Humana Festival of New American Plays

40th Humana Festival of New American Plays

PACKAGES still available. call 502.561.3344.

This year’s Festival program will feature:

For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday

by Sarah Ruhl
directed by Les Waters
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville

When she was a girl, Ann played Peter Pan at the children’s theatre in Iowa, and her father paused his doctor’s rounds to bring her flowers. Now, she and her four siblings gather to say goodbye to their dying father, stirring up childhood memories. They argue about politics, tell jokes, and wonder what it might mean to grow up. Ruhl’s play is a love letter to a large family contending with the inexorable march of time and the allure of Neverland.

About the Playwright
Sarah Ruhl’s plays include The Oldest Boy; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; The Clean House; Passion Play; Dead Man’s Cell Phone; Melancholy PlayEurydiceOrlandoLate: a cowboy songDear Elizabeth; and Stage Kiss. Select regional credits: Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Goodman Theatre. Broadway: Lyceum Theatre by Lincoln Center Theater (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play). Off-Broadway: Women’s Project, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, and Lincoln Center’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Awards: the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Whiting Award, the Lilly Award, a PEN Award, and the MacArthur Foundation “genius” award. She has been a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee. Her book of essays, 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, was published by Faber and Faber last fall.

Development of For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday is supported by a generous gift from Emily Bingham and Stephen Reily. The play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

THIS RANDOM WORLD

by Steven Dietz
directed by Meredith McDonough

We want to believe that serendipity brings us together, but is that just a myth? Mining the comedy of missed connections, This Random World asks the serious question of how often we travel parallel paths through the world without noticing. From an ailing woman who plans one final trip, to her daughter planning one great escape and her son falling prey to a prank gone wrong, this funny, intimate, and heartbreaking play explores the lives that may be happening just out of reach of our own.  

About the Playwright
Steven Dietz’s credits at Actors Theatre include: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure; The Spot (2004 Humana Festival); Private Eyes (1997 Humana Festival, also as director); Home and Away (director); God’s Country (1989 Humana Festival, also as director) and T Bone N Weasel (1987 Humana Festival, as director). Regional credits: Over 100 productions of 30+ plays, including Bloomsday, Becky’s New Car, On Clover Road, Rancho Mirage, Yankee Tavern, Last of the Boys, Jackie & Me, Shooting Star, Inventing van Gogh, Lonely Planet, The Nina Variations, and Still Life with Iris. Off-Broadway: Fiction at Roundabout Theatre Company; Lonely Planet at Circle Repertory Company. Other: International productions in 20+ countries. Awards: Pen USA West Award, Lonely Planet; Edgar Award for Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure; Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award for Fiction and Still Life with Iris.

This Random World received developmental support from The New Harmony Project (New Harmony, IN); Riverside Theatre (Iowa City, IA); and the Florida Atlantic Theatre Lab (Boca Raton, FL).

RESIDENCE

by Laura Jacqmin
directed by Hal Brooks

New mom Maggie returns to her medical sales job, checking into an extended-stay hotel in Arizona as she pursues the commission that will get her out of debt and back on track. When she befriends two hotel employees intent on making her visit a five-star experience, they discover that their lives are all on similarly shaky ground. A funny and sharply-observed play about hanging on when you’re at the end of your rope, and the times when letting go might be the most responsible thing to do.

About the Playwright
Laura Jacqmin is a Chicago-based playwright, TV writer, and video game writer, originally from Cleveland. At Actors Theatre: Hero Dad. Regional: January Joiner (Long Wharf Theatre); Ski Dubai (Steppenwolf Theatre); Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (Williamstown Theatre Festival, 16th Street Theater, Chicago Dramatists/At Play). Other theatre: A Third (Finborough Theatre, London); Look, We Are Breathing (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Sundance Institute Theatre Lab); Do-Gooder (16th Street Theater); Ghost Bike (Buzz22 Chicago), and more. Jacqmin is the recipient of the Wasserstein Prize, two National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grants, The Kennedy Center’s David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award, two MacDowell Fellowships, and an Illinois Arts Council Individual Artist Grant. Television: Grace and Frankie (Netflix); Lucky 7 (ABC). Video games: Minecraft: Story Mode (Telltale Games). Jacqmin is a founding member of The Kilroys and holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.F.A. from Ohio University.

Residence was developed by the Cape Cod Theatre Project.

