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The Slant Culture Theatre Festival returns Wednesday for its third season, featuring performances by producing companies Walden Theatre, Think Tank Theatre, Theatre [502], Savage Rose Classical Theatre Company, and the Louisville Improvisors

Alison Huff, the producer of the 11-day festival, spoke with me about the creation of the festival, what kind of work is featured this year, and ultimately what makes the Slant Culture Theatre Festival unique.

Huff on the name and vision behind Slant Culture:

“In biology a ‘slant culture’ is when a test tube is tilted to maximize the area for growth. Six years ago, Walden Theatre created the Slant Culture series of plays—an initiative to develop new works by rising playwrights that feature complex and real teen characters and situations. This idea of inspiring playwrights, actors, and audiences alike to experiment with new and exciting material became the catalyst for the festival that bears its name, now entering its third year.”

How ‘Slant’ is unique:

“The Slant Culture Theatre Festival is a laboratory for uncommon works, and an opportunity to cross-pollinate audiences, participants, and supporters. This kind of large-scale, cross-sector collaboration is truly rare, especially in Louisville, and most especially in Louisville’s art scene. Instead of operating in silos, the Slant Culture Theatre Festival seeks to build meaningful collaboration, pooling our resources in a way that creates a product bigger than the sum of our parts. The relationships we build through that process foster additional partnership and collaboration year-round.”

Huff on what kind of work audiences will find at the festival:

“All kinds! We intentionally provide a diverse array of shows to attract diverse audiences and to encourage them to take a chance on seeing something they’ve never experienced before. There are 18 different offerings, including several original productions, a hard-hitting play about office politics, storytelling and slam poetry, a classic French piece that is not only still relevant but still provocative, a show about life as a teenager, a magic show, an edgy exploration of wrestling culture, and even a Latin hip-hop-flavored take on a Hans Christian Andersen story (that’s) perfect for young children, live local music in the lobby and more.”

The ways the Slant Culture Theatre Festival has grown since its inception:

“Physically our space is the same as it was three years ago—two performance spaces at Walden Theatre, plus a lobby with a fun, hangout, party vibe. In content, we doubled everything from the first year to last year—the number of offerings, the number of participants and audience members. This year we’re poised to double yet again. It’s exciting to watch it grow so quickly and organically.”

The Slant Culture Theatre Festival kicks off Wednesday and runs through Nov. 23. Tickets can be purchased for the events here and a full schedule of performances can be found here.