Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Humana Announces Its Play Lineup

The Actors Theatre Louisville, hosts of the National Ten-Minute Play Competition, have announced their lineup for the Humana Festival this year.

If anybody is interested in what plays and playwrights are going to be jammed into our consciousness over the next three years, always look to the Humana Festival. In a way, like it's counterpart Playwrights Horizons, it is the Sundance Festival of theatre. I don't mean this in a snarky way. In fact, Humana definitely produces plays that are out of the mainstream. For instance, Adam Rapp's Finer Noble Gases featured an actor peeing into a snare drum right in front of the audience. I wonder if ATL provided rain slickers like Blue Man Group does.

Anyway, Backstage has the rundown. And below are the plays and playwrights.

Hazard County by Allison Moore - Has already had a production in New York at least. Here is a review on NYtheatre.com of the Themanatics Group Production.

A Nervous Smile by John Belluso who penned the kind of hot Pyretown that is making the rounds right now.

A Shaker Chair by playwright Adam Bock who's most recent well-known production was The Typographer's Dream at HERE in New York. You can read the Curtain Up Review.

Moot the Messenger by Kia Korthron has probably the most cliched description of all of the plays: It's described as a

"complex and fierce indictment of contemporary American news media: An ambitious journalism student lands a job as an embedded reporter in Iraq. Her encounters with soldiers and others lead her to see that the truth is no longer
what the media seeks."

I was not a great fan of Breath Boom's production at the Huntington. I thought the play read well, but needed a more intimate space. Ms. Korthron is a political and social playwright, so no one should be surprised at her choice.

Pure Confidence by Carlyle Brown. A story about a black jockey, this is a combined effort between ATL and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Mergers continue.

Memory House by Kathleen Tolan has the kind of description that makes guys scream and run for the exit...

The essay question, "What’s in your memory house?," sparks the play, according to the Playwrights Horizons announcement. "This innocuous question for a college entrance essay prompts a free-spirited 18-year-old to confront her mother... about the ethical ramifications of her own international adoption. Unfolding in real time as one woman struggles to bake a pie and another races to meet a rapidly looming postmark deadline, Memory House is a remarkable, wryly funny and utterly recognizable mother-daughter drama that examines the global ties that bind family to state, and state to family."

but it must have some chops. Dianne Weist is starring in a production at Playwright's Horizon this spring. For those playwrights wondering how long it takes to get something to stage, apparently, the play began as a reading of a work in progress in 2003.



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