ArtCraft

As WFPL's arts and humanities reporter, Erin Keane reports on the issues, trends, people and events that impact Louisville's arts landscape.

Every artist also develops a craft—those deliberate and perfected techniques and methods used to write a novel, shoot a film, create a sculpture or become a character on stage. 

On ArtCraft, you'll find reviews of plays, books and arts experiences, as well as the latest news and commentary on Louisville's arts landscape and a thoughtful exploration of how and why a particular piece of art works (or doesn't). 

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Arts and Humanities
3:17 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Kentucky Opera Opens Reimagined Repertoire With Beethoven's Prison Drama 'Fidelio'

Jonathan Burton as political prisoner Florestan in Kentucky Opera's "Fidelio."
Credit Patrick Pfister / Kentucky Opera

Kentucky Opera opens its new season this week with “Fidelio,” Ludwig von Beethoven’s only opera. It’s part of the “repertoire reimagined,” a five-year effort to produce more adventuresome works, from the under-produced like “Fidelio” to new operas like Daron Hagen and Barbara Grecki's “A Woman in Morocco,” which will run during the Festival of Faiths in May.

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Arts and Humanities
12:14 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

No Performance-Enhancing Drugs Needed in Theatre [502]'s Strong, Swift 'Red Speedo'

Jon Patrick O'Brien and Michael Mayes in Theatre [502]'s production of Lucas Hnath's "Red Speedo."
Credit Bill Brymer / Theatre [502]

Louisville's Theatre [502] continues its mission to produce “recent and relevant” plays this month with the second production of their fourth season, an outstanding production of Lucas Hnath’s “Red Speedo.” Not a word is wasted in Hnath’s tight, emotional story about an aspiring Olympic swimmer who wins big while taking performance-enhancing drugs.

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Arts and Humanities
4:25 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

'Giselle' Offers Possible Glimpse of Louisville Ballet's Future

Credit Wade Bell

This week sees the beginning of a new era at the Louisville Ballet. Its 2014-2015 season kicks off with Giselle, the first production at which audiences will be able to begin to glean new artistic director Robert Curran's aesthetic.

Giselle, together with the bulk of the current season was, of course, programmed by outgoing artistic director Bruce Simpson. And it is a strong choice for a company that during his tenure developed a strong sensibility for the Romantic ballets (as well as a vibrant approach to contemporary choreography.)

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Arts and Humanities
12:20 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Louisville Artists Open Studio Doors to Public This Weekend

"Proximity" by Shohei Katayama (solar panels, magnets, motors, glass)
Credit Shohei Katayama

Open Studio Weekend returns to Louisville this week for its second year. Organized by LVAA and the University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute, more than 80 local artists will open their working spaces to the public on Saturday and Sunday. It’s an opportunity for art lovers to see an artist’s works-in-progress and to score a rare peek behind the scenes into the creative process.

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Arts and Humanities
2:29 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Theatre [502] Dives Into Athletic Doping Controversy with Lucas Hnath’s ‘Red Speedo’

Jonathan O'Brien (left) and Michael Mayes in rehearsal for Theatre [502]'s production of Lucas Hnath's "Red Speedo."
Credit Chris Petot / Theatre [502]

Lucas Hnath’s plays have a knack for making you change your mind. In “The Christians,” which premiered in the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville earlier this year, a pastor’s spiritual change-of-heart is called into question when his congregation questions his motives. In his professional premiere, “Death Tax,” which opened in the 2012 Humana Festival, questions about end-of-life care take provocative and surprising turns.

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Arts and Humanities
2:17 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

New Louisville Ballet Artistic Director Robert Curran To Bring 'Cinematic' Quality to Classic Ballet

Robert Curran, artistic director, Louisville Ballet.
Credit Alix Mattingly / WFPL News

Louisville Ballet’s new artistic director Robert Curran has just arrived from Australia to take the reins of the state’s flagship dance company. The Ballet opens their new season Friday with the 19th century classical ballet “Giselle,” a story in two acts with a score by Adolphe Adam. The story by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Theophile Gautier was inspired by works by Heinrich Heine and Victor Hugo.

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Timely Terrorism Play 'Murder the Devil' Doesn't Deliver

Gaelan Genoud (Ahmed) holding Alex Hume (Bob, a hostage) at gunpoint while Gary Brice (Oz, a gang member) calls higher ups for further instructions.
Credit Larry Muhammad

With ISIS hostage beheadings broadcast online and the political violence in the Middle East escalating — not to mention last spring’s Boston Marathon bombings — “Murder the Devil,” a play that explores the possibility of extremist jihad on American soil, is especially timely. Add in the domestic crisis of poverty, violence and racial inequity, and its potential importance grows. But low energy, an intricate plot that lacks emotional stakes, and underwhelming performances rob “Murder the Devil” of its power before it can make a direct hit.

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Arts and Humanities
12:41 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Radical Remix of 'Love's Labour's Lost' Feels Like Falling in Love

Nathan Keepers (Moth) with (left to right) Brandon Garegnani (Dumaine) and Richard Prioleau (Ferdinand, King of Navarre) in The Moving Company's adaptation of "Love's Labour's Lost" at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Credit Richard Tyler Rowley / Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2014

It’s been a banner birthday year for the Bard here in Louisville. First Savage Rose Classical Theatre’s solid productions of “King Lear” and “The Tempest,” followed by Kentucky Shakespeare’s resurrection summer, with eight very different productions filling the Central Park amphitheatre for weeks on end, and now Actors Theatre of Louisville celebrates Shakespeare’s presumed 450th birthday with an inventive, stylized and thoroughly satisfying production of the romantic comedy “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” This production of Shakespeare’s early rom-com takes plenty of liberties with the source material, but its crash of the ridiculous into the sublime perfectly encapsulates the feeling of falling head over heels in love.  

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Arts and Humanities
2:39 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Teddy Abrams Opens Louisville Orchestra Season With Mahler and an Original Work

Teddy Abrams, music director and conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, opens the orchestra's classics season Saturday with Fanfara.
Credit Alix Mattingly / WFPL News

Teddy Abrams has arrived. The 27-year-old new music director of the Louisville Orchestra opens the orchestra's season Saturday with the annual Fanfara gala performance. Abrams, who moved to town this summer, stopped by WFPL studios earlier this week to talk Mahler, his own musical style, and weigh in on the best guitarists of all time.

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