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Founded in 1992 and managed by a volunteer board of directors, Ashland New Plays Festival is a nonprofit theatre that encourages playwrights in the creation of new works through public readings. We also offer an educational forum to the community through discussions and workshops.

ANPF’s flagship Fall Festival is an international playwright competition that culminates in the reading of four new plays chosen by a team of volunteer readers from hundreds of submissions. This unique and much-loved event features professional actors from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Southern Oregon University’s Theatre Department, the local community, and regional theatre hot spots. The reading performances, and the talkbacks that follow, are a rich theatrical experience for audiences.

The winning playwrights look to our sophisticated playgoers, skilled directors, world-class actors, and expert guidance from our artistic director and host playwright for responses to their works as they evolve from the page to the stage. In those magical exchanges of feedback, comments or suggestions may help turn a very good play into a masterpiece and encourage playwrights to continue their efforts in the challenging endeavor of bringing new works to the public.

The soul of ANPF is our Reading Committee, which starts with organizational and training meetings in the fall and then reads anonymized scripts throughout the winter and spring. Through a series of group discussions and employing a numerical scoring system, readers reduce the submissions from several hundred to around 35. At that point, further discussions result in 10 to 15 semifinalists; the artistic director leads the collaborative process of choosing the four winners.

The winning playwrights are announced in July, and in October they travel to beautiful Ashland, Oregon, for the Festival, which draws playwrights and theatre lovers from far and wide for a week of readings, talkbacks, workshops, and playwright appreciation as we celebrate new works for the stage.

Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

We at the Ashland New Plays Festival acknowledge our complicity in racist structures and pledge to move forward with concrete actions. Beginning in 2021,

  • We pledge that at least 50% of the plays we present each year will be the work of BIPOC playwrights.

  • We will launch a new initiative called “Pass the Pen,” which will reserve fifty spaces for invited BIPOC playwrights to submit plays for consideration in our Fall Festival, free of charge.

  • ANPF’s board and reader leadership will form a Reader Recruitment Committee, which will work to recruit and welcome BIPOC readers from the community.

  • All ANPF board, staff, and readers will commit to unconscious bias training.

  • At our annual retreat/strategic planning session we will undertake an annual review process to hold ourselves accountable. If the steps outlined above do not yield necessary change, further action will be taken.

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.

Team

Jackie Apodaca

Jackie Apodaca, Artistic Director

A Professor of Theatre and the Head of Performance at Southern Oregon University, Jackie has worked as an actor, director, and producer in theatre, film, and media, with companies such as Roundabout Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, National Geographic, Modern Media (Head of Production), Venice Theatre Works (Associate Artistic Director), and Shakespeare Santa Barbara (Producing Director). Jackie is the author of the book Answers from the Working Actor published by Routledge in 2018, and spent more than a decade at Backstage Newspaper, where she was a Contributing Editor. She earned her MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory at the Denver Center Theatre Company and her BFA from UC Santa Barbara. Locally, she facilitates Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Acting Trainee Program and is a former board member of the Ashland Independent Film Festival. Jackie joined ANPF in 2016 as Associate Artistic Director, serving as casting director and regularly acting and directing for the company. She directed The Night Climber, Go. Please. Go., Constellations, and The Bottle Tree, and played roles such as Kit in EdanEv, the title role in Sofonisba, and Beth in Cold Spring. Learn more about Jackie.
Kyle Haden Director Photo 2018

Kyle Haden, Associate Artist

Kyle Haden was ANPF’s artistic director for six years, and directed readings of Berth Breach/Breech Birth; Primary User; I Can Go; Hazardous Materials; and The Luckiest People, as well as performed in readings of Go. Please. Go.; Edward III; and Now This. Kyle was named a 2018 Drama League Directing Fellow and is a member of their Directors Council. He has directed various productions across the country, including the award-winning world premiere of Hazardous Materials (Creede Repertory Theatre); the world premiere of The Devil is a Lie (Quantum Theater); Waiting For Lefty (Quintessence Theatre); The Chief (Pittsburgh Public Theater); The Realness and A Brief History of America (Hangar Theatre Company); Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale (Island Shakespeare Festival); and The Tens (Actors Theatre of Louisville). As an actor, he has performed at regional theatres nationwide including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (three seasons), Guthrie Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Arizona Theater Company, City Theatre Company, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and Cleveland Play House, as well as various theatres in New York and Chicago. He is also a senior coordinating producer with Black Lives, Black Words International Project as well as a member of the 2021 cohort of artEquity’s BIPOC Leadership Circle. Kyle serves as the Senior Associate Head of the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is an assistant professor of acting. Learn more about Kyle.

