• Elizabeth Kramer

Actors Theatre’s 43rd Humana Festival — reported on by a younger generation of arts journalists



The youth arts journalism program, Arts Bureau Edge, took on its most ambitious project in its 10-month existence — covering Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 43rd Humana Festival of New American Plays.


Five students from duPont Manual High School, Floyd Central High School and Pleasant Ridge High School were up to learn and write about this prominent annual event that has helped keep Louisville in the national limelight.


Since late February, they have attended plays from the festival, organized with Actors Theatre’s assistance, specifically staff members Elizabeth Greenfield and Laura Mullaney. The sessions included members of the Professional Training Company, actors, dramaturgs, designers and others from the theater.


Arts Bureau Edge even brought together a panel of local playwrights to talk about the festival’s influence on the region, and how they got started and keep working as playwrights. (So, thank you, Steve Moulds, Larry Muhammad and Doug Schutte.)


Through it all, Melissa Chipman and I worked to help the participants choose their article ideas, research their stories, identify sources and, finally, organize their final pieces.


Chipman, who covered the Humana Festival for four years while a reporter at Insider Louisville, is a long-time theater connoisseur and educator. She made a conscientious mentor with a passion for the discussions the plays sparked.


While I had covered the festival during my seven-year stint as The Courier Journal’s arts writer and in previous years as WFPL’s arts and humanities reporter, this experience was richer in another way. Here I was working with a team to teach arts journalism and introduce this festival to a younger generation.


Also, special thanks to Keith Stone and Scott Recker of LEO, who practice the values of

collaborative journalism by publishing them at Leo Weekly and brought the our reporters' articles to a wider audience through our partnership.


— Elizabeth Kramer, founder, Arts Bureau Edge

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