Tag Archives: Kentucky

“In America, ev…

“In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted,”

– U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II 


Found this quote in reference to KY’s acknowledgment of same-sex marriages, but it has so many more relevant applications to current social justice issues. For instance, it could definitely be used in reference to the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision.


Leave a comment

by | July 1, 2014 · 5:12 pm

Gays have right to marry in Kentucky, judge rules


Leave a comment

by | July 1, 2014 · 5:06 pm

Is DEA Dazed & Confused Over Industrial Hemp?

The DEA is a bunch of corrupted morons. They are protecting drug cartels in Mexico that are losing their illegal imports to the US due to Colorado’s legalization. They don’t have your “best interests” in mind. They get bribed and coerced into going after hemp seeds and legalized weed when there are much bigger fish to fry.

Leave a comment

by | June 17, 2014 · 5:25 pm

One Restaurant’s Innovative Solution Could Spell the End for Tipping in America

“…Instead of getting paid subpar wages and pocketing a few extra dollars here and there, Packhouse servers earn $10 per hour or 20% of their food sales, whichever is higher. Unsurprisingly, it’s almost always the 20%…”



Leave a comment

by | June 10, 2014 · 11:00 pm

Humana Festival introduces new plays

Humana Festival introduces new plays photo
“Astronauts flew in ‘nightnight,’ a play by Lucas Hnath. ‘My immediate impulse was to link sleep and flight via space travel,’ said the playwright, who was commissioned to write a short play about sleep that would require aerial choreography. Contributed photo
Humana Festival introduces new plays photo
Claire E. Jones


By Meredith Moss


Theater buffs from around the nation and around the world flock to Louisville each spring for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. The prestigious festival, now in its 37th year, has introduced more than 400 plays over the years, including three Pulitzer-Prize winners.

The Festival, which opened on Feb. 27 and ran through April 7, can always be counted on to give each new play its best shot — with top-notch directors and actors and terrific sets and costumes. On the two final industry weekends, representatives from film, television and theaters of all sizes descend on the state-of-the-art Actors Theatre to check out the new scripts.

This year’s offerings ranged from a humorous adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s 19th century masterpiece “Peer Gynt” titled “Gnit” by Will Eno to two family relationship dramas —“The Delling Shore” by Sam Marks and “Appropriate” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. The struggle for freedom was the subject of “Cry Old Kingdom” by Jeff Augustin, set in Haiti in 1964 at the time of revolution.

There are always some surprises at the festival. This year, in the middle of “O Guru Guru Guru, or Why I Don’t Want to Go To Yoga Class With You” by Mallery Avidon, audience members were invited to remove their shoes, come to the stage and participate in a chanting/meditation session. (Some audience members were so relaxed they fell asleep.)

The most creative idea of the weekend came with “Sleep Rock Thy Brain.” The challenge to three well-established playwrights was to create a short play on the subject of “dreams” that would include flying segments. Audiences were shuttled to a nearby school where the theater’s apprentice acting company achieved lift-off in partnership with Louisville’s ZFX Flying Effects company.

These were not your typical Peter Pan flying segments; these talented young people had obviously been training for months and looked perfectly at home in the air in their beautifully choreographed scenes. In “nightnight” by Lucas Hnath, for example, three astronauts were forced to deal with the consequences of lack of sleep and how it might jeopardize their mission. Their space walks and tumbles in the air were mesmerizing.

ATCA awards announced

It’s at the festival each year that The American Theatre Critics Association recognizes playwrights for outstanding scripts that premiere outside of New York City.

For 2013, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award of $25,000 went to Robert Schenmkkan’s play “All the Way.” The drama, which premiered at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, tells the story of Lyndon Johnson’s campaign to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Two citations of $7,500 each were presented to Lucas Hnath for his play “Death Tax” and Johnna Adams for her play “Gidion’s Knot.” “Death Tax, a drama that focuses on the issue of dying in a 21st century America where it’s possible to keep individuals alive indefinitely, was introduced to the public last year at the Humana Festival. “Gidion’s Knot”    is the drama that revolves around the mother of a dead student who visits his teacher seeking the back story behind his death. The play premiered at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, W.V.

Cincinnati intern kept patrons happy

Claire E. Jones, an art history major from Cincinnati, has been serving as audience development and festival management intern for Actors Theatre this year.

Her responsibilities have ranged from coordinating airport pick-ups and hotels for the hundreds of industry professionals over special weekends to planning social media nights during the theater’s regular season.

“It’s our effort to reach out to broader, more technological audiences,” she says of the targeted evenings where tickets were available for just $20 and audiences were welcome to use Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest during the show. “The actors and stage managers loved the idea, though some theater purists felt the audience should lose itself in the darkness. But overall it was wildly successful; we even had actors tweeting backstage during “Romeo and Juliet.”

Jones, who previously worked as an intern at the Seattle Art Museum, also planned evenings where food and a bar were set up in the theater balcony.

“We talked to audience members afterwards and offered them drink tickets if they’d stay and talk to us,” Jones said. Some told her they’d never been to the theater before.

Jones says theaters have been forced by the recession to think outside the box.

“Previously there was a built-in audience of museum and theater-goers,” she said. “But now we need to attract new patrons, make it a more casual experience, and find ways to connect to people you might not think would be interested.””

Leave a comment

by | April 14, 2013 · 5:43 pm

Louisville, Start Your Engine!




MARCH 29, 2013 BY facebook_-559339403

“We, the intrepid first two Engine31 journalists, blew into Louisville around 5 p.m. on Thursday and found our Marriott hotel.

Which was not as easy a task as you might think. There are, we quickly discovered, NINE different Marriotts in downtown Louisville.

We got it on the second try.

