By PAM HARBAUGH
The Actors Theatre of Louisville has a couple of substantive announcements: It has appointed a new artistic director, Robert Barry Fleming, who replaces Les Waters, who brought such artful productions to ATL and its Humana Festival of New American Plays (Mr. Fleming has quite the resume, which you can read below); and, the 43RD HUMANA FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN PLAYS is underway and runs to April 7.
But first, have you been to ATL? Have you been to the Humana? It’s in the south, so Floridians still have to go north…but really, theater artists and theater lovers should make the pilgrimage. It is such an exciting experience.
You’ll fit right in, have stimulating conversations with others just like you, experience different theater concepts, rub shoulders with some amazing folk. Playwright Lucas Hnath is usually there for the Humana. Indeed, many of his works came from that great festival, and his newest play “The Thin Line” is on the lineup this year.
Here are the plays which will be premiering at 43rd Humana Festival of New American Plays:
“The Corpse Washer” adapted for the stage by Ismail Khalidi and Naomi Wallace
“The Thin Place” by Lucas Hnath
“How to Defend yourself” by Lily Padilla
“Everybody Black” by Dave Harris
“We’ve Come to Believe” by Kara Lee Corthron, Emily Feldman and Matthew Paul Olmos.
Here’s a handy calendar with a phone number at the bottom:
Or, to learn more, visit this website.
Now, here’s Mr. Fleming’s very impressive bio as supplied by ATL:Fleming has served as Associate Artistic Director at Cleveland Play House since 2016. Previously he served as the Director of Artistic Programming at Arena Stage; world premieres he commissioned, developed and/or championed during this tenure include the 2017 Best Musical Tony Award winner Dear Evan Hansen, Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sovereignty, John Strand’s The Originalist, Katori Hall’s Blood Quilt, Karen Zacarías’ Destiny Of Desire and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner Sweat, by Lynn Nottage. Fleming was an Associate Producer for the Off-Broadway premiere of The Two-Character Play by Tennessee Williams, starring Amanda Plummer and Brad Dourif. He was also an Associate Professor (tenured) and Chair of the University of San Diego Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Department.
His most recent directing and choreography credits include Next To Normal (Tantrum Theater), The Royale (Cleveland Play House), Destiny Of Desire (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Caroline, or Change (Tantrum Theater) and Between Riverside and Crazy (Cleveland Play House). As part of the 2018 Cleveland Play House New Ground Theatre Festival, Fleming directed a reading of the new musical Minton’s Place by acclaimed contemporary music composer Nolan Williams, Jr., with libretto by Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Nikkole Salter.
His professional acting credits include stints on Broadway (Ragtime directed by Frank Galati, Stand-Up Tragedy directed by the late Ron Link), Off-Broadway (the leading role in Insurrection: Holding History by Robert O’Hara at The Public Theater), joining Actors Equity Association with the national tour of Cats (Original Bus and Truck), playing major regional theaters (The Old Globe, The Guthrie, A Contemporary Theater, The Mark Taper Forum with the world premiere of George C. Wolfe’s Jelly’s Last Jam as Young Jelly), on television (Emmy-winning Disney Channel series Adventures In Wonderland, Family Matters, The George Carlin Show) and film (Academy Award-winning L.A. Confidential and Twilight Of The Golds).