Now Accepting Scripts for Next Year’s Festival

We are now accepting submissions for ANPF 2016, which runs October 19 to 23, 2016. Our festival is under new art direction, and we have made several changes to requirements of the past:

  • Only the first 400 submissions will be accepted.
  • We now allow doubling of characters.
  • We no longer accept hard copies.

Read our script submission guidelines and follow the steps on our Submit a Script page.

ANPF2015_blue_webFor this year’s festival, our intrepid Reading Committee has diligently pored over an unprecedented number of submissions, and the cream has risen to the top. The finalists are now in the hands of our artistic director, Kyle Haden, and the winning playwrights will be contacted in June and announced in July.

ANPF 2015 runs October 21 to 25 at the Unitarian Center in beautiful Ashland, Oregon.

LittleDog-color_Design by Gary Palmatier_Ideas to ImagesStaged Reading Coming in June

We are delighted to present a staged reading of Douglas Carter Beane’s The Little Dog Laughed on June 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Center. The production is directed by Kenneth Albers and features Catherine Lynn Davis, Aubyn Heglie, Samuel L. Wick, and Noah Yaconelli. Get tickets

The event is part of ANPF’s Actor’s Choice series, which debuted last summer with In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), featuring Kate Hurster.

“Actor’s Choice gives a great actor the chance to perform a favorite role and guarantees the audience a special evening,” says ANPF president James Pagliasotti. “We anticipate a very poignant interpretation of this funny and touching play.”

The characters are a hard-driving Hollywood agent (Davis), her budding screen idol client (Yaconelli), a sexy young drifter (Wick), and the drifter’s naive, needy girlfriend (Heglie). The Little Dog Laughed follows the adventures of Mitchell Green, a movie star who could hit it big were it not for one teensy-weensy problem: his agent, Diane, can’t seem to keep him in the closet. Trying to help him navigate Hollywood’s choppy waters, the devilish Diane is doing all she can to keep Mitchell away from the cute rent boy who’s caught his eye and the rent boy’s girlfriend (wait, the rent boy has a girlfriend?). Will there be a happy ending as the final credits roll?

“It’s everything you wanted to know about show business but were afraid to ask,” says Davis.

Says Albers, “For my money, a good play needs four major elements: a great story, great characters, great language, and an audience of at least one person eager to be challenged and entertained. In the case of The Little Dog Laughed, three of the four elements are already in place. The story approaches its subject with humor, humanity, and compassion. The characters are fully engaged in a conflict that they must resolve in their own unique way. And the language is evocative and scintillating, carrying the story and the characters along a careening path toward a common denouement. All that awaits is the audience member—or members—eager to complete the creative equation.”

The play was originally produced off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre, and the cast included Tony Award winner Julie White and Johnny Galecki of TV’s The Big Bang Theory. White and Galecki remained in the play when it transferred to Broadway.

The title is a reference to the fictional short story written by Arturo Bandini in John Fante’s Ask the Dust. The same title is also used for a fictional play that appears in Agatha Christie’s Three Act Tragedy.

Says the New York Times: “Theatergoers have cause to rejoice. Devastatingly funny, with dizzy, irresistible writing that brings down the house.”

The Little Dog Laughed is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York. The production is underwritten by Lucretia Weems.

Interview Salon Series Debuts in June

ANPF is presenting a series of four Theatre Talks with leading actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in June, July, August, and September. Theatre Talk is returning to its origins, as all four events will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Headwaters Environmental Center, 84 Fourth Street in Ashland. The cost for the series of four events is $30, and only 60 seats are available. Tickets to single Theatre Talks are not available in advance but may be available at the door. TheatreTalk

Theatre Talk host John Rose will interview David Kelly on Thursday, June 18; Sara Bruner on Monday, July 6; Danforth Comins on Thursday, August 13; and Miriam A. Laube on a September date TBD. To reserve a seat, send an email to gray@ashlandnewplays.org. You will receive a confirming email with payment details.

ANPF Theatre Talk is a series of conversations between host John Rose and prominent local actors and theatre professionals. Inspired by James Lipton’s television series Inside the Actors Studio, it focuses on the ways their lives merge with their process, skill, and inspiration to create art. The series gives audiences a unique glimpse into the art, craft, and nature of theatre and the lives of these dynamic, hardworking artists.

View photos and videos of past Theatre Talk interviews with Dan DonohueRobynn Rodriguez, Kimberly Scott, and Al Espinosa. Check out the full-length videos of Theatre Talk interviews with Oregon Shakespeare Festival dramaturg Lue Douthit and OSF actors John Tufts, Nell Geisslinger, and Mark Bedard on our YouTube channel.

ANPF Has a New Artistic Director!

ANPF Artistic Director Kyle Haden. Photo by Lev Gorn.

ANPF Artistic Director Kyle Haden. Photo by Lev Gorn.

Ashland New Plays Festival is extremely pleased to announce that Kyle Haden has been chosen as ANPF’s new artistic director.

A professional actor, director, and educator, Haden, 37, has deep roots in Ashland, having worn many hats for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. These include both acting and teaching as well as directing OSF’s Midnight Projects and School Visit shows and serving on the Boar’s Head committee. Kyle has been the director of OSF’s Summer Seminar program for high school juniors for the past five years and is a member of the OSF Institute faculty in the festival’s Education Department. Previously, he taught in the Theatre Arts Department at Southern Oregon University for three years, where he completely overhauled and redesigned the department’s BFA and BA Performance curricula. He is currently an assistant professor at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.

“I am honored to accept the position of artistic director with Ashland New Plays Festival, and I am so excited to have this opportunity,” says Haden, who will be playing Camillo in The Winter’s Tale at Chicago’s First Folio Theatre in July. “I have been familiar with ANPF since working on a project with them in 2003, and I have always been impressed by their passion for theatre. This is an exciting time to be part of ANPF, and I look forward to working with the board, as well as all the volunteers who make this such a special organization, as we seek out outstanding new plays.”

ANPF President James Pagliasotti, who led the search for a new AD, says that Haden is a great fit: “Ashland New Plays Festival has been blessed with a 24-year legacy of bringing exciting new plays to Ashland’s sophisticated theater audiences. We are so pleased and proud to have Kyle Haden as our new artistic director. He was unanimously chosen from a strong field of candidates. We are confident that his skills, experience, and vision will usher in a new era of excellence in artistic direction at ANPF. Kyle is a perfect fit for an organization that is determined to explore the boundaries and see what it is capable of in its next quarter century.”

Named by Fodor’s as one of the top three reasons to visit Ashland, ANPF is in our twenty-fourth year, drawing playwrights and theatre lovers from far and wide for a week of readings, talkbacks, workshops, and playwright appreciation while celebrating new works for the stage.

Haden will lead the collaborative process to select four winning plays from hundreds of scripts submitted for presentation as dramatic readings during the one-week festival. He will recruit a director for each winning play and collaborate with the four directors to cast the roles, facilitate playwright/director communication, and oversee rehearsals and performances. He will also act as our spokesperson, advise our Board of Directors about fundraising events, assist in promoting Festival Week, and serve as a liaison between ANPF and the greater theater community.


Want to Learn More about ANPF?

Fodor’s lists Ashland New Plays Festival as one of the top three reasons to visit Ashland! A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle praised ANPF as both “prestigious” and “celebrated.” Want to learn more? “Like” Ashland New Plays Festival on Facebook and view our photo albums! Read about our history and testimonials of winning playwrights. Learn about our artistic director. Enter your contact information to be added to our mailing list. Got a question or want to get involved? Drop us a line.