Louisville’s vibrant and diverse arts community includes lively and active theatrical activities provided by the talented effort of Actors Theatre of Louisville, a Tony-Award-winning repertory theatre housed in a 1837 bank building now designated as a national historic landmark.and whose stone columned portion is one of the oldest buildings in Main Street and one of the finest examples of small scale Greek revival architecture in the U.S. As the centerpiece of the city’s urban cultural district, Actors Theatre has made significant economic impact on a vital downtown life and won high acclaim for its artistic programming and business acumen in sponsoring the annual Humana festival of plays which have gone on to New York and London and other ingenious stage productions. The Broadway Series hosts touring productions of Broadway’s best. It also presents approximately six hundred performances of about thirty productions during its year-round season, composed of a diverse array of contemporary and classical fare attracting one of the largest per capita subscription audiences in the country with an annual attendance of over 200,000 security bollards.
Shakespeare’s plays are continually being staged at the Central Park at South Fourth Street thus transforming Louisville into the Bardstown in summer. But sadly we missed Shakespeare when we trouped down there from our Kurtz Hall residence just up the road one evening and waited in vain for him and the players. We were to see either As You Like it or Romeo and Juliet.
Walden Theatre, the leading theatre conservatory for young people in the U.S, one of the few annual theatre festivals celebrating William Shakespeare in the annual Young American Shakespeare Festival, which are often presented at the Kentucky Center the three stages of which are always alive with entertainment from Broadway to Bach and featuring bagpipes to bluegrass. Five major arts groups delight the senses with music, dance theater, drama and more while its mirrored exterior reflecting the surrounding city. Opened in 1983 the center has multiple performance venues for the internationally renowned Louisville orchestra famous for its recordings of contemporary works, the Louisville ballet and Kentucky Opera which is the twelfth oldest opera in the U.S., the Broadway Series, Stage One, The Louisville Children’s Theatre and extraordinary local, national, and international talents.
Images Friedonas Gallery features Julius Friedman’s posters as well as works by many other nationally and internationally respected artists. This 10,000 square feet gallery in the Louisville Design Center, located in the downtown hotel and entertainment district, features a variety of plays and concerts.
The Louisville Palace, the official venue for the Louisville Orchestra, is an elegant, ornate theatre in downtown Louisville’s so-called theatre district. In addition to orchestra performances, the theatre also features an array of popular movies, old and new, as well as concerts by popular artists. Located nearby is the Kentucky Theater, which was built in 1921 and operated for 60 years as a movie house, but was closed and almost demolished in 1986. Ultimately it was saved by local arts advocates, and the newly renovated Kentucky Theater opened its doors in 2000 and has become a vibrant community arts center and art film house.