“At Actors Theatre, we believe in stories that create a space for joy, healing, and transformation,” said executive artistic director Robert Barry Fleming in a statement. “As a native son of the Commonwealth, my artistry is informed and defined by the contradictions and of that which is both urban and rural and my artistic vision roots itself in the unique and inspired spirit of 21st-century Appalachia—the cultural crossroads of Kentuckiana. Together we reimagine the regional theatre as a vibrant community meeting place, where sensational performances ignite and connect us all, whoever and wherever we might be on our journey.”
The season will open with Chasin’ Dem Blues: Untold Story of Paramount Records (June 17-Aug. 2), written, directed, and choreographed by Kevin Ramsey. The musical, featuring four actor-musicians, goes back to the 1920s to celebrate the blues and jazz pioneers who changed the landscape of American music.
Next up will be the return of Dracula (Sept. 8-Nov. 1), adapted by William McNulty from the Bram Stoker novel about the immortal Transylvanian vampire. Drew Fracher will direct this production, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.
Following will be Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias (Sept. 23-Oct. 11). Leah C. Gardiner will direct this story about the women who gather in a small Louisiana salon as they support each other through good times and bad.
Brian Quijada’s Where Did We Sit on the Bus (Nov. 4-Dec. 6) will be next. This one-man show, told with a mix of rap, hip-hop, spoken word, and live looping, is inspired by a question a Latino boy asked during a lesson on Rosa Parks: Where did his people sit on the bus? Matt J. Dickson will direct.
The holidays will bring the annual production of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 24-Dec. 23), adapted by Barbara Field from the Charles Dickens novel. Fleming will direct.
The season will continue with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (Jan. 6-Feb. 6), also directed by Fleming.
The 45th Humana Festival of New American Plays will be next, taking place Feb. 28 to April 11. The full lineup of plays to be announced in the fall.
Closing out the season as part of the Humana Festival will be Ali Summit (March 24-April 11), by Idris Goodwin. Commissioned by Actors Theatre, the play is inspired by Muhammad Ali’s historic meeting with top Black athletes as they questioned him about his conscientious objection to serving in the Vietnam War.
Founded in 1964, Actors Theatre of Louisville presents classic and contemporary works that serve to unlock human potential, build community, and enrich quality of life.