Theater in the 502

Theater in the 502

Theatre [502] is bringing a fresh face to theater in Louisville, thanks to Gil Reyes ’97 and his two co-directors. The Louisville theatre company kicked off its third season in June and will once again offer three mainstage shows. First up is Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone, which is directed by Gil and opens at the end of June.

Theatre [502] seems to have found its place in the Louisville theatre community. “There was a little bit of a gap in the type of programming that was available in Louisville,” Gil explained. “Nobody was taking a risk on plays that were newer but not brand new. We thought there was an opportunity to bring in those plays that would speak to people in our town . . . Many of our plays deal with identity and ability to connect. These are universal themes, but they also have a place in Louisvillians’ hearts.”

Since starting out, Theatre [502] has been recognized as Best New Theatre Troupe in the LEO Reader’s Choice awards and has seen its membership base grow each year. “The response has been tremendous,” Gil said. “On all fronts, we’re looking at success.”

With two successful seasons under its belt, Theater [502] is growing in some exciting ways. This year will see the introduction of the Small Batch Series, which Gil describes as a series of “theatrical experiments and experiences.” The first is The Stranger and Ludloe Quinn, which will be performed at the Baron’s Theater in 8 –15 minute installments over the course of a year. Theater [502] commissioned the play specifically to fit the theater, which was once home to an historic Louisville magic act.

Making theater part of a larger social experience is a key part of what Theater [502] is setting out to do. “We always invite our audiences out to have a drink with us after the show if they want to talk about the show — what they saw and what they think we were doing. Creating a conversation is a big part of what I hope happens after people leave our shows.” Finally, Gil hopes that Theater [502] can get people thinking about theater in a new way. “We want our audience to see that theater doesn’t have to be a stuffy or pretentious endeavor,” he explained. “We want our audience to go out and enjoy a show, have a good time, and meet some great people.”