Victor Lesniewski Ashland New Plays Festival 2022

Victor Lesniewski, Associate Artist

Victor Lesniewski's plays include The Fifth Domain (World Premiere at Contemporary American Theater Festival), Couriers and Contrabands (World Premiere at TBG Theatre in NYC, Critic Howard Miller’s Best of Off & Off-Off Broadway List), Cloven Tongues (World Premiere at The Wild Project in NYC), Where Bison Run (Ars Nova Out Loud Reading Series, NY Times Profile), Pipistrellus (The Dramatists Guild Fellowship), Khardal (Berkeley Rep’s The Ground Floor), Cold Spring (Ashland New Plays Festival), and The Hunt for Benedetto Montone (Ashland New Plays Festival).  He is a former Uncharted Artist in Residence at Ars Nova and was the only American to be shortlisted for the inaugural Theatre503 Playwriting Award which included six writers culled from over 1,600 applicants.  In addition to the above, he has also developed work at Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Theatre Workshop, Geva Theatre Center (NY), SF Playhouse (CA), Playwrights’ Arena (CA), Pioneer Theatre Company (UT), Northern Stage (VT), Palm Beach Dramaworks (FL), Benchmark Theatre (CO), and La Mama Umbria. He self-identifies as a PGM (part of the global majority) and is proud to sit on The Dramatists Guild’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access Committee. Learn more about Victor.

Octavio Solis

Octavio Solis, Associate Artist

Octavio Solis is a playwright and author whose works have been produced in theatres across the country since 1988. His fiction and short plays have appeared in the Louisville Review, Catamaran literary Reader, the Chicago Quarterly Review, Arroyo Literary Review, Huizache and Stone Gathering. His book, Retablos, published by City Lights Books, won the 2019 Silver Indies Award for Book of the Year from Foreword Reviews. His latest plays are Scene with Cranes (REDCAT CalArts Theater 2022), Quixote Nuevo (California Shakespeare Theatre 2018), and Mother Road (Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2019). A Thornton Wilder Fellow for the MacDowell Colony and a member of the Dramatists Guild, Solis was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters in 2020. Learn more about Octavio.

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Beth Kander, Host Playwright

Beth Kander is a writer with tangled roots in the Midwest and Deep South. The granddaughter of immigrants, her work often explores how worlds old and new intertwine—or collide. Beth earned an MSW from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women. Honors include: Jewish Playwriting Contest (2023); T. Jefferson Carey Memorial Playwriting Award (2022); Henry Award for Best New Play or Musical (2019-2020); PitchWars (2019); Indie Best Bronze Medal (2019); Headwaters New Play Award (2018); Equity Library Theatre Award (2017); Ashland New Plays Festival (2015, 2016); Eudora Welty New Play Awards (2008, 2010, 2012); and Charles M. Getchell New Play Award (2012), among others. This summer, her commissioned play MOUNTAIN OCTOPUS premieres at Creede Repertory Theatre, and her children's picture-and-recipes-book DO NOT EAT THIS BOOK! (Sleeping Bear Press, 2023) hits shelves everywhere. A proud parent-artist, her favorite characters are her heroic husband and their two brave, hilarious kids. Representation: Allison Hellegers, Stimola Literary Studio. Learn more about Beth.

Haley Forsyth

Haley Jane Forsyth, Production Manager

Haley Jane Forsyth is a stage manager, performer, director, and choreographer who has lived and worked in the Rogue Valley for the last seven years. Stage managing credits include: Sherlock Holmes and the Final Problem as ASM and The Full Monty as Standby SM for 22 Performances (Oregon Cabaret Theatre); Almost, Maine (Camelot Theatre); Triumph of Love, Waiting for Godot, and Broadway Bound (CTP); Guys and Dolls, and Saucy Jack and The Space Vixens (TMCC Theatre). Acting credits include: Marthe Daubriel in Poirot: Murder on the Links and Ex-Girlfriend in Once: The Musical (Oregon Cabaret Theater); Maid Marian in Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood and Chris Mundy in Dancing at Lughnasa (Collaborative Theatre Project); Lucy Van Pelt in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Ghostlight Playhouse); Florence Vassy in Chess: The Musical (Livia Genise Productions). Director/choreographer credits include Peter Pan and Spotlight on Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (Camelot Theatre); Marry Me a Little (Randall Theatre). Learn more about Haley.

