Les Waters | Courtesy of Actors Theatre

Les Waters, artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, announced today that he would depart the organization after six seasons this summer. According to a press release, he will step down following the close of the 2017-18 season to pursue personal projects.

Waters is credited with championing the annual Humana Festival, and his decision to double the commissioning program led to more Humana Fest plays getting seen across the country. During his time at Actors, he also directed several plays, including “For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday,” “Recent Alien Abductions” and “Macbeth,” among others.

“It has been a privilege to lead … one of America’s great artistic institutions,” Waters said in the release. “I am deeply grateful to the board, staff, artists, volunteers and audiences for all their support. Together we have had considerable success and we’ve made many great shows during my tenure. Actors Theatre is the cornerstone of new American theater, and I look forward to returning as both a guest artist and visitor to experience its continuing artistic excellence and growth. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of Actors Theatre.”

Waters will help select the 2018-19 season, which will be announced in February, and the search for his replacement will begin soon.

“Les’ dedication to developing artists has changed the way Actors Theatre produces, deepening collaborative efforts throughout the organization,” said managing director Kevin E. Moore in the release. “We will truly miss him and we are grateful for all he has done for Louisville and Actors Theatre.”

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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