Arts and Culture

It’s been said that actors don’t retire— they just open their next act.

Pat Allison taught drama at Louisville’s Youth Performing Arts School for 31 years before hanging up her grade book last year. Now, she’s back on stage in the upcoming Theatre [502] production of Laura Schellhardt’s “Auctioning the Ainsleys,” a dark comedy about a family of auctioneers. She plays Alice, the matriarch of the Ainsley family.

Three of the performers portraying Allison’s adult children in the play are also her former students, including Neill Robertson, who plays her son Aiden. Ten years out of high school, Robertson still can’t seem to get the hang of calling Pat Allison by her first name.

“Ms. Allison taught me so much of what I still know today, and also what I impart to my students now about theatre history,” says Robertson, who teaches at Walden Theatre. “Just how far back this art form goes, how ingrained in our society it is.”

Erica McClure and Leah Roberts also studied with Allison at YPAS. They play her daughters, Amelia and Avery. 

“Auctioning the Ainsleys” opens Saturday and runs through October 12 in the Victor Jory Theatre at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

WFPL’s Erin Keane sat down with Allison and Robertson to talk about about theater education, their  YPAS days, and their new working relationship.