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Alysia Beltran, Casting Coordinator and Covid Safety Officer

Alysia N. Beltran is a professional actor and theater-maker based in the Rogue Valley. She currently supports the Legal Department at Lithia Motors with licensing and compliance matters. She brings to her new role at ANPF years of contract management and legal support along with her love for creating ground-breaking theater. She is deeply rooted in the local theater community and is excited to take part in its growth. You can find her developing new material from writers and composers all over the country. Some notable projects Alysia has been associated with: Colour My World (new musical by the band, Chicago); Sueños: Our American Musical; and The Copper Children. She earned her Bachelor of Arts cum laude from San Francisco State University. Learn more about Alysia.

Volunteers

Carole Florian
Penny Mikesell
John Rose
Volunteers And Staff 13

Carole Florian
Editor & Reader Committee Chair

Penny Mikesell
Script Submission Coordinator

John Rose
Transportation Coordinator

Dennis Tetz
House Manager

Board of Directors

Chris Mock Photo

Chris Mock, President

Chris grew up in upstate New York. He graduated in 1970 from the University of Detroit along with his wife, Susan. They married the week after graduation and moved to Los Angeles, where he earned a degree in clinical psychology from Cal State L.A. Chris and Susan relocated to Syracuse, New York after the birth of their daughter Alison, and worked in group homes for at-risk teenagers. Their son Aaron was born in Syracuse. Chris worked for Catholic Social Services and for The Elmcrest Children’s Center. In 1978, he worked with Susan at the Syracuse Institute for Enabling Education, an alternative elementary school. They moved in 1979 to Southern New Jersey, where he worked with patients with chronic and acute schizophrenia at Family Services of Atlantic County, and later returned to teaching.

 

He taught for ten years at the Atlantic County New School, another parent-run, alternative K-8 school. During those years, Chris co-wrote and directed 20 school plays with Susan. The plays were based on classic children’s literature, as well as works of Shakespeare. He was next employed as a technology instructor at Estell Manor Public School. This was followed by ten years at Northfield Middle School in Northfield, New Jersey, where he created and taught an applied technology program that included (delete comma) robotics, TV production, model bridge and airplane building, and web site design. He also trained and assisted other teachers in the use of technology in their classrooms.

 

Chris’s love of theater began in 1978 when--during a camping vacation to Martha’s Vineyard--the whole family attended a local production of Romeo and Juliet. Chris and Susan’s son Aaron, then age 3, was so excited by the play that he insisted they return and watch it again the next night!

Chris and Susan retired to Ashland in 2011. They had been attending OSF plays since 1999, when their daughter had moved to Portland and their son to San Diego. They discovered ANPF in the fall of 2011, became readers for the 2014 season and team leaders in 2015. They will begin their 11th year with the 2024 season.

 

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William (Bill) Grove, Vice President

Bill was born in a small farm town in Kansas into a family of three generations of physicians. His parents appreciated the arts and took him to see Helen Hayes and Maurice Evens in a touring performance from Shakespeare in Wichita. It was transforming, and, although he was predestined to be a physician, he has made theatre a part of his life since then. He graduated from Rice University (attending the Alley Theater and the Houston Opera) and Northwestern Medical School (The Goodman Theater, Second City, etc.) and did his residency in Pathology at Stanford. He practiced medicine at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. During that time, he served several terms on the nonprofit Medical Staff Corporation, including time as treasurer and president of the board. He also served a term as treasurer for the Medical Staff. In the Bay Area theatre scene, he had season subscriptions to ACT, TheatreWorks, San Jose Rep, and the San Francisco Opera and regularly attended Berkeley Rep and other venues. In 1982, he discovered Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He became a member of OSF with regular visits increasing in frequency culminating in buying a home in 2012, so that he spends around a quarter of his time in Ashland now. Bill is active in the local CERT activities and the Atherton Disaster Preparedness Committee, acting as a neighborhood coordinator. He has also been treasurer and president of the Peninsula Wine Tasting Group as well as Chef de Cave and Grand Senechal (President) of the Confrérie des Chevaliers de Tastevin, Sous-Commanderie de Silicon Valley – a Burgundy-centric group. He is also a volunteer reader for ANPF, which he’s loved doing the past two years. He is honored to be a part of ANPF to help find good new theatre and nourish it.

