Theater: Southern Gothics, Sad Betrayals

At Louisville, few surprises but many merits in new plays

They came from Ireland and Iceland, Italy and India, Bulgaria and Ghana and Egypt and Brazil. The 350 emissaries represented newspapers and magazines, theaters and festivals, production companies, agencies and television networks. They saw a dozen new or unknown plays in three days in late March, not on Broadway or in London's West End, but in Louisville. Lately, that modest Kentucky city has become a part-time international theater capital, the site of perhaps the most important annual showcase for emerging American playwrights. In the nine years of the Humana Festival at Actors Theater of Louisville, many works have surfaced only to...

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