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One of the Country's Biggest Theater Events Happens in Kentucky. Here's the Lineup.

The biggest annual event in theater in Kentucky is Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New Plays. Every spring we’re an easy drive away from a showcase of a half-dozen premieres that draws national attention – and might tell us something about how playwrights are taking the pulse of America,
 
This is year 39 for the Festival, which runs March 4-April 12 with plays in rotating rep on three stages. The last few years have shown a real trend in short plays, so seeing a double bill with dinner is a fun day trip. 
 
Here’s the line-up, in order of opening: 
 
The Roommate by Jen Silverman, March 4-April 12.
Recently divorced and living in an old house in Iowa, Sharon finds a sensible roommate like herself -- a woman in her fifties -- to make ends meet. But she quickly learns that Robyn, a vegan from the Bronx, couldn’t be further from the ladies in her book club.
 
Dot by Colman Domingo, March 10-April 12.
A wild and moving dark comedy, a few days before Christmas, Dotty and her three middle-aged children gather with so much more than the holidays on their minds. Their anxieties go far beyond finding a suitable blue spruce for the living room.: they grapples with aging parents, midlife crises, and the heart of an inner city neighborhood
 
I Will Be Gone by Erin Courtney, March 13-April 12.
Seventeen-year-old Penelope goes to live with her Aunt Josephine in a small town in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains after her mom dies. Turns out everyone in this small town -- built right next door to a ghost town -- is haunted by something or someone. Filled with apparitions, earthquakes, and strange attempts to mourn, this play explores the beauty and awkwardness of living with the knowledge that everything ends.
 
The Glory of the World by Charles Mee, March 20-April 12.
A series of toasts to Thomas Merton on the occasion of his 100th ​birthday erupts into a raucous party. Inspired by myriad points of view on the Kentucky-based Trappist monk, writer and social activist -- or pacifist, Buddhist, Catholic, Communist, and more, depending on who you ask – the always wildly theatrical Mee’s exuberant play considers how we can live fully in all our contradictions, and leap into the unknown. A meditation on happiness, love, the values of solitude and of engagement with the world, and seeking heaven on earth.
 
That High Lonesome Sound by Jeff Augustin, Diana Grisanti, Cory Hinkle, and Charise Castro Smith, March 27-April 12.
Performed by the 2014-2015 Acting Apprentice Company. An album of scenes looks at the history of Bluegrass, Kentucky’s great musical tradition, from Scottish ballads to African-American work songs, to Bill Monroe and beyond, its inherited stories, and cultural impact. 
 
I Promised Myself to Live Faster text by Gregory S Moss and Pig Iron Theatre Company, March 27-April 12.
Conceived and created by Pig Iron Theatre Company, an order of intergalactic nuns charge the hero with a quest: retrieve the Holy Gay Flame from the clutches of the evil emperor to save the race of Homosexuals and restore the balance of power in the universe. Infused with a Charles Ludlam-esque theatricality and a delirious sci-fi sensibility, Live Faster paints a 21st century allegory of epic proportions. (For mature audiences.)
 
39th Humana Festival of New American Plays Weekend Schedule:
 
New Play Getaway (March 20-22 and March 27-29, April 3-5 and April 10-12):
Packages offer you a unique opportunity to see a variety of Humana Festival plays over a weekend. Whether you are looking for a leisurely weekend in Louisville, a marathon of theatergoing, or something in-between, Actors Theatre has a package for you. For more information, contact Sarah Peters at 502. 585.1210 or [email protected].
 
College Days (March 27-29): An energizing opportunity to enjoy fresh new work during this educational weekend that hosts the theatre professionals of tomorrow. The weekend includes panel discussions, master classes, workshops and networking events. You can also take advantage of package perks such as guaranteed reserved seating and great hotel discounts. For more information, contact Sarah Peters at 502.585.1210 or [email protected].
 
Humana Festival single ticket prices start at $25. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (Nov. 12). For more information or reservations call 502-584-1205 or 1.-800-428-5849, or visit the website at ActorsTheatre.org.
 
-Jackie Demaline, RCN Arts
 
Photo via 2013 Humana Festival
 
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