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First Friday Art Walk in Ashland- April 2017

Ashland Gallery Association Spotlight Exhibits – April 2017

Art and Soul Gallery

“The Wanderer” Oil Paintings by Diana Wright

Grab your keys and go….from a San Francisco luncheon to sun-drenched Cayucos and then to a cool, mist filled day in Bandon, Oregon, I have marveled at the endless beauty of the world.  The landscape renews us, brings us joy and hope in a time filled with anxious thoughts and feelings.  Yes, we are sorrowful at the shrinking of the natural world.  We stagger at the perils of over civilization, pollution, global warming, the shrinking of animal habitats, the acidification of the oceans, (to name a few), as they loom over our lives in an endless stream of fear.  However, the joy of creating seems to transcend my fear.  As I paint, I am in prayerful reverence for nature and I hope to communicate love, joy, and transcendent hope.

 

Shepherds Dream

“Grape Expectations” Watercolor paintings by Kay Myer

For artist Kay Myer, watercolors have always been her creative source, allowing her to explore the endless possibilities this medium allows. Passionate about the colorful, loose, interpretive styling her brushstrokes achieve, “Grape Expectations,” showcases her vivid watercolor images.

As an active member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon, Kay has also won recognition in international art challenges and been taught by world famous watercolorist, Jean Haines.

Kay was born in Denmark and adopted by an American couple and lived her earlier years in Blodget and now the Rogue Valley, Oregon.

She is joined by the Mt. Shasta Artist/Singer/Songwriter, Joshua Jerue on guitar, toffee treats, together with additional surprises.  Join in on the fun, and register for our free monthly drawing.   For more information, see our event’s page and Kay Myer’s listings on Facebook, or call: 541-941-0855.

 

 

Gallerie Karon

Artist as Poet

Who knew that so many artists are also poets (and the other way around!)? This month’s show at Gallerie Karon has more than 10 artist/poets!

We’ll feature Steve Dieffenbacher’s sketchbooks from his trail walks and new photographs paired with his poetry. Johan Bernstein will show his fantastic photographs from their recent trip to Jerusalem. Rebecca Gabriel will show her lovely portraits.  Both artists will incorporate new poetry.  Liz Shepherd presents new Sumi-e ink drawings with her own poems and translations of Zen poetry.

Of course there will be poetry books in our new poetry corner you can purchase and have signed.

“Summer Lake Darkness” photograph by Steve Dieffenbacher

 

Photographers’ Gallery (Ashland Art Center)

“Streets” Featuring Leonard Lee

Leonard Lea is a local Ashland photographer who loves to travel and visits locations away from the beaten path.  His show, Streets, opens April 7th during the First Friday Art Walk at The Photographers’ Gallery At The Ashland Art Center.  

Streets captures spontaneous images of local people and happenings in the streets of their own Mexican town or village. Leonard shows us a fleeting, un-posed glimpse into everyday life. A world traveler, recent trips have taken him to Japan, France, Italy, Switzerland, England, Wales, and Scotland, as well as Mexico.

The image, “Flower Girl” was taken on a recent trip to Ajijic, Mexico. Please join Leonard, a member of The Photographers Gallery, located in the Ashland Art Center during First Friday Art Walk on April 7, 2017.

Featured Musician: Martin Ball, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Martin Ball is a local Ashland-based musician, performer and multi-instrumentalist who is active both as a solo artist and as the musical half of the duo, Fractal Love Jam, with his wife and vocalist, Jessalynn Jones.

“Flower Girl” photograph by Leonard Lee

Ashland Gallery Association

 Celebrate Ashland’s Visual Arts during the AGA First Friday Art Walk, April 7th, from 5 to 8 pm!  

Stroll the galleries and take in all of the visual delights in downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District.  Enjoy this free year-round community event, filled with spectacular artwork, live music, artist demonstrations, refreshments and lively conversation! 