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Bill Saltzstein, Treasurer

Bill introduced himself to his future wife Rae off stage at a community theater rehearsal when he, as Harpo, walked up to her, hung his leg on her arm and honked. While it wasn’t necessarily love at first sight, it was the start of something wonderful that included three decades of trips to Ashland for OSF productions, and grew to include ANPF as well.

Bill is an electrical engineer, currently principal of Code Blue Communications, providing wireless medical device consulting services.  His corporate career started with the calculator group of Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis, and he left the corporate world as Director of Advanced Development for the Physio-Control division of Medtronic in Redmond, WA.

He has been a rabid theater fan since his childhood in the audience of the Milwaukee Rep, played both on and off stage in community theater, and has served on boards for Gallery Players of Oregon (McMinnville) and New Century Theater Company (Seattle).

After splitting time between Seattle and Ashland for nearly 10 years, Bill and Rae are now full time Ashland residents and are proud supporters of ANPF.

Barbara Ricketts

Barbara Ricketts, Secretary

Barbara and her then-future husband’s first date was in 1981, when he offered her an opportunity to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. When they saw Wild Oats, directed by Jerry Turner, she was hooked. Barbara and Dennis have attended every OSF season together since 1981.

After moving from the Central California Coast to Colorado to Massachusetts and back to Southern California, they purchased a home in Ashland, where they have lived full-time since 2012. They became familiar with ANPF in 2013 and began attending the Fall Festival each year, eventually becoming volunteers: Barbara as a Co-Volunteer Coordinator in 2016 and Dennis becoming House Manager.

Barbara has a BA in speech pathology and audiology from Pacific Union College and did graduate work in speech communication and communicative disorders at California State University, Fresno. She started her professional career as a speech pathologist in Fresno, California, in 1974. After eight years in the Fresno County Schools, she continued her career in Santa Maria, California in private practice, at the Cross Center for Speech & Language Disorders. After moving to Colorado in 1987 she continued working with deaf and hard-of-hearing people when she co-designed, implemented and became the director of the National
Hearing Aid Bank, a program of HEAR NOW for people who could not afford hearing aids at retail cost. She coordinated volunteers, solicited hearing aid manufacturers to donate hearing aids, negotiated with hearing health professionals to waive or reduce service fees and developed a used hearing aid donation program. At that time, The National Hearing Aid Bank was able to provide hearing aids to recipients by reducing
the overall retail cost by up to 70 percent.

In 1997, Barbara moved to Massachusetts and began her last professional adventure, when she started her own company, LifeStyle Management Associates, L.L.C. as a professional organizer working with people in their homes and offices to help clear clutter and create organizational systems. She was honored to be in the National Association of Professional Organizer’s (NAPO) inaugural class to become a Certified
Professional Organizer (CPO®) in 2007 and she was an active member of NAPO until she retired in 2016 after over 23 years of organizing people.

While in Massachusetts, she was on the Board of Directors of New England Professional Organizers and an active member of Business Network International (BNI). She has written a monthly organizing column and done presentations on time management and various aspects of organizing for assorted businesses, retail groups, women’s organizations, and clubs. She has been featured in several newspaper articles in Massachusetts, California, and Oregon, including The Boston Business Journal, The Magazine of Santa Clarita, The Ashland Tidings and Locals Guide.

Jane Bardin

Jane Bardin

Jane has loved the theatre since she had the lead in her senior play in high school. She considered a career in theatre when she enrolled at UC Berkeley but decided she needed something that would support her more reliably in the future. She majored in economics and graduated with highest honors. She then got an MBA with a specialty in finance, also from UC Berkeley. After working for Wells Fargo in Investment Advisors for 10 years, during which she earned the designation Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), she founded her own firm, Bardin Financial Services, a Registered Investment Advisor. In 1987 she moved her firm from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Sierra foothills town of Jackson. She was one of the founders of the Amador Land Trust and served on the board in many positions, including president. In addition, she helped found the Amador Community Fund, again serving as a board member; she still consults with the board on financial questions. She returned to her love of theatre by joining the Volcano Theatre Company, serving on the board for several years as secretary and treasurer, but best of all she got to act and do something she had always wanted to do: direct. It was from her fellow thespians that she learned about Ashland, which they lovingly called “Mecca,” and thus began the twice yearly trips to the Rogue Valley. When she retired and sold her firm, she and her husband moved to Medford. She quickly sought out ANPF and has been a reader since 2012. She says she thinks she has died and gone to heaven if she has a play in her hands.

