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Winning Playwrights Announced for ANPF 2019

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Winning Playwrights for ANPF 2019

https://www.ashlandnewplays.org/

Four new plays chosen for annual Fall Festival supporting new works for the stage

More info: https://www.ashlandnewplays.org/

Ashland, Oregon – In its 28thseason, Ashland New Plays Festival will present four playwrights’ new works at its flagship annual event ANPF 2019 from October 16–20 in Ashland at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth Street.

“I’m excited about our four winning plays and can’t wait to share them with audiences in October,” ANPF’s Artistic Director Kyle Haden said, “This was the deepest pool of finalists we’ve had in my tenure at ANPF, but these four plays stood out. The stories are all very different, but are all well-crafted and will stick with you.”

The ANPF 2019 winners are:

Starter Pistol by Michael Gotch

Michael Gotch for Starter Pistol

Michael Gotch for Starter Pistol

Synopsis: Deer season. Somewhere in a dying small town of Brave New America, an unsung mother, wife and breadwinner is making sure she and her family have enough venison chili to survive the approaching winter. But when a stranger comes to dinner, can they survive the secrets buried in their past and the reckoning to come?

Michael Gotch is a playwright, actor, director and teacher who lives in Delaware. He is a founding member of The REP, the professional resident company at the Roselle Center for the Arts at the University of Delaware, where he also teaches and has directed, written and performed in over 50 productions since its inaugural season. In addition to Starter Pistol’s selection at ANPF 2019, it was a semifinalist for both the 2019 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and the 2019 Blue Ink Playwriting Award. It will have a workshop and reading this fall at Westport Country Playhouse’s 2019 New Works Circle and will receive its world premiere in February of 2020.

Pelicans by David Johnston

David Johnston for Pelicans

David Johnston for Pelicans

Synopsis: Four men are gathered at the beach: a father, two adult sons and one grandson. They drink beer, crush cans, birdwatch and argue about global warming. They are awaiting the arrival of their cousin Margaret. She comes, carrying a beer in her purse and dragging an oxygen tank across the sand, setting in motion an absurd, dark comedy about death, family and home.

David Johnston is an award-winning playwright, librettist and screenwriter based in New York City. His plays and operas have been performed and read at the New Group, Moving Arts, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and more. He is a member of Actors Equity, Dramatists Guild, BMI Librettists Workshop, ASCAP, the Actors Studio’s Playwright/Director’s Workshop, Charles Maryan’s Playwrights/Directors Workshop, and is an alumni artist of American Lyric Theatre. Since 2012, David has been the executive director of Exploring the Metropolis, Inc., a NYC-based nonprofit focused exclusively on workspace issues for performing artists, organizations and facilities.

The Way North by Tira Palmquist

Tira Palmquist for The Way North

Tira Palmquist for The Way North

Synopsis: When a lost, cold and very pregnant young woman stumbles on to her rural homestead in the Minnesota wilderness, Freddy Hansondoesn’t hesitate to take her in. It’s the right thing to do, and as the county’s former Sheriff, Freddy has dedicated her life to protecting and serving others. But when her new guest turns out to be a Sudanese refugee making a run for the Canadian border, what it means to protect and to serve becomes a more complicated, and far more dangerous, question.

Tira Palmquist is known for plays that merge the personal, the political and the poetic. Based in Irvine, California, she teaches creative writing at the Orange County School of the Arts. She is a member of the Playwrights Union, the Anteaus Theater’s Playwrights Lab and the Dramatists Guild. She also works as a director and dramaturg, including at Seven Devils Playwright Conference, where she first developed The Way NorthThe Way North was also a finalist for the 2019 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the 2019 Blue Ink Playwriting Award, an honorable mention on the 2019 Kilroys List, and was part of the Pioneer Theatre Company’s 2019 Play-by-Play New Play Reading Series.

The Night Climber by Joshua Rebell

Joshua Rebell for The Night Climber

Joshua Rebell for The Night Climber

           

Synopsis: When a #MeToo op-ed piece about his affairs with female students goes viral, a beloved Ivy League college professor faces an impossible dilemma: save his job by coming clean, or save his relationship with his daughter, whose future is at risk over his admission of one particular long-ago affair—her mentor.