For more information about all of our exhibits and to download the April Gallery Tour map, please visit: www.ashlandgalleries.com  

 “Spotlight Exhibits” and April Gallery Tour Map:

“Spotlight Exhibits” and April Gallery Tour Map:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Edward III Presented by Play On!, Ashland New Plays Festival

Edward III Presented by Play On!, Ashland New Plays Festival

A (New) Shakespeare Play Translated into Modern Language

On March 27, Play on! in collaboration with Ashland New Plays Festival presents EDWARD III by William Shakespeare, translated by Octavio Solis and directed by Dawn Monique Williams

ASHLAND, Ore. — Forget the international debate over translating William Shakespeare’s verse into contemporary modern English. Playwright Octavio Solis, who has been commissioned to translate EDWARD III, says “the controversy should be about why this was not a Shakespeare play before.”

Solis is one of 36 playwrights across the country hard at work translating 39 plays attributed to Shakespeare into modern language. Oregon Shakespeare Festival has innovated the ambitious Play on! project for a purpose. “The clarity we aspire to get from the translations will make us better appreciate the vibrancy of the original,” says OSF’s Artistic Director Bill Rauch.

EDWARD III, which was published anonymously in 1596, has had its authorship argued over by scholars since as early as 1760. Today, scholarly opinion is divided as to whether Shakespeare wrote all or part of the play. It was included in Shakespeare’s Complete Works published by Yale University Press in 1996. The play’s exclusion from the playwright’s original canon in the 16th century was possibly due to politics – in particular a 1598 protest over the play’s portrayal of the Scottish.

Whether within the stories themselves or in arguments surrounding their authorship, Shakespeare’s works are steeped in political intrigue and heated discourse. In EDWARD III, history is brought to life through the personal struggles, passion, vengeance, and battlefield showdowns of pivotal characters at the start of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France.

Ashland New Plays Festival is excited to join the fray and help bring EDWARD III’s translation to the stage as a dramatic reading. The performance will be directed by Dawn Monique Williams and will feature a cast of 12, including many of OSF’s finest actors. Kimberly Colburn, literary manager of South Coast Repertory, is Solis’ dramaturg partner.

It will be a one-night-only event, Monday, March 27, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Southern Oregon University’s Music Recital Hall, 405 S Mountain Avenue, Ashland. Reserved seating tickets are $20 and $25 and will be available for sale online beginning February 15 to the general public and in advance for ANPF members.

For more information, visit www.ashlandnewplays.org/tickets-e3/

To request interviews with Octavio Solis or Dawn Monique Williams, please email James Pagliasotti at [email protected].

 

 

Better Together: Four Playwrights Share Their New Plays with Ashland

ASHLAND, Ore. — In the basement of Mix Bakeshop, Beth Kander began the first rewrites of her new play, Hazardous Materials. It was fall 2015 and her play The Bottle Tree was one of the four winning plays for Ashland New Plays Festival’s flagship event that year.
ANPF is a non-profit organization celebrating its 25th year of encouraging playwrights in the creation of new works. The organization offers public readings of selected plays and educational forums to the community through discussions and workshops.
ANPF’s Festival Week runs October 19 through 23, with matinee and evening performances each day as well as a playwriting workshop on Saturday, October 22, led by Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient and ANPF Host Playwright EM Lewis.
This year’s winners are Beth Kander for Hazardous Materials, Stephanie Walker for The Madres, Mike Teele for EdanEv, and Michael Erickson for Oberon Springs.
Hundreds of playwrights submit new works to ANPF each year, and the winners are chosen by a cadre of local volunteer readers and ANPF’s Artistic Director, Kyle Haden.
During the festival, the winning plays are presented as dramatic readings, directed and acted by individuals from Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University.
All the winning playwrights agree that the opportunity to share their work with actors, directors, and audiences strengthens their plays.
“My work can only be stronger when working with directors, set designers, actors. We are better together,” says Kander, her sentiments echoed by Walker, Teele, and Erickson.
“Getting a laugh or a question, it’s invaluable,” says Erickson. “That’s why something like ANPF is so great because you get that feedback that’s so hard to come by.”
Our feature, “Better Together,” introduces you to each of the playwrights and their new plays. Click here to download the pdf file.
Learn more about ANPF and see the complete performance schedule at www.ashlandnewplays.org.
Additional links:

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Fall Festival’s Full Schedule

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Fall Festival’s Full Schedule

Ashland, Ore — Ashland New Plays Festival today announced the full week’s schedule for ANPF 2016, the flagship Fall Festival, which takes place October 19-23, 2016.

