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–
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 also sincerely congratulate the 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
Gratitude for our Readers
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.”
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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