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  • Writer's pictureMolly Adea

Molly Adea CAST in 43rd Humana Festival

Molly Adea has been cast in How to Defend Yourself as Nikki in the 43rd Humana Festival with Actors Theatre of Louisville.


Brandi starts teaching her peers self-defense after fraternity brothers assault one of her sorority sisters. Joined by two male classmates who show up in support, the group learns how to fight back while wrestling with their own complicated experiences and desires. But how much can a class actually teach them about protecting themselves—and each other? Visceral and provocative, How to Defend Yourself examines the impact of rape culture, on campus and beyond.

How to Defend Yourself was developed in the 2018 Wagner New Play Festival at the University of California, San Diego directed by Kim Rubinstein and mentored by Naomi Iizuka, Allan Davis, Deborah Stein and Kim Rubinstein. The roles were originated by University of California, San Diego undergraduate and graduate actors. The play was further developed in the 2018 IGNITION New Play Festival at Victory Gardens Theater and the 2018 Ojai Playwrights Conference.

Lily Padilla:

Lily Padilla makes plays about sex, intersectional communities and what it means to heal in a violent world. They just received their M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego, where they were mentored by Naomi Iizuka, Deborah Stein, Allan Davis and Kim Rubinstein. Padilla's work has been developed with the Ojai Playwrights Conference, Victory Gardens Theater, INTAR Theatre and San Diego Repertory Theatre. Their immersive audio installation And Then You Wait, co-created with Dylan Key, reimagined an abandoned rain silo a finalist for the 2018 Latinx Theatre Commons Carnaval of New Work. Padilla facilitates playwriting workshops with the La Jolla Playhouse/TCG Veterans & Theatre Institute. They community builder who looks at rehearsal as a laboratory for how we might be together.

March 13- April 7, 2019

Bingham Theatre

Actors Theatre of Louisville

by Lily Padilla

Directed by Marti Lyons

co-world premier with Victory Gardens Theater

How to Defend Yourself


Nikki - Molly Adea

Andy- David Ball

Brandi - Anna Crivelli

Kara- Abby Leigh Huffstetler

Mojdeh - Ariana Mahallati

Eggo - Jonathan Moises Olivares

Diana - Gabriela Ortega

Susannah - Phoenix Gilmore


Director - Marti Lyons

Playwright - Lily Padilla

Scenic Designer - Kimie Nishikawa

Costume Designer - Dina Abd El-Aziz

Lighting Designer - Heather Gilbert

Sound Designer - Luqman Brown

Movement Director - Stephanie Paul

Fight Director - Drew Fracher

Stage Manager - Jan Hubert

Dramaturg - Jessica Reese

Casting - Emily Tarquin

The Humana Festival of New American Plays

The Humana Festival is a world-renowned event that has introduced more than 450 plays into the American and international theatre repertoire and representing the work of more than 400 playwrights and ensembles. The internationally acclaimed Humana Festival is recognized as a crucial incubator for new work and a launchpad for myriad subsequent productions around the country and the world.

Celebrated past premiers include Lucas Hnath's The Christians, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Appropriate, Jen Silverman's The Roommate, Kimber Lee's Brownsville song (b-side for tray), Idris Goodwin's How We Got On, Molly Smith Metzler's Cry it Out, A. Rey Pamatmat's Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, Joran Harrison's Maple and Vine, Gina Gionfriddo's Becky Shaw, Naomi Iizuka's Polaroid Stories, Charles Mee's Big Love, Jose Rivera's Marisol, Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare, Emily Mann's Execution of Justice, John Pielmeier's Agnes of God, and Marsha Norman's Getting Out. The Festival has also featured new work made by acclaimed ensemble companies, such as Rude Mechs (The Method Gun), UNIVERSES (Ameriville), and SITI Company (Steel Hammer, Cabin Pressure, Charles Mee's bobraushenbergamerica, and more).

Three Humana Festival plays have won the Pulitzer Prize - The Gin Game by D.L. Coburn, Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley, and Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies - and plays launched in Louisville have received a host of prestigious honors, including the Obie Award, Kesselring Prize, Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and many others. More than 400 Humana Festival plays have been published in anthologies and individual acting editions, making Actors Theatre a visible and vital force in the development of new work.

The Humana Festival is the premier event of its kind in the nation, drawing theatre lovers, journalists, and film and stage producers from around the world. About 38,000 patrons attend the six weeks of plays and associated events, including students from more than 50 colleges and universities. The 2018 Festival was attended by more than 38,000 people, with visitors from 41 states and 52 colleges and universities represented in the audience. The Festival culminates in two industry weekends, which bring together a collection of amazing new plays with one-of-a-kind panels, cocktail parties, discussions and networking events. It is the perfect opportunity to see new work, make new connections, and support the creation of new American theatre.

This year's lineup of plays will be performed in rotating repertory in three theaters located in Actors Theatre's downtown Louisville complex: The Pamela Brown Auditorium, The Bingham Theatre, and The Victor Jory Theatre. The 2019 Humana Festival schedule also offers a weekend of enrichment events for college students, and features special weekend packages for theatre lovers and practitioners alike. These weekends are packed with discussions, networking opportunities and parties.

The Humana Festival runs March 1 through April 7, 2019 in Louisville.

Featuring World Premiers by Kara Lee Corthron, Emily Feldman, Dave Harris, Lucas Hnath, Ismail Khalidi, Matthew Paul Olmos, Lily Padilla, Naomi Wallace.

Actors Theatre celebrates the 43rd Humana Festival with underwriter the Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana, Inc. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

(Information taken from | Kevin E. Moore)

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