Four prize-winning playwrights, selected by volunteer readers from 400 submissions, will have their plays produced as dramatic readings in matinee and evening performances by world-class actors and directors at the Unitarian Center in Ashland. The festival kicks off with a members-only reception for the playwrights to begin the week’s events.

The playwrights and their winning plays are:

– Stephanie Walker with The Madres, which will be directed by Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Leah Anderson, who also played Lauren Yee in ANPF’s dramatic reading of King of the Yees at the ANPF Women’s Invitational 2016

– Michael Erickson with Oberon Springs, directed by Kenneth Albers, who has acted in and directed past ANPF performances in an esteemed career ranging from OSF to Yale Repertory Theatre

– Mike Teele with EdanEv, directed by Scott Kaiser, actor, playwright, and OSF’s Director of Company Development

– Beth Kander with Hazardous Materials, directed by ANPF’s Artistic Director Kyle Haden. Kander’s play The Bottle Tree, which will have its world premiere at Chicago’s Stage Left Theatre starting October 15, 2016, was an ANPF 2015 winning play.

The opening night performance is Wednesday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m., followed by performances at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The closing performance will be at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 23.

Additionally, immediately following each performance, the playwrights and cast will be joined by ANPF’s Host Playwright EM Lewis, who will moderate talkbacks with the audience about the plays. Lewis, originally from rural Oregon, is an award-winning playwright, librettist, and teacher, as well as the recipient of the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama.

Lewis will also conduct a playwriting workshop, “Who They Are and What They Say,” on Saturday, October 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The workshop is $10 at the door. Reserve your space by contacting Gray McKee at [email protected].

2016 Ashland new Plays Festival Schedule

Performances are $20 each, with tickets available in advance at Paddington Station or online, starting September 20, 2016, and at the door.

ANPF members receive benefits including one or more festival passes (tickets to four performances, $80 value), priority seating, and invitations to members-only receptions.

2016 Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights

2016 Ashland New Plays Festival Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights

They are:

Michael Erickson for Oberon Springs 

Beth Kander for Hazardous Materials

Mike Teele for EdanEv

Stephanie Walker for The Madres

ashland new plays festival anpf logoThese four exceptionally gifted playwrights will travel to Ashland to present their work during our annual Fall Festival, October 19-23, 2016.

A week of receptions, rehearsals, a play writing 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 4th Street in Ashland. Tickets will go on sale online and at Paddington Station around September 20.

Talk backs with Ashland’s famously sophisticated audiences will follow each performance.

We at ANPF sincerely congratulate our winning playwrights and the other eight finalists, listed below, for their extraordinary work.

ANPF 2016 Finalists

We also congratulate our finalists for ANPF 2016.

They are:

William Kovacsik for Exchanging Minka
Marin Gazzaniga for In Ways Both Frivolous and Deep
Chris Widney for Keepers
Barbara Lebow for Killing Spiders
Natalie Symons for Naming True
Desiree York for The Puppeteer
Sholeh Wolpe for Shame
Norman Simon for Where The Hell Am I?

The festival dates are October 19-23 and take place at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, located at 87 Fourth St. in Ashland.

WEDNESDAY 19, 7:30 PM

THURSDAY 20, 1:30 AND 7:30 PM

FRIDAY 21, 1:30 AND 7:30 PM

SATURDAY 22, 1:30 AND 7:30 PM

SUNDAY 23, 3:00 PM

$FESTIVAL PASSES $60 (4 SHOWS)

$20 AT DOOR

Playwright workshop on Saturday 9-12 at Unitarian Center $10 at door

 Join as a Member and receive one festival pass, priority seating, and invitations to members-only receptions, starting at $100

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ashland New Plays Festival assists playwrights in the development of new works through public readings and offers an educational forum to the community through discussions and workshops.

