Visiting Humana playwright offers insight into U.S.–Mexico border problems


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Playwright Lisa Dillman, whose “Ground” will premiere during the 2010 Humana Festival of New American Plays, will share her thoughts on the play and her writing experiences 1–2 p.m., Feb. 18, in the Thrust Theater, 2314 South Floyd Street.

    Moderator Russ Vandenbroucke, Department of Theatre Arts chair, will lead a conversation and question and answer session with Dillman about her play and its story regarding the divisions and disruption of lives created by immigration policies. The event is free and open to the public.

    Vandenbroucke noted that Dillman’s play dramatizes some of the same issues as “The Devil’s Highway,” a novel by Luis Alberto Urrea and this yearI’s Book-in-Common at UofL. The multidisciplinary program provides a year-long dialogue engaging the campus community.

    “Both deal with the boundary that divides and defines Americans and Mexicans,” Vandenbroucke said. “They also reveal the contours of a social and political landscape that tests both individuals and their families.”

    Dillman’s own experiences involved moving across the border with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico. It was there as a student in creative writing that she first heard her stories read aloud. Struck by the power of the spoken word, she subsequently began writing pieces based on dialogue. An award-winning career followed for the Chicago-based playwright and teacher.

    Dillman makes her Humana Festival debut with “Ground,” performed March 2–28 at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Her work includes “Detail of a Larger Work” at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, “Flung” and “Half of Plenty” at American Theatre Company and “The Walls” at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble.

    Dillman is a winner of the Sarett National Playwriting Competition, Beverly Hills Theatre Guild-Julie Harris Award and the Sprenger-Lang New History Play Prize.

    Dillman’s campus visit is sponsored by the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society and UofL’s Department of Theatre Arts, Latin American/Latino Studies Program, Book-in-Common Program and the English Department Diversity Committee.

    For more information, call theatre arts at 502-852-7682.