Walden Theatre Summer Academy production: Dorina and the Plague

A New Fairy Tale of EPIDEMIC Proportions

by Diana Grisanti

Many generations ago (though not as many as you might think) a terrible plague descended on the inhabitants of a remote Italian mountain village. While doctors, con artists, and civic leaders scramble for a cure – and for profit – the intrepid Dorina takes matters into her own hands in this new fairy tale full of charlatans, rats, an evil stepmother, and some curiously powerful cloves of garlic!

Dorina-webJoin Walden Theatre this summer for Dorina and the Plague, a play by Diana Grisanti and performed by the young actors in Walden Theatre’s Summer Academy program. In each session of the Summer Academy, young people ages 8-13 spend three weeks working on a play from the ground up – learning acting and improv techniques, finding out what goes into a professionally-produced play, and making bold creative choices to entertain audiences in three culminating performances open to the theatre going public on six weekends this summer.

Performances all summer. Evenings Fridays & Saturdays 7:30pm.
Matinees Saturdays 2:00pm

  • Jun 27-28 (dir by Alec Volz)
  • Jul 11-12 (dir by Charlie Sexton)
  • Jul 18-19 (dir by Hallie Dizdarevic)
  • Jul 25-26 (dir by Jennifer Pennington)
  • Aug 1-2 (dir by Melinda Crecelius)
  • Aug 8-9 (dir by Neill Robertson)

Dorina and the Plague is a great way for families to beat the heat this summer. And it’s a great way for kids to see their peers working together to perform a very funny new play.

Playwright and Walden Theatre alumna Diana Grisanti returns this year with a brand new script for the Summer Academy. In recent years, she wrote adaptations of 1,001 Nights and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and this is her first original play to feature in Walden Theatre’s Summer Academy shows. Her short play “Post-Wave Spectacular” was produced for the 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays, her musical Richie Farmer Will Have His Revenge on Durham (written with composer/lyricist Matt Schatz) was Best of Fest in Austin’s FronteraFest, and she’s playwright in residence for Theatre [502] where she cowrote the dramatic serial The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn.

Huge thanks as well to Walden Theatre parent and Board of Directors President Michele Koch for the fantastic illustration for this production!


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Summer Camps Filling Up…

Camp enrollment for 2014 is well underway! We have a full slate of camps and workshops for ages 5-18 available, but many have already filled up!

Check out the enrollment forms for our programs below or click here to visit the website:

Get in while you can!

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Camp for Preschoolers? Yeah, we got it.

enter the world of
a Blue Apple Players program offered at Walden Theatre
  • Ages: 3-5 (Pre-K)
  • Times: 9:30 – noon, Mon – Fri (1 wk.)
  • Dates: August 4-8
  • Price: $150 ($50 non-refundable deposit reserves a place)
  • Instructors: Mera Kathryn Corlett, Jennifer Pennington, Annie Smith
  • Registration/Information Brochure
Kids help Jack save the day as they climb into an enchanted world of exciting characters and strange happenings! The camp is an interactive adventure filled with activity & problem-solving, as Blue Apple Players Teaching Artists guide kids through the world of pretend. This is experiential creative dramatics at its best – a nurturing environment where social & emotional growth blooms. Participants develop skills in creative expression as they experience the story through movement, music & role play. On the last day we’ll share the story of our adventure with families.
Instructors Jen, Mera and Annie have invested hundreds of teaching hours as lead Storytellers and Teaching Artists for Blue Apple Players. In the 2012-2013 school year, Blue Apple Players taught Jack and The Beanstalk for over 300 children in Oldham County. This curriculum is being studied by the University of Louisville Early Childhood Research Center, with the evaluation and teaching team invited to present findings at national and statewide education conferences this Summer.
Note: Kids must be potty trained to participate.


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Alison Huff named in 40 Under 40

Annual list recognizes Louisville’s top young professionals

Alison Huff, Managing Director at Walden Theatre, has been recognized by the publication Business First for its 2014 list of Louisville’s 40 Under 40. The list, selected from this year’s pool of nearly 500 nominees by a four judge panel, is an annual recognition of the city’s top young professional talent across a variety of fields.

In her five years as Managing Director of Walden Theatre, Huff has improved annual revenue by 48% and increased net assets 2.5 times, creating stability and establishing a cash reserve. In addition to her regular duties of strategic planning, fundraising, and oversight, Alison serves as Producer for the Slant Culture Theatre Festival, a community-wide venture founded and managed by Walden Theatre, and she has bridged numerous community partnerships on Walden Theatre’s behalf (Blue Apple Players, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Louisville Visual Art Association, Louisville Metro Parks Community Centers, and others).

