While Louisville’s theater community has certainly had some setbacks to deal with over the
course of the pandemic, most companies in the region are back on the stage once again, with a
fall lineup that is sure to not only entertain audiences, but often, make us think about the
world around us and our place in it. These companies are working hard to bring culture and entertainment to the city, and need community support to ensure that the important work they do can continue for years to come.
The events of the last two plus years have invited some to rethink and reconsider the way in which they work and the focus of this work. Co-founder Shannon Woolley Allison describes her company, Looking for Lilith Theatre Company, as a “bird with two wings” — one of which has always been in theatrical production, while the other focused on community outreach and education. Now the company, most often known for productions that center on the stories of real women, is moving more toward community outreach and interactive theater and away from more traditional productions.
“We had to recognize the privilege of performing in traditional spaces,” says Shannon, highlighting the company’s efforts to involve more people who may not identify as theater artists, helping them express their voices through community projects like Hip Hop Hercules and The Ancestors Project, which launches at The Kentucky Center’s MeX Theater in November, with plans to move around the city to include populations that may not have opportunities to experience the theater.
Even the annual Dracula performance at Actors Theatre of Louisville is back with a twist: this year, ATL reimagines the story as a feminist tale of revenge, and lightens up the story with a heavy dose of comedy that audiences might appreciate heading into the spooky season.
And if musicals are your thing, there are plenty to choose from this fall, including the Musical of Musicals, which will be hitting the stage at TheatreWorks in New Albany at the end of September. The show tells the history of musical theater in a fantastically fun way, referencing the greats of musical theater like Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber throughout.
Director Jennifer Starr is glad to be at the helm of this major production with Mind’s Eye Theatre Company and says that audiences are sure to enjoy testing themselves to see how many references to other musicals they can spot. She is most excited about the humor in the show, and explains that it’s a challenging and delicate balance directing actors to perform comedic scenes without going overboard.
Looking to get back to the theater? There are several excellent shows opening in and around Louisville to enjoy this fall. No matter what you’re into, Louisville’s theater community has something for everyone to enjoy!
The Legend of Georgia McBride at Pandora Productions
September 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17 at 7:30pm, September 4 at 2:30pm, and September 11 at 5:30pm
An irreverent musical comedy about an Elvis impersonator who loses everything, but finds his way back on top through performing in drag.
Dracula at Actors Theatre of Louisville
September 7 through 18: Wednesday through Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 2pm
Reimagines the classic story as a feminist revenge fantasy, creating something entirely fresh and new for audiences.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) at Highview Arts Center
September 9 through 18: Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm
Highview Arts Center hosts its very first production with the talented Keith McGill directing this hilarious romp through the Bard’s classic works.
Footloose! The Musical at Clarksville Little Theatre
September 9 through 11 and 16 through 18: Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm
This 80s classic comes to the stage and gets the musical treatment so that audiences can learn what happens when one town tries to ban dancing.
Airness at Youth Performing Arts School
September 16 through 24: Friday and Saturday at 7pm
An uplifting comedy about air guitar competitions and what it takes to be a champion and find the rock and roll inside yourself.
Musical of Musicals at TheatreWorks of Southern Indiana
September 23 through October 2: Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:30pm
Borrows from 5 different styles of musical theater to entertain and engage audiences in understanding the history of a musical production.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes at The Bard’s Town
October 7 through 9 and 13 through 15: Friday through Sunday at 7:30pm
Borrows from the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson to create a comedic adventure that audiences will be certain to enjoy.
Fiddler on the Roof at Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
October 18 through 23: Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm
The classic Broadway musical comes to Louisville, bringing the story of Tevye and his humble family to the KCA stage.
Unexpected Joy at Henry Clay Theatre
November 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19 at 7:30pm, November 6 at 2:30pm, and November 13 at 5:30pm
This musical introduces the audience to three generations of women who connect through music and family bonds over the course of one weekend in Cape Cod.
A Christmas Carol: The Musical at Clarksville Little Theatre
November 11 through 20: Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm
Retells the Charles Dickens classic with well-choreographed musical numbers just in time for the start of the holiday season.
Ancestors Project Launch at The MeX
Looking for Lilith Theatre Company launches The Ancestors Project as part of their initiative to bring interactive theater into communities and underrepresented populations.
By Vanessa Hutchison
P.S. Have you bought your fall mums? Check out these 3 steps to keep them lasting longer.