Miriam.laube

Miriam Laube

Miriam A. Laube is a mixed race, first generation American actor, producer, and director. She recently directed The Tempest for Santa Cruz Shakespeare. For 16 seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Miriam was an actor and producer, where she had the honor of working with an extraordinary company of artists. Her favorite roles include Cleopatra, Olivia, Hermione, Rosalind and Julia, The Witch in Into the Woods and Vasantasena in The Clay Cart. She is proud to have originated the roles of Gynecia in Head Over Heels, Maruca in Party People, and Cleo in Family Album. Additionally at OSF, she served as the Associate Director on productions of Oklahoma and Pirates of Penzance. She also served as a Development Consultant at OSF, curating and hosting a bi-weekly interview series. She has worked on Broadway in Bombay Dreams and regionally at Berkeley Rep, Dallas Theater Center, Milwaukee Rep, Baltimore Center Stage, and The Guthrie Theater. She received a Henry Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in the original production of The Book of Will at the Denver Center. Miriam is honored to be both a Fox Fellow and a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow.

She believes that theater at its best celebrates the human spirit, by creating workplaces and works of art that invite a diversity of voices into the story telling and the story making. This allows a space where one can examine the conflicts of the national dialogue through metaphor, gifting us the ability to hear with fresh ears and see with new eyes points of view and stories that are not our own and that , through the tools of the theater, can reveal or startle or wonder us into a deeper connection to our collective humanity, allowing us to exclaim, “I recognize you in me!”

Jeanine Salter

Jeanine Salter

Jeanine Salter has been a reader for ANPF for six years. She has a BFA in professional acting from the University of Illinois and has performed in and around Chicago and Sacramento in small theaters.

Jeanine was lucky to be a part of a regional theater as it was forming in Leavenworth, Washington: Leavenworth Summer Theater. It was there, over 14 years of involvement, she developed her directing skills as well as performed in many of their plays. She has also been active in the Icicle Creek Play Reading Festival and The Icicle Times Radio Hour as a performer.

Having grown up in the culturally-rich north suburbs of Chicago, she was able to recognize the fervent cultural offerings in Ashland and chose to make her home in the Rogue Valley with her husband. Oregon Cabaret Theatre is where she found her footing over the last eight years, working as property mistress for three of those years and the box office for all eight.

She believes in the mission of nurturing new plays and looks forward to supporting ANPF how she can.

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Peggy Moore, President Emeritus

Peggy has lived in the Colestin Valley for 33 years. She and her partner, 39 goats, and rescue cats and dogs live on a farm and raise hogs and make goat milk soap. Peggy taught at Foothill College in the San Francisco Bay Area for 19 years. She taught English and drama and had the distinction of teaching King Lear about 82 times. She has actually taught the entire Shakespeare canon. Peggy started the women’s studies program at Foothill, which was the first community college in the country to grant an associate degree in women’s studies, awarding the first one in 1975. Before retiring in 2004, Peggy was the academic vice president at College of the Siskiyous for 15 years, an interim VP at Shasta College (twice) and Lassen College once, and the interim superintendent/president of College of the Siskiyous. She holds two master’s degrees—one in English and one is social science (women’s studies) from San Jose State University. Peggy loves theatre and is delighted serve on the ANPF board. She has been a reader for several years, as well. Peggy also loves animals and previously served as the president of the board for Friends of the Animal Shelter; she has been on that board since 1999. She also served on the board of AAUW Ashland. She chairs the board of the Colestin Rural Fire District and the Animal Control Advisory Committee for Jackson County. She volunteers with the Ashland Independent Film Festival and continues to serve as a consultant for colleges in both California and Wyoming.

History

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Ashland New Plays Festival

The very first Ashland New Plays Festival, held in April 1993, featured a unique collaboration among local theatres. Seven new plays, written by local playwrights, were presented as readings, each in a different venue. The objective was to present new works, giving audiences, actors, and playwrights a role in the evolution of a new play. The catalyst for this groundbreaking event was the 150th anniversary of the Oregon Trail. Each play had to in some way reflect on the themes of heritage, adventure, or human perseverance in pursuit of a goal. The festival was supported in part by the Ashland Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Arts Council of Southern Oregon.

