Arts and Culture

Actors Theatre of Louisville has announced its 2018-19 season.

In a release, Artistic Director Les Waters said, in the new season the company “examines identity and asks ‘Who are we and how did we get here?’”

Managing Director Kevin E. Moore said Waters’ passion for the theater and for the community shows in the coming season’s lineup.

“Since Les announced his departure in October, he’s worked closely with the theatre’s artistic team to program the upcoming season,” said Moore. “We are honored to work alongside him through this year’s Humana Festival of New American Plays and will look forward to welcoming him back to Louisville as a guest artist in the future.”

In October, Waters announced he would be leaving to pursue personal projects.

In Waters’ time at Actors, his decision to double the company’s commissioning program resulted in Humana Festival-debuted plays having runs all across the country, such as playwright Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians,” Sarah Ruhl’s “For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday,” and Charles Mee’s “The Glory of the World.”

Hnath — who Louisville audiences may remember from that Humana Festival production of “The Christians” — returns to the Actors Theatre with “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” which the New York times has called Hnath’s “strongest yet.” This play takes place 15 years after the final moments of Henrik Ibsen’s seminal work “A Doll’s House.” Pirronne Yousefzadeh will direct in the intimate Victor Jory Theatre, with performances beginning Oct. 2, 2018.

Louisville audiences will also recognize playwright Dominique Morisseau from last year’s production “Skeleton Crew.” In her play, “Pipeline,” Morisseau grapples with the American education system’s “school-to-prison pipeline” for men of color; this is done through the lens of a mother and son. Pipeline will begin performances beginning Jan. 8, 2019 in the Bingham Theatre.

Then, starting on Jan. 29, 2019, pianist and actor Hershey Felder will take the stage as Irving Berlin. “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin” is a blend of the songs — including standards like “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “White Christmas” — and story of the artist.

Actors Theatre also brings back some of its traditional holiday plays, including:

  • Fifth Third Bank’s “Dracula,” adapted by William McNulty, Sept. 7 through Oct. 31, 2018
  • Fifth Third Bank’s “A Christmas Carol,” adapted by Barbara Field, Nov. 20 through Dec. 23, 2018
  • “The Santaland Diaries,” adapted by Joe Mantello, Nov. 15 through Dec. 23, 2018

The 2018-2019 season will culminate in the 43rd Humana Festival of New American Plays, March 1 through April 7, 2019. The Festival is a world-renowned event, and an opportunity to see groundbreaking, brand-new work by American theater’s most talented playwrights.

The Festival is underwritten by the Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana, Inc. The 43rd Humana Festival lineup will be announced in November, 2018.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.