On Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25, we welcomed audiences to the virtual readings of Berth Breach/Breech Birth, a new play by award-winning playwright Inda Craig-Galván. Directed by Kyle Haden, Berth Breach/Breech Birth explores the world of a Black farming community in America and examines how cycles of birth, life, and death look much different to those of the African Diaspora.
“I’m so excited to work with Inda and bring her work to ANPF. Her voice is just what we need to hear right now,” says Haden. “I was drawn to this play’s vivid magical realism mixed with everyday conversation, and I can’t wait to get into a (virtual) room with her and the cast to see where the story goes.”
The play follows a veterinarian, on a house call for a pregnant mare, who discovers an entire ship filled with enslaved people inside the horse’s uterus. And one enslaved man sees her, too. Is she imagining it all? Can she get them out? And if she can, what happens to them then?
I loved seeing the incredible acting up close and personal, like I was in the room with them.
Kudos to everyone for telling this story about a community we don't hear about that often. And the character of Debra so beautifully showed the strength of the Black farmer.
I am gratified by ANPF’s commitment to enrich us with the gifts of playwrights welcoming being believed in. Thank you!
Such a beautiful play, I just loved it so much--cried and cried at the end. Thank you everyone for this wonderful experience.
I truly enjoyed the presentation. The author is very talented and gifted. I am waiting to see more of her work. The readers were excellent. Josie (Debra Ann) is a well seasoned actor. I am looking forward to seeing her on Broadway!
Christiana Clark is the best on-zoom actor I've seen. She was constantly mobile with her body or her face -- moving close to the camera or further away and then using stillness as a contrast. She used the small space provided by zoom more effectively and creatively than anyone else I've seen -- and I've done a lot of zoom theater during Covid.
Love the theme and can’t wait to see this in person.
The emotions of this piece, of the characters, hit me deep. The actors did such an amazing job conveying what they were feeling. There were many times when my chest stopped up and tears came. When Ernest looks at his Sugarlump before leaving, when Marcus comforts Ashanti, when Debra empathizes with Ashanti, when Ashanti and Nnamdi connect at the end. Desean's single tear. Powerful writing, amazing acting, beautiful story. Thank you for sharing this work.
Beautiful work you beautiful people ❤️
This play was intense, engaging, and thought-provoking. Thank you for producing it!
Really moving. Comic and transporting at the same time. Made the hard choices every step of the way. Brava!
I would never choose a zoom event over live theatre, but given our options, I loved this event. The play was perplexing but fascinating, The actors were perfect for their roles, and performed them beautifully. It is a credit both to the script and the acting, and the directing, that a factually preposterous premise was so totally plausible and engrossing.. It kept me glued to my seat (even though I was not in a theatre).
Hypnotic, affirming, thought-provoking, authentic, funny, powerful, gripping, riveting, transcendental, transformative, lovely.
Thank you! We enjoyed it so much!
We’re just becoming aware of ‘generational trauma’, and this play helped make it a real.
ANPF Announces Jackie Apodaca as New Artistic Director Beginning 2021
Ashland New Plays Festival is in the midst of a major change in artistic leadership. Kyle Haden will be completing his 6th and final season as Artistic Director in December, so he can devote more of his energies to the leadership team at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama, where he was recently named Interim Senior Associate Head.
After several months of deliberation, ANPF’s board appointed an artist familiar to our audiences to take the helm. Jackie Apodaca will become Ashland New Plays Festival’s fourth Artistic Director in January of 2021.
Explore Our Events
Our annual flagship event is a week-long celebration of new works for the stage with workshops, public readings, and events with our winning playwrights.
Each year we workshop and present readings of new plays by past ANPF winners and new plays we are excited to share with our audiences.
From June to September we present our monthly salon series of talks with theatre artists, many from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Our Commitment to Antiracism
We at the Ashland New Plays Festival acknowledge our complicity in racist structures and pledge to move forward with concrete actions.
We are deeply committed to supporting theatre artists during this time of crisis in funding for the arts. We ask that you stand with us as we reach toward a more equitable and ethical future.
Ashland New Plays Festival began in 1992, when a group of theatre enthusiasts came together and launched a unique collaboration among local theatres and playwrights. The objective was to present new works, giving audiences, actors, and playwrights a role in the evolution of a new play. The objective remains the same today. ANPF works with new and past Festival winners as well as invited playwrights, to come to Ashland and enjoy a fertile week of workshopping their play with world-class directors, actors, and artistic team members. Our enthusiastic audiences and dedicated volunteer readers make ANPF what it is: a unique community-based theatre organization. Our readings, talkbacks, playwriting workshops, podcast play recordings and conversations provide a rich theatrical experience for audiences and theatre artists alike.
I love new theatre and this is a tremendously vibrant festival.
What an inspiring experience to see a play in its developing form. Hearing the ideas and intentions expressed directly by the playwright adds another layer of insight and appreciation for the audience.
I didn't know what to expect walking into the play, but I was pleasantly surprised. The performances were incredible and I really connected to the story despite never having seen a play so early in development. I really enjoyed it!
Strong performances bring rich life to already exciting and well-crafted new plays.
Great theater is good words plus good actors. The rest is detail. You have it all.
Hearing artists speak on their art is fascinating. It's pleasurable to be part of artistic development.
We love our community and our community loves us.