Tickets Now Available for Your Best One by Meridith Friedman
Ashland New Plays Festival will stage a dramatic reading of Your Best One, a play by Meridith Friedman, at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 25 in the Music Recital Hall at Southern Oregon University. Tickets are $20 and available now:
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Friedman, whose previous work The Luckiest People was presented at ANPF 2015 to great acclaim, continues the story of those characters in her new work. Your Best One centers on the Hoffman family, the irascible widower Oscar and his grown children Richard and Laura and their families, as they rally together–and against each other–with their trademark wit and inherited neurosis when one of their own is faced with a serious health crisis.
The play will star actors Rex Young, James Edmondson, Paul Michael Garcia, and Kate Berry. The four are well-known to Ashland audiences and previously appeared in The Luckiest People in 2015. They will reprise their original roles. Your Best One will also star Cameron Davis and Aurelia Grierson. Paul Mason Barnes will direct.
Part of a trilogy commissioned by Denver’s Curious Theatre Company, each play stands on its own so whether audiences are familiar with the first play or are new to the story, all will relate to these compelling and very human characters.
“Life is constantly vacillating between sadness and euphoria, to quote my favorite Billy Joel song,” said Friedman, who is currently residing in Los Angeles and writing for television, “And I want to create theater that explores the everyday tragedies and triumphs that bring us to the heights and depths of our experiences.”
ANPF’s next performance will be May 13 when the Hoffman family story will continue with the third installment, as yet untitled, of The Luckiest People trilogy.
Click here to learn more about the trilogy and the playwright.
2018 Season Announced
ANPF’s flagship annual Fall Festival Oct. 17-21 will unveil four new plays in dramatic readings by casts of professional actors. The plays will be selected from 400 entries currently being read by local volunteer readers, with the final decisions to be made in June by ANPF artistic director Kyle Haden. They will be performed at Ashland’s Unitarian Center.
In carrying out its mission to support new works for the stage, ANPF is “working to develop underrepresented voices in theater, including women and playwrights of color,” said Haden.
The 2018 season opens Sunday, March 25, with a dramatic reading of Meridith Friedman’s Your Best One, directed by Paul Mason Barnes, in the Music Recital Hall at Southern Oregon University. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance go on sale online Feb. 11. Members receive early access.
Four actors who previously appeared at ANPF in 2015 in Friedman’s The Luckiest People will reprise their roles in Your Best One – Rex Young, James Edmondson, Paul Michael Garcia, and Kate Berry.
Next in the schedule will be an extensive workshop in Ashland of another as yet untitled Friedman play, culminating in a Sunday, May 13, dramatic reading of the work at Southern Oregon University’s newly renovated Main Stage Theatre. Eventually, the Friedman plays will form a related trilogy.
“ANPF increasingly is focusing on the workshopping model for presenting new plays, in which playwrights are given a place to refine their work in preparation for production,” said Board President James Pagliasotti.
Also on this year’s schedule is ANPF’s popular Theatre Talk series, hosted again this year by John Rose and moving to Bellview Grange. Guests for the talks June through September, with exact dates to be announced later, are OSF actors Rex Young, Nancy Rodriguez, Daniel José Molina, and Alejandra Escalante.
A special added feature will be a March 30 talk for members only, featuring Christopher Acebo, Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s nationally prominent associate artistic director. Click here to learn how to become a member.
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2017 Year in Review
As we close our 26th season of supporting new works for the stage, we wanted to look back at this amazing year and thank you for your continued support.
This season was our most successful yet. Our flagship Fall Festival this October brought us four incredible new plays that resonated deeply with audiences:
“Strong performances bring rich life to already exciting and well-crafted new plays.”
“Great theater is good words plus good actors. The rest is detail. You have it all.”
“It gets stronger and stronger every year. A joy to experience.”
“Hearing artists speak on their art is fascinating. It’s pleasurable to be part of artistic development.”– ANPF 2017 audience survey responses
2017 was also an exciting year for past ANPF Winners. Six playwrights saw their plays receive world premieres, including:
- Meridith Friedman’s The Luckiest People (ANPF 2015) at Curious Theatre
- Steven Haworth’s Fernando (ANPF 2011) at Ice Factory 2017
- Jamie Pachino’s Other Than Honorable (ANPF 2013) at Geva Theatre
- Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living (Women’s Invitational) at Manhattan Theatre Club
- Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees (Women’s Invitational) at Goodman Theatre
- Jiehae Park’s Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (Women’s Invitational) at OSF
In addition, Bo Wilson’s The Boatwright (ANPF 2013) had a regional premiere at Firehouse Theatre.
Next year, Stephanie Walker’s The Madres (ANPF 2016) will have its world premiere at Teatro Vista in Chicago. And at OSF, ANPF 1999 winner Karen Zacarias (The Sins of Sor Juana) will bring her play Destiny of Desire to OSF’s 2018 season. Click here to learn more about ANPF’s past winners and where they are now.
Also, from June to September, ANPF’s Theatre Talk summer salon series welcomed its second year of sold out interviews with acclaimed theatre professionals. Thanks go to the series’ volunteer organizers, subscribers, and our inspiring guests this year: Rodney Gardiner, Britney Simpson, Vilma Silva, and Steven Sapp.
The popular series will have a new home in 2018 at the Grange to accommodate more seating.
Finally, we are sincerely grateful to be part of this dynamic and supportive community. To all the playwrights, performers, audiences, and the more than one hundred volunteers who join us in this effort: You made 2017 an exceptional year.
Thank you for giving us the continued opportunity to find and present new works for the stage.
We are looking forward to our 2018 season, which will be another ambitious and exciting year. We will be announcing the full 2018 schedule with all the details after the start of the new year. Below is a partial schedule:
Save the Dates for 2018