ANPF STAFF contact person:  [email protected]

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights for ANPF 2016

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights: Artistic Director Kyle Haden (center) and the ANPF 2016 readers. Image by Chela Sanchez

Artistic Director Kyle Haden (center) and the ANPF 2016 readers.
Image by Chela Sanchez

Ashland, Ore – Ashland New Plays Festival announces winning playwrights whose work will be presented Oct. 19-23 at ANPF 2016. The four winning playwrights are:

Michael Erickson for Oberon Springs

Beth Kander for Hazardous Materials

Mike Teele for EdanEv

Stephanie Walker for The Madres

 

The winning plays were selected from 400 that were submitted. They were read and scored in blind readings by ANPF’s core of volunteer readers, who reduced the candidates to 12 finalists. From them, artistic director Kyle Haden chose the four winners.

These exceptionally gifted playwrights will travel to Ashland for a week of receptions, rehearsals, a playwriting workshop, and other festivities that will culminate with dramatic readings of their plays. The plays will be performed in both matinee and evening performances at the Unitarian Center by some of our finest actors. Talk backs with Ashland’s famously sophisticated audiences will follow each performance.

Kander returns to Ashland for a second consecutive year, having won in 2015 for her play The Bottle Tree. The other three are first-time winners at ANPF. All of the winners are professional playwrights with numerous awards and honors to their credit. This year, Kander and Walker are both honorable mentions on the Kilroys List 2016, of “excellent unproduced new plays by women and trans playwrights.”

Read further for more information about the playwrights and their plays.

Beth Kander, Hazardous Materialsis a Chicago-based writer of plays, children’s books, and novels who “loves nothing more than a good story.”

In Hazardous Materials, she examines the course of several lives as investigators sort through the detritus left by an unidentified woman in a Chicago apartment.

Kander’s works have been recognized by The Ruckus’ 2016 summer festival; BechdelFest 2016; Ashland New Plays Festival 2015; The Kilroys List (Honorable Mention 2015, 2016); Leapfest 2015; Downstage Left residency 2014-2015; Charles M. Getchell New Play Award 2012; and, three Eudora Welty New Play awards. She studied comedy writing at The Second City and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women.

Michael Erickson, Oberon Springs, has had plays produced by theaters and colleges including the Ensemble Studio Theater, MadLab, Moving Arts, the Imaginary Theater Company, and Tesseract Theater.

Oberon Springs looks at the impact of environment on the increasingly poor health of people in a small Indiana town, and a young physician’s struggle over whether to continue her life and her medical practice there.

Erickson was playwright-in-residence at the Nashville Repertory Theatre and Coe College. His awards include an NEA Fellowship in Playwriting; a California Arts Council Award; and the Mobil International Playwriting Prize (Royal Exchange Theatre, England).  His Alien Hand Syndrome was published in Regional Best 2011, an anthology of new plays. Last Tree, Easter Island, will be published this fall in the Smith and Kraus, Inc. anthology, 105 Five-Minute Plays for Study and Performance. A graduate of the MFA Theater Program at the University of California, San Diego, he teaches playwriting at Webster University in St. Louis.

Mike Teele, EdanEv, lives in New York City. His work has been performed at theaters that include the Theatre for the New City; HERE Performing Arts Center; Abingdon Theatre; John Houseman Theater; Producers Club, Hudson Guild, and Catch a Rising Star.  He has produced more than nine works for the stage and was a Walt Disney Studios /ABC-TV Fellowship finalist.

EdanEv tells the story of four college friends, reunited in mid-life for a family wedding, and the life-altering decisions each makes about the next chapters of their lives.

Teele also created and wrote The Real Friends, a live weekly sitcom that played NYC comedy clubs, and has written dozens of educational films for kindergarten through senior high. He was awarded the Cine’ Golden Bear International Film & Video Award for his work.

