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Inda Craig-Galván's BERTH BREACH/BREECH BIRTH To Be Presented Virtually By Ashland New Plays Festival

The play will be brought to life by Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Christiana Clark; Desean K. Terry of Apple TV's award-winning The Morning Show.

Inda Craig-Galván's BERTH BREACH/BREECH BIRTH To Be Presented Virtually By Ashland New Plays Festival Ashland New Plays Festival will present Craig-Galván's new play Berth Breach/Breech Birth with two live Zoom performances on Saturday, April 24 at 7:00 pm PT and Sunday, April 25 at 2:00 pm PT.

The play follows Ashanti Taylor, a large animal veterinarian, played by Christiana Clark, who is examining a pregnant mare when she discovers something unexpected and distressing in the ultrasound: an entire ship of enslaved people.

As she tries to understand what she's seeing, a man from the ship, played by Desean K. Terry, sees her, too, setting off a series of realizations and conversations that speak to the history of slavery in America and the individual experiences of people of the African Diaspora.

"I love digging into a character's mind and seeing the world through their perspective," says award-winning playwright Inda Craig-Galván, "Especially a character whose mind is playing tricks on them. That's kinda my jam."

"I'm hoping that I can speak to all of that in Berth Breach/Breech Birth," says Craig-Galván, "That sense of history and mystery, connection and disconnection, grief and birth. Oh, and it's also funny and joyful. I hope that the play stirs us to honestly acknowledge our past and connections we may think we've lost."

The play will be brought to life by Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor Christiana Clark; Desean K. Terry of Apple TV's award-winning The Morning Show; Artists Repertory Theatre Resident Artist Josie Seid; actor and teacher Shaun Heard; and emerging artist Samantha Wynette Miller. Director Kyle Haden looks forward to helping Craig-Galván and the cast dig into the work.

"I'm like an archaeologist," Haden says, "I come in and ask hundreds of questions, about relationships, what people are doing, help make it more of what it is. Like a fossil buried in the ground, sweeping around and finding out what the thing is, excavating it and putting it in the museum for everyone to see it. I guess I'm the cruise director, too, keeping everybody positive, focused and making sure we're all moving in the same direction."

As the workshop begins this week, Craig-Galván is most excited to be working with the actors and to hear her words brought off the page.

"I haven't gotten to that stage with this play yet, so I'm so looking forward to hearing it read out loud," she says, "Seeing how what's in my head gets interpreted by people who live outside of it. I'm excited to work with Kyle as a director and to hear how a Black man is experiencing this play."

Craig-Galván often explores intra-racial conflicts and politics within the African-American community in her work, through stories grounded in reality with a touch of magical realism. In a 2019 interview with USC's Callboard Magazine, she said about her work: "I [want] to continue to have...that feeling that I'm contributing something to the world."

For Ashland New Plays Festival Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca, that contribution is palpable.

"After my first read of a draft of Berth Breach/Breech Birth," Apodaca says, "I knew ANPF had to provide a space for Inda to explore this story. And that's what you'll get to see next weekend: the fruits of a writer, given time and resources, to explore the unknown. After the performances, I think you'll agree that Inda's contribution is both exciting and much needed."

Berth Breach/Breech Birth will be performed live over Zoom on Saturday, April 24, at 7:00 pm PT and Sunday, April 25, at 2:00 pm PT. Tickets are available on a sliding scale at ashlandnewplays.org.

Audiences can learn more about the play and the playwright in a recently published conversation with Inda Craig-Galván and Kyle Haden on Youtube and the Ashland New Plays Festival Podcast, as well as a Q&A with the playwright available on ANPF's website.


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