LOUISVILLE, KY.: The Actors Theatre of Louisville has announced the lineup for the 45th Humana Festival of New American Plays, featuring virtual projects and experiences on a rolling basis through the coming months. The Actors Theatre is transforming its annual celebration of world premieres into a virtual exhibition of new work and emergent technologies.
The festival began last week with Michael Yates Crowley’s Block Association Project, created by Wolf 359. The live, interactive Zoom event is directed by Michael Rau, with sound and video by Asa Wember, and runs through May 1.
Additionally, the 2020-21 Actors Theatre Professional Training Company will present their short pieces in two distinct video compilations through May 31. The projects are the culmination of the company’s season spent learning to create, film, edit, and produce their own work.
The festival will also include multiple projects, with dates to be announced in the future, including Still Ready, created and performed by Christina Acosta Robinson and Ken Robinson and directed by Actors Theatre executive artistic director Robert Barry Fleming. Still Ready is a music-filled experience celebrating the creative partnership between the Robinsons. Other projects include:
Idris Goodwin’s Ali Summit, also directed by Fleming and produced in partnership with Crux Cooperative, is inspired by the summit of prominent Black sports figures who questioned boxer Muhammad Ali’s conscientious objection to military service. A community conversation about the play will be held on May 20.
Beyond the Crossroads, created by Candrice Jones and Ruffin, also produced in collaboration with Crux Cooperative, is an interactive adventure in which audiences can help a young blues singer chart her own path. The branching narrative springs from a collaboration between two Black women who are both innovative thinkers in their respective fields.
Plague Doctor: Contagion 430 BCE-2020 AD is a video game developed in partnership with Two Scope Games, follows four cities contending with a deadly epidemic: Athens in 430 BCE, Marseille in 1720, Philadelphia in 1918, and Louisville in 2020. The game was designed by Alex Bezuska, with a story by Fleming and Jenni Page-White.
Louisville Sessions: Full Jam is a new series that celebrates the vast sound, feel, and artistry of Kentucky, featuring local musicians responding to the current moment through an original song and video. The series will feature performers Tiny Tiny, Chanson Calhoun, Bridge 19, Kiana & the Sun Kings, Sasha Renee, Tez of 2Deep, JONJOHN, Coyia, and more.
Additionally, the Actors Theatre is developing a partnership with nurse and dancer Tara Rynders, artistic director of the Clinic, to support nurses in the Louisville region and help strengthen the healthcare community. This partnership will create space for frontline healers to rediscover the joy of caring for another human being through immersive experiences.
All Humana Festival projects are commissioned by the Actors Theatre and supported by the Humana Foundation, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts. The Actors Theatre of Louisville unlocks human potential, builds community, and enriches quality of life by engaging people in theatre that reflects the wonder and complexity of our time.
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