From the publisher...

A.S. Waterman

July-August 2007

Louisville listens!

Louisville theatres have listened to their audiences, to their casts and crew, and to peer comments such as those published right here at

You're probably saying, "Of course, they do!" However, it was a wonderful surprise to me because I come from an area where they definitely do not. To the best of my knowledge, Boston area theatres still keep patrons huddled into unheated ante-rooms in the midst of a frigid New England winter, retroactively refuse handicapped seating, make veteran actors pay for "training" in order to be cast, and more lovely things like that. Compared to those, our complaints about Louisville theatres seem mild; yet, nonetheless, Louisville theatres have more than heard -- they have listened.

Actors Theatre signed on for Theatre Alliance of Louisville's combined auditions in June, and thereby considered some local actors as well as New York casting. Clarksville Little Theatre added a female director to its schedule for next year. Many theatre groups have already announced their 2007-8 seasons and have made a clear effort to stagger rather than bunch their opening dates. Many have also improved the quality and appearance of their printed programs. And it's become commonplace to open one theatre's playbill and see a list of offerings from several other theatres. Kudos on all! But, then, I always knew that Louisville theatres were something special.

Of course, a few items remain on the wish list -- for example, replacement of fixed seating so cramped that it would make an airline blush, but I realize that's a much more costly undertaking. Perhaps they'll consider it with the next renovation. More realistically, perhaps theatre groups could expand their phone coverage for at least the month prior to an opening, could make sure callers know whether seating is open or reserved, and could remind ushers to escort patrons via the least feet-trampling route to their seat. Most of all, perhaps all could limit opening announcements to two or three minutes and train their announcers to stop saying "ah." (Now, they'll have some motivation to do that, as our readers will be watching.)

Most of all, I hope that everyone's upcoming season will continue to build on the wonderful spirit of this year's -- always mutually supportive, never competitive, and dedicated to making Louisville area theatre the best anywhere.

Louisville theatres -- since you've listened, please hear how proud we are of you, and how very glad that you're here.

-- A.S. Waterman

Published July 1, 2007


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