Arts and Entertainment

Actors Theatre Begins 2019 with Dominique Morisseau’s PIPELINE.

Louisville, KY Actors Theatre of Louisville announces the upcoming production of Pipeline, onstage in the Bingham Theatre from January 8 – February 2, 2019, part of the Brown-Forman series. Audiences who enjoyed last season’s production of Skeleton Crew will look forward to seeing another piece by Dominique Morisseau on the Actors Theatre stage. Steve H. Broadnax III, director of Skeleton Crew, will also return to direct this production of Pipeline.

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Recently, Morisseau was named a 2018 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant recipient, one of 25 Fellows anonymously nominated for their creative work and awarded “no strings attached fellowships” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The program recognized Morisseau’s brilliant examination of “the intersection of choice and circumstance in works that portray individuals and communities grappling with economic and social changes”—an apt description of her three-play series The Detroit Project (Paradise Blue, Detroit ’67, and Skeleton Crew).

Steve H. Broadnax III is one of the prominent directors of Morisseau’s work around the country. “I love her voice. It’s a voice of activism, one that gives a platform to communities who aren’t often heard—especially African-American communities and the working class.”

Broadnax continues, “I’m hoping that audiences will leave thinking more deeply and empathetically, beyond the rage-filled stereotypes (of young African-American men) presented to us in the media. This play reminds us that they need a voice, and a place to be, in order to prosper and reach their full potential.”

In Pipeline, acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau urgently calls attention to the limitations of our education system and the legacy of violence confronting black youth in America. Nya, a single mother teaching at an inner-city public school, wants what’s best for her teenage son, Omari—even if it means sending him to a private school far from their neighborhood. But when an explosive classroom incident threatens Omari’s future, Nya must reevaluate the choices she’s made as a parent and educator.

Pipeline thrusts audiences into the classroom in this wrenching portrayal of a mother and son wrestling with the American education system’s “school-to-prison pipeline” for men of color. Describing the 2017 production at Lincoln Center Theater, Ben Brantley of The New York Times states: “As always, Ms. Morisseau’s characters are distinctively expressive.”

Broadnax’s directing credits include various shows at national and international theatres, including Ensemble Studio Theatre, Apollo Theater, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Atlantic Theater Company, Detroit Public Theatre, Center Stage, Market Theatre (Johannesburg, South Africa), The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Scotland) and The Adelaide Festival of Arts (Australia).

Actors Theatre welcomes back Patrese D. McClain as Nya, who previously appeared in Skeleton Crew last season. Jessica Wortham, who most recently performed in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, also returns to the Louisville stage as Laurie, an educator colleague of Nya’s. This production of Pipeline marks the Actors Theatre debuts of Cecil Blutcher as Nya’s son Omari, JaBen Early as Omari’s father Xavier, Eden Marryshow as Dun and Renika Williams as Jasmine.

The production team features scenic design by Michael Carnahan, lighting design by Alan C. Edwards, costume design by Shilla Benning, media design by Philip Allgeier and sound design and composition by Curtis Craig. Stephen Horton will serve as the stage manager and Hannah Rae Montgomery will be the dramaturg.

Actors Theatre will also host a Community Conversation and Teen Night on January 11. This event focuses on bringing all members of the community together to explore important topics in Louisville’s cultural landscape through the lens of Actors Theatre productions that have similar themes. The evening will include a pre-show reception with appetizers, beverages and thought-provoking activities, a performance of Pipeline, and a dynamic conversation enriched by input from several local leaders representing a range of involvement in the community. This event will be sponsored in part by LG&E.

Single tickets are now on sale, starting at $25. Students (full-time, with valid ID) receive 10% off up to two single tickets to selected performances, subject to availability. Same-day student rush tickets are also available for $24. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Actors Theatre Box Office at 502.584.1205 or online at ActorsTheatre.org. Special ticket rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 502.585.1210.

The Theatre will offer an open captioned performance on January 19 and an audio described performance on January 20. For more information on the facilities and all services offered, visit ActorsTheatre.org.

Pipeline is made possible in part by series sponsor Brown-Forman, the Kentucky Arts Council and Fund for the Arts. Additionally, Actors Theatre’s educational outreach for Pipeline is made possible by Yum! Brands Foundation and their sponsorship of Actors Theatre’s Student Matinee Series.

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