Thank You for a Night of Powerful Theater
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the moving performance of #GodHatesYou by Emily Dendinger on January 25. What an incredible cast, compelling story, and important questions to explore. The talkback following the performance let us know that Emily’s hope for the story came true: the play ignited conversation. Thank you to everyone for sharing your thoughts, impressions, questions, and continuing the conversation after the evening of theater ended.
Theater is one of the only places we have left where we can gather together, share an experience, and then turn to the person next to them and ask, ‘What did you think about that?'”
– Emily Dendinger
View more photos on our Facebook page!
January 25th Dramatic Reading of #GodHatesYou
Friday, January 25, at 7:30 pm
Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth Street, Ashland
$20, available online and at the door, subject to availability
Presented by ANPF in collaboration with Curious Theatre Company of Denver, this performance will come after a weeklong intensive workshop.
Synopsis: Laurel has always been the apple of the church’s eye. She’s the first person to volunteer to picket funerals of dead soldiers, knows what to say to strike a nerve in a crowd, and can debate the Bible with the best of them. Despite the constant hate mail and death threats, she knows she’s saving the sinners of the world before the end of days arrives. However, when Laurel joins social media she’s faced for the first time with the outside world, and soon everything she believes is called into question. #GodHatesYou asks what it means to grow up in a church dedicated to spreading hate and intolerance, and what happens when the faith you’ve rigorously adhered to your whole life comes shattering down around you.
About the Playwright
Emily Dendinger is a Brooklyn-based writer. Her plays include Hideous Progeny (LiveWire, Holland Productions, and North Park College), No Home for Bees (2017 Source Festival Finalist, 20% Theatre), #GodHatesYou, Little House in the Big City (2017 NNPN Showcase Finalist), and Pocketful of Sand (winner of the 2016 Activate Midwest New Play Festival and 2015 Alliance/Kendeda finalist).
She is a two-time winner of Theater Masters National Play Competition and has been a finalist for the City Theatre National Award, 2017 Emerald Prize, and Heideman Award. Emily has worked around the country with companies including Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Lark, Route 66, Mudlark Theatre, Sideshow Theatre, The Alliance, NNPN, Filament Theatre, Curious Theatre Company, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, NJ Rep, and TimeLine Theatre. Her work has been developed at The Perry Mansfield Festival of New Work, Durango New Playfest, and Tofte Lake Residency.
Emily was the 2015-2016 NNPN Playwright-in-Residence with Curious Theatre and is an alumni member of TimeLine’s Writers Collective. Emily is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Playwright’s Workshop.
Learn more about Emily and her writing process in her ANPF Playwright Profile!
Chip Walton co-founded Curious Theatre Company in 1997 and has served as Producing Artistic Director for the entire history of the organization. Named Denver’s “2005 Theatre Person of the Year,” he has directed over 50 shows for Curious throughout the past 20 years, and his work has garnered more than 100 local and national awards. In 2008, Curious was honored with the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Walton has served as the President and Vice President of the National New Play Network, a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellow, a Visiting Professional at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, and as a member of the Leadership Group for Imagine 2020: Creating a Future for Denver’s Culture. He has directed in the National New Play Network Showcase of New Plays, the Kennedy Center’s MFA Playwriting Festival in Washington, D.C., and accepted a National Theatre Company Award in New York for Curious from the prestigious American Theatre Wing. Most recently, Walton was honored to serve as a 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival Speaker.
At present, Walton is on a Leadership U grant from Theatre Communications Group and the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, exploring how the American Theatre field recognizes, values, and supports founding artistic directors and the relationship these individuals and their organizations have to the respective communities they serve.
Dee Covington is a co-founder of Curious Theatre Company and has spent the past 21 seasons serving as an artist in various capacities. Recent directing credits include The Humans by Stephen Karam and Your Best One by Meridith Freidman, the second play in The Luckiest People trilogy (ANPF presented readings of all three plays), developed in large part at Curious Theatre Company. Dee has recently been a part of the Curious creative team developing new works at the Colorado New Play Festival, working on #GodHatesYou in 2017 and Sanctions by Bruce Graham in 2018. Other new work development credits include Home/Oblivion by Josh Hartwell and 8 Nights by Jennifer Maisel. Dee has also collaborated as both writer and director at Wonderbound, Denver’s premiere contemporary ballet company. She serves as the Education Director at Curious Theatre Company and heads the playwriting program Curious New Voices, a national program dedicated to fostering new work by high school and college playwrights.
Play4Keeps: Where new plays live!
Ashland New Plays Festival is please to announce our new initiative Play4Keeps Podcast, a year-round Festival of New Plays available on demand.
