AACTFest 2023: National Company Profiles
Twelve award-winning companies from across the country and U.S. Armed Services overseas will perform in the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, in Louisville, during AACTFest 2023, AACT’s national theatre festival, June 12-17.
Note: Information about the 12 national companies is added to this page as information is made available.
The Lexington Players of New England
Winter Flowers, by Lily Rusek
For most of her life, Delphie has been taking care of her adult younger sister Rosie, who has the mental ability of a five-year-old. Delphie, now dying of stomach cancer, must provide for her sister's future, and has decided to place them both in a nursing home. However, Rosie refuses to leave their family home, forcing Delphie to make a new plan. Winter Flowers is produced by special arrangement with Lily Rusek.
The Lexington Players (TLP) was founded in 1995 as the only theatre group in Lexington, Massachusetts. The company has since expanded from an adult theater group to producing youth summer theatre and adding a women’s dance ensemble. TLP’s production of Who Will Sing for Lena, was awarded multiple AACTFest 2019 awards, including Overall Outstanding Production, which led to an invitation to perform at the international theatre festival in Monaco. Two years later, TLP’s production of The Mountaintop, by Katori Hall, received an Outstanding Festival Production award at the 2021 Virtual AACTFest, leading to an invitation to perform at aactWORLDFEST 2022 in Venice, Florida.
Rockville Little Theatre
Pride @ Prejudice, by Daniel Elihu Kramer
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy fall in love all over again in this romantic deconstruction of Austen's beloved novel. Playfully reinvented with modern-day characters literally stepping off the page to blog, Google, and tweet, this homage to one of the world's most popular love stories is delivered with humor, wit, and just a little sass. Pride@Prejudice is produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. Rating: LA,AA,VA
Founded in 1948, Rockville Little Theatre (RLT) is the oldest continuously operating live theatre in the Rockville, Maryland, area. RLT provides high quality performances at reasonable prices. The company strives to “entertain, enlighten, and educate all who attend our theatrical events. RLT offers an opportunity for community members to step out of their everyday lives and to assume new roles as playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and audience members.” rlt-online.org
Kettle Moraine Players
Three Viewings, by Jeffrey Hatcher
The two selections from Three Viewings include The Thief of Tears, set in a funeral home in Pennsylvania in 1995. The story centers around Mac, the attractive daughter of an upper-class WASP family who frequents the Viper Room and steals jewelry from corpses. And in Thirteen Things About Ed Carpolotti, a newly-widowed suburban matron finds her world crashing about her—only to be rescued by love from beyond the grave. Three Viewings is presented by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York, NY. Three Viewings was first developed by Illusion Theater, Minneapolis, MN. Michael Robins & Bonnie Morris, Producing Directors. Originally produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club on March 14, 1995. Rating: L10+, A10+,V10+
Kettle Moraine Players was incorporated in 2008. The Kettle Moraine Playhouse is a recently converted 125-year-old church with an intimate 64-seat theatre space. The Players present seven non-musicals from Labor Day to Memorial Day each year. The company has also taken traveling productions to nearby communities.
