Theatre  is going big for their fifth season: Along with five full-length plays, they’re adding five new productions for their First Friday series.
“This is going to be our biggest season yet, not just in the number of plays but in their capacity to entertain and provoke Louisville audiences,” says Amy Attaway, co-artistic director of Theatre . “These 10 plays embody everything we’ve built our reputation on — regional premieres, commissions from local writers, comedy with edge, intellect with heart, and magic.”
Attaway joined fellow theater veterans Mike Brooks and Gil D. Reyes to form Theatre  in 2011. The three co-directors decided season five was the right time to expand — after receiving much praise and many best-of awards throughout their first few years.
“I love the great reviews and awards, but the thing that thrills me the most is when an excellent Louisville artist says they want to work with us, and collaborating to build a product that we’re all proud of,” says Attaway.
First up is Victoria Stewart’s “Rich Girl,” directed by Reyes, on June 5-13 at the MeX Theater in the Kentucky Center. The First Friday series also will continue with five new “Ludlow Quinn Presents” productions at Baron’s Theatre. Local playwrights and directors have signed onto the project and include top-notch talent like Brian Walker, Rachel White, Eli Keel, Amos Driesbach, Rachel Vidal, John Rooney and Lucas Adams.
Here’s a glimpse of the full-length plays (descriptions provided by Theatre ):
“Rich Girl” — by Victoria Stewart, directed by Gil Reyes (June 5-13 at the MeX)
Claudine’s mother has it all: She’s wealthy, successful and famous. Claudine is awkward, shy and forever living in her mother’s shadow. When a dashing artist sweeps Claudine off her feet, her mother is convinced that all he’s after is her money. A modern retelling of the Henry James novel “Washington Square,” “Rich Girl” is a moving and funny new play about mothers and daughters, love and money, and whether they can ever coexist.
“The Two Lobbyists of Verona” — by Diana Grisanti and Steve Moulds, directed by Amy Attaway (Aug. 5-9 at C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheatre in Central Park)
Part of Kentucky Shakespeare’s Community Partners Week, this production is a new work commissioned by Theatre .
“Failure: a Love Story” — by Phillip Dawkins, directed by Gil Reyes (Nov. 6-14 at Baron’s Theatre)
Set in 1928, the last year of each of the Fail sisters’ lives. Nelly was the first of the Fail girls to die, followed soon after by her sisters Jenny, June and Gerty. As with so many things in life — blunt objects, disappearances and consumption — they never saw death coming. A magical, musical fable that traces the sisters’ triumphs and defeats, lived out in the rickety two-story building by the Chicago River that was the Fail family home and clock shop. This funny, moving and profoundly wise play reminds us that in the end, all that remains is love.
“Qualities of Starlight” — by Gabriel Jason Dean, directed by Mike Brooks (March 25-April 2, 2016, at Parkside Studio: Inside Iroquois)
Theo Turner is a young cosmologist on the verge. But Theo’s “big bang” isn’t theoretical. His universe explodes when he and his wife travel to Attapulgus to deliver news about an impending adoption and discover that Theo’s aging parents are meth addicts. A comedy about the frailty of faith, the unspoken bonds of family, and the mysterious expansion of the universe.
“River City” — by Diana Grisanti, directed by Amy Attaway (June 10-19, 2016, at the MeX)
Just weeks after her father’s death, Mary discovers a childhood photograph of him from a past he never talked about. Determined to excavate her heritage, Mary goes on a quest to uncover a half-century of family and town secrets buried in the West End of Louisville. Sometimes, going back home means leaving life behind.