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The current partnership which began its signature sponsorship of the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays in 1979 is the longest partnership between a corporation and a theater in the United States.

Humana began its signature sponsorship of the annual Humana Festival of New American Plays in 1979 and has provided it with more than $16.4 million since then. This represents the largest and longest current partnership between a corporation and a theater in the United States.

The Festival draws theater lovers, journalists, and film and stage producers from around the world. More than 35 states are represented each year. About 26,000 patrons attend the five weeks of plays, including students from more than 30 colleges and universities.

A successful run at the Humana Festival typically translates into more recognition and bigger audiences for the playwrights.

Eight Humana plays have been adapted for film and television. Three -- D. L. Coburn’s The Gin Game, Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart and Donald Margulies’ Dinner with Friends -- have won Pulitzer Prizes. Several other Humana plays have been nominated for Pulitzer Prizes. Additionally, six Humana plays have won the American Theatre Critics Award, while four Humana plays have won the Obie Award. It is estimated that 90 million people worldwide have seen productions of the many plays originated in the Humana Festival.

Competition is fierce. Approximately 3,000 scripts are received annually for consideration in the Festival. Nearly 75,000 scripts have been submitted since 1976.

Photos

Humana CEO Michael B. McCallister, Actors Theatre's former Executive Director Sandy Speer and Artistic Director Marc Masterson
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