In the midst of hosting one of the nation's most influential festivals of new work, the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein are thrilled to announce Actors Theatre of Louisville's 50th Anniversary Season lineup. From a grassroots theatrical venture housed in a small loft space on Fourth Street, Actors Theatre has grown into one of the most important regional theatre companies in America, and occupies almost an entire square block in the heart of downtown Louisville. Actors Theatre's 2013-2014 Brown-Forman Series,demonstrates the theatre's commitment to engage and inspire its community with a diverse lineup of work that includes American theatre classics, fresh adaptations, Broadway hits and a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama.
"I am thrilled to raise the curtain on a landmark season in Actors Theatre's history with a lineup of plays that I hope invigorates and excites audiences and that exemplifies the very best that theatre in America can be today," said Les Waters."From the comedic perfection of a group of actors staging a play in Michael Frayn's Noises Off to the delicate portrayal of humankind in Thornton Wilder's beloved classic Our Town, each of the plays represents a celebration of what is fundamentally at the heart of our 50th season: theatre and community."
Jennifer Bielstein adds, "Les and I invite the community to join us as we celebrate five decades of amazing artistic accomplishments. As the State Theatre of Kentucky, Actors Theatre remains committed to providing extraordinary live theatre experiences, and we continue to offer flexible and affordable ticket options so that our patrons can enjoy all the exciting productions we have throughout our golden anniversary season."
The 50th Anniversary Season kicks off to a side-splitting start with a play that is widely regarded as one of the funniest ever written about the theatre: Michael Frayn's Noises Off, September 3 - September 22. Prepare for an evening of hilarity and impeccable timing as Associate Artistic Director Meredith McDonough directs this classic backstage comedy about a group of actors attempting to perform a British sex farce.
Next, the international hit The Mountaintop by American playwright Katori Hall will make its Louisville premiere, October 8-27. The Mountaintop explores a pivotal moment in American history through a fictional chance encounter between DR. Martin Luther King Jr. and a mysterious hotel maid on the eve of King's assassination in 1968. This powerful and moving play has garnered praise worldwide since its premiere in London where it won the 2010 Olivier Award for best new play. Soon after it ran to much acclaim on Broadway with a star-studded cast featuring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett.
This winter we are excited to welcome back former Actors Theatre Producing Director Jon Jory who will direct his own rollicking adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic novel Tom Jones, November 12 - December 8 -a story filled with scandal, sword fighting and the bewildering power of love.
We'll usher in the New Year with The Pirates of Penzance, January 7-February 4. Chicago-based theatre troupe The Hypocrites will entertain kids and adults alike with their cheeky adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's musical comedy about high seas adventure and answering the call of duty. Winner of 3 Jeff Awards, including best musical production, this show promises to be a party that will enliven the middle of winter.
Artistic Director Les Waters will take on Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer prize-winning drama Our Town, which runs January 21 - February 9. Regarded as a true classic of the American theatre, in the hands of Obie Award-winning director Waters,Our Town will celebrate the magic that makes a community.
In addition to the Brown-Forman Series lineup, Actors Theatre once again looks forward to celebrating the holidays with two of Louisville's favorite family traditions: the Halloween cult thriller, Fifth Third Bank's Dracula (September 13 - October 31) and Fifth Third Bank's A Christmas Carol, which will return in all its magical glory for an extended run November 26 - December 23, 2013.