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Title:"Off-Louisville": The History of the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville
Author(s):Ullom, Robert Jeffrey
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Davis, Peter A.
Department / Program:Theatre
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The foundation for Actors Theatre's success is the Humana Festival of New American plays. Given the reputation as a "playwright's theatre" due to its commitment to the development of new works, the Humana Festival of New American Plays has provided Actors Theatre of Louisville with an international reputation for supporting established playwrights, discovering new talents, and presenting America's best new plays. From its humble beginnings in 1976 when it only produced two plays to its twentieth anniversary when it featured twelve new works, the Humana Festival has undergone many changes. The key to understanding how the Humana Festival survived and thrived during this twenty-year period is to look at the many managerial decisions of Jon Jory and the Actors Theatre of Louisville staff. Through artistic, economic, and administrative decisions, Jory and his staff directed the Humana Festival of New American Plays through a variety of phases in hopes of maintaining its success.
By charting the changes in the festival, several questions will be answered throughout this dissertation: How did the festival succeed? After twenty years of producing new works, Actors Theatre and the Humana Festival have formed a symbiotic relationship---neither able to exist without the other. How was the festival established? How did Actors Theatre of Louisville become dedicated to producing new work? With its success, the Humana Festival helped Actors Theatre attain an international reputation. How has the Humana Festival affected Actors Theatre of Louisville? Although other theatres created new-play programs to compete with the Humana Festival, Actors Theatre's festival remained the premier new-play program in the country. How did Actors Theatre change the festival in order to ensure its commercial and critical success? Has it retained its reputation of featuring America's best plays?
Issue Date:2000
Description:288 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9971210
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-13
Date Deposited:2000

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