For 24 years, the Humana Festival of New American Plays, presented by the Actors Theatre of Louisville, has been the place to be for theater people who want to experience the very best in new plays and performances. Thirty-one playwrights are represented in this year's festival collection (for other collections, see, e.g., Humana Festival '97: The Complete Plays, LJ 2/1/98), including Stephen Belber, whose play "Tape" takes a hard look at the issue of taking responsibility for past actions. Another piece, "Back Story," based on a story by Joan Ackermann, is a collaborative project by 17 dramatists, who wrote three scenes and 16 monologs for the play's two characters, a brother and sister whose relationship evolves over the years. In addition to the ten dramas, the collection includes five brief "phone plays." The variety and dramatic impact of the plays make this a worthwhile addition to most theater arts collections.--Howard Miller, Rosary H.S. Lib., St. Louis Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.