Play4Keeps is a subscription podcast service presenting powerful new plays performed by some of our best actors. Plays are written to be spoken, written to be heard—hear what you’ve been missing.
Compelling, convenient, and affordable, this ever-growing treasury of new works for the stage features plays by accomplished playwrights in a format that suits your lifestyle. At the gym, on the trail, in the car, wherever you listen, your mobile device is your ticket to Play4Keeps.
You can help us build and perfect this exciting new platform for theater. We are currently beta testing Play4Keeps among our friends and supporters.
Founding subscribers will receive an annual premium subscription for $5 per month and are guaranteed that rate for life. That’s a 40% discount from the regular $99 fee and will only be available for a very limited time.
The premium subscription gives you all-access to our living library which begins with 16 plays in 2018 and will grow to 36 plays in the first full year. By December 2020, there will be 60 plays to choose from and our collection will continue to grow.
If you want to know what’s happening in theater, hear from the best playwrights and experience new works for the stage. Let us bring them alive for you. Start exploring Play4Keeps now!
Submissions for ANPF 2019 Now Closed
Dear playwrights! Thank you for submitting your new works for consideration at ANPF’s 2019 Fall Festival. Now begins the ANPF readers’ journey of reading your plays. Finalists and winners will be announced early summer 2019. Submissions for ANPF 2020 will open July 2019. Thank you for sharing your words and stories with us. We look forward to discovering your new works!
ANPF’s flagship Fall Festival is an international playwright competition that culminates in dramatic readings of four new plays chosen from hundreds of submissions in blind readings by a dedicated team of local volunteers with final selection by our artistic director. This unique and much-loved five-day festival in Ashland, Oregon, features outstanding actors and directors, many from Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University’s Theatre Department. Talkbacks with audiences follow each performance.
The winning playwrights receive a $1,500 stipend and local accommodations. The ANPF 2019 Fall Festival will take place October 16–20, 2019. Click here to learn more.
Gratitude and Cheer for Fall Festival 2018
What an amazing Fall Festival! Thank you so much to all those who made the experience, the readings, the whole event, so wonderful: our winning playwrights, ANPF members, underwriters, readers, audiences, volunteers, staff, crew, actors, and directors.
This was Ashland New Plays Festival’s 27th year presenting new works for the stage and we are thrilled with the impact these impressive plays had on us and the community. The Abuelas by Stephanie Alison Walker will receive its world premiere at Teatro Vista in Chicago in February 2019 and we heartily wish for full productions of The Excavation of Mary Anning by Ian August, Primary User by Nate Eppler, and COLD SPRING by Victor Lesniewski.
If you attended this year’s Fall Festival, we’d love to hear from you through our online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VRVJKNN
A winner will be selected from the survey respondents and they’ll receive two free Festival Passes to 2019’s Fall Festival. Surveys close November 7, so get your responses in sooner rather than later!
ANPF’s Fall Festival 2018
ANPF 2018 was our 27th season presenting the best new works to audiences in the Rogue Valley! From October 17 – 21, 2018, at the Unitarian Center in Ashland, we offered our winning playwrights the invaluable opportunity to share new works with discerning theater-goers and collaborate with world-class actors and directors under expert guidance from our artistic director and host playwright.
The four winning plays were presented as dramatic readings in matinee and evening performances. ANPF 2018’s festival featured new work by Ian August, Nate Eppler, Victor Lesniewski, and Stephanie Alison Walker, who was a returning winner. Click here to read more about the playwrights and their plays. View the full schedule below:
ANPF 2018 Actors and Directors
The Excavation of Mary Anning
By Ian August
Directed by Penny Metropulos
Shannon R. Davis | Marie-Claire Erdynast | Alejandra Escalante*
Livia Genise* | Jennie Greenberry* | Michele Mais* | Meghan Nealon
By Nate Eppler
Directed by Kyle Haden
Esther Chen* | Catherine Lynn Davis* | Scott Ford | Elizabeth Gudenrath*
Daniel José Molina*
By Victor Lesniewski
Directed by Terri McMahon
Jackie Apodaca* | Tiffany Cooper* | Sophie Green
U. Jonathan Toppo* | Christine Williams*
By Stephanie Alison Walker
Directed by Ricardo Gutierrez
Alina Ceñal* | Angela Hernandez | Willem Long* | Scott Patrick Ragle*
Nancy Rodriguez* | Nolan Sanchez | Vilma Silva*
* Appearing through an Agreement between ANPF and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
Penny Metropulos | Kyle Haden | Terri McMahon | Ricardo Gutierrez
ANPF 2018 Winning Playwrights Announced
We are excited to announce the winning playwrights and plays for our annual Fall Festival 2018!
