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Announcing the ANPF 2015 winners!

  • ANPF2015_blue_webMeridith Friedman of New York City for The Luckiest People
  • Beth Kander of Chicago for The Bottle Tree
  • Brian Mulholland of Cincinnati for The Return of Tartuffe
  • Skye Robinson Hillis of Chicago for And Vaster

Read their bios and synopses of the winning plays

For this year’s festival, our Reading Committee pored over an unprecedented 572 submissions before choosing the winners. Our artistic director, Kyle Haden, is now working with the four theatrical directors to cast the plays with professional actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the community.

ANPF 2015 runs October 21 to 25 at the Unitarian Center in Ashland. The winners will travel to Ashland for a week of rehearsals and readings and to see their scripts taken from the page to the stage. There will be two readings of each winning play, featuring professional actors and directors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the community.

The staged readings are Wednesday through Sunday, with matinee and evening performances at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. All performances are followed by a talkback moderated by ANPF 2008 winner and returning host playwright EM Lewis. The five playwrights will also teach a playwriting workshop on Saturday morning. Ticket presale begins in September; to be notified contact us.


Now Accepting Scripts for Next Year’s Festival

We are currently accepting submissions for ANPF 2016, which runs October 19 to 23, 2016. Our festival is under new artistic direction, and we have made changes to our requirements:

  • 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.


Theatre Talk Interview Salon Series Is Under Way

ANPF is presenting a series of four Theatre Talks with leading actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in June, July, August, and September. All four events are held at 7:30 p.m. at the Headwaters Environmental Center, 84 Fourth Street in Ashland. Subscriptions are sold out, but a limited number of $10 tickets are available at the door at 7 p.m.

TheatreTalk Theatre Talk host John Rose interviews David Kelly on Thursday, June 18; Sara Bruner on Monday, July 6; Danforth Comins on Thursday, August 13; and Christiana Clark on Thursday, September 17.

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 Artistic Director Kyle Haden. Photo by Lev Gorn.

ANPF Artistic Director Kyle Haden. Photo by Lev Gorn.

Meet Our Artistic Director

Ashland New Plays Festival is extremely pleased that Kyle Haden is our 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 is 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.”

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