Erin Keane

Arts and Humanities Reporter

Erin Keane covers Louisville's vibrant arts and humanities scene for WFPL. A former newspaper theater critic and arts writer, she has lived in Louisville since 1994 and is a graduate of the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts, Bellarmine University's communications program and Spalding University's graduate creative writing program. 

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Louisville Native Danica Novgorodoff Chases Ghost Brides in Her New Graphic Novel

From "The Undertaking of Lily Chen."
Credit Danica Novgorodoff

Danica Novgorodoff's new graphic novel, "The Undertaking of Lily Chen," is set in the mountains of northern China, where the ancient custom of ghost brides — the practice of burying a female corpse with an unmarried deceased man so they can be mates in the afterlife — is still practiced by some. 

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Arts and Humanities
11:23 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

REVIEW | Musical Adaptation of 'The Color Purple' Stands On Its Own

Tymika Prince as Celie and Shajuana Motley as Shug Avery in JCC CenterStage's "The Color Purple."
Credit CenterStage

CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center has a hit in their sold-out production of "The Color Purple" musical adaptation. Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, with a book by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Marsha Norman (a Louisville native),  “The Color Purple” features highly entertaining blues, jazz, ragtime and pop-inspired music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray that allows this adaptation stand on its own feet. 

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Arts and Humanities
7:00 am
Sun March 30, 2014

As Louisville Considers Youth Safety, Humana Fest Play Confronts Issue Head-On

Cherene Snow (Lena) delivering the opening monologue, with Sally Diallo (Devine) in background, in Kimber Lee's "brownsville song (b-side for tray)," Humana Festival of New American Plays, 2014.
Credit Bill Brymer / Actors Theatre of Louisville

Louisville continues to react to a series of violent incidents last weekend, when a gathering of teens at a Waterfront Park vigil for a youth stabbed on a TARC bus became volatile, and attendees allegedly committed several acts of violence throughout downtown. 

The events of last weekend have led to greater police presence downtown and community meetings with teens in West Louisville.

Meanwhile, downtown at Third and Main streets, the 38th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays is underway at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

These two stories aren’t usually connected. But one of the plays making its world premiere in the festival is “brownsville song (b-side for tray),” a powerful drama about an African American teen victim of gang violence.

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Arts and Humanities
11:42 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Your Indispensable Guide to the 2014 Humana Festival Plays

John Clarence Stewart and Sally Diallo in Kimber Lee's "brownsville song (b-side for tray)," Humana Festival of New American Plays, 2014.
Credit Bill Brymer / Actors Theatre of Louisville

As of last weekend, all of the full-length productions have opened in the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. (A bill of ten-minute plays runs the final weekend only.) The festival is open through Sunday, April 6. That's a mere week and a half to fit in a whole festival's worth of world premiere plays. Here's the schedule with ticket information.

Wondering which play(s) are worth your time? Have to choose only one of six shows? Don't panic. Here's your guide to the Humana Festival from someone who's seen it all. 

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Arts and Humanities
12:31 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

REVIEW | Savage Rose's Miraculous 'King Lear' Is Both Tragic and Fun

J. Barrett Cooper as Lear and Kelsey Thompson as Cordelia in Savage Rose Classical Theatre's "King Lear," 2014.
Credit Kelly Moore / Savage Rose Classical Theatre

Let the trumpet sound! The classical players of Louisville's Savage Rose ensemble have done the near-impossible with "King Lear." Their three-hour tragedy of a medieval king undone, first by hubris and then by dementia, is more than an excellent and faithful Shakespeare production. It's also fun

Directed by Alec Volz and J. Barrett Cooper, who also plays the title role, "King Lear" runs through March 30 at Walden Theater on Payne Street.

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Arts and Humanities
1:48 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Gianandrea Noseda Conducts Israel Philharmonic in Louisville

Gianandrea Nosreda

The acclaimed Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is coming to the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Guest principal conductor Gianandrea Noseda directs the acclaimed ensemble in an evening of French composers April 1 in Whitney Hall.

The program includes Berlioz's "Symphonie Fantastique," Ravel's Mother Goose Suite and Fauré's "Pelléas et Mélisande" Suite.

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Arts and Humanities
10:56 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Humana Festival Director Ian Frank on Apprentice Showcase 'Remix 38'

Zach Wymore and Mirirai Sithole in "Remix 38," Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2014.
Credit Bill Brymer / Actors Theatre of Louisville

Ian Frank, himself a former member of the apprentice company, returns to Actors Theatre of Louisville this year to direct "Remix 38," the apprentice anthology showcase. This year's playwrights -  Jackie Sibblies Drury, Idris Goodwin, Basil Kreimendahl, Justin Kuritzkes and Amelia Roper - were charged with an homage assignment. Each playwright received snippets of dialog and image from nine previous Humana Festival world premiere plays to jumpstart their work. The result is nine individual short plays that are united by the festival itself, not by theme. 

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Arts and Humanities
7:01 am
Sun March 23, 2014

REVIEW | Homage to Humana Festivals Past 'Remix' Showcases Acting Apprentices

Madison Niderhauser, Derek Grabner, Lindsey Kite and Julia Bynum in "Remix 38," Humana Festival of New American Plays, 2014.
Credit Bill Brymer / Actors Theatre of Louisville

Every year for the Humana Festival of New American Plays, Actors Theatre of Louisville commissions a group of playwrights to fashion an anthology - a collection of short plays gathered under one production - to showcase the current crop of acting apprentices. There's a theme to unify the pieces - last year's "Sleep Rock Thy Brain" focused on the brain science of sleep, and 2012's "Oh Gastronomy!" was all about food - and once published, the play becomes a suitable showcase piece for any large cast of young adult actors, perfect for high school or college productions.

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Arts and Humanities
1:06 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

REVIEW | SITI Company Explodes John Henry Myth in 'Steel Hammer'

Eric Berryman and the cast of "Steel Hammer," 38th Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2014.
Credit Michael Brosilow / Actors Theatre of Louisville

The 38th Humana Festival of New American Plays continues with another dynamic opening night at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Directed by the legendary Anne Bogart, "Steel Hammer," a movement-heavy musical ode to and interrogation of American folklore hero John Henry opened last night with an impressive performance in the Victor Jory Theatre. 

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Arts and Humanities
1:45 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

REVIEW | The Bard's Town Opens Season with Solid Louisville Premiere of 'Rapture, Blister, Burn'

Rachel White, Laurene Scalf, Amy Steiger and Victoria Reibel in Gina Gionfriddo's "Rapture, Blister, Burn."
Credit The Bard's Town Theatre

In theory, Gina Gionfriddo's 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist play "Rapture, Blister, Burn" sounds like homework -- four women from three generations debate feminist theory and interrogate their own life choices in a women's studies class on stage -- but in practice, it's a thought-provoking and darkly funny long, hard look at how wide the gulf often is between the ideal life educated middle-class white women have promised themselves (fulfilling career, romantic relationship, devoted children, financial security) and life's messy, sometimes disappointing realities. 

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