Invite a representative of a local theater company to come in and talk about the role and challenges of operating a theater company.
Have students research some of the playwrights mentioned in the segment? What happened to the plays and the playwrights since this segment was produced (in the early 2000s)?
Research the new play festival at Actors Theatre. (It continues as the Humana Festival of New American Plays, an annual event.) You may also want to show the KET Kentucky Muse documentary Actors Theatre of Louisville produced in 2014.
Have students write original plays and research ways they might get their plays produced.
Actors Theatre of Louisville, located in Louisville, Kentucky, started its Festival of New American Plays in 1976. This festival is the preeminent annual showcase of new theatrical work in the United States. The festival is now called the Humana Festival of New American Plays reflecting its financial support from The Humana Foundation.
Every year, theatre fans, critics, producers, and playwrights from around the world come to Louisville to see the new productions. The festival has introduced more than 400 plays of various types, from full-length plays to one-act plays and monologues, representing the work of more than 200 playwrights.
Some of the plays from the festival have gone on to great acclaim and success. Three Humana Festival plays have won the Pulitzer Prize: D. L. Coburn’s The Gin Game, Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart and Donald Margulies’ Dinner With Friends. Keely and Du by Jane Martin and Omnium-Gatherum by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros and Theresa Rebeck, and Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo were finalists.
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