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Humana Festival 1994: The Complete Plays

Humana Festival 1994: The Complete Plays
Your Price: $21.95 CDN
Author: Marisa Smith (editor)
Publisher: Smith & Kraus
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 367
Pub. Date: 1994
ISBN-10: 1880399563
ISBN-13: 9781880399569

About the Book:

Humana Festival 1994: The Complete Plays showcases plays selected from the 18th annual cycle of world premieres, featuring a remarkable array of work by some of the most exciting voices in the American theatre.

The Actors Theatre of Louisville (ATL) – the Tony Award-winning state theatre of Kentucky – in 1976 produced two new works at its first Humana Festival – as it is known because of its corporate sponsorship. One was D.L. Coburn's The Gin Game, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1978 and helped launch what became the nation's most respected New American Play festival. For six weeks every spring, Louisville exerts a gravitational pull on producers and theatre lovers from around the country, who travel from far and wide for the adventure of seeing a diverse slate of fully-produced new plays. Many Humana Festival plays have gone on to garner awards and subsequent productions, making a sustained impact on the international dramatic repertoire.

This anthology makes the genius of American playwrights available to an even wider audience, allowing readers from around the world to experience the collision of perspectives, styles and stories that makes the festival such an invigorating celebration of the art form.

Julie Johnson by Wendy Hammond. Best Friends – With Benefits. When abusive husbands are given the boot and two women move in together, the rules of life and love are forever changed. (Cast: 2 female, 1 male, 1 female teenager, 1 male teenager)
Shotgun by Romulus Linney. This one-act play depicts the honest and pathetic struggle of a man dredging through his past and present in search of love, truth, and meaning. (Cast: 2 female, 3 male)
Betty The Yeti by Jon Klein. Deep in the forests of northern Oregon environmentalists clash with loggers in a furious battle to determine the future of the land. Which is important the preservation of the natural landscape or the lives of the men and women who depend on the harvesting of lumber? (Cast: 4 female, 2 male)
The Survivor: A Cambodian Odyssey by Jon Lipsky. The biography of Dr. Haing Ngor, who narrowly escaped the horrors perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge army forces in his native Cambodia and went on to relive the struggle in the film, The Killing Fields, which won him an Oscar. A story of unspeakable struggle and unwavering hope, The Survivor reveals the spirit of a man tempered by hate and sustained by love. (Cast: 3 female, 3 male)
Slavs! (Thinking About the Longstanding Problems of Virtue and Happiness) by Tony Kushner. A long one-act, composed mostly of outtakes from Perestroika, about the decline and disintegration of the USSR and its rebirth as a collection of independent states. (Cast: 3 female, 7 male)
My Left Breast by Susan Miller. A one-woman comedy about her battle with breast cancer in which the author's mastectomy becomes the occasion for a thoughtful, carefully constructed elegy on other forms of loss. This Obie Award-winning play has also been honored with a Susan Smith Blackburn prize. (Cast: 1 female)
1969 (or Howie Takes A Trip) by Tina Landau. This musical theatre piece looks at the evolving, emerging personalities in a 1960s high school graduating class. It is sort of American Graffiti crossed with Grease. (Cast: 2 female, 5 male)
Trip's Cinch by Phyllis Nagy. In this one-act play a business tycoon Benjamin Trip has recently been on trial for the rape of Lucy Parks. The jury acquitted him but now an ambitious academic delves deeper investigating both parties. Who was really manipulated on that beach after a pitcher of gin and tonics and a hand of solitaire? (2 female or male)
The Last Time We Saw Her by Jane Anderson. A 10-minute play about a productive, female employee who comes to her boss's office to divulge that she has been married to a woman for the past eight years. While he states that he does not care, he prevents her from sharing this information with the rest of their coworkers. She must try to make him see the necessity behind honesty and openness in the office. (Cast: 1 female, 1 male)
Stone and Bones by Marion I. McClinton. A poetically resonant 10-minute play about male-female relationships between two black couples, with sharp contrasts in verbal and body language. (Cast: 2 female, 2 male)

What people say:

"As a showcase for new American plays, the annual Humana Festival is a major event of the theatrical year. The ten dramatic pieces in this collection were performed at the 18th festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville this past spring. In his introduction, Jon Jory, producing director of the Actors Theatre, notes a central theme of loss running through these plays – loss of youth, ideals, love and country, innocence, limitations, and trust. Several of the plays, including Jane Anderson's The Last Time We Saw Her, Wendy Hammond's Julie Johnson, Tina Landau's 1969, and Susan Miller's My Left Breast, examine issues confronting lesbians and gays directly and sensitively. This collection shows that there is great hope for the American theater. Representing one of America's most important festivals, it is recommended for academic and large public library drama collection." — Library Journal

About the Editor:

Marisa Smith has worked in the theatre as an actress, producer, playwright, and theater book publisher. She is s a graduate of Wesleyan University.