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). 


Arts and Humanities
4:07 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Fund for the Arts Connects Louisville Arts Groups With Potential Board Members

Credit Shutterstock

Nonprofit cultural groups need active, invested boards of directors to help govern, hire leaders, and raise money. One of the Fund for the Arts’ goals is to prepare young professionals to serve on boards, and one way the Fund helps the two connect is the annual Community Arts Board Fair.

The concept is a little like speed dating – invite a smallish group of area arts organizations actively recruiting for their boards of directors to set up tables and meet young professionals who are ready to start becoming more actively involved. Hopefully, some matches are made.

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Arts and Humanities
8:00 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Listen: Louisville Actors Perform 'Star Wars in 60 Seconds ... or So'

The cast of "Star Wars in 60 Minutes" - Chris Petty, Tony Smith, April Singer, Scott Goodman and J.P. Lebangood - perform this weekend at The Bard's Town.
Credit Marty Pearl

Many children of the 1970s and '80s grew up learning all of the dialogue to the original Star Wars trilogy by heart. Now, a  group of Louisville actors are bringing that experience to the stage. In “Star Wars in 60 Minutes or Less,” five actors perform a manic, comic version of George Lucas’ science fiction classics.

“It’s not necessarily picture-perfect, it’s definitely sped-up, it’s very low-budget," says director Chris Petty. "It’s basically five kids in a basement playing Star Wars.”

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Arts and Humanities
1:00 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Veteran Actor Anne Hodapp Returns to Actors Theatre for 'A Christmas Carol'

Anne Hodapp as Mrs. Grigsby with William McNulty as Ebenezer Scrooge in Actors Theatre of Louisville's "A Christmas Carol."
Credit Harlan Taylor / Actors Theatre of Louisville

The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey to redemption thanks to visits by three ghosts is a holiday classic. And for 38 years, Actors Theatre of Louisville has staged a production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” This year's holiday classic opens Friday, and once again, actress Anne Hodapp will perform. She's Mrs. Grigsby and Cook now, but over the 22 years Hodapp has appeared in "A Christmas Carol" at Actors Theatre, she's played a variety of roles and seen some magical (and disastrously funny) moments on stage.  

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Arts and Humanities
2:00 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Harry Pickens Sets Wendell Berry Poems to Song for Louisville's Voces Novae

Voces Novae rehearses Harry Pickens' new compositions of Wendell Berry poems
Credit Erin Keane / WFPL News

Inside a rehearsal room at Highlands Presbyterian Church, Voces Novae conductor Frank Heller leads his singers through a song based on a Wendell Berry poem while composer Harry Pickens accompanies them on piano. Pickens has adapted ten Berry poems for choral performance for the ensemble’s season opener, “I Go Among Trees.”

“If you focus on the text, then the music will illumine the text. The music is never more important than the text,” Heller tells his singers.

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Arts and Humanities
10:02 am
Thu November 21, 2013

No Sophomore Slump for Slant Culture Theatre Festival

Gregory Maupin as Thomas Edison and Tony Dingman as Nicola Tesla in Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble's "On the Circuit."
Credit Sean Donaldson / Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble

The second annual Slant Culture Theatre Festival opened last week with a live-music launch party and kicked into high gear on Friday with multiple productions running in repertory in Walden Theatre. Each of the five producing partners — Walden, Savage Rose Classical Theatre, Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble, Theatre [502] and Louisville Improvisors — are staging a full production, in addition to about a dozen guest artists performing in and around the ten-day festival.

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Arts and Humanities
10:16 am
Wed November 20, 2013

REVIEW | 'War Horse' Balances Spectacle With Heart

Albert rides Joey in "War Horse."
Credit Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

Much has been made of the puppetry wizards who bring the eponymous heroes of "War Horse," a horse named Joey and his cavalry buddy Topthorn, to life. The life-sized horse puppets created by the Tony Award-winning Handspring Puppet Company are certainly impressive, but the beating heart behind the acclaimed play is the strong relationship between Joey and his owner Albert, who enlists in the British Army in an attempt to rescue Joey from the unspeakable terrors of World War I.

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Arts and Humanities
2:14 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

U of L's African American Theatre Program Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The University of Louisville's "The Orphan's Revenge," based on "The Orphan of Chao," a 13th century Chinese classic.
Credit University of Louisville

The University of Louisville’s African American Theatre Program celebrates its 20th anniversary this week with a Creole adaptation of a Molière classic. “Monsieur Baptiste, the Con Man” is based on Molière’s satire “Tartuffe.”  Set among 19th century Haiti’s free Black community, this comedy of manners depicts a seemingly-devout confidence man who infiltrates a wealthy household and ends up falling in love with the lady of the house. It opens tomorrow and runs through Sunday at the Playhouse.

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Arts and Humanities
5:15 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Kentucky Opera's New Staging Moves Verdi's 'Simon Boccanegra' Into Recent History

The Kentucky Opera production of Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra."
Credit Patrick Pfister

The Kentucky Opera performed its new production of Guiseppe Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" last weekend. The story of an eponymous populist sea captain vaulted to political power by scheming partisans revolves around the intersection of political treachery and his tumultuous relationship with his aristocratic lover's family. 

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Arts and Humanities
11:00 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Kentucky Shakespeare Expands Spring/Summer Season in the Parks

When he sat down to plan Kentucky Shakespeare's 2014 summer season, artistic director Matt Wallace knew he had to make a bold statement. The oldest free outdoor Shakespeare festival in the country was rocked by management scandal and an abruptly canceled show last summer, and as soon as Wallace accepted the job in July, he started working on repairing the company's reputation and relationships within the community.

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Arts and Humanities
11:54 am
Fri November 15, 2013

REVIEW | Like Its Hero, Actors Theatre's 'Tom Jones' Is Charming, Flawed

Drigan Lee and Maren Bush as Tom and Sophia in Jon Jory's new adaptation of Henry Fielding's "Tom Jones" at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Credit Bill Brymer / Actors Theatre of Louisville

Actors Theatre of Louisville welcomed legendary former producing director Jon Jory home for the company's fiftieth anniversary season with his new adaptation of Henry Fielding's classic picaresque novel "Tom Jones." Directed by Jory, "Tom Jones" opened last night in the Bingham Theatre and runs through December 8. 

It's fitting that Jory, under whose leadership Actors Theatre became the Tony Award-winning institution that it is, returns for the golden anniversary with a new play. Jory's been on a tear through the Jane Austen catalog for the last several years, staging his adaptations of "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" at Actors Theatre ("Emma" and "Persuasion" have gone up elsewhere, too), but this time he went further back in Brit-lit history to the book commonly recognized as the first English novel.

On stage, "Tom Jones" is a frothy, funny romp through the backyards and bedchambers of the English countryside and London's snobby salons. And like the eponymous hero, the play packs plenty of charm, but not always enough to overcome its weaknesses. 

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