Joshua Rebell is a New York City based playwright and screenwriter. He is thrilled to be returning to ANPF – where his play Omission was a winner in 2012. Some of his other plays include Embraceable You (The Tamarind Theatre, Los Angeles), Gatsby in Hollywood (The Met Theatre, Los Angeles), Black Tie Affairs (The Met Theatre), and Preying On Puritans (Sacred Fools, Los Angeles). Additionally, his plays have received readings and workshops with Capital Repertory Theatre, the Ensemble Studio Theatre-L.A., and the Dorset Theatre Festival. Rebell is a graduate of Dartmouth College, a Stowe Story Labs alum, and a member of the Writers Guild and the Dramatists Guild.

The winning playwrights will travel to Ashland for the festival week with receptions, rehearsals, a playwriting workshop, and other festivities that culminate with dramatic readings of their plays.

ANPF offers the unique opportunity for playwrights to develop their previously unproduced works by providing skilled directors and world-class actors, many from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University’s Theatre Department, under guidance from ANPF’s artistic team and ANPF Host Playwright Beth Kander. Talkbacks with audiences follow each performance.

“The week I spent in Ashland [at the Fall Festival] was one of the best weeks in my life as a playwright,” said two-time ANPF-winning playwright Stephanie Alison Walker, “From the moment my play was selected for the festival, I felt like I was in good hands. Our team beautifully brought my play to life. The audiences were such careful listeners and so committed to sharing feedback. I left with more confidence in my play and many more friends than when I arrived.”

Ticket sales for ANPF 2019 will open to the public in September. ANPF members receive advance access and discounts on tickets. Visit www.ashlandnewplays.org to learn more about the Fall Festival and ANPF membership benefits. A special note to playwrights: script submissions for consideration at next year’s ANPF 2020 will open on July 15, 2019.

ANPF also sincerely congratulates the twelve finalists, listed below:

Harbor by Liz Appel

White Party by Brent Askari

This Holy and Unruly Cause by David Beardsley

The Captives by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich

Signature Photo by Michael Bucklin

Even Flowers Bloom In Hell, Sometimes by Franky Gonzalez

Up The Ladder, Down The Slide by David Valdes Greenwood

Last Dance by Suzanne Logan

Hitch by James McLindon

Visionaries by Mark Rigney

Pasado Mañana by Paul Stein

The Three O’Clock Briefing by Bo Wilson

Ashland New Plays Festival presents THE GUN SHOW by E.M. Lewis

Taking Aim at the Gun Debate: Can we have a conversation about this?

What: Ashland New Plays Festival presents THE GUN SHOW by E.M. Lewis  When: Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, 2019, at 7:30 pm  Where: Bellview Grange, 1050 Tolman Creek Road, Ashland  Tickets: $25, available onlineor at the door, subject to availability

A defaced road sign from rural Minnesota.

Ashland New Plays Festival will present a special two-night full production of The Gun Show by award-winning playwright E.M. Lewis at 7:30 pm on June 14 and 15 at the Bellview Grange in Ashland, featuring Andrew William Smith and directed by Lisa Velten Smith. Tickets are $25, available online or at the door, subject to availability. A conversation with the audience about personal experiences with guns will follow the performance.

“I am here to tell a public story and a private story. A story about guns in America and a story about my own experiences with guns in America.”

And so begins the riveting one-hour play. Lewis tells her story with raw honesty and gives audiences important insight into the nuances of America’s gun debate. Since the play’s 2014 Jefferson Award-nominee world premiere in Chicago, it has gone on to receive critical acclaim and sold-out performances across the country and an international premiere in 2017 at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

In The Gun Show, 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. Lewis’s stories are brought to life by Smith, who recently completed a month-long production of The Gun Show at Pittsburgh’s Quantum Theatre.

E.M. Lewis is a former ANPF winning playwright and 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.

She is currently featured in an episode of Play4Keeps Podcast, an ANPF production, where she discusses her play in conversation with ANPF’s Associate Artistic Director and SOU Theatre professor Jackie Apodaca. The Play4Keeps Podcast is available free on podcast apps.

What: Ashland New Plays Festival presents THE GUN SHOW by E.M. Lewis

When: Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, 2019, at 7:30 pm

Where: Bellview Grange, 1050 Tolman Creek Road, Ashland

Tickets: $25, available onlineor at the door, subject to availability

For more information, visit www.ashlandnewplays.org.

