Arts and Humanities
12:59 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

REVIEW | Something's Lost in Shephard's Gentle 'Ages of the Moon'

Matt Orme as Byron and Patrick Tovatt as Ames in The Bunbury Theatre's production of Sam Shepard's "Ages of the Moon."
Credit Bunbury Theatre

Two men nearing the twilight of their lives reunite on a Kentucky cabin porch for one evening of drinking, reminiscing and eclipse-watching in Sam Shepard's 2009 play "Ages of the Moon," a dramatic two-hander that probes at the mysteries of aging memory and the fragility of relationships without disturbing too much beneath the surface. 

Directed by Steve Woodring, The Bunbury Theatre's production of "Ages of the Moon" opened Friday and runs through February 23 at the Henry Clay Theatre (604 S. St.). 

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Arts and Humanities
3:58 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Actor Comes Out of Retirement to Tackle 'Gentlest' Shepard Play in Louisville

Patrick Tovatt

Actor Patrick Tovatt, who directed or appeared in more than forty plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville during the company's early days, has come out of retirement to appear in a new production of Sam Shepard’s “Ages of the Moon” at Louisville’s Bunbury Theatre. 

Tovatt is probably best known for his roles on long-running soap operas – he was nominated for a daytime Emmy for his performance as Cal Stricklyn on CBS' "As the World Turns," a role he played for more than ten years. But the last role the former Russellville farmer took on before retiring to Oregon in 2002 was on Broadway, as mathematician Robert in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Proof.” 

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Arts and Humanities
3:14 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

REVIEW | Actors Theatre's 'Our Town' Reinvigorates a Classic

Bruce McKenzie as Stage Manager, with the cast of "Our Town" at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Credit Bill Brymer

It’s not easy producing a classic play. You carry the weight of the aggregate of all previous productions with you into the theatre, where you then ask the audience to set aside their individual ideas about how this play should look, sound and feel on stage based on what they’ve seen before and accept your vision with an open mind and heart. If the production is faithful to tradition, you’re rewarded by those seeking comfort in the familiar, but the other side of the coin can be brutal – dismissed by those prizing innovation over all. And the opposite is also true – a daring production can break all of the rules and garner critical acclaim while alienating a large swath of ticket buyers.

All of this is to say that Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” was not necessarily a “safety” pick for Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 50th anniversary season. There is as much danger in producing such a well-known and frequently produced (especially on school and community stages) play as there is in putting up an untested world premiere in the Humana Festival.

But director (and artistic director) Les Waters, who came to “Our Town” with an Englishman’s fresh eyes, has pulled it off. His “Our Town” is a sensitive, beautiful and unsentimental production that honors Wilder’s groundbreaking script while offering innovative gestures that are wholly his own.

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Arts and Humanities
11:17 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Actors Theatre Extends 'Pirates' Run

The cast of "The Pirates of Penzance," Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2014
Credit Bill Brymer / Actors Theatre of Louisville

Due to heavy demand for tickets, Actors Theatre of Louisville is extending the run of "The Pirates of Penzance" in the Bingham Theatre. The company has added an extra performance, February 5 at 7:30 p.m., to increase capacity for the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

"We've been thrilled by the tremendous response we have seen from audiences. Louisville is really loving this party in the middle of winter," says spokeswoman Kirsty Gaukel. "People have been returning to see the show for a second time, so they can try out the promenade seats."

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Arts and Humanities
1:00 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Actors Theatre's Les Waters Sees American Classic With Fresh Eyes

Credit Actors Theatre of Louisville

Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” is a certified American classic. Taught and performed in high schools across the country, the play, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938, at times suffers from the regrettable side-effects of that familiarity, reduced to a sentimental period piece appealing to those nostalgic for small-town simple life at the turn of the 20th century.

Wilder, oddly enough, is often misunderstood by those who should know him best. 

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Arts and Humanities
12:59 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

U of L's African American Theatre Program Honors Kentucky Women in MLK Day Program

Lundeana Thomas (center) and students in the African American Theatre Program perform in the 2013 Martin Luther King Day celebration at the University of Louisville
Credit University of Louisville

  Every year, Lundeana Thomas, a theatre arts professor who heads the University of Louisville's African American Theatre Program, leaders her students in a research and writing project culminating in a theatrical performance honoring King's legacy. A free event Monday at U of L will be the 15th annual AATP Martin Luther King Day celebration.

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Strange Fruit
12:03 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Strange Fruit: Keith McGill Directs Comedy on Sex in Middle Age; Trans Leaders on Katie Couric

Credit Disney/ABC

Louisville comedian Keith McGill has been one of our favorite people since he was first on the show last year to talk about his work in a local production of Top Dog/Underdog. That play explored themes of black masculinity through the fractured relationship of two brothers struggling with instability and poverty.

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Arts and Humanities
7:04 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Kids Acting Against Cancer Grows Up

Remy Sisk as Melchior, McKenna Poe as Wendla and Charlie Meredith as Moritz in Acting Against Cancer's Louisville production of "Spring Awakening."
Credit Whitten Montgomery / Acting Against Cancer

The Louisville-based nonprofit organization Kids Acting Against Cancer has come a long way since two girls, Whitten and Jaclyn Montgomery, put on shows in their basement to raise money for cancer research. They started taking acting classes when their mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and their first show was “Annie.”

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Arts and Humanities
4:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Louisville Writer's New Play Debunks Myths About Women's Sexuality

Carol Dines, Clint Gill, Rebecca Henderson and Sean Childress in Heidi Saunders' comedy "Sex Again."
Credit Kevin Robinson

Despite its provocative title,  Heidi Saunders says her new play "Sex Again" isn't an X-rated show. 

“It’s not raunchy at all,” says the Louisville playwright.

That's because the central conflict in this comedy is between a woman and her husband whose long-term marriage has, well, suffered from a lack of intimacy of late. The wife wants to end their dry spell, and her husband resists. 

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Arts and Humanities
10:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Ten-Minute Play Festivals Seek Short Work from Kentucky Writers

A scene from the 2013 Ten-Tucky Festival at The Bard's Town Theatre.
Credit Doug Schutte / The Bard's Town Theatre

The contemporary American ten-minute play is practically a Louisville invention – former Actors Theatre producing director Jon Jory was a champion of the form, establishing it as a legitimate sub-genre from the early beginnings of the Humana Festival, and the annual National Ten-Minute Play Contest is still administered by Actors Theatre. So it’s no surprise that several Louisville companies have developed a fondness for the short form.

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