Previewing Actors Theatre's season [Theater]

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Triple-dog dare you to go barefoot in the park while running with a kite singing Christmas carols. Or, enjoy the upcoming 2010-2011 season at Actors Theatre.

Actors Theatre will present a variety of plays and musicals during the upcoming season, including the 2010 productions of The Kite Runner (August-September), Dracula (September-October), The Mystery of Irma Vep (October), A Christmas Story (November), Barefoot in the Park (November-December), and A Christmas Carol (December).

The 2011 portion of the season will include The Second City: It Takes a Ville! (January-February), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (January-February), the Humana Festival of New American Plays (February-April), and BOB (February-April). All performances will be taking place at Actors Theatre, located at 316 Main Street in downtown Louisville.

Actors Theatre is selling a variety of season tickets packages for the upcoming season, including for the complete series, the Brown-Forman series, play choice, and a flex pass. More information on season tickets can be found at the Actors Theatre website.

The Actors Theatre season will kick off with a performance of The Kite Runner. The Marc Masterson-directed production is based on Khaled Hosseini's novel about two boys living in Afghanistan during civil unrest which will, for a time, separate them.

The Kite Runner opens on August 31 and will run until September 25. Tickets for The Kite Runner are $20 and up can be purchased on the Actors Theatre website or by calling 502-584-1205. Keep in mind the show is recommended for audiences aged 13 and up due to strong content and language.

Next, around Halloween time, Dracula will make his appearance. The classic story deals with the title character seeking control and blood from unwitting victims. This includes Jonathan Harker, who finds himself trapped in Count Dracula's place. William McNully adapted and will direct Dracula, which will run from September 17-October 31.

Another tale with a vampire is part of a mystery, The Mystery of Irma Vep. The Charles Ludlam-written and Sean Daniels-directed comedy will feature two actors portraying multiple roles, including a werewolf looking for love, the aforementioned vampire, and an Egyptian princess. The comedy will run from October 5-30.

Halloween rolls into Thanksgiving and Christmas with A Christmas Story performances. Sean Daniels will direct the production, based on the movie, in which a child is on a never-ending quest to get a Red Ryder BB Gun. Here's to hoping he doesn't shoot his eye out. The Christmas classic will run November 9-28.

In the late fall/early winter, Barefoot in the Park will occur. The Neil Simon-penned and Masterson-directed show will feature laughs as the recently-married Corie and Paul attempt to secure their first apartment while also dealing with over-the-top neighbors and a nosy mother. The show will run from November 16-December 18.

Another holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol, will take to the stage. In the production, Scrooge, who could really care less about Christmas, hears from three Christmas spirits. Scrooge will soon find his heart transformed. Christmas spirits and Tiny Tim also help bring in the joy and "bah-humbug" of the Christmas season in this Daniels-directed, Charles Dickens-written classic. The production will run December7-23.

The 2011 portion of the season will begin with The Second City: It Takes a Ville. The famed Second City comedy troupe will make its way to Louisville to perform comedy routines, skits, and other random moments with a local flavor. The Mick Napier-directed production will take place from January 4-18.

Also starting in January is the August Wilson-penned Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. In this look at 20th century African-American life, Ma Rainey and her blues band work to create music in 1927 Chicago. At the same time, the group is forced to deal with producer demands and cultural differneces, among other issues. The Ron OJ Parson production will take place from January 18-February 13.

The Humana Festival of New American Plays will follow in February. This festival, now in its 35th year, will feature new works of all types, including comedies, dramas, plays going into unknown territory, etc. This is a chance to see productions that are premiering on a national stage for the first time. The festival will take place from February 27-April 2.

The Humana Festival will include the production Bob. In this production, Bob talks about his life story, from being born in a Louisville White Castle, to achieving fame, watching everything fall apart, and a life revitalization. The Peter Sinn Nachtrieb-created production will take place from February 27-April 2.

Actors Theatre is currently in the process of casting a Ralphie for A Christmas Story, which takes place in November. Auditions have already taken place, and a final round will take place at the Kentucky State Fair on August 28. Audience members and a celebrity panel will chhose the person to play Ralphie.

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(Image from Actors Theatre)

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