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.

Ashland New Plays Festival Presents 27th Annual Fall Festival Oct. 17 – 21, 2018

ANPF 2018-poster

Now in its 27th year presenting new works for the stage, new play incubator Ashland New Plays Festival will present its flagship Fall Festival, in a weeklong run of dramatic readings of works from award-winning playwrights October 17 through 21. ANPF is proud that many past winning plays and playwrights have received world premieres and won top honors, including 2016 ANPF Women’s Invitational winner Martyna Majok for her play Cost of Living, which won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

This year ANPF features four new plays – chosen from 400 worldwide submissions – that take audiences on unique journeys. The first is through 19th century England and a woman’s struggle to make her scientific work known in The Excavation of Mary Anning by Ian August, directed by Penny Metropulos. Another sees a suburban American community rocked by a sexual assault allegation in Cold Spring by Victor Lesniewski, directed by Terri McMahon. In Primary User by Nate Eppler, directed by Kyle Haden, a technological advancement made in the not too distant future shows the universality of grief. Finally, a contemporary woman’s world is dramatically altered by the long-reaching ramifications of Argentina’s Dirty War from the 1970s and ‘80s in Stephanie Alison Walker’s The Abuelas, directed by Ricardo Gutierrez.

“We like to think of ANPF as an oasis for playwrights,” says ANPF Artistic Director Kyle Haden, “ANPF offers the winning playwrights invaluable time and tools to gain insights and make significant progress on their plays while working alongside world-class actors and directors as well as engaging with audiences at talkbacks following dramatic reading performances of their plays.”

All readings are held in Ashland at the Unitarian Center located at 87 Fourth Street. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased online and at the door as available. The box office opens one hour before showtime.

A playwriting panel and workshop led by host playwright and award-winning writer Beth Kander will be held on Saturday, October 20, beginning at 9:00 am at the Unitarian Center for $10, cash or check, at the door. Reserve a space by emailing [email protected]. Kander will also be giving a book talk at Medford’s Barnes and Noble on Tuesday, October 16, at 6:00 pm to discuss the first book in her trilogy “Original Syn.”

Continue reading for more Festival details.

The Festival’s opening night is Wednesday, October 17 at 7:30 pm, and will take audiences on a comic, surreal, and tragic journey based on real-life 19th century paleontologist and fossil collector Mary Anning in The Excavation of Mary Anning by Ian August. The story unfolds as Anning makes great scientific discoveries while being shunned by the male-only Geological Society of London. Leading an all-female cast is Alejandra Escalante as the title character alongside Jennie Greenberry, Michele Mais, Shannon R. Davis, Livia Genise, Meghan Nealon, and Marie-Claire Erdynast. Coming to Ashland from New Jersey, playwright August said, “[This is] a play about strong women pushing beyond the expectations of society, which is perhaps more necessary to explore in 2018 than it has been elsewhere in recent history.” This play also has a matinee performance on Saturday, October 20, at 1:30 pm.

The next play to see is Cold Spring by Victor Lesniewski a simply told story about a complex issue: how members of a tight-knit community respond to allegations of sexual assault against a local sports coach. Christine Williams, U. Jonathan Toppo, Jackie Apodaca, and Tiffany Cooper are parents who both confront and avoid the pain and confusion wrought by the event.

“I grew up in a middle class, suburban community much like the one depicted in Cold Spring [that] experienced similar circumstances… While this is in no way that story,” Lesniewski said, “I felt it necessary to explore what my younger self perceived during that time. I hope the play spurs further discussion about how we (as individuals, as families, as communities) deal with the effects of these types of events, and that such a discussion might lead to further understanding of how we can better empathize with each other and better support each other in the most difficult of times.”

Cold Spring performances are Thursday, October 18, at 1:30 pm and Friday, October 19 at 7:30 pm.

On Thursday night at 7:30 pm, playwright Nate Eppler of Nashville, TN, explores the process of grief in a computerized world with his play Primary User. Daniel José Molina is Oz and Esther Chen is Mia, two computer engineers who create a breakthrough piece of technology: a digital assistant named Ozee with near artificial intelligence – which retains the memories, conversations, and voice of one of the creators. After Oz dies and the technology remains, those who are left behind work through reconciling the past and moving forward.

