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Ashland New Plays Festival Virtual Lineup Brings Together Artists From Around The Country

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Ashland New Plays Festival Virtual Lineup Brings Together Artists From Around The Country

From Broadway to L.A., Portland, Ashland, Creede, D.C., New York, Chicago, Nashville, and places in between, Ashland New Plays Festival is bringing together artists from across the country for their 29th annual flagship event running October 18-25 featuring livestreamed readings of five winning new plays.

"The [ANPF] actors, directors and collaborating artists are top shelf," said David Johnston, a winner at last year's festival. "I had twelve hours of rehearsal to dig into the play and try and figure out what I had written! The community that has built up around the festival is extraordinary. I have rarely come across a theater-going community as passionate and engaged as the members, audiences and volunteer readers at ANPF."

The Festival week begins on Sunday, October 18, with two interactive events. The first is "Writing Across the Distance," a playwriting workshop led by Host Playwright Beth Kander and the five winning playwrights: Ian August, Kari Bentley-Quinn, William Cameron, David Hilder, and Grace McLeod. In this special class, held from 3:00-5:00 pm PT and open to all writers, ANPF playwrights will help participants find the inspiration and drive to keep writing during these unpredictable times. Registration is required and the cost is $10 (with sliding scale options).

Then at 5:30 pm PT, ANPF will host a free, public panel welcoming our winning playwrights to this year's festival. The panel will be available live on ANPF's Facebook page, or a recorded version will be available later on their YouTube page.

From October 21-25, the Festival will feature two livestreamed readings of each play presented using an online theatre platform called Showtix4U, which does not require special software like Zoom for viewers. Tickets are available online and cost $10 with sliding scale options and no additional fees.

"One of the benefits of presenting our Fall Festival virtually is the ability to use actors from anywhere," said ANPF Artistic Director Kyle Haden, "We are excited to be able to bring back some ANPF and OSF favorites for these shows. When you add them to this mix of talented newcomers, it makes for five exceptionally strong casts. This is also one of the strongest crops of directors we've had in my tenure here. I'm so excited that they're bringing their collective talents to these plays and to our audiences."

Continue reading for more details about our playwrights, directors, and actors:

Zero by Ian August will be livestreamed on Friday, October 23, at 7:30 pm PT and Sunday, October 25, at 1:00 pm PT.

New Jersey playwright Ian August's play Zero is directed by Lyam Bonnie Gabel, a director, writer, and social-practice artist based in Pittsburgh. The cast includes New York City movement artist Esco Jouléy, Scottie Tsubota, Galen Molk, and Emilia Suarez as reform-school teens with overseers played by Terri McMahon, Rafael Untalan, and Jennifer Lanier. It's a narrated tale of the inexplicable and the unspeakable, a darkly comedic allegory dealing with addiction and apathy.

Hyannis by Kari Bentley-Quinn will be livestreamed on Thursday, October 22, at 4:00 pm PT and Saturday, October 24, at 7:30 pm PT.

Kari Bentley-Quinn is a playwright based in New York City, originally from Stratford, CT, whose play Hyanniswill be directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, the founding artistic director of Colt Coeur. This relatable, multifaceted drama set in a small Cape Cod town follows a family, played by Broadway and screen actor Jo Twiss, Samantha Rosentrater, and Arthur Langlie, as they grapple to adjust after the return of one of their own from his second stint in rehab. The play also features Carmen Flood, Meagan Prahl, and Nolan Sanchez.

Truth Be Told by William Cameron will be livestreamed on Wednesday, October 21, at 7:30 pm PT and Saturday, October 24, at 1:00 pm PT.

Retired professor and Pittsburgh playwright William Cameron's Truth Be Told will be directed by Lavina Jadhwani, who was the director of the COVID-affected run of Peter and the Starcatcher at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The cast includes Mia Morris as a grief-stricken mother of a mass shooter seeking to convince a true crime writer, played by OSF actor Amy Kim Waschke, that her son has been framed.

Those Days Are Over by David Hilder will be livestreamed on Thursday, October 22, at 7:30 pm PT and Saturday, October 24, at 4:00 pm PT.

New York playwright David Hilder's story of five sisters who gather at their childhood home in the immediate wake of their mother's death is directed by Jennifer Chang, an award-winning director on the faculty at UC San Diego. The play features a powerhouse cast of multi-hyphenate theatre artists; among them are actors, artistic directors, and TV stars, including: ANPF returnee Kate Berry, Erica Bradshaw, Miriam Laube, Kwana Martinez, DeLanna Studi, Hilary Ward, and Ellen D. Williams.

The Communist Revolution: A Ninth-Grade European History Project (There Will Be A Practical Demonstration) by Grace McLeod will be livestreamed on Friday, October 23, at 4:00 pm PT and Sunday, October 25, at 4:00 pm PT.

Grace McLeod is one of the youngest ever winning playwrights of the festival, but she already has many credits to her name. Her play is directed by Nicole A. Watson, the newly named associate artistic director at McCarter Theatre Center. Featuring OSF actor Rex Young, ANPF returnee Kris Danford and newcomers Abbey Rhyne and Peter Dager, this play is the ultimate showdown: parents vs. kids, house vs. tent, capitalism vs. communism. It's a dark comedy about rich white liberals whose desire to be "good" runs up against their own fragility.

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