Playwright August Wilson
Entire contents copyright © 2015 by Arts-Louisville. All rights reserved
It’s the time of the year when all the theatre companies like to announce their lineup for the next season, and for Actors Theatre of Louisville, its is also perhaps the busiest time of their year: the grand finale that is the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Just a few days after the opening of the Festival’s first play, The Roommate, the company has announced a 2015-16 season that proves the company’s commitment to the writer extend beyond March and April. It features a work by famed playwright August Wilson, a madcap take on a Gilbert and Sullivan crowd-pleaser, a critically acclaimed hard hitting drama, a charmingly inventive Broadway hit for the whole family, and the return of two popular and beloved holiday shows.
“Our 2015-16 Season affirms Actors Theatre’s commitment to bringing great stories to our stages,” says Artistic Director Les Waters. “The stories we share are enormously important in helping us explore and define the world we live in now. We live in complicated times and I think these plays offer a diverse audience of theatre goer’s opportunities for empathy and discovery, and for exercising their imaginations.”
The season kicks off with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, September 1–September 20, 2015. Part of Wilson’s acclaimed Century Cycle— a decade-by-decade exploration of the African-American experience in the 20th century—Seven Guitars is a moving drama set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1948. Part mystery, part memory play, it depicts the events leading up to the untimely death of Floyd ‘Schoolboy” Barton, a gifted blues guitarist. Actors Theatre has a long-history of producing Wilson’s work and Seven Guitars marks the sixth play within Wilson’s Century Cycle to be produced by the theatre.
Artistic Director Les Waters will direct Rebecca Gilman’s hard hitting play Luna Gale, October 6-October 25, 2015. Gilman’s smart and absorbing drama about a besieged social worker trying her very best to protect the vulnerable children placed in her charge played to much acclaimed in Chicago and L.A.
The award-winning Chicago-based ensemble The Hypocrites return to Actors Theatre (after bringing Pirates of Penzance here in 2013) under the direction of Sean Graney for a highly entertaining re-imagining of Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, November 17-December 13, 2015. This joyous and uproarious comic opera will entertain the whole family with a nautical-themed pajama party on the high seas, complete with ukuleles and kazoos.
Actors Theatre’s season continues with Amy Herzog’s highly lauded comedic drama, 4000 MILES, January 5-January 31, 2016. A directionless 21 year old seeks solace in his feisty 91 year old grandmother’s New York apartment in Herzog’s funny and poignant play. Mike Donahue (currently directing The Roommate as part of the 39th Humana Festival of New American Plays) will direct this playful and touching intergenerational story about two unlikely roommates who, through conflict and friction, find themselves and each other.
Multi-award winning hit show Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice will take flight under the direction of Associate Artistic Director Meredith McDonough, January 26-February 17, 2016. Brimming with unforgettable characters, ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination, this swashbuckling grown-up prequel to Peter Pan is a story sure to delight the entire family.
In addition, Actors Theatre will once again celebrate the holidays with two of Louisville’s favorite family traditions: Fifth Third Bank’s Dracula (September 9-November 1, 2015) and A Christmas Carol (November 24-December 23, 2015).
The 2015-2016 Season will culminate in the 40th Anniversary Humana Festival of New American Plays, March 2-April 10, 2016. The Festival continues to be the country’s leading opportunity to see groundbreaking, brand-new work by some of the American theatre’s most talented writers. The Festival is underwritten by the Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana, Inc.
The 2015-2016 Season is generously supported by Brown-Forman, the official season sponsor, with additional support from Fund for the Arts, Kentucky Arts Council and YUM! Brands, who support the student matinee series.