Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Fall Festival Schedule

Ashland New Plays Festival Announces Fall Festival Schedule

Ashland New Plays Festival today announced the schedule for its 27th annual Fall Festival, which takes place October 17-21, 2018, at the Unitarian Center, 87 4th Street in Ashland.

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 Haden selects 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.

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.

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

The Excavation of Mary Anning by Ian August takes audiences on a whimsical journey of the real-life struggles of19th-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.

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