Humana Festival of New American Plays

41st Humana Festival of New American Plays

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This year’s Festival program will feature:

I NOW PRONOUNCE

by Tasha Gordon-Solmon
directed by Stephen Brackett

After Adam and Nicole’s wedding culminates in an awkwardly timed fatality, the reception spins into an increasingly strange evening that leaves the bride and groom questioning just what it is they’re celebrating. But there’s no stopping the festivities: the flower girls are running amuck, the bridal party members are more preoccupied with their own flailing relationships, and everyone needs to stop ordering the blue drinks. Comedies end in marriage. Tragedies end in death. This play begins with both.

About the Playwright
Tasha Gordon-Solmon’s plays have been developed and produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville (2016 Humana Festival Ten-Minute Plays, The Professional Training Company’s The Tens), Clubbed Thumb, Ars Nova, the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival, Dixon Place, New Georges, INTAR Theatre, and The Flea Theater. She is a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Fellowship, a lyricist in the BMI Workshop, a member of the Project Y Playwrights Group, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, and an alumna of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group and Ars Nova’s Play Group. As a director, Gordon-Solmon has worked at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Tank, The Brick, Columbia University, Studio Tisch, the New York Fringe Festival, and The Fire This Time Festival. She received her M.F.A. in dramatic writing at New York University and is a proud 52nd Street Project volunteer.

I Now Pronounce was developed at the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival, June 2016.

WE’RE GONNA BE OKAY

by Basil Kreimendahl
directed by Lisa Peterson

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, two average American families build a slapdash bomb shelter on their shared property line. With nuclear warfare looming, they wonder: is it the end? The end of baseball…and table manners…and macramé? But as they fret about the fall of civilization, they start to worry that something more personal is at stake. A slyly hilarious, compassionate look at anxiety in America, We’re Gonna Be Okay is about finding the courage to face who we are—and who we want to be..  

About the Playwright
Basil Kreimendahl is a resident playwright at New Dramatists. Their plays have won several awards, including the Rella Lossy Playwright Award and a National Science Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Kreimendahl has been commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions program, and by Actors Theatre of Louisville for Remix 38 (2014 Humana Festival). Their play Orange Julius was developed at the 2012 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and will have its New York premiere at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, in a co-production with P73. Kreimendahl’s plays have also been produced or developed by New York Theatre Workshop, American Theater Company, Victory Gardens Theater, The Lark, La Jolla Playhouse, and Labyrinth Theater Company. They have been a Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow and McKnight Fellow, won an Art Meets Activism grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and will be a visiting writer at Williams College in 2017. Kreimendahl’s work has been published by Dramatic Publishing and HowlRound. They received their M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 2013.

We’re Gonna Be Okay was developed with support from the Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Fellowship Program, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

cRY IT OUT

by Molly Smith Metzler
directed by Davis McCallum

commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville

Cooped up on maternity leave and starved for conversation, Jessie invites her funny and forthright neighbor Lina, also a new mom, for coffee on the patio between their duplexes. Despite their vastly different finances, they become fast friends during naptimes—while someone watches from the mansion on the cliff overlooking Jessie’s yard. This comedy with dark edges takes an honest look at the absurdities of being home with a baby, the dilemma of returning to work, and how class impacts parenthood and friendship.

About the Playwright
Molly Smith Metzler‘s plays include Elemeno Pea, The May Queen, Carve, Training Wisteria and Close Up Space (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist). At Actors Theatre: Elemeno Pea (2011 Humana Festival). Regional Theatre: South Coast Repertory, the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Chautauqua Theater Company, Geva Theatre Center, and City Theatre Company, among others. Off-Broadway: Manhattan Theatre Club. Awards include the Lecomte du Nouy Prize from Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center National Student Playwriting Award, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s David Mark Cohen Award, and the Mark Twain Comedy Prize. Metzler is an alum of Ars Nova’s Play Group and the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages. She is currently under commission at Manhattan Theatre Club and South Coast Repertory. Television: Codes of Conduct (HBO); Casual (Hulu); Orange Is the New Black (Netflix). Metzler was educated at State University of New York Geneseo, Boston University, New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts, and The Juilliard School.

rECENT aLIEN ABDUCTIONS

by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas
directed by Les Waters

Álvaro is searching for a lost episode of The X-Files that he swears has been mysteriously altered since its original broadcast, but nobody believes him. Could the missing episode be proof of a larger conspiracy? Years later, when a friend arrives in Puerto Rico hoping to preserve Álvaro’s stories, she must face the family from whom he vanished long ago. A darkly compelling tale about the danger of having no one to trust—and how families, and nations, keep circling the places that haunt them.