“The play isn’t really about the technology,” said Eppler, “It is far more about how grief unravels us, how it makes us rewrite our histories, how it puts us in competition or cooperation with unexpected rivals or allies, how memories of the dead are tangible things that must be grappled with.”

Also starring Catherine Lynn Davis, Elizabeth Gudenrath, and Scott Ford, Primary User has a second performance on the final day of the Festival, Sunday, October 21, at 3:00 pm.

The fourth play is The Abuelas by second-time ANPF winner Stephanie Alison Walker, whose companion play The Madres won at ANPF 2016. Set in contemporary Chicago, the play illuminates the devastating and far-reaching repercussions of Argentina’s Dirty War in the 1970s and ‘80s. The story centers on an Argentinian concert cellist living in the US who is adjusting to life as a first-time mother when two strangers visit and expose a 37-year-old secret, dramatically altering the woman’s understanding of herself and her life. The play features Nancy Rodriguez, Vilma Silva, and Angela Hernandez with Alina Ceñal, Willem Long, Scott Patrick Ragle, and Nolan Sanchez. Rodriguez, Silva, and Sanchez were also in The Madres at ANPF 2016. ANPF is excited to work with director Ricardo Gutierrez on this play, as he directed the world premiere of The Madres in 2018 and will direct the world premiere of The Abuelas in 2019 at Teatro Vista in Chicago.

“Exactly one year after writing the first draft of The Madres,” Walker said, “I sat down to write its sequel with the intention of exploring the consequences of Argentina’s last dictatorship that reverberate today. In August 2018, after 42 years of searching, the 128th grandchild was identified. This means that over 300 have yet to be found. They’ve lived their entire lives not knowing the truth about their identities. It’s still unfolding, this history. Identities, long ago stolen, are being restored. And it’s not easy. None of it, as the characters in this play discover, is easy.”

The Abuelas is performed on Friday, October 19, at 1:30 pm and Saturday, October 20, at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are $20 available online or at the door. Visit ANPF’s website to learn more: www.ashlandnewplays.org.

For Community Calendars:

Who: Ashland New Plays Festival

What: ANPF 2018 Fall Festival – Four winning playwrights’ new plays presented as dramatic readings with professional actors and directors

When: Wednesday, October 17, through Sunday, October 21, with evening performances Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; matinees at 1:30 pm Thursday through Saturday; and final matinee on Sunday at 3:00 pm

Where: Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth Street, Ashland

Tickets: $20, available online and at the door as available. Box office opens one hour prior to showtime.

Website: www.ashlandnewplays.org

Also: Playwriting panel and workshop Saturday, October 20, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm ($10, cash or check at the door; email [email protected] to reserve a space)

Additional links:

Click here for pdf of full schedule

Click here for ticket sales window

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces ANPF 2018 Fall Festival Schedule

Ashland New Plays Festival today announced the schedule for its 27th annual Fall Festival.

October 17-21, 2018, at the Unitarian Center, 87 4th Street in Ashland.

ANPF 2018 playwrights, clockwise from top left: Nate Eppler, Ian August, Stephanie Alison Walker, and Victor Lesniewski.

ANPF 2018 playwrights, clockwise from top left: Nate Eppler, Ian August, Stephanie Alison Walker, and Victor Lesniewski.

The four winning playwrights, whose plays were selected in blind readings of 400 submissions from around the world, will have their plays produced as dramatic readings by world-class actors and directors in matinee and evening performances.

Each year, more than 50 hard-working volunteers read, debate and score every play submitted to the festival. Artistic Director Kyle Hadenselects the four winners from the readers’ highest-scoring plays. This year’s festival will feature new work by Ian August, Nate Eppler, Victor Lesniewski, and Stephanie Alison Walker, who is a returning winner. Full details on the winning playwrights and their plays are below.

“It was a thrill to be able to do a staged reading in front of a huge audience for two different performances,” wrote ANPF 2017 winning playwright Don Zolidis of his experience last year. “[ANPF] was everything you want from a developmental opportunity: a chance to work on the work, while reaping the benefits of an informed, passionate audience. In some ways, it’s a bit overwhelming. People were coming up to me on the street or in restaurants and telling me how much they enjoyed my play.”

