2019-2020 Season

MR. BURNS: A POST ELECTRIC PLAY

By Anne Washburn • Directed by Alex Ungerman • November 8-23, 2019

In the near future, an apocalypse has wiped out society as we know it. As the survivors struggle to find a cultural touchstone that they all relate to, they land on a common reference: The Simpsons. This dark comedy explores how these television characters become a new storytelling device, then a new kind of theatre, then archetypes for a new age. A tribute to live theater, and the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.


SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS

By Bess Wohl • Directed by Jonathan Sweatt • January 24-February 8, 2020

In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward humor, this strange and compassionate new play asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us. “The play asks – and admirably never quite answers – deep questions about how we connect with other people, a feat that the characters achieve through channels both profound and silly. Wohl isn’t afraid to let the ridiculous rub up against the sublime, and it makes Small Mouth Sounds as entertaining as it is transcendent.” —Time Out (New York).


SNAPSHOT

By Chay Yew, Craig Wright, Annie Weisman, Val Smith, Dan O’Brien, Lynn Nottage, Allison Moore, Deb Margolin, Quincy Long, Victor Lodato, Sunil Kuruvilla, Honour Kane, Julie Jensen, Michael Bigelow Dixon, Lee Blessing, David Lindsay-Abaire, Tanya Barfield • Directed by Dylan Dagnan, Carlton Bell, Rebecca Pugh, and Sarah Jackson. Four up-and-coming directors! • March 13-28, 2020

Our annual short play festival this year is Snapshot! A photograph captures and documents a single moment in time and space – a snapshot of history, of a reality bounded by the photo’s frame. But what lies outside, beyond, behind the photograph? And what stories, memories, or associations does an image of place inspire? In this multi-writer project from Actors Theatre of Louisville, a diverse assortment of talented playwrights encounter and transform Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, 1969, a compelling image of the monument by renowned photographer Lee Friedlander. Their thought-provoking scenes and monologues range from delightful comedy to utterly serious tragedy, each approaching the photo’s themes through a new lens.


THE REVOLUTIONISTS: a Comedy, a Quartet, a Revolutionary Dream Fugue, a True Story

By Lauren Gunderson • Directed by Catherine Champion • May 1-May 16, 2020

Four beautiful, badass women lose their heads in this irreverent, girl-powered comedy set during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Playwright Olympe de Gouges, assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen (and fan of ribbons) Marie Antoinette, and Haitian rebel Marianne Angelle hang out, murder Marat, and try to beat back the extremist insanity in 1793 Paris. This grand and dream-tweaked comedy is about violence and legacy, art and activism, feminism and terrorism, compatriots and chosen sisters, and how we actually go about changing the world. It’s a true story. Or total fiction. Or a play about a play. Or a raucous resurrection… that ends in a song and a scaffold.


SIGNIFICANT OTHER

By Josh Harmon • Directed by Mel Christian • June 12-27, 2020

Jordan Berman would love to be in love, but that’s easier said than done. So, until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with his trio of close girlfriends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, Jordan discovers that the only thing harder than finding love is supporting the loved ones around you when they do. From the critically acclaimed writer who brought you Bad Jews. “A tenderly unromantic romantic comedy, as richly funny as it is ultimately heart-stirring.” – The New York Times Four Stars! “As funny as Joshua Harmon’s breakthrough play, Bad Jews, Significant Other makes you slap your knees until they’re bruised.” – Time Out New York


STARSTRUCK

By Elaine Lee, with Susan Norfleet Lee and Dale Place • Directed by Mike Cunliffe • July 24-August 8, 2020

Star Trek and Star Wars step aside, because women are in command in this fantastic vision of the future. It’s an epic, over-the-top space opera based on a classic comic book series that will blow your mind with its hilarious, sexy and irreverent take on outer space comics and sci-fi films. Fans of outrageous comedy, this one’s for you!


HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE

By Paula Vogel • Directed by Marcus Lane • September 18-October 3, 2020

A wildly funny, surprising and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. How I Learned to Drive is the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel. Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize. Co-winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Co-winner of the 1998 Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding play. “With subtle humor and teasing erotic encounters, Vogel addresses the dangerous intersections of teenage temptation. She also paints a richly poetic and picturesque landscape… The play is a potent and convincing comment on a taboo subject, and its impact sneaks up on its audience.” – Variety