About the Playwright
Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas’ plays include Bird in the Hand at Fulcrum Theater and New Theatre (New York Times Critics’ Pick); Blind Mouth Singing at The National Asian American Theatre Company and Teatro Vista (New York Times Critics’ Pick); and Sleepwalkers at the Alliance Theatre and Area Stage (Carbonell Award for Best New Work). Awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York Foundation for the Arts (three years); Helen Merrill Playwriting Award; Anschutz Distinguished Fellowship at Princeton University; and the Robert Chesley Award. His plays are published by Playscripts, Dramatic Publishing and TDR/The Drama Review. Cortiñas is the founder of Fulcrum Theater, a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, an alumnus of New Dramatists, and Playwright-in-Residence at Bard College.

Recent Alien Abductions was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with funds provided by The New York State Council on the Arts.

airness

by Chelsea Marcantel
directed by Meredith McDonough

When Nina enters her first air guitar competition, she thinks winning will be easy. But as she befriends a group of charismatic nerds all committed to becoming the next champion, she discovers that there’s more to this art form than playing pretend; it’s about finding yourself in your favorite songs, and performing with raw joy. Will Nina be able to let go and set herself free onstage? Following her mission to shred or be shredded, Airness is an exuberant reminder that everything we need to rock is already inside us.

About the Playwright
Chelsea Marcantel is a New York City-based writer, director, and collaborator. Reared by Cajuns in southwest Louisiana, she has lived and made theatre among the tribes of the Midwest, Appalachia, and the Mid-Atlantic, where she completed a Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Fellowship at The Juilliard School. Marcantel’s plays include Everything is Wonderful, Airness, Ladyish, Devour, Tiny Houses, and The White Girl’s Guide to Joining ISIS. She is extremely interested in humans as small-group primates, and what happens when the value systems of our chosen groups cease to serve us. Marcantel reads a lot of books, watches a lot of documentaries, and listens to a lot of podcasts. She is an avid self-producer and an enthusiastic member of The Dramatists Guild. More information can be found at ChelseaMarcantel.com.

The Many deaths of nathan stubblefield

by Jeff Augustin, Sarah DeLappe, Claire Kiechel, and Ramiz Monsef
directed by Eric Hoff
performed by the actors of the 2016–2017 Professional Training Company 
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville

The mysterious demise of a Kentucky inventor—and other stories of visionaries from the Bluegrass State—inspire a play that explores the nature of innovation and the myths we tell about it. Writing for the nineteen actors in this season’s Professional Training Company, four playwrights boldly celebrate unsung dreamers, unlikely breakthroughs, and the beauty (and occasional hilarity) of failure.

About the Playwrights
Jeff Augustin‘s play Cry Old Kingdom premiered at the 2013 Humana Festival, and he was a co-author of That High Lonesome Sound, part of the 2015 Humana Festival. His other plays include Little Children Dream of God at Roundabout Underground, and The Last Tiger in Haiti at La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Augustin was the Shank Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Horizons and the inaugural Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company. He is an alumnus of the New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship; the Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop at The Lark; and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Augustin is currently under commission from Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. He received his B.A. from Boston College and his M.F.A. from the University of California San Diego.

Sarah DeLappe’s play The Wolves premiered Off-Broadway at The Playwrights Realm, following an engagement at New York Stage and Film, and development at Clubbed Thumb and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. The Wolves received the American Playwriting Foundation’s inaugural Relentless Award, and was a finalist for the 2016 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Yale Drama Series Prize. DeLappe is the Page One Playwright for The Playwrights Realm and was a resident artist at the Sitka Fellows Program and SPACE on Ryder Farm. An alumna of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group and the New Georges Audrey Residency, she is currently a member of Ars Nova’s Play Group and a Resident Playwright at LCT3. She is currently in the M.F.A. Playwriting program at Brooklyn College.

Claire Kiechel’s plays include Pilgrims (upcoming production at The Gift Theatre in Chicago, The Lark’s Playwrights’ Week 2016, The Kilroys’ The List 2016); Lulu Is Hungry with composer Avi Amon at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest 2016; and Some Dark Places of the Earth at The New School for Drama. Her work has been presented or developed by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Colt Coeur, Hangar Theatre, Naked Angels, the Orchard Project, and Pipeline Theatre Company. Kiechel is a current member of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s group Youngblood, an alumna of The Civilians’ 2015-16 R&D Group, and a 2016 recipient of South Coast Repertory’s Elizabeth George Emerging Writers Commission. She received her B.A. from Amherst College and her M.F.A. from The New School for Drama.

 Ramiz Monsef is honored to be back at Actors Theatre. Monsef is the co-author of the musical The Unfortunates, which was produced at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. His newest play, 3 Farids, will be part of The Bushwick Starr Reading Series in Brooklyn this March. Monsef is an actor as well, and has appeared at theatres across the country, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and seven seasons at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as well as Geffen Playhouse, The Kirk Douglas Theatre, Second Stage, Culture Project, and New York Theatre Workshop. He has appeared on television in Law & Order, Training Day, and The Watchlist on Comedy Central.

The Many Deaths of Nathan Stubblefield is supported in part by The Roy Cockrum Foundation.

The Ten-Minute Plays – to be announced in 2017

 

Actors Theater of Louisville
316 West Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
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