The festival opens with a members-only reception where guests meet the playwrights, directors, and actors, and follows with a week of rehearsals, performances, and a playwriting workshop.
ANPF 2018 poster
The opening night performance is Wednesday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m., followed by matinee and evening performances at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and closing with a 3:00 p.m. matinee on Sunday, October 21. A detailed schedule of the festival is attached.

Each performance is followed by a talkback with Host Playwright Beth Kander, the playwrights, and cast. Kander, an award-winning playwright and novelist, was a winning playwright at ANPF 2015 and 2016.

Performances are $20 each, with tickets available online at www.ashlandnewplays.org and also sold at the door, subject to availability.

A reminder also that the final ANPF Theatre Talk will take place on Monday, Sept 24, at 7:30 pm with host John Rose interviewing Daniel José Molina. Daniel will be joining the cast of Primary User, one of the four Fall Festival plays in October. He can be seen this season at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Henry V and Love’s Labor’s Lost. He was also recently featured in an episode of PBS News Hour’s American Creators series. Tickets to this dynamic and illuminating conversation are only $10 at the door at the Bellview Grange in Ashland.

Don Zolidis at ANPF 2017 during talkback session with audience following a reading of A DARK SKY FULL OF STARS. Photograph by Kara Q Lewis.

Don Zolidis at ANPF 2017 during talkback session with audience following a reading of A DARK SKY FULL OF STARS. Photograph by Kara Q Lewis.

For more information about ANPF and all of its events, visit www.ashlandnewplays.org.

The ANPF 2018 winning plays and playwrights:

The Excavation of Mary Anning by Ian August takes audiences on a whimsical journey of the struggles of 19th-century English fossil hunter Mary Anning as she 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.

Primary User by Nate Eppler is a story set in the future, based around a cutting-edge chatbot that unintentionally becomes a digital monument when one of its creators dies unexpectedly, and tells a universal story of grief while his loved ones argue over ownership of the digital remains.

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.

Cold Spring by Victor Lesniewski focuses on four parents as they attempt to deal with their responses when a teenager accuses his baseball coach of sexual assault and 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.

The Abuelas by Stephanie Alison Walker explores the ongoing and devastating repercussions of the military dictatorship in Argentina in the 1970s and ‘80s through the personal story of one family when a visit from two strangers exposes a 37-year-old secret, testing 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.

For community calendars:

Who: Ashland New Plays Festival
What: Annual Fall Festival ANPF 2018
When: October 17-21, 2018
Where: Unitarian Center, 87th Fourth Street, Ashland
Tickets: $20, online at www.ashlandnewplays.org and at the door, subject to availability

“The Occupant” at Ashland’s Bellview Grange

“The Occupant” Comes to Theatre Convivio, Starring Rogue Valley Legend Brandy Carson 

Theatre Convivio, a small but mighty Ashland-based theatre company, is planning a staged reading of Edward Albee’s 2001 play, “The Occupant,” based on the life of famous American sculptor and “living work of art” Louise Nevelson. 

During her life, Nevelson was famous for her striking 3-D, monochromatic sculptures, often made out of found materials and discarded furniture. She passed away in 1988 of poor health, leaving behind a large legacy of original artwork that had been featured at exhibits all over the world. Legend has it that due to her fame and prominence in the art world, Nevelson requested her name be removed from the door of her hospital room, replaced with the word “Occupant” to avoid unwanted visitors.

Albee’s play imagines an interview between a deceased Nevelson and an unnamed interviewer, exploring her early life as the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, her failed marriage, and her eventual career and death. Reality and illusion intermingle, leaving the audience to question what is real and what is a false recollection. 

This staged reading will star longtime Ashland actress Brandy Carson as Nevelson. Carson has a long history of film and theatre experience, and has appeared at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Camelot Theatre, and countless other venues over the years. The reading will be directed by Brady Rubin (who directed Convivio’s production of “A Doll House” in 2016 and will direct their upcoming production of “An Inspector Calls.”) Rubin specifically chose Carson for the role of Nevelson, believing that she has a voice that will truly capture the spirit of this vivacious, inspirational, and talented woman. Theatre Convivio’s Artistic Director, Richard Heller, will be playing the role of the interviewer and is producing. 