Kokomo Civic Theatre
Silent Sky, by Lauren Gunderson
Silent Sky is the true story of 19th century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, whose work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s forever changed the way we measure the distance between stars and understand our universe. Silent Sky is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York. Original Music by Jenny Giering. Rating: LA,AA,VA
Kokomo Civic Theatre (KCT) was established in 1949 in the central Indiana community of Kokomo, approximately 50 miles north of Indianapolis. KCT produces a five-show season of musicals, comedies, and dramas, primarily at Havens Auditorium on the campus of Indiana University Kokomo. KCT has hosted the Indiana Community Theatre Association State Festival three times in recent years and hosted the 2019 Region 3 AACTFest. Kokomo Civic Theatre's production of Freud's Last Session received the First Place Award at AACTFest 2015 in Grand Rapids. kokomocivictheatre.org
Starkville Community Theatre
Underneath the Lintel, by Glen Berger
An eccentric librarian discovers a weather-beaten book in a return bin—113 years overdue. Sparked by a message left in its margins, he embarks on a magical quest that takes him around the world and 2,000 years into the past. Originally produced professionally Off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse. Underneath the Lintel is produced by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC. Rating: L13+,A13+,VA
For 45 years, Starkville Community Theatre's mission has been to enrich the cultural life of Starkville, Mississippi, and its surrounding area through quality year-round entertainment, advocacy, and volunteering opportunities at all levels, and to continue to expand its local footprint and its breadth of programming to better include a diverse cross-section of its home community as actively engaged patrons, partners, and artists. www.sct-online.org
Wetumpka Depot Players
A Storm Came Up, by Kristy Meanor and Doug Segrest
An original piece based on an Alabama novel, the play focuses on three innocents caught in a sea of change in the turbulent 1960s. A finalist in the AACT NewPlayFest 2022 competition, A Storm Came Up mixes humor and history to create an uncompromising takedown of the personal costs of racism. Rating: L16+,A16+,V16+
Wetumpka Depot Players began life in the spring of 1980, when a group of Wetumpka residents turned the deteriorating historic town train depot into the home of a new community theatre. In 1999, the Depot incorporated as a nonprofit in order to purchase and renovate an abandoned grocery store, creating its current black- box theatre. In addition to its offerings of original, cutting-edge premieres and classic dramas, comedies and musicals, the theatre’s outreach programs include the Penguin Project (special needs) Encore Players (seniors), Theater for Youth (school-aged audiences), a summer camp, and a twice-monthly podcast, "Waiting in the Wings." Now making its third appearance at AACTFest since 2011, the Depot remains the centerpiece of Wetumpka's renaissance, documented most recently on HGTV's "Hometown Makeover" series. wetumpkadepot.com
Launch Day, by Michael Higgins
An AACT NewPlayFest 2022 winner about life in the 22nd Century, Launch Day is a humorous look at a future where love strives to overcome the complexities of post-modern life. Rating: L13+,A13+,V10+
Theatre Tuscaloosa was founded in 1971 as the Tuscaloosa Community Players. Since then, it has grown into one of the largest community theatres in the state. Theatre Tuscaloosa’s touring shows have been seen across the state and around the world, having toured to schools throughout Alabama and taken productions to Narashino, Japan, and Shorndorf, Germany. The company also has played host to prominent theatre artists, including Wit playwright Margaret Edson and Hairspray composer and lyricist Marc Shaiman. Over the years, Theatre Tuscaloosa has produced more than 300 plays and musicals featuring more than 2,000 performers, supported by more than 800 directors, designers, and technicians. theatretusc.com
The Wall, by Richard Lauchman
What do people talk about before being crucified? This comic tragedy takes place in a prison cell at the foot of Golgotha. Experience the indecision and fear from two men who are faced with the burden of waiting to serve their sentence. What is behind the wall could change everything. The Wall is produced in arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service. Rating: L13+,A13+,V10+
Theatre Atchison was established in 1984 and has produced over 380 full length productions, played host to over 150,000 patrons, and given over 7,000 volunteers and artists a place to explore their artistic nature through the theater arts. Begun as an all-volunteer organization, it has grown into a five full-time and 10 part-time member staff. It produces four main-stage productions, four youth productions, and one summer stock production each year. In addition, it owns and operates Atchison’s newly renovated three-screen, Fox Movie Theatre and manages the Atchison Event Center for the City of Atchison. theatreatchison.org
The Studio Theatre
Little Rock, Arkansas
Constellations, by Nick Payne
This spellbinding, romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between two people. But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know—delving into the infinite possibilities of the two’s relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny. Constellations is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York. Rating: L18+,A13+,V13+
The Studio Theatre (TST) works to enrich its central Arkansas community by providing quality theatre experiences that utilize local talent, working to challenge and grow every person that sits in its audience. Over the last decade, the theatre has grown to produce 10 fully realized productions each season, and has played host to a number of Arkansas theatrical premieres. TST was honored by placing in the top three shows at virtual AACTFest 2021 with its production of Lucas Hnath’s Hillary & Clinton.
