Theater: Some Vigor And Vinegar

Louisville's festival of new plays is again on the upswing

It was conceived as a public relations gambit on behalf of a little-known Kentucky troupe and a for-profit health-care corporation. Blessed in its early years with remarkable taste, or maybe beginner's luck, the Humana Festival at Actors Theater of Louisville soon developed into a hallmark of the regional- theater movement and one of the nation's prime showcases for new plays. Half a dozen transferred to Broadway or the movies. Two, The Gin Game and Crimes of the Heart, won Pulitzer Prizes. Then the festival fell on hard times. Of 37 works introduced from 1985 to 1988, few went on to major...

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