Post image for In Humana

Just returned from the 34th annual Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and am reminded of how important it is to meet colleagues from different areas of our vast nation. It’s invigorating! As one of the oldest new play festivals in the United States, Humana attracts a VIP crowd plus loads of local Louisvillians. Theatre professionals are for the most part nerdy and there were plenty of opportunities to get geeky and talk shop throughout the weekend’s official and unofficial meet ups. Most chit chat revolved around ensemble work: how it’s made, how it’s produced, how it’s resurging and how it gets toured. Questions abounded but the most salient, in my view was: How can regional theatres best serve ensembles?
Ooh yes. And of course there was plenty of theatre to take part in. This year’s line up includes the following shows presented in the order in which I saw them. Plus a haiku (of sorts) to describe.

Phoenix by Scott Organ.
Quirky guy and gal
Fall in love despite heavy

Heist! (conceived and created by Deborah Stein and Sean Daniels)
Site-specific heist
(duh) unfolding in a
Museum. Cool. Yup.

Sirens by Deborah Zoe Laufer
Doomed married duo
Cruise, mermaid, ex-b/f
Panacea. Love.

The Method Gun by Austin Texas’s Rude Mechanicals
Mythic acting prof
‘Stella Burden’ plus ‘Streetcar’
Makes “Stella!” funny

The Cherry Sisters Revisited by Dan O’Brian
Bad old-time actors
Didn’t compel then and def
Don’t compel today

Ground by Lisa Dillman
Don’t rove around my
Pecan grove. You rogue. Get out!
Border control. Strove.

Fissures (lost and found) by Steve Epp, Cory Hinkle, Dominic Orlando, Dominique Serrand, Deborah Stein and Victoria Stewart.
Where’d I put my keys?
Where’d I put my sneaks? Map? Brain?
Oooh memory. Sigh.


Eliza Bent is an Associate Editor at American Theatre Magazine. When she’s not writing about theatre she likes making theatre.

  • sjohn2

    As a Director / Stage Manager / Designer / Electrician… I love the Festival… every year there are so many wonderful new works that come out of it! Please, keep up the good work!

  • Jim O.

    Maybe this blog indicates we need a new AT column….critic's haiku?
    Jim O.