Stephanie Walker, The Madres, is a Chicago native who now lives in Los Angeles. Her full-length plays have garnered awards, workshops and productions across the country including the 2015 critically-acclaimed premiere of The Art of Disappearing at Chicago’s 16th Street Theater.

The Madres explores the experiences and activism of the Argentine women whose children disappeared during the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. The play has been chosen for a number of awards, including finalist for the 2016 O’Neill Playwrights Conference, for the Source Festival in DC, and for the Humanitas/CTG Playwriting Prize; and, winner of the BETC Generations Prize.

Walker is also author of the book and blog, Love in the Time of Foreclosure, which has been called “a heartbreaking work of staggering acceptance” and featured by the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Business Week Magazine, and ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.

Thanks for reading Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights for ANPF 2016. For more information about ANPF, visit www.ashlandnewplays.org

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ANPF Script Submissions Accepted Starting June 15

ASHLAND NEW PLAYS FESTIVAL, ASHLAND, OREGON

ANPF Script Submissions : Accepted beginning June 15, 2016 and 8 AM pT

ANPF Script Submissions Accepted Starting June 15, 2016 at 8 a.m. PT.

ANPF’s flagship festival is an international playwright competition that culminates in the reading of four new plays chosen from hundreds of submissions by a cadre of volunteer readers. ANPF Script Submissions will be accepted starting at 8 a.m. PT, June 15, 2016, through December 31, 2016, or until 400 scripts are received, whichever comes first. A running tally of submissions will be shown on our website. The ANPF 2017 Fall Festival will take place October 18-22, 2017.

This unique and much-loved five-day festival in Ashland, Oregon, features professional actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the community. The event includes rehearsals and two staged readings of each winning play.

The winning playwrights receive a $1,000 stipend and local accommodations. There is a $15 submission fee.

For the complete list of criteria and further details see our Submit a Script page:

  • Script legibly typed with 12-point Times New Roman font in a standard 8½” x 11″ play format
  •  Full‐length drama or comedy (total 90‐ to 150‐minute running time); intermission preferred
  • Previously unproduced
  • Maximum 8 characters; doubling allowed provided a doubling plan is included with the cast list
  • The submitting author is the sole owner of the copyright of the script

ANPF Script Submissions will be accepted starting at 8 a.m. PT, June 15, 2016, through December 31, 2016, or until 400 scripts are received, whichever comes first. A running tally of submissions will be shown on our website. The ANPF 2017 Fall Festival will take place October 18-22, 2017.

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Local playwright Scott Kaiser talks about his play NOW THIS

anpf scott kaiser now this "Now This" rehearsal, play by Scott Kaiser

“Now This” rehearsal. Photo by Kara Q. Lewis for ANPF

Ashland New Plays Festival (ANPF) Interviews Scott Kaiser

Local playwright, author, teacher and Shakespeare scholar
talks about his play NOW THIS

Ashland, Ore — Scott Kaiser, the multi-talented member of the artistic staff at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) for the past 26 years and its current Director of Company Development, was interviewed by ANPF’s Mary Silva about his play, NOW THIS, which will be presented as a dramatic reading in Ashland later this month. Kaiser talks about the play, his motivation and his history as a professional playwright, author, actor and teacher.
ANPF will present NOW THIS on Monday, May 23 in the Great Hall at the Unitarian Center, 87 4th Street beginning at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Sara Becker, the play features a cast of 14, including Kaiser, ANPF artistic director Kyle Haden, several noted actors from OSF and a few visiting artists in this compelling look at the destructive influence of consumerism on American society.
These talented actors bring to life the troubled and troubling characters of the fictional town of Purple Mountain, where young Joey Adderall takes us on an unforgettable ride through his final days of a life coming apart at the seams and his fatal response to a place where everything is less than he wants and more than he needs.
$15 tickets are available at Paddington Station and at the door the evening of the performance, subject to availability. For more information: www.ashlandnewplays.org

anpf scott kaiser now this "Now This" rehearsal, play by Scott Kaiser

“Now This” rehearsal. Photo by Kara Q. Lewis for ANPF

The Interview:
MS: First of all, I’d like some background: a bit about where you grew up and where you’ve lived and worked, your educational experience, and what drew you to life in the theater. Anything in your life that you feel contributed significantly to your taking this direction.

