Arts and Culture

Actors Theatre of Louisville has announced Robert Barry Fleming as the company’s new artistic director. Fleming, who is currently the associate artistic director of Cleveland Play House, will assume his position on June 1.

“I look forward to being a part of the collaborative, radically humanizing and inclusive artistic work at Actors Theatre of Louisville,” Fleming wrote in a news release.

He continued: “Transformation begins with hearing each other’s stories and Actors Theatre has arguably been the vanguard in transforming the American theatrical canon through the Humana Festival of New American Plays.”

Cleveland Play House

Robert Barry Fleming

This appointment is long-anticipated.

Former artistic director Les Waters announced his decision to leave Actors to pursue independent projects in October of 2017; he officially left the theater the following summer.

During his time in Louisville, Waters brought new energy to the long-running Humana Festival of New American Plays.

This resulted in Humana Festival-debuted plays having runs all across the country, such as Lucas Hnath’s “The Christians,” Sarah Ruhl’s “For Peter Pan on Her 70th birthday,” and Charles Mee’s “The Glory of the World.”

Prior to his position with the Cleveland Play House, Fleming served as Director of Artistic Programming at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. He’s a native of Frankfort, Kentucky.

In a release, Actors’ managing director Kevin E. Moore wrote: “I’m thrilled that Robert will be joining the talented and dedicated team at Actors Theatre. He brings such robust and multifaceted artistic experience as well as a deep belief in theatre as a space for all. I’m personally inspired by his vision for organizational collaboration that allows for transparency and transformation in equal measure.”

Fleming will lead Actors Theatre into its 56th season.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.