 “The Occupant” will be coming to Ashland’s Bellview Grange (1050 Siskiyou Boulevard) on March 12th and 13th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or on Theatre Convivio’s website at www.theatreconvivio.com.

Ashland New Plays Festival opens its 2018 season March 25th

 Production photo from The Luckiest People world premiere at Curious Theatre Company, photo by Michael Ensminger

Production photo from The Luckiest People world premiere at Curious Theatre Company, photo by Michael Ensminger

Ashland New Plays Festival will open its 2018 season

by staging a dramatic reading of a family drama, Your Best One, on Sunday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. at Southern Oregon University’s Music Recital Hall. Tickets are available now at www.ashlandnewplays.org.

The play by Meridith Friedman will feature actors Rex Young, James Edmondson, Paul Michael Garcia and Kate Berry. The four are well-known to Ashland audiences and previously appeared in Friedman’s play The Luckiest People at ANPF’s 2015 Fall Festival. They will reprise their original roles and Paul Mason Barnes will direct.
Meridith Friedman at ANPF 2015, archival photo
“I love, love, love Ashland,” said Friedman, who lives in Los Angeles and writes for television.  “ANPF has terrific, smart, insightful patrons, and I’m looking forward to finding out their feedback on the play.”

Your Best One and Friedman’s 2015 play are part of a trilogy commissioned by Denver’s Curious Theatre Company, where The Luckiest People received its world premiere performance last year. The third part, as yet untitled, will be presented by ANPF on May 13 at SOU’s Main Theatre.

The story of Your Best One centers around the Hoffman family, including widower Oscar and his grown children Richard and Laura and their families. When one of their own faces a serious health crisis, they rally together–and against each other–with their trademark wit and inherited neurosis, contending with health insurance, child custody, inheritance, and superfoods.

Visit our website to learn more: https://www.ashlandnewplays.org/winter/

Grants, Winners, Poetry and Exhibit News from OAC February 2018

February 2018

News & Updates

A new Arts Commissioner, lots of grant news and a powerful new exhibition in the Governor’s Office — plus a preview of the 2018 Poetry Out Loud contest!

Matt Stringer appointed to Arts Commission

Matthew Stringer, the executive director of Four Rivers Cultural Center and Museum​ in Ontario, Oregon, has been appointed to the Oregon Arts Commission by Governor Kate Brown​. Stringer fills the position previously held by Libby Unthank Tower, who completed her second four-year term in December.
Matthew Stringer

Jess Perlitz named 2018 Joan Shipley Fellow

Jess Perlitz, a Portland-based artist working in sculpture, performance and drawing, is the 2018 recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission’s honorary Joan Shipley Award.
Perlitz leads a group of 19 Oregon artists selected from a pool of more than 120 applicants from 23 Oregon cities for the Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowships.
Jess Perlitz, That Which is Set Before the Eyes, 2015. Concrete, foam, office furniture, paint.

Motoya Nakamura exhibits in Governor’s Office

Portland artist Motoya Nakamura is exhibiting “Images of the 442nd: Nisei Japanese American WWII Veterans and Their Continuing Legacy” in Governor Kate Brown​’s Office at the Oregon State Capitol​ in Salem now through April 4.
Motoya Nakamura, Kenny Namba, 2009, archival pigment print, 30 x 24 inches.

Poetry Out Loud winners named

Congratulations to Jaden Schiffhaur and Leopold Westrey, the first and second place finishers in the Feb. 12 Poetry Out Loud contest at Lincoln High School!
Jaden will represent Lincoln Saturday, March 3, at the Portland Regional Contest at Lewis and Clark College. Regional contests also are scheduled that day at Rogue Community College in Medford and at Willamette University in Salem.
Jaden Schiffhaur (left) and Leopold Westry (right) took first and second place in the Lincoln High School Poetry Out Loud contest Feb. 12.

Arts Learning grants announced

Congratulations to the 20 Oregon arts organizations sharing $193,001 in FY 2018 Oregon Arts Commission Arts Learning grants! The grants, ranging from $4,451 to $12,046, support arts education projects now under way across the state.
Teacher Bari Frimkess leads a recorder class for students in the Phoenix/Talent school district as part of an Arts Learning project led by the Rogue Valley Symphony Association.

