Victoria Reibel & Gerry Rose in the fall 2016 Liminal Playhouse production of Venus in Fur.

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The Liminal Playhouse launched itself  three years ago with a name designed for open-ended suggestion. Liminal means, “relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process”, so where does that leave the company as it announces the 2017—2018 season?

With a consistent venue, for one thing. Besides expanding to four full-stage productions, Liminal joins Bunbury Theatre and Pandora Productions in a partnership as the third resident theatre company at The Henry Clay Theatre.

But if the company, led by Artistic Director Tony Prince and Producing Director Richard McGrew, is coming of age, can it still be “liminal”? Certainly the answer must be yes, for any artistic endeavor must be forever moving forward and changing, always liminal. Season three for The Liminal Playhouse, all Louisville premieres, builds on the strong reputation for contemporary plays executed in thoughtful and intelligent fashion.

The season will open with Hir by Taylor Mac running August 31—September 10, 2017. Like Liminal’s currently running production of Time Stands Still, Hir begins with someone coming home from the war in Iraq, but things take a decided turn for the absurd in this dark comedy that explores complex issues such as domestic abuse, transgender identity and PTSD.

Next up will be Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park. Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park explores our ongoing struggles as a country to unite and live harmoniously together given our racially divided past…and present. Norris’ uncomfortably hilarious and merciless play spares no one. It won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play. Clybourne Park will run October 26—November 5, 2017.

The third production of the season will be Sex with Strangers by Laura Eason. Eason’s erotic comedy explores complex issues of romance and identity in a world in which our online selves and our physical selves may not be quite the same. Show dates are March 29—April 8, 2018.

The season will close with Philip Ridley’s The Fastest Clock in the Universe running May 24—June 3, 2018. Rarely performed in the United States, it is considered a contemporary classic in Britain, twenty-five years after it shocked London audiences in 1992. Thirty-year-old Cougar Glass is celebrating his 19th birthday…again. Captain Tock is throwing the party, and the only invited guests are Foxtrot Darling (originally performed by a very young Jude Law, his breakthrough performance in London’s West End) and octogenarian Cheetah Bee. The unexpected appearance of Foxtrot’s girlfriend Sherbet Gravel throws a wrench into the works and hilarity and tragedy ensue.

All performances will be at The Henry Clay Theatre, 604 South Third Street, Louisville, KY.