“Alison’s commitment to youth arts education is recognized and appreciated by all of us involved in the Walden Theatre and Blue Apple Players merger process,” said Michele Koch, President of Walden Theatre’s Board of Directors. “It’s so exciting to see her ongoing dedication to collaboration and high-quality innovation acknowledged — alongside other top young professionals — by our community.”

In April of this year, Huff made news as the first recipient of the Allan Cowen Innovation Fund for Advancement of the Arts Grant by Louisville’s Fund for the Arts. The award provides up to $10,000 to pursue professional development, which she’s putting toward a Harvard University Business School executive education program on strategic nonprofit management that she’ll attend in July.

Huff is very active in Louisville’s arts education community. She currently serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for the Arts & Cultural Attractions Council where she also co-chairs the Education Committee and is leading an effort to survey the education programs of ACA’s 106 member groups to create common language and understanding, share collective impact, and identify gaps in service. In addition, she is a member of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Education Advisory Committee and is a member of LVAA’s Education Committee.

“I love having this opportunity to highlight some of the great education work happening at Walden Theatre right now,” said Huff. “It’s a big honor to be included on this year’s list, but the daily successes of the kids we serve will always be my biggest reward.”


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2014/15 Season of Plays at Walden Theatre

September 18-27


by Mary Chase, directed by Hallie Dizdarevic

October 9-18

Three Sisters

by Anton Chekhov, adapted by Craig Lucas
directed by Charlie Sexton

November 13-23  |  Slant Culture Series

[to be determined]

directed by Alec Volz

November 13-23  |  Young Company Production

The Snow Queen

by Stanton Wood, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story
directed by Neill Robertson

Dates TBD

Connecting Cultures

by the Connecting Company ensemble
December 2014  |  Staff Showcase

Uncle Vanya

by Anton Chekhov, adapted by David Mamet, directed by Hal Park

January 22-31  |  Yum! Family Series Cornerstone Classic

Romeo & Juliet

by William Shakespeare, directed by Julane Havens

February 11-14

Young Playwrights Festival

by Walden Theatre student playwrights, various directors

February 26-March 7

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Alec Volz

May 8-18  |  Young American Shakespeare Festival 2015

Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2

by William Shakespeare, directed by Julane Havens
featuring Charlie Sexton as Falstaff

The Beaux’ Stratagem

by George Farquhar, directed by Hallie DizdarevicDate TKTK

June 2015  |  Summer Shakespeare Intensive Production

The Two Noble Kinsmen

by William Shakespeare, directed by Julane Havens

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Filed under Conservatory, Playwriting, Shows, Staff News, Student News, Walden Theatre partners

“Who You Are…” at Southwick Community Center

Through Walden Theatre’s Connecting Cultures Through Drama program at Southwick Community Center, young people have taken the chance to share their experiences growing up, facing struggles, and overcoming challenges – all while creating an original performance where their own words and visual inspiration bring the stories to life on stage.

“Who You Are Is Not Where You Come From”
Southwick Community Center
Thursday, May 29 at 7:00pm
(there is no cost to attend this public performance)

“The play is the story of kids living in Louisville’s West End who are tormented in their sleep by nightmarish demons,” said Hallie Dizdarevic, a Walden Theatre artistic/development associate and one of the instructors in the program. “These demons — rooted in issues surrounding neighborhood, race, family, and violence — are ultimately defeated by positivity and empowerment as the protagonists realize they can take action and become heroes in bad situations.”

Walden Theatre teaching artists worked with youth ages 10-18 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Southwick for 12 sessions, and like all of Walden Theatre’s Outreach Education programs is designed to be both fun and challenging– unlocking and developing creativity in young people while teaching how to use voice, body, imagination, and courage to perform. In addition to theatre, Louisville Visual Art Association worked with drama participants and other youth to create an original visual art component for the production based on themes developed during the program.

The Southwick program is an extension of Walden Theatre’s ongoing Connecting Cultures initiatives. Connecting Cultures performances are devised solely from materials gathered through journal entries and class discussion to provide a platform for young voices in our community that may otherwise go unheard.

Please join Walden Theatre, Louisville Visual Art Association and Southwick Community Center for this performance by youth whose voices and perspectives won’t be defined by negative stereotypes.

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Filed under connecting cultures, Louisville Arts, louisville visual art association, Outreach Education, Shows, Special Events

Auditions: Harvey + Three Sisters

We’re holding auditions for the first two plays of the 2014/15 season in June, and signups are available on the call board in the lobby. Stop by when you come see the Shakespeare shows and pick a date/time. Here are the details:


by Mary Chase, directed by Hallie Dizdarevic
show runs Sep 18-27

  • June 18 – 3:00-6:00pm
  • July 16 – 3:30-6:30pm

The Three Sisters

by Anton Chekov, adapted by Craig Lucas, directed by Charlie Sexton
show runs Oct 9-18

  • June 18 – 3:00-6:00pm
  • July 16 – 2:00-5:00pm

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