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2019 Ashland New Plays Festival Summer Events

Award-winning Playwrights E.M. Lewis, Octavio Solis Featured at Ashland New Plays Festival Summer Events

Ashland New Plays Festival’s summer events include its popular Theatre Talk monthly conversation series, this year featuring Jessica Ko, Octavio Solis, Amy Kim Waschke, and Erica Sullivan. The series launches on Monday, June 3. ANPF also welcomes back award-winning playwright E.M. Lewis to Ashland for a special full production of her critically acclaimed play The Gun Show with performances on Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15.

Award-winning Playwrights E.M. Lewis, Octavio Solis Featured at Ashland New Plays Festival Summer Events

“I am thrilled this season to be speaking with such an enormously talented group of theater artists,” says Theatre Talk host John Rose, “I’m particularly looking forward to talking with a playwright about the complete creative process of theater, from words on the page to staged production, and that playwright is Octavio Solis, one of the most important and original voices in American theater today.”

Theatre Talk, now in its 8th season, delves into how guests’ personal experiences merge with their professional, creative life, giving audiences insight and understanding into their work. The conversation with Solis, whose powerful play Mother Road is currently at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, will be held on Monday, July 8. Rose will also discuss the acting process of character development, performance and storytelling as practiced by the other three guests, Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors Jessica Ko on Monday, June 3; Amy Kim Waschke on Monday, August 12; and Erica Sullivan on Monday, September 23. 

All conversations begin at 7:30 pm and will be held at OSF’s Carpenter Hall, 44 S Pioneer Street, in Ashland. Tickets to individual talks are $10 at the door, or advance Discount Passes are available now online or by check to all four talks for $32. See website for details: www.ashlandnewplays.org.

In The Gun Show, E.M. Lewis takes aim at her own relationship with firearms, from her experiences in a farming community in rural Oregon to the big cities of Los Angeles and New York. The one-act play is performed by Andrew William Smith, who brings to life the playwright’s unique perspective and her personal stories as if they were his own, with brutal honesty and poignant humor. Leaning neither right nor left, the play jumps into the middle of the gun control debate, and asks “Can we have a conversation about this?”

The play premiered in 2014 to critical acclaim with sold-out performances in Chicago and received similar receptions in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Portland, Philadelphia, and more, as well as internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. It was also included in The Best American Short Plays 2015-2016.

E.M. Lewis is a former ANPF winning playwright with Song of Extinction, for which she also won the Steinberg Award, and she served as host playwright for eight ANPF Fall Festival seasons. Among her many accolades as a playwright and librettist, she was awarded the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, and a playwriting fellowship from the New Jersey State Arts Commission.

“We are excited to share this riveting play with local audiences, as people might not have the chance to see it at its sold-out productions across the country,” says ANPF Board President Peggy Moore, “It’s an important play by an esteemed playwright, and we are thrilled to be able to bring her wonderful work to the Rogue Valley.”

The performances are Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, at 7:30 pm, at the Bellview Grange, 1050 Tolman Creek Road, in Ashland. Tickets are $25 and are on sale online now. More information can be found at www.ashlandnewplays.org.

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