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Louisville's Finnigan Festival Announces Line-up—and a Direction Change

Finnigan Production’s eighth annual theatre festival is undergoing both a change of name and direction, a move Finnigan artistic director Brian Walker said he hopes will offer other Louisville playwrights the opportunity to locally workshop their productions.

This year’s Finnigan’s Festival of Derby City Playwrights, formerly the Festival of Funky Fresh Fun, will showcase the works of the first cohort of the Derby City Playwrights, a group of Louisville writers facilitated by Walker who are dedicated to the development of “locally grown plays.”

 “It’s hard because in the past Louisville playwrights have had to go outside the community to get feedback on or workshop their plays,” Walker said.

“With DCP, 12 local playwrights meet once a month to offer feedback on works-in-progress, with the end goal of each playwright having a finished full-length play at the end of the season. The Festival of Funky Fresh Fun will now become a showcase for those playwrights committed to DCP.”

 This year’s playwrights include Tad Chitwood, David Clark, Nancy Gall-Clayton, Ben Gierhart, Amanda Haan, Eli Keel, Becky LeCron, Ben Unwin, Brian Walker, Rachel White, Bryce Woodard and Todd Zeigler.

 “The name ‘Funky Fresh Fun’ tended to draw a certain kind of play,” Walker said. “In the past, people felt that the content submitted had to be off-the-wall or absurdist.”

 This year, the genre of the plays vary—from comedy to drama, and yes, still a dash of absurdism. Productions include:


“Cruise Control” by Ben Unwin
“Safety” by Amanda Haan
“Silence Penguins Come” by David Clark
“Chipped” by Becky LeCron
“Gateway” by Todd Zeigler
“Sausage Fest” by Eli Keel
“In the Closet” by Bryce Woodard
“Saint Bob” by Tad Chitwood
“American Goddess” by Rachel White
“Gamers 4 Life” by Brian Walker

In addition, Nancy Gall-Clayton’s “A Deal,” featuring a modern day Tinkerbelle and Fairy Grandmother, and Ben Gierhart’s “Stops,” based on true stories of the playwright’s time on local TARC buses, will be performed in two-minute slices between the 10-minute plays.

The festival will take place at The Bard's Town Theatre on April 2-4 and the 9-11 at 7:30 p.m.