Future of Theater Comes to Louisville

Jessica England

Humana Arts Festival draws in crowd from all over the world

Theatre lovers from around the world can get the first look at the future of American theatre at the 34th annual Humana Arts Festival presented by the Actors Theater of Louisville. This event, which is being hosted from February 21st to March 28th, has produced over 400 plays and 200 playwrights. This year, it will feature eleven plays funded by a generous donation from the Humana Foundation.

There are different show times and locations for each performance. The full calendar for the shows can be found on the Actors Theater website. Ticket prices for the shows range from $25 to $56, depending on the date and time of the event. Many of the productions are featured in the Bingham Theater in the Actors Theater of Louisville. This theater contains arena seating that, according to Actors Theater, “offers a deeply personal connection to the performance with an excellent view from all seats.”

Actors Theater provides different ticket packages for different audiences throughout the festival. Packages include single tickets, local’s passes, and alumni actors passes, among others.

The romantic comedy, Sirens, features a couple that travel to the Greek Isles for their 25th wedding anniversary in hopes to rekindle their relationship. However, the couple faces many experiences and obstacles during their stay. This play, directed by Casey Strangl and written by Deborah Zoe Laufer, is being shown throughout the festival. Erin Keane of the Louisville Courier Journal states that the “character and story — not to mention the romance — are alive and well in American theater” in response to Sirens performance on opening night of the festival.

Another performance, titles Fissures (Lost and Found), was directed by Dominique Serrand and written by Steve Epp, Cory Hinkle, Dominique Serrand, Deborah Stein, and Victoria Stewart. This play will show the audience how memories can change and become distorted over time.

Many special events, panels, and workshops are associated with the festival as well. One of these events, the Humana Festival Gala, will be held on March 27th at 10 pm in the Actors Theater lobby. This closing celebration will feature drinks, food, and talks with producers, directors, and critics.

The largely anticipated festival is happening now at Actors Theater. More than thirty foreign countries are represented at the festival every year and many of the plays have won Pulitzer prizes. Over 90 million Americans view the performances every year, putting the Humana Arts Festival on the map as a main source of entertainment, as well as the frontier for the future of theater.