all the hearty laughs and abundant good cheer that make this story a cherished Christmas classic.
- Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End – by Allison Engel and Margaret Engel
Slated for Winter 2021With wisecracking charm, iconic humorist Erma Bombeck takes us through her journey from homemaker, to popular syndicated columnist, to feminist crusader and more. Starring Louisville-based performer Jessica Wortham, this one-woman show is a frank, poignant look at Bombeck’s ambition to define herself beyond the roles of wife and mother—while still embracing how these “ordinary” things can bring extraordinary joy.
- Romeo and Juliet – by William Shakespeare; directed by Robert Barry Fleming; part of the Bingham Signature Shakespeare Series
Slated for Winter 2021Romeo and Juliet, the children of sworn enemies, dare to imagine a world where hearts are not ruled by hatred. Featuring a cast that reflects a multiplicity of racial, ethnic and gender identities, this passion-filled interpretation explores the entrenched divisions that animate contemporary American culture—and the tragic cost of intolerance.
- The 45th Humana Festival of New American Plays – Full lineup to be announced at a later date
Production slated for Spring 2021.
- Ali Summit – by Idris Goodwin; directed by Robert Barry Fleming; developed with a multidisciplinary team of artists; commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of the 45th Humana Festival of New American Plays
Slated for Spring 2021.In 1967, world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali met with a group of the top black athletes in the country, who questioned him about his conscientious objection to serving in the Vietnam War. In this new play with deep local roots, acclaimed playwright and poet Idris Goodwin explores a defining moment in the story of a Louisville icon, collaborating with Actors Theatre to catalyze a dynamic community-building initiative.Ali Summit is supported by a Building Demand for the Arts grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
About Actors Theatre of Louisville
Robert Barry Fleming, Executive Artistic Director
Now in its 57th Season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, is the flagship arts organization in the Louisville community. 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.
More information on season packages and more available at ActorsTheatre.org