Perhaps you take it for granted. Perhaps you don’t know what all the hubbub is about. Perhaps you’ve never even heard of it.
But while most Louisvillians are keeping up with the ‘Cats and the ‘Cards, the Louisville theatre community is preparing for the biggest month of the year.
The fact is, the Humana Festival is to the theatre world what Fashion Week is to well, fashion.
The Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre is the “look-to” for up and coming plays, playwrights and designers. It was at Humana that Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart and Donald Margulies’ Dinner with Friends both got their starts…before going on to win Pulitzer Prizes.
And there have been other notable notables too. Humana alumni include Joyce Carol Oates (Tone Clusters), Lanford Wilson (Eukiah), Susan Miller (My Left Breast), Jane Martin (Keely and Du), Naomi Wallace (One Flea Spare), Wendy Kesselman (My Sister in this House) and Lee Blessing (Great Falls).
Humana Festival plays have been published, turned into films, won slews of awards, and have gone on to be produced numerous times across the country.
In fact, a play (or playwright) that is successful at Humana is likely to enjoy a respected, and sometimes even lucrative, career.
The Festival is not just for locals. Last year alone, nearly 40,000 people attended a Humana Festival performance, representing more than 32 states and several countries.
Want to be a part of history in the making? Actors Theatre sells tickets to individual performances, starting at $20. But this year, they’ve made the Festival more accessible for local folks.
The Humana Festival Locals Pass includes access to 5 of the main productions, 50% off tickets to additional productions, priority placement in the Extra Seat Pass Line, and two vouchers good for any of the public panel discussions. Locals passes are $75.
All tickets can be purchased online or by calling the Actors Theatre box office at (502) 584-1205
Free Events Scheduled
Without a doubt, the biggest parts of the Humana Festival are the new plays. But also important to Actors Theatre are the conversations that go along with them. To this end, Actors sponsors several free events that are open to the public, including:
- Saturday, March 2, 6pm: Humana Festival Open House
- Saturday, March 2, 7pm: Behind the Scenes Tech Event for Appropriate (free, but ticketed)
- Saturday, March 5, 11:30am: “Play with your Food” luncheon: a conversation on The Delling Shore (free; box lunch $10)
- Tuesday, March 12, 7pm: Behind the Scenes Tech Event for Gnit (free, but ticketed)
- Saturday, March 23, 10:30am: Festival Conversation: Aim High with Artistic Director Les Waters and Associate Artistic Director Meredith McDonough (free, but ticketed)
- Saturday, March 30, 10am: Festival Conversation: The Playwright as Teacher and Student with Paula Vogel (playwright and professor at Yale University) and other distinguished playwrights (free, but ticketed)
- Saturday, March 30, 10pm: Humana Festival Soiree at Hillbilly Tea (120 S. 1st St.): a casual opportunity to mingle with members of the theatre industry
- Friday, April 5, 1pm: Festival Conversation: In Dialogue: Sarah Ruhl and Will Eno, internationally produced playwrights (free, but ticketed)
Complimentary tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at (502) 584-1205.