SK: Like so many theatre people, I struggled to find a niche for myself in high school, but the theatre kids accepted me with all my awkwardness and quirks when no one else would. So I stuck with it. As a teenager, I did summer stock all over New England. In my twenties, I earned three degrees in theatre, which, to be honest, is a bit ridiculous: a BA from the University of Michigan, an MFA in acting from the University of Washington, and a voice studies degree from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. In my thirties, I joined the artistic staff at OSF. And now I’m in my fifties, and still at it.

MS: What might you have done for a living if you hadn’t gone into the theater?

SK: When I was a young man, I wanted to be an architect. I’ve always loved looking at buildings and learning about how they were designed and constructed. And to this day, when I see a bit of unfamiliar text—a poem, a speech, a play—I look at it the same way I look at a building, peeling back the facade in my mind to examine the foundation, the framing, the walls, the stairs, the doors.

MS: After directing/acting/overseeing the work of other actors, when and why did you begin writing plays of your own?

SK: My first full-length play was a four-person adaptation of the Huck Finn story narrated by Frederick Douglass called Splittin’ the Raft. That play enjoyed a couple of professional productions—one at the Marin Theatre Company and another at People’s Light and Theatre Company in Pennsylvania. The script was developed
in collaboration with a handful of actors at the Festival in what I proposed and
piloted as “the 12th slot model” back in 1998, which has since become the Black Swan Lab for New Works.

MS: What motivated you to write Now This?

SK: Years ago, the characters in this play starting talking to me in my sleep, so I began writing down what they had to say to me on little scraps of paper. And eventually, I’d collected hundreds of scraps of paper—words, phrases, speeches, and dialogues— written out in complete darkness in the middle of the night. The material on all those scraps, after a great deal of shaping and polishing, with some guidance from the poet Dylan Thomas, became this play.

MS: What is it that you hope people will think about/take away from the play? What one thing would you like people to be thinking about when they leave the performance?

SK: I’d be pleased if people would become more conscious of how American consumer culture effects nearly every aspect of their lives.

MS: Now This seems to draw a strong connection between consumerism and gun violence, an idea that I hadn’t really thought about before. How would you describe this connection?

SK: I won’t pretend to know what goes on in the hearts and minds of individuals who choose to carry a weapon to a public place and slaughter fellow human beings. But thiscountry has a serious problem with guns, and I believe the root cause has something to do with a consumer culture that incessantly promises that love and contentment can be bought.

MS: How do you feel about having Now This chosen to be read by the Ashland New Plays Festival? Even though the play has already been produced, what new or different aspects do you think this reading might bring to the play?

SK: Purple Mountain, the small town depicted in NOW THIS, has a lot in common with the City of Ashland, so I’m very pleased that the play, at long last, will be read here in my home town, and by a fantastically talented group of actors.

MS: You’ve been a long time Ashland resident. What do you like about life here? What drives you crazy? What do you do when you’re not doing theater-related stuff?

SK: I travel a lot for work, which is a privilege because I get to see how other people live in this country. And life is much tougher out there. So it’s always good to come home to Ashland, where life is slower, where we enjoy tall trees, and open space, and clean water, and fresh air—precious things that, sadly, millions of Americans don’t have in their lives. So I do a lot of walking, many miles every day.

MS: I know there are a lot of things I haven’t asked you, but for purposes of this piece, is there anything you’d like to add that I haven’t asked?