Cheyenne Little Theatre Players
The Outgoing Tide, by Bruce Graham
In a summer cottage on Chesapeake Bay, Gunner has hatched an unorthodox plan to secure his family's future, but meets with resistance from his wife and son, who have plans of their own. As winter approaches, the three must quickly find common ground and come to an understanding—before the tide goes out. This drama hums with dark humor and powerful emotion. The Outgoing Tide is presented by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York. Rating: L13+,A13+,V13+
Cheyenne Little Theatre Players (CLTP) was founded in 1930 and has produced shows continuously ever since—even during Covid. Operated by a governing board of directors, CLTP’s day-to-day operations are handled by its Managing Director, Technical Director, and Office Manager. The company owns two facilities: a main proscenium stage with a 32-foot revolving stage floor, and a historic 1908 vaudeville theatre in the heart of downtown Cheyenne. CLTP owes its longevity to hundreds of volunteers who give thousands of hours each year. cheyennelittletheatre.org
Stage Left Theater
Pass Over, by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu
Pass Over reimagines Beckett's Waiting for Godot through the eyes of two inner-city Black men, Moses and Kitch, stuck in an existential cycle of trying to "get up off this block" and pass over into the Promised Land. Pass Over is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com Rating: L16+,A13+,V16+
Stage Left Theatre seeks to tell stories, build community, and pursue equity through the production of new and existing theatrical works. The company was founded on the belief that live theater provides a mechanism for interpersonal interaction not provided by television and movies, and that it should be a force for political, intellectual, and social stimulation, and be relevant to the daily lives of both audience and players. Stage Left seeks to broaden the involvement of the general population by engaging in issues of topical value and stimulating the analysis and discussion of the structure and goals of society. StageLeftTheater.org
The Amelia Earhart Playhouse
Medea, by Christopher Durang
Medea and her chorus try to figure out if it's appropriate to kill your children to punish your husband. Jason shows up; so does a messenger with news of Lady Teazle; and a Deus ex Machina comes down from the sky to cheer everybody up. Medea is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC, servicing the Dramatists Play Service collection. www.dramatists.com Rating: LA, A13+,VA
The Amelia Earhart Playhouse (AEP) is an US Army Entertainment theatre program—
one of the many Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation programs offered on US Army bases worldwide. The company is located in Wiesbaden, Germany, one of the oldest spa towns in Europe. The AEP produces six to eight productions per season and functions as a cultural bridge between the military and local community. The AEP is comprised of volunteers who are Soldiers, Airmen, family members, DoD civilians, Veterans, retirees, and local nationals.
Ratings are provided to AACT by each National Company, based on their analysis of each play's content. Rating source can be found at liveartstheatre.org/our-
- LA All ages: There is no offensive language in the production at any time. There are no references that would be inappropriate for young children.
- L10+ 10+: Infrequent adult language (mild). There are no references that are not appropriate for younger children.
- L13+ 13+: Some adult language (moderate), may contain mild references to adult topics.
- L16+ 16+: Contains adult language (severe). Language may be frequent. Production may also contain some adult references not appropriate for children.
- L18+ 18+: Contains adult language (severe). Language may be frequent. May contain graphic descriptions of adult content.
- Note: Mild cursing includes curse words, but does not include religious cursing or the f-word. Moderate cursing includes curse words and religious slurs, but does not include the f-word. Severe cursing includes all curse words and religious slurs, including the f-word.
- AA All ages: All content is appropriate for all ages.
- A10+ 10+: May address adult topics, including death and divorce. May contain mild adult situations, such as smoking or drinking. May contain indirect references to sexuality.
- A13+ 13+: May address adult content, including drug use, violence and suicide. May contain adult situations such as substance abuse. May contain direct references to sexuality and mild sexual situations.
- A16+ 16+: Show may contain partial nudity, and suggestive sexual content. May directly depict adult content such as suicide, illegal activities, and drug use.
- A18+ 18+: Show may contain full frontal nudity and explicit, graphic situations. Minors may not be admitted depending on content, contact the box office for more information.
- VA All ages: Show may contain mild slapstick, or typical fairy-tale situations, and characters may face brief moments of mild peril, but nothing that would be considered disturbing to the vast majority of young children.
- V10+ 10+: Show may contain highly comedic violence. Show may contain situations that could be frightening to young children.
- V13+ 13+: Show may contain infrequent violence, such as slaps or basic swordplay. Show may contain situations that could be frightening for children.
- V16+ 16+: Show may contain frequent and moderate violence, including gun violence and death. May contain situations that are intense and frightening for children.
- V18+ 18+: Show contains graphic violence, and may be disturbing for some adults. Not appropriate for children.