Actors Theatre of Louisville receives NEA grant to support Humana Festival of New American Plays
$50k Grant one of 832 Art Works grants totaling $23.3 million in funding nationwide
Louisville, KY— Actors Theatre Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein are thrilled to announced that Actors Theatre of Louisville is the proud recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant in support of its 37th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman announced yesterday that Actors Theatre was one of 832 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive a grant of $50,000 as part of $23.3 million in funding nationwide.
“I’m proud to announce these 832 grants to the American public including Actors Theatre of Louisville,” said Chairman Landesman. “These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences, and exemplary education programs.”
“Actors Theatre is proud to be the recipient of this grant and we are delighted to have our continued commitment to the American playwright and the development of new work recognized by the National Endowment of the Arts,” said Actors Theatre’s Artistic Director Les Waters.
Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein continued, “We are grateful for the NEA’s leadership and that they share our goal of ensuring the health and vitality of American Theatre through the investment in the production of new work. Their generosity will ensure that Actors Theatre remains a defining force in the ecology of the American theatre and is the center of artistic excellence for the citizens of the commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond to enjoy.”
Recognized as one of the nation’s most prestigious new play festivals and attracting audiences of up to 40,000 each year, Actors Theatre has grown the Humana Festival from a trailblazing theatre event into one of the most important showcases of new work in the country. It boasts a legacy of having introduced more than 400 plays into the American theatre repertoire, and remains a vital platform for launching new plays and playwrights to the national stage with an impressive track record of numerous subsequent productions. The 37th Humana Festival will run February 27 – April 7, 2013 and will feature fully-produced world premieres by Jeff Augustin, Mallery Avidon, Will Eno, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Sam Marks; a suite of three one-act plays by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn commissioned by Actors Theatre and performed by the Acting Apprentice Company; and an evening of ten-minute plays featuring a new play by Sarah Ruhl, among others yet to be announced.
For full details on the 37th Humana Festival lineup, and information on tickets and packages visit, www.actorstheatre.org.
In March 2012, the NEA received 1,509 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $74 million in funding. The 832 recommended NEA grants total $22.3 million, span 13 artistic disciplines and fields, and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.
For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.
About the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville
The Humana Festival is an internationally acclaimed event that has introduced more than 400 plays into the American and international theatre’s general repertoire, including three Pulitzer Prize winners—The Gin Game by D. L. Coburn, Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley and Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies—as well as Charles L. Mee’s Big Love, Jane Martin’s Anton in Show Business, Stephen Belber’s Tape, Rinne Groff’s The Ruby Sunrise, Theresa Rebeck’s The Scene, Gina Gionfriddo’s After Ashley and Becky Shaw, The Civilians’ This Beautiful City, UNIVERSES’ Ameriville, Rude Mechs’ The Method Gun, and Jordan Harrison’s Maple and Vine. Over 380 Humana Festival plays have been published in anthologies and individual acting editions, making Actors Theatre a visible and vital force in the development of new plays.
The Humana Festival is the premier event of its kind in the nation, drawing audiences of nearly 40,000 last year. For the past 36 years, hundreds of the industry’s most distinguished leaders, producers, critics and admirers have descended upon Louisville for a month-long celebration of new writing for the stage. The Festival culminates in two industry weekends which bring together a collection of amazing new plays with one-of-a-kind panels, cocktail parties, discussions and networking events. It is the perfect opportunity to see new work, make new connections and support the creation of new American theatre.
About Actors Theatre of Louisville
Les Waters, Artistic Director
Jennifer Bielstein, Managing Director
Now in its 49th season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, has emerged as one of America’s most consistently innovative professional theatre companies. Actors Theatre’s programming includes a broad range of classical and contemporary work, presenting more than 500 performances each season. The company performs annually to nearly 200,000 people and is the recipient of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre: a special Tony® Award for Distinguished Achievement, the James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and the Margo Jones Award for the Encouragement of New Plays. Actors Theatre’s international appearances include performances in over 29 cities in 15 foreign countries. Currently, there are more than 40 books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in publication and circulation.
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