Of course, all those hotel rooms, Marriotts and non-Marriotts, are not filled entirely with visitors here to see new American plays. More’s the pity. Sports stadiums and office towers and the factory that makes Louisville Slugger bats don’t just monopolize attention here, they also seem to dwarf the relatively unassuming yet sparkling and attractive Actors Theatre of Louisville building.

But step inside the lobby and wander around a bit and you’ll feel as Alice did falling down the rabbit hole. If Alice was a theater geek. And the hole led to one large arena stage, one black box space and one small proscenium. And a massive, multi-part lobby. And a recently upgraded restaurant crafted by a “Wait, didn’t I see you on Iron Chef?!” owner.

Those are the sort of resources that come in very handy when you produce six new works, in full productions, simultaneously.

Plus, on “industry weekends” like this one, there are panel discussions, interview opportunities for journalists and various other tangential gatherings.

And bourbon drinking. Let us not forget bourbon drinking.

The Humana Festival of New American Plays is a grand endeavor. You’re in Louisville, but for the most part you’re really just in that one ATL building, until you need to head back to your hotel or a watering hole.

Hopefully you’ll get a taste of that intensity through Engine 31’s exhaustive coverage of the fest, which begins in earnest tonight. Lou Harry and I are the advance team for this Engine. We met on the first of these new-models-of-arts-journalism projects, Engine 28, in Los Angeles two summers ago. Lou lives a few hours away from Louisville in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has been to Humana regularly for over a decade. Chris is based in New Haven, Connecticut, and visited the festival last year on a whim. It’s a hike for an East Coast critic, but experiencing it once spoiled him.

The Humana Festival of New American Plays is a place you have to seek out amidst the city. But once you find it and step inside, you are overwhelmed and awed. A part of you never leaves.
When all the other parts of us two leave on the final day of March, wait a few days and then brace yourself for a swarm of other Engine 31 journalists, who’ll fly in from all over the U.S on April 5 to complete the job, adding oodles more reviews, features and videos to this site. Most of them hail, as we do, from Engine 28, for which we dashed around Los Angeles writing stories about 2011’s L.A. Radar Festival, Hollywood Fringe Festival Theater Communications Group conference. You can still see that site over at www.engine28.com. (Yes, we know, we went from a .com to a .org. It’s not a typo.)

It is our collective goal to cover the Humana Festival the way it deserves to be covered. To review the plays but also to explain how the productions came to be. To interview stars and directors, but also designers and apprentices and audience members (and maybe even ushers, waiters and the person who makes sure the lobby is cleaned up by the time the doors open).
In short, to make you wish you were with us, while, at the same, enriching the experience of those who are here. We’ll be doing audience engagement experiments, and as you can see elsewhere on this page, we’re aggregating the stories everyone else is doing.

We’ll do everything that’s Humanally possible.”

1 Comment

by | April 1, 2013 · 6:31 pm

Why Kentucky Bans Alcohol Sales on Election Days

Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL News


“The ban on alcohol sales during the 6 a.m. to 6p.m. polling hours was a Prohibition-era response to what was already a well-established tradition in Kentucky—buying votes with liquor.

The problem goes back to the Antebellum period. Back then, it wasn’t unusual for saloons to double as polling places at the time. Corrupt politicians did whatever they could to make voters happy.

“And of course one way to do that was to keep the voters liquored up and basically seduce them or bribe them with drinks, free drinks, and it could actually skew the results of the election,” Jim Holmberg with the Filson Historical Society of Louisville. 

Booze for ballots became an issue.

Over the years, numerous attempts to bring back Kentucky’s Election Day sales have failed.

Liquor is a major business in Kentucky. This year, state Sen. John Schickel’s bill wasintroduced in the General Assembly amid growing concerns over millions of dollars lost sales—not only at bars, restaurants and liquor stores, but along Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail. In 2012, 509,292 people took tours at Bourbon Trail distilleries.

Those distillery tours are also shut down during polling hours.

Schickel told Kentucky Public Radio earlier in the session that the ban is no longer practical.  Elections are closely monitored on the state and federal levels for fraud. 

Schickel, a Republican from Union whose career was in law enforcement, said he’s never heard complaints about voters showing up drunk at the polls.

His bill does have a provision for communities that want to continue the ban.

“This law will allow election day sales, but it also allows for a local option if people don’t want it,” he said.

Chris Schreck says he’ll welcome an uptick in election day business. His family’s store, Shreck’s Baxter Liquors in Louisville, has been around since 1936, almost as long as Kentucky’s election day sales ban.

“We usually do about half the business (on Election Day) and they’re usually lined up at the door right when the election’s over.  The only bad part is it’s my golf day and I enjoy going out golfing with my buddies, but it’s fine with me if we’re open,” Shreck said.

Going into their respective legislative sessions, Kentucky and South Carolina were the only two states left with statewide bans on election day alcohol sales. 

In the Palmetto State, stores can sell beer and wine and restaurants can serve drinks, but package liquor sales are prohibited.  

Edward Lee, a history professor at Winthrop University History Professor—and the mayor of York, S.C.— said South Caroline has no movement afoot to allow more alcohol sales during elections.

“I think there’s a belief in South Carolina that alcohol and ballots are a combustible combination, so there’s not going to be that temptation, and we’re not going to have alcohol that readily available when people are visiting their polling places.  South Carolina goes its own way,  it’s historically gone its own way and I don’t see it changing,” Lee said.

The next statewide election day in Kentucky is May 20, 2014.

The 2013 General Assembly regular session is nearing an end. Barring a dramatic development, Kentuckians seeking to buy libations will have to wait until polls close or cross state lines.”

Leave a comment

by | March 14, 2013 · 5:40 pm