SK: If you miss Now This, you can see my newest play, entitled Shakespeare’s Other Women, at Southern Oregon University in the winter of 2017.

 anpf scott kaiser now this "Now This" rehearsal, play by Scott Kaiser

“Now This” rehearsal, play by Scott Kaiser. Photo by Kara Q. Lewis for ANPF

NOW THIS, a Play by Scott Kaiser

ANPF to Present NOW THIS, a Play by Scott Kaiser

ANPF to Present NOW THIS, a Play by Scott Kaiser

Ashland, Ore. — Ashland New Plays Festival (ANPF) will present a dramatic reading of Scott Kaiser’s play NOW THIS on Monday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Unitarian Center, 87 4th Street in Ashland.

Kaiser, the Director of Company Development now in his 26th season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), will join a cast of 14 superb actors in this story about the tragic consequences of American consumerism.

Featured with Kaiser will be ANPF artistic director Kyle Haden and a number of actors playing this season at OSF, including Daniel Duque-Estrada, Armando McClain, Dylan Paul, Jamie Ann Romero and Triney Sandoval among the talented cast. Sara Becker will direct.

NOW THIS was developed by Kaiser at OSF’s Black Swan Lab several years ago and was performed previously in Houston, Texas under Becker’s direction. It explores the fictitious town of Purple Mountain and a terribly fatal response one teenager inflicts on the community as his life unravels.

The Synopsis: Welcome to the town of Purple Mountain, where teenager Joey Adderall is at the end of his tether. His girlfriend, Amy Clearblue, is pregnant; his father, Mort Soloflex, hasn’t spoken to him in years; his mother, Purelle Swiffer, is a clean freak; his former teacher, Activia Green, is a raging liberal; his boss, Shad Rogaine, has anger management issues; his roommate’s pit bull, Oswald, is a terror. He’s broke, alone, and without hope. What’s a young man to do? Joey heads to the Clear Cut Mall with a loaded pistol and shoots his way out of his disposable life, taking with him several fellow consumers. It’s all captured on CCTV by security specialist Randy Lenscrafter and uploaded to the internet for everyone to see. Can the people of Purple Mountain ever hope to understand—and learn from—Joey’s rampage at the mall?

$15 general admission tickets are on sale beginning May 2 at Paddington Station and at the door before the show, space permitting.

Parity: A Playwrights Roundtable

ANPF Women’s Invitational Kicks Off with “Parity: A Playwrights Roundtable”

This Wednesday evening, join us as a panel of leading women playwrights discuss why the stories of women and minorities have largely gone untold in American theater, and why we are the poorer for it.

On March 23, at 7:00 p.m. in Meese Auditorium on the SOU campus, join in a thought-provoking discussion as five of the country’s top women playwrights offer perspectives on why this is, what it means and how they are working to change it.

Parity: a Playwrights Roundtable” will feature the three winning playwrights from the upcoming ANPF Women’s Invitational, together with Laura Jacqmin of the Kilroys and EM Lewis, ANPF host playwright. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Lue Morgan Douthit, Interim Director of Literary Development and Dramaturgy, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF).

All of the women participating in the roundtable have acted in, written and directed plays, or have held major roles in theater around the country,” says Laura Jacqmin, chair of the Women’s Invitational. “They represent an astonishing array of talent, and they are carving out a place in American theater. But there are many other talented people whose work continues to be unheard and unseen.”

Three of the roundtable playwrights – Martyna Majok, Jiehae Park and Lauren Yee – will have directed readings of their plays performed this coming weekend during the Women’s Invitational. Each of their plays has also been chosen to premiere in American theaters in the coming year – one at the OSF.

That places them in the fortunate category of the somewhere-between-20-to-30 percent of women and minority playwrights whose work has been recognized and produced. But there are many more great stories that deserve to be told, says playwright Jiehae Park.

The thing missing, the gap that needs to be closed, is less about the absence of the stories and more about audiences not getting to hear and see all these stories that are already out there, but not being produced.”

Join us for “Parity”: Wednesday, March 23, 7:00 p.m., Meese Auditorium on the SOU Campus. Tickets are $10 and are available at www.ashlandnewplays.org or at the door. Seating is limited.

Parity: A Playwrights Roundtable