Overview: Slant Culture Theatre Festival

In biology, a slant culture occurs when you tilt the test tube to maximize your potential area for cellular growth.

The producing companies of the Slant Culture Theatre Festival are taking a similar approach: by joining forces for an 11-day festival, they hope to create conditions—and a culture—that are favorable to growth for all of the performers and organizations.

Slant Culture opens at Walden Theatre Thursday and runs through Sunday, November 18. 

Greg Maupin is co-artistic director of Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble. He’s also one of the writers and performers in “5 Things,” an original Le Petomane play first staged last summer that will be one of the five mainstage productions in the Slant Culture festival.

“It’s the tale of three former bookseller, record store and video store employees who have been stranded on a desert island,” says Maupin. “They have sort of gone some kind of combination of ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘High Fidelity.’ But with ukuleles.”

Maupin says that while the Louisville theater community feels small at times, audiences for the other four companies—Walden, Savage Rose, Theatre [502] and Louisville Improvisors—don’t necessarily overlap with Le Petomane’s.

“So our hope is to introduce our audience to those people: hey, have you ever seen a Savage Rose show? And also to introduce their audience to us, so we get to play for different people. It’s always more fun that way,” says Maupin. 

In addition to the five mainstage shows, a number of workshops and guest performances will round out the festival, including family-friendly workshops with Squallis Puppeteers and Walden Theatre and late-night performances like “Scuffletown,” a poetry and music show by Typecast Publishing author Chris Mattingly and a staged reading of Wes Anderson’s film “The Royal Tenenbaums.” 

The festival opens Thursday with a launch party featuring music by Cheyenne Marie Mize and Joel Henderson, special appearances by the five producing theater companies, a lobby bar and food trucks (7:30 p.m.).

Here’s a look at the five productions running throughout the festival and scheduled special events. All events are ticketed; full festival passes, day passes and individual performance tickets are available. All shows run at Walden Theatre (1123 Payne St.). 

Walden Theatre

D.W. Gregory’s “Salvation Road” 

Directed by Alec Volz. Seventeen-year-old Cliff and his best friend search for an older sister who left home to join a Fundamentalist church in this road story that examines the nature of faith and identity. 

  • Friday, November 9 (9 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 10 (5 p.m.)
  • Sunday, November 11 (7:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday, November 15 (7:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 17 (5:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, November 18 (5:30 p.m.)

Theatre [502]

Mat Smart’s “The Debate Over Courtney O’Connell of Columbus, Nebraska”

Directed by Gil Reyes. Theatre [502] reprises their very first show with a new cast. A small town’s strange law allows a slacker whose first love is engaged to a go-getter to challenge him to a definitive public debate for her hand. 

  • Friday, November 9 (7:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 10 (5:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, November 11 (3:30 p.m.; 6 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, November 14 (8 p.m.)
  • Thursday, November 15 (10 p.m.)
  • Friday, November 16 (8 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 17 (7:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, November 18 (7:30 p.m.)

Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company

Luigi Pirandello’s ”The Man With the Flower in His Mouth”

Directed by Alec Volz and J. Barrett Cooper. This one-act dialog between two strangers in a bar contrasts the heightened awareness of sense and memory of a man on the brink of death with the idle time-passing of a stranded businessman. 

  • Friday, November 9 (9 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 10 (7 p.m.)
  • Sunday, November 11 (4 p.m.; 8 p.m.)
  • Thursday, November 15 (9:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 17 (3:30 p.m.; 9 p.m.)
  • Sunday, November 18 (6 p.m.)

Louisville Improvisors: “Buy the Book”

Directed by Chris Anger. Improv comedians team up with local authors to re-tell the stories of their books. Guests include Barry Bernson (“Bernson’s Corner: a Reporter’s Notebook”), Tom Owen (“The History of Pigs in Louisville”) and John Boel. 

  • Saturday, November 10 (9:30 p.m.) with Barry Bernson
  • Sunday, November 11 (5:30 p.m.) with Tom Owen 
  • Friday, November 16 (9:30 p.m.) with Barry Bernson
  • Saturday, November 17 (7:30 p.m.) with John Boel

Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble: “5 Things”

Devised by co-artistic directors Gregory Maupin, Abigail Bailey Maupin and Kyle Ware. The three actors reprise their popular “5 Things,” a celebration of the short list of fine books, films and albums that make it to a desert island with three unemployed yet faithful castaway clerks.

  • Saturday, November 10 (7:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, November 11 (9:30 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, November 14 (7:30 p.m.)
  • Friday, November 16 (7:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, November 17 (9:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, November 18 (3:30 p.m.)

SPECIAL EVENTS

Friday, November 9

Poe’s Mysteries Imagined

Edited and directed by Julane Havens, Walden Theatre, 9:30 p.m.

Ricketts and Randy: A Man, a Dummy and a Dream

A comedy and magic performance by Keith McGill and Chris Anger, 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 10

Discover Drama Family Workshop

Facilitated by Julane Havens, Walden Theatre, 1:30 p.m.

Mindful Creativity – Where Mindful Action Meets Creative Play

facilitated by Tara Remington, 2:30 p.m.

Food Fight

A show and workshop, Squallis Puppeteers show and workshop, 3:00 p.m.

Ricketts and Randy: A Man, a Dummy and a Dream

A comedy and magic performance by Keith McGill and Chris Anger, 8 p.m.

Scuffletown: Voice of the New South

Chris Mattingly, Typecast Publishing, 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 11

Nia

Workshop/workout by Maria Whitley, Shine, 2:00 p.m.

“Shut Up”

Written and performed by Justin Dobring, directed by Rachael Dobring, 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 14

“Shut Up”

Written and performed by Justin Dobring, directed by Rachael Dobring, 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 15

Ricketts and Randy: A Man, a Dummy and a Dream

A comedy and magic performance by Keith McGill and Chris Anger, 8 p.m.

Friday, November 16

Wes Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums”

A staged reading produced by Julane Havens, 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 17

Discover Drama Family Workshop

Facilitated by Julane Havens, Walden Theatre, 1:30 p.m.

The Kids Can All Write: Spotlight on Young Poets

Generation iSpeak, Typecast Publishing, 3:00 p.m.

Contemporary Plays and Playwrights

A discussion facilitated by Amy Attaway, Theatre [502], 4:30 p.m.

Radio Theatre Workshop

Facilitated by Sharon Scott and Bart Galloway, ART+FM, 6:00 p.m.

Ricketts and Randy: A Man, a Dummy and a Dream

A comedy and magic performance by Keith McGill and Chris Anger, 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 18

Nia

Workshop/workout by Maria Whitley of Shine, 2:00 p.m.

“Shut Up”

Written and performered by Justin Dobring, directed by Rachael Dobring, 7:30 p.m.

Comments