Humana Festival of New American Plays

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Humana Festival of New American Plays
Genre Theatre festival
Location(s) Actors Theatre of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
Founded 1976
Founder Jon Jory
Patron(s) Humana Foundation
Organised by Actors Theatre of Louisville

Humana Festival of New American Plays is an internationally renowned festival that celebrates the contemporary American playwright.[1] Produced annually in Louisville, Kentucky by Actors Theatre of Louisville, this festival showcases new theatrical works and draws producers, critics, playwrights, and theatre lovers from around the world. The festival was founded in 1976 by Jon Jory, who was Producing Director of Actors Theatre of Louisville from 1969 to 2000.[2] Since 1979 The Humana Festival has been sponsored by the Humana Foundation which is the philanthropic arm of Humana.[3]


  • Actors Theatre has produced over 400 Humana Festival plays (short pieces, ten-minute plays, one-acts, and full-lengths), representing the works of more than 200 playwrights.
  • Over three-fourths of the Humana Festival plays have been published in twenty-eight Actors Theatre anthologies as well as individual acting editions, making a visible and vital contribution to American dramatic literature.
  • Three Humana Festival plays have won the Pulitzer Prize: The Gin Game by D.L. Coburn, Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley and Dinner With Friends by Donald Margulies. Keely and Du by Jane Martin was a finalist.
  • In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Humana Festival plays have won many prestigious awards including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Pen Center USA West Award, The Kesselring Prize, the Obie Award, The M. Elizabeth Osborn Award, and the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award.
  • More than 2,000 scripts are received annually for consideration in the New Play Program. Nearly 75,000 scripts have been submitted since 1976.
  • The Humana Foundation first sponsored the Humana Festival during the 1979–80 season. During the 1981–82 season, the festival was renamed the Humana Festival of New American Plays in honor of the Louisville-based company's ongoing and generous support. As the philanthropic arm of Humana, Inc., The Humana Foundation identifies, funds and nurtures projects and organizations in three fields: domestic and international health, education and arts, and civic developments where the company has a meaningful presence.
  • Over 30 foreign countries are represented in the audience at the festival each year.
  • Over 90 million Americans have seen additional productions of the many plays originated in the Humana Festival, not including film and television audiences who have seen Humana plays adapted for the screen.
  • Actors' New Play Program encompasses the Humana Festival of New American Plays, the National Ten-Minute Play Contest and ongoing contact with hundreds of playwrights.
  • The Heideman Award was established in 1979. Made possible by the late Louisvillian Ted Heideman, the $1,000 cash prize is bestowed annually upon the winners of the National Ten-Minute Play Contest (1989–2005), which evolved from the national One-Act Play Contest (1979–1989).
  • Each year of the Humana Festival's first decade (1976–1986), The Great American Play Contest awarded cash prizes for two full-length scripts produced in the Humana Festival.

List of plays[edit]


  • Residence by Laura Jacqmin
  • For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday by Sarah Ruhl
  • This Random World by Steven Dietz
  • Wellesley Girl by Brendan Pelsue
  • Cardboard Piano by Hansol Jung
  • Wondrous Strange by Martyna Majok, Meg Miroshnik, Jiehae Park, and Jen Silverman

The Ten-Minute Plays:

  • Coffee Break by Tasha Gordon-Solmon
  • This Quintessence of Dust by Cory Hinkle
  • Trudy, Carolyn, Martha, and Regina Travel to Outer Space and Have a Pretty Terrible Time There by James Kennedy
  • The Roommate by Jen Silverman
  • Dot by Colman Domingo
  • I Will Be Gone by Erin Courtney
  • The Glory of the World by Charles L. Mee
  • I Promised Myself to Live Faster, conceived and created by Pig Iron Theatre Company, text by Gregory S. Moss and Pig Iron Theatre Company
  • That High Lonesome Sound, by Jeff Augustin, Diana Grisanti, Cory Hinkle, and Charise Castro

The Ten-Minute Plays:

  • Rules of Comedy by Patricia Cotter
  • So Unnatural a Level by Gary Winter
  • Joshua Consumed an Unfortunate Pear by Steve Yockey
  • Partners by Dorothy Fortenberry
  • The Christians by Lucas Hnath
  • The Grown-Up by Jordan Harrison
  • brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee
  • Steel Hammer created by SITI Company, music and lyrics by Julia Wolfe, original text by Kia Corthron, Will Power, Carl Hancock Rux and Regina Taylor
  • Remix 38 by Jackie Sibblies Drury, Idris Goodwin, Basil Kreimendahl, Justin Kuritzkes and Amelia Roper

The Ten-Minute Plays:

  • Winter Games by Rachel Bonds
  • Some Prepared Remarks (A History in Speech) by Jason Gray Platt
  • Poor Shem by Gregory Hischak
  • The Delling Shore by Sam Marks
  • Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
  • Cry Old Kingdom by Jeff Augustin
  • Gnit by Will Eno
  • O Guru Guru Guru, or why I don't want to go to yoga class with you by Mallery Avidon
  • Sleep Rock Thy Brain by Rinne Groff, Lucas Hnath, and Anne Washburn

The Ten-Minute Plays:

  • Halfway by Emily Schwend
  • 27 Ways I Didn't Say "Hi" to Laurence Fishburne by Jonathan Josephson
  • Two Conversations Overheard on Airplanes by Sarah Ruhl
  • Eat Your Heart Out by Courtney Baron
  • How We Got On by Idris Goodwin
  • Death Tax by Lucas Hnath
  • Michael von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards by Greg Kotis
  • The Veri**on Play by Lisa Kron
  • The Hour of Feeling by Mona Mansour
  • Oh, Gastronomy! by Michael Golamco, Carson Kreitzer, Steve Moulds, Tanya Saracho, and Matt Schatz

The Ten-Minute Plays:

  • The Dungeons and the Dragons by Kyle John Schmidt
  • Hero Dad by Laura Jacqmin
  • The Ballad of 423 and 424 by Nicholas C. Pappas
  • Let Bygones Be by Gamal Abdel Chasten
  • HEIST! conceived and created by Sean Daniels and Deborah Stein, written by Deborah Stein
  • Lobster Boy by Dan Dietz
  • Ground by Lisa Dillman
  • Fissures (lost and found) by Steve Epp, Cory Hinkle, Dominic Orlando, Dominique Serrand, Deborah Stein and Victoria Stewart
  • Post Wave Spectacular by Diana Grisanti
  • An Examination of the Whole Playwright/Actor Relationship Presented As Some Kind of Cop Show Parody by Greg Kotis
  • Sirens by Deborah Zoe Laufer
  • The Method Gun created by Rude Mechs, written by Kirk Lynn
  • The Cherry Sisters Revisited by Dan O'Brien with original music by Michael Friedman
  • Phoenix by Scott Organ.

See also[edit]


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