Theater: Down Tick in Louisville

An off-year for experiment at a pace-setting festival

Bear markets are not always on Wall Street. While they do not perform precisely like stocks, all regional theaters fluctuate from year to year. In its sixth annual festival of new American plays, the Actors Theater of Louisville appears to be on a down tick.

The group's highly regarded artistic director, Jon Jory, is an adventurous risk-taker, but this time he may simply have put together too speculative a production portfolio. His gamble on a front-porch theme of exploring U.S. rural small-town roots, ranging in time from...

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