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Lorna Littleway, Juneteenth Legacy Theatre

Lorna Littleway Lorna Littleway, co-founder and producing director of Juneteenth Legacy Theatre, has enjoyed a 30-year-plus career as a director, playwright, and actress. In Louisville, she has directed Your Obituary Is a Dance for Actors Theatre’s Humana Festival and worked with Louisville native Cedric Turner on two of his plays, Clockwatchers Rumor and Mister Bluesman. The National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC presented Bluesman in 1997, and the Fringe Festival in New York City produced it in August 2001.

Other plays Lorna has directed in Louisville include August Wilson’s Trilogy on the Blues: The Homecoming and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; an adaptation of Anna Deveare Smith’s Excerpts from Twilight Los Angeles, 1992; two by Alice Childress, Florence and Trouble in Mind; and two by Adrienne Kennedy, The Owl Answers and Funnyhouse of a Negro.

On the regional theater circuit, Lorna directs frequently for St. Louis Black Rep, where she has staged Spirit North, Kingdom of Earth, Home, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, and Ceremonies in Dark Old Men. At Stamford Theatre Works, she has directed The Grandma Tree: A Folkfable and Miss Evers’ Boys. The latter production was recorded for the Lincoln Center Library Theatre Collection archives.

In New York, Lorna develops new plays through the Drama League, the Stage Directors Foundation, and Lincoln Center Theater’s Directors Lab. She has directed classics of the American dramatic canon at colleges and universities, including A Raisin in the Sun at Lehigh University and The Grapes of Wrath at Iowa State, and has developed new plays at Brown University’s Rites&Reason Theatre: Where Dewdrops of Mercy Shine Bright by j.e. Franklin and Armed with Cruel Hate and Other Traumas by George Houston Bass.

Lorna’s own plays have been produced around the country: Motion and Location at Luna Sea in San Francisco, If You Love Me in Dallas, and Kindler Genter Nation at home in Louisville. Her plays also have been read at the Juneteenth Festival as well as several Off-Off-Broadway theaters in New York: La MaMa ETC, Pulse Ensemble, Castillo, and Open Eye: New Stagings.

And she hasn’t stopped acting, either: Her performance as Zora Neale Hurston in The Last Dust Track marked her Louisville debut—and her return to the stage after a 15-year hiatus.

In academe, Lorna has served as artistic director for the Minority Theatre Workshop at Iowa State University and was co-director of the African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville from 1994 to 1999.

Program 220

In this week's show, we'll visit with Lorna Littleway, Founder/Producing Director of Juneteenth Festival and Kristi Papailler-Berkley, Producer/Artistic Director of Juneteenth Festival; Internationally-known Designer, Julius Friedman; and Dan Gediman is our musical guest. (#220)

Program 531

Estill County’s Art on Main; the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre, Louisville’s professional African-American theater; and music from Louisville singer-songwriter Joni Wilcoxson. (#531)


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