Actor’s Theatre Streaming Performances During COVID-19 Closure
by TeachThought Staff
From a press release
Actors Theatre of Louisville and Executive Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming are proud to announce the launch of Actors Theatre Direct: multi-channel, on-demand creative content to ensure that world-class theatre continues to thrive and enrich lives during this turbulent time.
The public health crisis around the spread of COVID-19 necessitated the suspension of Actors Theatre’s season, including nearly 100 planned performances as part of the 44th Humana Festival of New American Plays, originally scheduled through April 12.
Robert Barry Fleming shares, “The decision to utilize the recommended social distancing strategies, and suspend the remainder of our season, remains an act of civic duty and is, without question, in the best interest of public health and wellness. It is also true, that for the individuals in any community, self-quarantine measures can be psychologically difficult and emotionally painful. As a staff, we quickly redirected all our creative energy to finding innovative, high-quality, virtual solutions to continue fulfilling our mission. Actors Theatre Direct is a key strategic initiative that allows us to do just that.”
A premiere in the Humana Festival gives a work and its creative team the opportunity for invaluable audience exchange and industry exposure. For 44 years, the Humana Festival has offered theatre lovers the chance to be the first to see groundbreaking new plays by some of the most talented voices writing for the American stage.
Therefore, the flagship offerings of Actors Theatre Direct are two full-length, filmed performances of the Humana Festival productions:
— Where the Mountain Meets the Sea by Jeff Augustin with music by The Bengsons, directed by Joshua Kahan Brody and featuring Allan K. Washington, Nathan Hinton and Shaun and Abigail Bengson. This play was commissioned by Actors Theatre.
— Are You There? by Vivian Barnes, Jonathan Norton and Gab Reisman, directed by Robert Barry Fleming, commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville and performed by the 2019-2020 Professional Training Company.
Virtual tickets are now available at ActorsTheatre.org/Direct. Tickets start at $15 and streaming will begin April 6.
Local audiences can create a complete ‘dinner and show’ experience at home with a special offer from Bearno’s Pizza. Bearno’s By-the-Bridge location will offer free breadsticks or cheese bread to those who mention “Actors Theatre” for a delivery or pickup order. Call Bearno’s By-The-Bridge at 502-584-7437.
Actors Theatre Direct will also feature free content, with a pay-what-you-wish donation encouraged, on Actors Theatre social media channels. Erica Denise, the theatre’s Director of Learning & Creative Engagement, shares, “We are committed to continuing our mission while simultaneously creating new and innovative ways to engage the community during this unprecedented time of uncertainty.”
For press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Greenfield, Director of Communications, at 859.321.9811 or [email protected].
Actors Theatre Direct: multi-channel, on-demand creative content to ensure that world-class theatre continues to thrive and to enrich lives during this turbulent time. Details and FAQs available at ActorsTheatre.org/Direct.
Virtual tickets on sale now. Streaming begins April 6, 2020 and concludes April 20, 2020. Details about featured Humana Festival of New American Plays projects are below.
Hashtags: #ActorsTheatreDirect #LiftUpLou #ArtsAndCultureINKY
Bearno’s Pizza Offer: Bearno’s By-the-Bridge location will offer free breadsticks or cheese bread to those who mention “Actors Theatre” for a delivery or pickup order. Call Bearno’s By-The-Bridge at 502-584-7437.
For press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Greenfield, Director of Communications, at 859.321.9811 or [email protected]
Where the Mountain Meets the Sea
by Jeff Augustin
music by The Bengsons
directed by Joshua Kahan Brody
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville
in the Victor Jory Theatre
This music-filled play traces a Haitian immigrant and his son’s complicated bond, and their life-changing journeys across America.
