ArtCraft

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). 

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Arts and Humanities
12:30 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

REVIEW | Actors Theatre Scales Unexpected Heights With 'The Mountaintop'

Dominique Morisseaux and Larry Powell in Actors Theatre of Louisville's production of Katori Hall's "The Mountaintop."
Credit Bill Brymer / Actors Theatre of Louisville

With a legend comes tension, often between two camps: those who relish exposing their all-too-human flaws and those who need some things and people sacred. Because we long to feel closer to our heroes, but there’s no guarantee we’ll like what we see if we’re allowed too close. Playwright Katori Hall takes great pains to humanize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the top of her award-winning play “The Mountaintop,” depicting him as a flawed man who struggles with ego, vanity, self-doubt, fear and fidelity, but the play achieves a rare balance and takes equal care with King’s legacy, too.

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Arts and Humanities
4:01 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Louisville Orchestra Names New Executive Director

Andrew Kipe

The Louisville Orchestra has a new executive director. Andrew Kipe will step into the leadership position November 11. Kipe comes to Louisville from the Phoenix Symphony, where he was general manager.

The Phoenix Symphony didn’t escape the woes that plagued  many American orchestras during the Great Recession, and when he came to Arizona, Kipe faced some of the same industry-wide financial and labor issues that led the Louisville Orchestra to file chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010 and created a prolonged labor dispute that resulted in a canceled 2011-12 season.

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Arts and Humanities
2:16 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Kentucky Opera Premieres New Work on Benjamin Franklin

"Portrait of Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)" by Joseph-Siffrein Duplessis
Credit Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ben Franklin’s wit and wisdom is well-documented, but his stormy relationship with his illegitimate son William is often overlooked in founding fathers history.  The tension between the famous patriot and his son, who stayed loyal to England during the Revolutionary War, proved fertile dramatic ground for librettist Terry Teachout and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec, who tackled the story for their third opera collaboration, “The King’s Man.”

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Arts and Humanities
10:57 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Actors Theatre Commissions Lucas Hnath Play for Humana Festival

Lucas Hnath

Actors Theatre of Louisville announced today that Lucas Hnath will premiere his new play "The Christians" in the 2014 Humana Festival of New American Plays. The play was commissioned by Actors Theatre and will be directed by artistic director Les Waters. 

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Arts and Humanities
3:33 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

'The Mountaintop' Portrays the Man Behind the Civil Rights Legend

Credit Actors Theatre of Louisville

It's Memphis, 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has just delivered his now-famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in support of the city's Black sanitation workers, who are striking for higher pay and workplace treatment equal to their white counterparts. The civil rights leader would be shot on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel by James Earl Ray the next day.

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Arts and Humanities
4:26 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

A Different Horse Country: 'Herd in Iceland' Documents Annual Round-Up

For more than 1,000 years, Iceland has kept its indigenous breed of small, sturdy horse pure by prohibiting imported breeds — no re-entry for traveling horses, either. Icelandic horses roam free and wild throughout the countryside and the mountains all summer until farmers head out for the annual round-up, bringing the horses home for the harsh winter months. 

Try as I might, I can't picture herds of Thoroughbreds galloping wild through (a fence-less) rural Kentucky all summer. 

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Arts and Humanities
3:43 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Southern Novelist Tim Gautreaux Headlines Writer's Block Festival

Tim Gautreaux

A reading by award-winning Louisiana novelist Tim Gautreaux will headline the annual Writer's Block Festival this weekend. The festival  returns for the third year with a full schedule of (mostly free) literary events for writers and readers. 

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Arts and Humanities
2:22 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

REVIEW | Theatre [502] Bids High with 'Auctioning the Ainsleys'

Neill Robertson (Aiden Ainsley), Erica McClure (Amelia Ainsley) and Cara Hicks (Annalee Ainsley) in Theatre [502]'s production of Laura Schellhardt's "Auctioning the Ainsleys."
Credit Theatre [502]

Memories are woven into the things we hold onto — we don’t get souvenir from memory for nothing. How do some objects end up telling the story of a family and others put out with the trash? When we forget the story behind a thing, does it become just another useless trinket? Can we neutralize a memory’s power by destroying the stuff to which it clings?

Laura Schellhardt explores these questions and the lingering effects of guilt and resentment on adult children of a domineering father and emotionally-absent mother in “Auctioning the Ainsleys,” a play about a traumatized family of auction house professionals who can’t separate themselves or their stories from their stuff.

Directed by co-artistic director Amy Attaway, Theatre [502] closes its third season with a touching and darkly funny production. Strong work by a cast crackling with chemistry and an elegantly restrained production team ground Schellhardt's poetic script and its many magical moments in emotional realism. 

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Arts and Humanities
3:37 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

'Come As You Are': Stage One's First Sensory-Friendly Performance

Winnie the Pooh (John Vessels), Christopher Robin (Miller Kraps) and Piglet (Carman Napier) in Stage One Family Theatre's "The House at Pooh Corner."
Credit Hannah Wemitt / Stage One Family Theatre

A.A. Milne’s “The House at Pooh Corner” boasts one of the most beloved cast of characters in children’s literature – good-hearted Winnie the Pooh and his chum Christopher Robin, and all of their pals, like wise Owl, mopey Eeyore and timid Piglet. In the stage adaptation, now running at Stage One Family Theatre, most kids are delighted when bouncy Tigger makes his boisterous first entrance. But those kinds of loud surprises can be jarring for a child with autism or other sensory sensitivities.

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Arts and Humanities
9:00 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Violin Star Midori Plays Brahms with Louisville Orchestra

Midori
Credit Greenfield Sanders

When violinist Midori made her debut with the New York Philharmonic, she was only 11 years old, and in the 30-odd years since, she's developed an amazing career in international performance, musical outreach (her 21-year-old nonprofit Midori & Friends brings music education to underserved kids in New York) and higher education as chair of University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music strings department.

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