Ian August for The Excavation of Mary Anning
Synopsis: In 19th century England, fossil hunter Mary Anning combs the earth for glimpses of the ancient past while also fighting to claim her legacy in a society that refuses to acknowledge her worth.
Ian August is a New Jersey-based playwright and librettist. His works have been performed across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Australia, the UK, South Korea and Bermuda. He is a founding member of the Princeton-based Witherspoon Circle and a graduate of the Philadelphia playwriting workshop The Foundry.
Synopsis: A cutting-edge chatbot unintentionally becomes a digital monument when one of its creators dies unexpectedly, leaving his loved ones to argue over ownership of the digital remains – and their own grief.
Nate Eppler is a playwright and new play advocate currently serving as Playwright-in-Residence for Nashville Repertory Theatre. In addition to his work as a playwright, Eppler serves as Director of the Ingram New Works Project, a nationally recognized and locally valued program designed to connect artists and audiences across extraordinary new plays. He is represented by The Gersh Agency.
Victor Lesniewski for Cold Spring
Synopsis: After a teenager accuses his baseball coach of sexual assault, four parents attempt to deal with the response of their close-knit community while the ramifications resound through their own relationships.
Victor Lesniewski’s plays have received world premieres at TBG Theatre and The Wild Project in NYC. He was the only American to be shortlisted for the inaugural Theatre503 Playwriting Award and was a 2015-16 Uncharted Artist in Residence at Ars Nova. He is currently an Artistic Patriot at Merrimack Rep and a member of The Playwrights Union.
Stephanie Alison Walker for The Abuelas
Synopsis: A visit from two strangers exposes a 37-year-old secret about the
ongoing and devastating repercussions of the military dictatorship in Argentina in the 1970s and ‘80s. The Abuelas explores the heart’s capacity for resilience and forgiveness even in the face of the most incomprehensible betrayal.
Stephanie Alison Walker is a returning ANPF Fall Festival winner, previously winning in 2016 for The Madres, which is receiving four consecutive productions in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, and Austin, as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere this year. The Abuelas is a companion piece. Walker is a NNPN Affiliate Artist and a member of the Playwrights Union and Antaeus Playwrights Lab. She lives in Los Angeles.
We look forward to welcoming the four winning playwrights to Ashland for our annual Fall Festival from October 17–21, 2018.
A week of receptions, rehearsals, a playwriting workshop, and other festivities will culminate with dramatic readings of their plays, which will be performed by some of our finest actors in both matinee and evening performances at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth Street, in Ashland. Talkbacks with Ashland’s sophisticated audiences will follow each performance.
Ticket sales will open to the public in September. ANPF members will have priority access to select their tickets when they receive their Festival Passes.
We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to the amazing ANPF volunteer readers for all their hard work in the selection process and choosing the top 15 finalists.
“As usual, the readers gave me a fascinating group of finalists,” Artistic Director Kyle Haden said, “After doing some close reading, I couldn’t be more excited about our four winners. We have a wide array of stories where there’s something for everyone here. I’m really looking forward to introducing these playwrights and their work to Ashland audiences this October.”
Finally, we sincerely congratulate the other eleven finalists, listed below,
Omen Road to Starrville by Erik Champney
Chaos is Come Again by Quinton Cockrell
Butterflies and Margarine by Oded Gross
Teach by Donna Hoke
Nancy F@&*ing Reagan by Daniel Hurewitz
Eight Nights by Jennifer Maisel
Age of Consent by Ruth McKee
Otis by Shanti Reinhardt
The Harder Courage by Leslie Slape
Late in the Game by Barbara Snow
Random Access by Mary Carol Stunkel
ANPF Theatre Talk Summer 2018
ANPF Theatre Talk is a salon series of conversations with prominent local actors and other theater professionals, inspired by James Lipton’s television series Inside the Actors Studio. All conversations begin at 7:30 p.m. and are held at the Bellview Grange.
Tickets for individual talks are $10 and are available at the door with cash or check. Subscription Passes are available every spring with a bundled discount price for all four talks.
This season features conversations with:
Join us and find out how a simple conversation can uniquely illuminate the art of theater!
For more information, click here to view Theatre Talk’s page on our website.
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.
Ashland New Plays Festival’s 2018 Season
We are pleased to announce our 27th season of dramatic readings showcasing new theatrical works, along with a program of talks with theater professionals.
ANPF’s flagship annual Fall Festival from October 17 through 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 are OSF actors Nancy Rodriguez, Rex Young, Alejandra Escalante, and Daniel José Molina.
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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