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We Stand Together.
ANPF 2020 Winners Announced
Ashland New Plays Festival’s 29th annual Fall Festival winners are: Ian August, Kari Bentley-Quinn, David Hilder, and Grace McLeod. The Festival this year will feature livestreamed readings, talkbacks, and a playwriting workshop as well as other opportunities to engage with the winning playwrights this October 21–25, 2020.
“At this time in our history, it feels like art has been put on hold,” says Peggy Moore, ANPF’s board president, “It has left many of us without opportunities to experience the emotions and lessons learned from theatre artists. We are excited that we can share these four new works with audiences. The plays are food for the mind and the heart.”
Zero by Ian August: Three reform-school teens discover a bottomless pit in this narrated tale of the inexplicable and the unspeakable, a darkly comedic allegory about the danger of simple solutions and whether ‘nothing’ actually exists anyway.
Hyannis by Kari Bentley-Quinn: In this relatable, multifaceted drama set in a small Cape Cod town, a family grapples with healing and despair as they adjust to the return of one of their own from his second stint in rehab.
Those Days are Over by David Hilder: A vigorous collage, a buoyant journey into grief, this deeply felt comedy centers on the five estranged MacKillop sisters who meet together at their childhood home in the immediate wake of their mother’s death.
The Communist Revolution: A Ninth-Grade European History Project (There Will Be a Practical Demonstration) by Grace McLeod: Parents vs. kids, house vs. tent, capitalism vs. communism: the ultimate showdown ensues in this black comedy about rich white liberals whose desire to be “good” runs up against their own fragility.
Learn more about the winning playwrights and their plays on our Current Winners page.
We look forward to sharing these compelling new stories with you! Tickets to the online Festival will go on sale in August. ANPF members receive advance access and discounts on tickets. Watch this space for details as they become available.
ANPF Play4Keeps Podcast: Where new plays live!
Ashland New Plays Festival is proud to present our new play recordings and conversations with theater artists on our Play4Keeps Podcast! Get your theater fix on demand. The ANPF Play4Keeps Podcast is your new ticket to the theater!
Compelling, convenient, and free, this treasury of audio recordings of new works for the stage features plays by accomplished playwrights in a format that suits your lifestyle. Listen at the gym, on the trail, in the car: wherever, whenever you like.
You can help us build and support this exciting new platform for theater. Share our plays and conversations with the story- and theater-lovers in your life!
ANPF Theatre Talk Cancelled for 2020
Ashland New Plays Festival regretfully has cancelled our very popular Theater Talk series for 2020. After discussion with OSF staff, responsible for Carpenter Hall, we agreed that it is not possible to provide safe distance measures in that space and so we cannot, in good conscience present the scheduled series.
As our many supporters of this event know, host John Rose focuses on the current OSF season with the scheduled actor and since OSF is dark and many of the actors are not in town, it would not be feasible from an artistic point of view to attempt an alternate means of offering a Theater Talk program.
John Rose will begin identifying artists for 2021 once the season is announced and we are able to move forward. Thanks to all our supporters for understanding.
ANPF Postpones Staged Reading of Perseverance by Callie Kimball
Given the level of concern and the ban on all gatherings of 250+ people, Ashland New Plays Festival is regretfully postponing the staged reading of Callie Kimball’s play Perseverance scheduled for Saturday, April 4th.
“We are mindful of our members and supporters who are in a high-risk population group and we are committed to protecting our audiences and artists from any exposure to the COVID-19 virus,” said ANPF Board President Peggy Moore.
The play will be rescheduled for the summer and details will follow in the coming months.
“As always, we thank you for your support of our work,” continued Moore, “We regret that ANPF, like many organizations throughout the country, must make this difficult decision to postpone, but the safety and peace of mind of our members, our supporters, and the artists who bring the magic of theater to us must be the first consideration.”
ANPF Spring Fundraiser Postponed
We are sad to inform you that we are also needing to postpone our spring fundraiser. We hope you are staying safe and healthy during the state’s stay-at-home order. We are planning to reschedule for sometime in the fall. Ticket holders and ANPF members received an email with further details.
We are greatly looking forward to a Theatre Talk with Nataki Garrett and discovering more about her as a theater artist.
“She is one of the most talented and highly regarded stage directors in America,” ANPF Theatre Talk host John Rose says, “and as all who saw it know, her production last year of How to Catch Creation was a breathtaking exploration of both intensely personal and broad societal themes. She astutely directed the play to highlight and give voice to how their confluence affects and changes people’s lives.”
ANPF Host Playwright Emerita E.M. Lewis part of OSF American Revolutions
E.M. Lewis is a playwright of extraordinary depth, care and wisdom. She has shared her amazing work with ANPF audiences both as a playwright–with her ANPF 2008 winning play Song of Extinction and our recent full production of The Gun Show–and as a new play advocate–with her many seasons as ANPF Host Playwright.
We are thrilled to share her amazing news: she is one of six playwrights chosen for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s latest round of American Revolutions commissions. Also exciting is the fact that this powerful line-up features all women, including: Zakiyyah Alexander, Jaclyn Backhaus, E.M. Lewis, Mary Kathryn Nagle, Sara Novi and Sanaz Toossi.
“American Revolutions tells a story of our history. Who we commission tells the story of who we are now,” said OSF Artistic Director Nataki Garrett. “This is a remarkable group of artists.”
Past ANPF Winning Play Wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2018
The 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to Cost of Living by Martyna Majok, a play that headlined Ashland New Plays Festival’s Women’s Invitational in 2016.
Cost of Living is “an honest, original work that invites audiences to examine diverse perceptions of privilege and human connection through two pairs of mismatched individuals: a former trucker and his recently paralyzed ex-wife, and an arrogant young man with cerebral palsy and his new caregiver,” the Pulitzer Prize Board said.
Following the ANPF presentation of Majok’s play in March 2016, it later received fully-staged productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and then at New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club.
“Cost of Living is a beautiful play,” said ANPF Artistic Director Kyle Haden, “I’ve been excited to watch its journey after our reading here in Ashland during the Women’s Invitational, through its major productions, and now being recognized with one of the highest honors a play can receive. I couldn’t be more thrilled for Martyna.”
The Ashland reading of Majok’s play was enthusiastically received by the local audience. It was directed by Penny Metropulos, long associated with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The acting company was Armando Durán, Regan Linton, Valerie Anne Huntington, Christopher Imbrosciano, and Samuel L. Wick.
“All of us at ANPF are very pleased by Martyna’s well deserved success,” ANPF Board President James Pagliasotti said, “Bringing powerful voices like hers to our audience is what the Women’s Invitational was intended to do.”
Majok (pronounced my-oak) is a native of Poland and grew up in the U.S. She studied at the University of Chicago, Yale School of Drama, and Julliard. Her plays have been produced at many leading theaters.
Click here to learn more about ANPF’s past winners.