LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Actors Theatre of Louisville and Executive Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming have announced the launch of Actors Theatre Direct—multi-channel and on-demand creative content to ensure that world-class theatre continues to thrive and enrich lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
“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,” said Fleming. “It is also true, that for the individuals in any community, self-quarantine measures can be psychologically difficult and emotionally painful.”
Fleming continued, “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 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.
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.
“We are committed to continuing our mission while simultaneously creating new and innovative ways to engage the community during this unprecedented time of uncertainty,” said Erica Denise, the theatre’s director of Learning & Creative Engagement.