WELLESLEY GIRL

by Brendan Pelsue
directed by Lee Sunday Evans

It’s 2465. American politics haven’t changed much. Except that “America” is now only a handful of New England towns in a walled-in citadel. When an unidentified army encamps at the border, Congress struggles to move beyond personal agendas and petty bickering over procedure to decide the nation’s fate. With canny humor and wicked intelligence, Wellesley Girl exposes an unsettling truth: sometimes all you can do is flip a coin and hope that history proves you right.

About the Playwright
Brendan Pelsue’s Actors Theatre credits include Edge Play and Cabin Fever (Apprentice/Intern Tens). Other theatre: Hagoromo, Brooklyn Academy of Music; Parking Lot, Riverbank, and Varieties of Religious Experience (upcoming) at Yale School of Drama; Read to Me (workshop), Bay Area Playwrights Festival; Ecology of a Visit, Corkscrew Theater Company; Petra and the Saints, Telephonic Literary Union; Diagram of a Kidnapping, Brown University New Plays Festival; and Millyard, MA, Firehouse Center for the Arts. Pelsue holds a B.A. from Brown University and is an M.F.A. student at Yale School of Drama.

CARDBOARD PIANO

by Hansol Jung
directed by Leigh Silverman

On the eve of the millennium in Northern Uganda, the daughter of an American missionary and a local teenage girl steal into a candlelit church to exchange vows in a secret wedding ceremony. But when an escalating civil war encroaches on their fragile union, they cannot escape its reach. Confronting the cost of intolerance, this powerful drama examines violence and the struggle to rebuild in its wake, as well as the human capacity for love and forgiveness.

About the Playwright
Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Regional theatre credits include No More Sad Things (co-world premiere at Sideshow Theatre, Chicago and Boise Contemporary Theater). Commissions include a translation of Romeo and Juliet for the Play On! project at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Fellowships and residencies: 2050 Fellowship at New York Theatre Workshop, Sundance Institute Playwrights Retreat at Ucross, MacDowell Colony Artist Residency, International Playwrights Residency at the Royal Court (London), Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Ground Floor, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Rita Goldberg Fellow at the Lark, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, and OD Musical Theater Company (Seoul). Jung holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from Yale School of Drama, and is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.

Cardboard Piano was developed during a residency at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference in 2015.

WONDROUS STRANGE

by Martyna Majok, Meg Miroshnik, Jiehae Park, and Jen Silverman
directed by Marti Lyons
performed by the 2015-2016 Acting Apprentice Company
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville

What haunts us? What traces will we in turn leave behind? Writing for this season’s Acting Apprentice Company, four imaginative playwrights use Kentucky’s rich ghost lore as the springboard for a wide-ranging exploration of the supernatural and uncanny, and what our stories about ghosts—chilling, poignant, or unexpectedly funny—reveal about us.

About the Playwrights
Martyna Majok’s plays have been presented at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater/Women’s Project Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Round House Theatre, among others. Awards include the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, Global Age Project Prize, Jane Chambers Student Feminist Playwriting Prize, and the National New Play Network/Smith Prize for Political Playwriting. Majok has received commissions from Marin Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Yorker website, and The Foundry Theatre. Majok has a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. She is currently a playwriting fellow at The Juilliard School and an alumna of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood. Majok is a member of Women’s Project Lab, The Dramatists Guild, Ars Nova’s Uncharted, and New York Theatre Workshop’s Usual Suspects. She is the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center.

Meg Miroshnik’ s plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian GirlsThe DrollThe Tall GirlsLady Tattoo, and an adaptation of the libretto for Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki. Her work has been produced and developed by Yale Repertory Theatre, Alliance Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Cleveland Play House, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Repertory, McCarter Theatre Center, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Lark Play Development Center, Chicago Opera Theater, Washington Ensemble Theatre, and others. Awards: Whiting Award, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award. Commissions: South Coast Repertory, Steppenwolf, and Yale Repertory. She is a Core Writer at the Playwrights’ Center. Miroshnik holds an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama, where she studied under Paula Vogel. She grew up in Minneapolis and currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is a founding member of The Kilroys.