Setting off from Miami, a Haitian immigrant named Jean takes a once-in-a-lifetime road trip out west. Decades later, his son Jonah heads east, following Jean’s route in reverse—and discovering he’s inherited his father’s love of Appalachian folk music. Separated by time, yet side by side, the two men trace their journeys and the complicated bond they share. With lyrical storytelling and live music, this play vividly imagines how a father and son who longed to connect might come to see each other at last.
Jeff Augustin’s plays include Cry Old Kingdom (2013 Humana Festival), The Last Tiger in Haiti (La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), The New Englanders (Manhattan Theatre Club) and Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout Theatre Company). Augustin is currently writing for The Morning Show on Apple TV+ and the limited series The Good Lord Bird on Showtime. He was a Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Horizons and Roundabout. He’s an alumnus of New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, The Lark’s Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop and The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Augustin is under commission from Manhattan Theatre Club and La Jolla Playhouse. He received his B.A. from Boston College and his M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
Are You There?
by Vivian Barnes, Jonathan Norton and Gab Reisman
directed by Robert Barry Fleming
performed by the actors of the 2019–2020 Professional Training Company
commissioned by Actors Theatre of Louisville
in the Bingham Theatre
Communication is as easy as a push of the button—but are we truly connecting?
From the cacophony of telephone party lines, to CB radios on lonely highways, to the glory days of online chat rooms, technology has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. But is it always for the better? In this collection of boldly original short plays, three writers and this season’s Professional Training Company explore the high-tech evolution of our social interactions. Are our devices getting in the way of quality, in-person time with our friends and family? Or could they be another pathway to intimacy?
Vivian Barnes is a playwright from Virginia and a proud former Actors Theatre Professional Training Company apprentice. Other Theatre: Duchess! Duchess! Duchess! at the University of California, San Diego. Additional Credits: Her play Jezebels was a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, as well as an honorable mention for the 2019 Kilroys List. Recently, she received Clubbed Thumb’s Open Application Commission. She is a second-year M.F.A. Playwriting candidate at the University of California, San Diego and a recipient of the San Diego Fellowship.
Jonathan Norton Regional Theatre: penny candy, Dallas Theater Center. Other Theatre: Plays developed and/or produced at PlayPenn, Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, InterAct Theatre Company, Kitchen Dog Theater, Pyramid Theatre Company, African American Repertory Theater, Undermain Theatre, Theatre Three, Soul Rep Theatre Company, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, South Dallas Cultural Center, and National New Play Network. His play Mississippi Goddamn was a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and won the 2016 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award given by the American Theatre Critics Association. Mississippi Goddamn was commissioned by the South Dallas Cultural Center Diaspora Performing Arts Commission Project. Norton is the Playwright in Residence at Dallas Theater Center. For more information, please visit nortonscriptworks.com.
Gab Reisman Regional Theatre: Underbelly’s Alice in Wonderland at ZACH Theatre. Other Theatre: Next Year People at Fusebox Festival, Flood City at Theater Alliance and The NOLA Project, Storm Still at Vortex Rep and Brooklyn Yard. Additional Credits: Reisman has received commissions from Clubbed Thumb, New Plays at Barnard, EST/Sloan Project and The NOLA Project. Her plays have been developed with Page 73, Sundance Theatre Lab, The MacDowell Colony, the Orchard Project, Ingram New Works Lab, National New Play Network and the Playwrights’ Center, among others. Publications include work in The Kilroys List: Vol. 1 and The GPTC Reader. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit gabreisman.com.
About the Professional Training Company
Now in its 48th year, the Professional Training Company (PTC) is the cornerstone of Actors Theatre of Louisville’s commitment to education. One of the nation’s oldest pre-professional training programs, the PTC is a one-of-a-kind immersive program designed to elevate early-career practitioners in the American theatre industry by teaching the business and art of being a theatre professional. Members of the Company work directly with Actors Theatre artistic, administrative and production staff leaders, as well as visiting guest artists, to receive hands-on training in their respective fields. The PTC is a diverse ensemble comprised of 39 talented individuals who are the next generation of American theatre.