Small Operating grants announced

Congratulations to the 79 small Oregon arts organizations to receive FY2018 operating support from the Oregon Arts Commission! Awarded to arts organizations in 29 towns and cities across the state, Small Operating Grants are designed to provide operating support to arts organizations with budgets under $150,000.
A Corvallis Guitar Society event..

Arts Build Communities grants announced

Congratulations to the 33 projects awarded $209,400 in 2018 Oregon Arts Commission Arts Build Communities grants! Arts Build Communities projects use the arts as a means of addressing community need. They target broad geographic impact and arts access for underserved audiences in Oregon. More than half of this year’s awards go to communities outside of the Portland area.
A studnet shows off her ring prowess during a Circus Project workshop.

Conversations with Funders and Partners happening now

More than $5 million in funding will be on the table when Oregon Cultural Trust Manager Aili Schreiner joins with colleagues from the Cultural Trust’s Statewide Partners and other funders for “Conversations with Funders and Partners,” a 14-stop state tour. Attendees will learn about grant programs available from multiple grantmakers and will have the opportunity to discuss their projects and programming. Other statewide programming resources also will be presented.
A 2017 Conversations with Funders event in Eugene.

Happy 55th to the Corvallis Art Center

January marked the 55th anniversary of the opening of the Corvallis Art Center. We are proud of your longstanding service to the greater Corvallis community!
Corvallis Art Center.
Oregon Arts Commission | Phone 503-986-0082 | www.oregonartscommission.org

Ashland New Plays Festival announces 2018 season

Celebrating Past Winners and Welcoming the New:

Ashland New Plays Festival announces its 2018 season

The Luckiest People cast at ANPF 2015, ANPF archives

 Ashland New Plays Festival is pleased to announce its 27th season of staged play readings showcasing new theatrical works, along with a program of talks with theater professionals.

ANPF’s flagship annual Fall Festival Oct. 17-21 will unveil four new plays in staged 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 staged 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.

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, with exact dates to be announced later, are OSF actors Rex Young, Nancy Rodriguez, Daniel José Molina, and Alejandra Escalante.

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.

Information about ANPF, including memberships, is at www.ashlandnewplays.org.

Playwright Meridith Friedman, photo by Joey Stocks

Playwright Meridith Friedman, photo by Joey Stocks

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Ashland New Plays Festival Presents CONSTELLATIONS

On May 8 Ashland New Plays Festival Presents a Dramatic Reading of CONSTELLATIONSAshland New Plays FEstival Constellations

A romantic exploration of one relationship in multiple universes by British playwright Nick Payne

 

“In the quantum multiverse, every choice, every decision you’ve ever and never made exists in an unimaginably vast ensemble of parallel universes.” – CONSTELLATIONS

 

>From London, to Broadway, to Ashland! Join us for this special, one-night-only dramatic reading of the “spellbinding, romantic journey” of CONSTELLATIONS. What begins as a simple encounter between a man and a woman then delves into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and asks us to think about the difference between choice and destiny.

 

ANPF’s staged reading is directed by ANPF’s Associate Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca and stars Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Alejandra Escalante and Daniel José Molina, who also starred together as the title characters in OSF’s 2012 production of ROMEO AND JULIET. This season at OSF you can see them in HENRY IV, PART ONE and TWO.

 

“I feel lucky to be able to explore this text with our wonderful cast in what are sure to be honest and nuanced performances. Not only will they need to live through their characters’ stories, but to live them repeatedly, variably, as the story flitters between universes,” says Apodaca.

 

CONSTELLATIONS is about the mystery of time, the multiplicity of our choices, and the minutiae of life’s many paths. Playwright Nick Payne has gathered those themes into scenes from a single relationship, spread out over numerous tracks in multiple universes. “It’s hard to explain,” Apodaca says, “but easy–I think–to understand.”

 

For Apodaca, the play’s focus on time is something she thought a lot about when her young son became interested in physics and string theory. “We watched a lot of Nova and Brian Greene specials. The irony of learning about time while watching time change my son was not lost on me,” she says. Referring to the parent’s adage, ‘It goes so fast!’ Apodaca continues, “It’s true…except when it drags. Time, like anything worth understanding, is shrouded in mystery.”

 

The dramatic reading will be held on Monday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth Street, in Ashland. Tickets are $20 and are available online and at the door.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ANPF’s website at www.ashlandnewplays.org.

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