Jiehae Park’s playwriting credits include Peerless (Yale Repertory, world premiere; Cherry Lane Mentor Project, workshop production). Awards: Princess Grace, Leah Ryan Award. Development: Playwrights Horizons (currently commissioned), Soho Rep.’s Writer/Director Lab, Berkeley Repertory’s Ground Floor, The Public Theater’s 2015 Emerging Writers Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 52nd Street Project, 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, and the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Residencies include MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the McCarter Theatre’s Sallie B. Goodman Artists’ Retreat. As a performer, Park’s credits include La Jolla Playhouse, Studio Theatre, REDCAT, A Collection of Shiny Objects, Tiny Little Band, and Ripe Time/The Play Company (upcoming, February 2016). Park holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.

Jen Silverman is a New York-based playwright. At Actors Theatre of Louisville, she premiered The Roommate (2015 Humana Festival). Other plays include The Moors (Yale Repertory Theatre), Crane Story (Off-Broadway, The Playwrights Realm), and Phoebe in Winter, produced Off-Broadway by The Playwrights Realm and Off-Off Broadway by Clubbed Thumb. She is a member of New Dramatists, and has developed work at the O’Neill, PlayPenn, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Williamstown Theatre Festival, New York Theatre Workshop, Portland Center Stage, The New Harmony Project, and the Royal Court in London, among other places. The Hunters was selected for the Cherry Lane Mentor Project (mentor: Lynn Nottage), and Still won the Yale Drama Series Award. She is the recipient of the 2015 Helen Merrill Fund Award as an emerging playwright. Silverman attended Brown University, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and Juilliard. jensilverman.com

The Ten-Minute Plays

 

COFFEE BREAK

by Tasha Gordon-Solmon
directed by Meredith McDonough

Is love written in the stars? Is it written in the coffee foam? Sometimes, it can be so hard to read the signs.

Tasha Gordon-Solmon’s plays have been developed and produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville (The Tens), Dixon Place, Ars Nova, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and The Flea Theater. She is a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Fellowship, a member of the Clubbed Thumb Falcons Writers’ Group, a lyricist in the BMI Workshop, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a member of the Project Y Playwrights Group, and an alumna of the Ars Nova Play Group. Her writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, The Dramatist and The Huffington Post. Gordon-Solmon received her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing at New York University and attended the National Theater Institute. She is a proud 52nd Street Project volunteer.

THIS QUINTESSENCE OF DUST

by Cory Hinkle
directed by Les Waters

A play about that time when Jane went on vacation to Los Angeles to meet up with friends, but in a moment of weakness had coffee with her ex-boyfriend, Chip…and then the end of the world happened.

Cory Hinkle’s Actors Theatre credits include That High Lonesome Sound (2015 Humana Festival) and Fissures (lost and found) (2010 Humana Festival). Hinkle’s other plays have been produced and developed at the Guthrie Theater, the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, New York Theatre Workshop, Jackalope Theatre, Cape Cod Theatre Project, HERE Arts Center, and the Southern Theater, among others. He co-ran the playwright-driven company Workhaus Collective from 2008 to 2012; is the recipient of a McKnight Advancement Grant, two Jerome Fellowships, a MAP Fund Grant, and the Jerome Travel and Study Grant; and is a former MacDowell Colony Fellow. He is an affiliated writer at the Playwrights’ Center and a member of the Playwrights Union in Los Angeles. Hinkle received his M.F.A. from Brown University. More information is available at coryhinkle.com.

TRUDY, CAROLYN, MARTHA, AND REGINA TRAVEL TO OUTER SPACE AND HAVE A PRETTY TERRIBLE TIME THERE

by James Kennedy
directed by Jessica Fisch

A crew of astronauts share the quiet beauty of infinite space and a peaceful reflection on our place in the universe. But it’s been nineteen weeks. And that’s just about long enough.

James Kennedy is a directing intern at Actors Theatre this season, where he has directed members of the Acting Apprentice Company in Steve Moulds’s The Wedding Guest, Cory Hinkle’s This Quintessence of Dust (Apprentice/Intern Tens), and multiple solo performance projects. He served as the assistant director for Seven Guitars, A Christmas Carol, Peter and the Starcatcher, For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday, and Cardboard Piano. As a playwright, he has received the Betsy Carpenter Playwriting Award, the Rod Parker Playwriting Fellowship, and an award in Actors Theatre’s in-house Small Starving Artist Contest. He has previously apprenticed with The Lark Play Development Center and HowlRound, and he is the Associate Director of The Orchard Project’s Core Company. He received his B.A. from Emerson College. More information is available at jameshkennedy.com.

Actors Theater of Louisville
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Louisville, KY 40202
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