Louisville’s Growing Theatre Arts Community
Louisville, Kentucky, has a rich culture in the theatre arts. We are very fortunate to have theatres that specialize in a wide variety of disciplines from the ballet to regional theatre. Our involvement in the arts has gained national attention.
Louisville, Kentucky, has a rich culture in the arts. We are very fortunate to have theatres that specialize in a wide variety of disciplines from the ballet to regional theatre.
The Kentucky Center is the most well known venue for dance, music, and theatre arts. The Louisville Ballet has several performances a year in Whitney Hall, but the most popular by far is The Nutcracker, a holiday tradition for decades. The Louisville Orchestra also features performances at The Center with the Pops Series concerts always being a local favorite. The Kentucky Center is also used by the Kentucky Opera and the Broadway Series, bringing large production shows to our region.
Since 1969, Actors Theatre of Louisville has been on the cutting edge of contemporary theatre works. They moved to their current location in the early 70s and formed a partnership with Humana to develop the Humana Festival of New American Plays, which showcases emerging talent from around the country. Several highly acclaimed plays originated at the Humana Festival with past submissions winning various prizes and awards. Some of the plays have been adapted for Film and TV. The Humana Festival for New American Plays features a full list of notable entries.
There are smaller venues that are also worth mentioning for theatre enthusiasts. The first, Bunbury Theatre located in the historic Henry Clay building has been holding small venue performances since the mid 1980s. The Henry Clay is a multiuse venue that features theatre, event halls, and residential living spaces. Derby Dinner Playhouse, located in Clarksville, Indiana, offers over 40 years of dinner theater festivities and fun. The playhouse specializes in Broadway shows and comedic musicals. The Little Colonel Playhouse has a long history as a community theatre. Located in Pewee Valley, the playhouse is named after a book written by a local author and made famous by Shirley Temple. All three of these theatres are intimate venues with a big bang for the buck.
Seasonal theatre is also something that locals really enjoy. Just a short drive to Bardstown, Kentucky, is My Old Kentucky Home State Park, every year they present The Stephen Foster Story about the famed southern songwriter who penned our state song. Another longtime favorite of theatre arts enthusiasts is Shakespeare in Central Park, which takes place in Central Park surrounded by the historic homes of Old Louisville.
The first thing people think of when Louisville enters the conversation is the Kentucky Derby, but in recent years our involvement in the arts has gained national attention.
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