This collaboration among local theatres continued for the next three years. The energy and enthusiasm for a new plays festival culminated in the formation of a board of directors, who in 1996 reorganized a dormant nonprofit company under the name ArtWork Enterprises. One goal was to expand an educational component for both young people and adults; another was to become a major play development resource on the West Coast.

ANPF has evolved through several permutations over the years. It started as a loose collaboration among several local theatres, including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), and eventually became a single nonprofit entity. Its mission, however, has remained remarkably constant. ANPF has always been dedicated to playwrights and the development and enhancement of new works for the theatre, with strong educational and outreach components.

Prior to 1997 as many as eight new works were read, in various venues around town, with submissions limited to playwrights of selected western states; 1997 was a watershed year in that only five plays were on the program, among them David Rambo’s Speaky-Spikey-Spokey. Also in that year, The Magic Fire by Lillian Garrett-Groag (ANPF 1995) premiered at OSF’s Angus Bowmer Theatre. Rambo’s enthusiasm for ANPF led to his subsequent return as host playwright. Robert Koon (ANPF 1999 and 2005) also returned as host playwright, as has E.M. Lewis (ANPF 2008), who was our host playwright from 2010 through 2016. Our current host playwright is Beth Kander (ANPF 2015 and ANPF 2016).

In 1998 a one-week summer program for young playwrights, Fresh Ink, was held. In partnership with faculty from Southern Oregon University (SOU), 20 high school students created an evening of short plays around a single theme. In 2000 playwright Karen Zacarías received the prestigious Helen Hayes Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, for her play The Sins of Sor Juana (ANPF 1999). In 2004 ANPF established residency at Oregon Stage Works for the flagship festival and, in conjunction with SOU students, introduced Ashland’s first 10-Minute Play Festival. The 24/7 Project was presented in 2007 and reprised in 2008.

In 2009 the festival was on hiatus as the organization was rebuilt from scratch by a group of recent enthusiasts and board members from its early years. The new board established a nonprofit organization—Ashland New Plays Festival, Inc.—with zero dollars in the bank. Because the 2009 call for scripts had been canceled, it was too late to mount a full-scale national festival, but the new board presented the ANPF Student Spotlight (four staged one-act plays) and a remount of E.M. Lewis’s Song of Extinction (ANPF 2008) at OSF’s Carpenter Hall as fundraisers. In 2010 the traditional festival was back, and the organization has been growing steadily ever since.

Under the guidance of now-retired Artistic Director Douglas Rowe, ANPF expanded its offerings by adding theatrical readings in support of the flagship festival, including David Rambo’s God’s Man in Texas, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Lee Blessing’sA Walk in the Woods, Molly Tinsley’s The Limits of Bliss, William Gibson’s Golda’s Balcony, Richard Manley’s Quietus, Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), and Tom Mula’s Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. Most of these were one-time productions, but ANPF Theatre Talk interviews, added in 2012, are ongoing, and the ANPF board of directors continues to explore ways to raise funds and bring exciting theatrical events to the Rogue Valley year-round.

 

Ashland New Plays Festival has remained a small but vital force in the community for over a quarter century. This success is a reflection of the many people who recognize the value of theatre in their lives and believe in the need for a continuous search for new works. ANPF has given scores of playwrights from far and wide the forum to have their fledgling works read before a supportive, knowledgeable, and insightful audience.

For our flagship festival in October, the winning playwrights are in residence for an entire week. During this fertile time, they talk with other playwrights, receive counsel from our host playwright, and have ample opportunities to discuss their plays in informal social settings. Testimonials from past winners attest to the value of our festival—its supportive atmosphere, instant feedback, and emphasis on the words. Additional evidence of the value of the experience is that many winning playwrights continue to submit work to us. Dori Appel, Robert Barnett, Bob Clyman, Leonard Gross, Robert Koon, Richard Manley, James McLindon, Jamie Pachino, Carla Seaquist, Beth Kander, Stephanie Alison Walker, and Ian August are among those whose scripts have won more than once. The success stories of plays emerging from our relatively small festival are too numerous to list here, so we have a Where Are They Now? page that keeps up with past winning plays and playwrights’ awards and world premieres.

ANPF has made its mark both locally and nationally, and from the very beginning three key elements have been necessary for a successful festival: the selection of exciting new plays by exceptional playwrights, world-class directors and actors who bring life to the pages, and the many people behind the scenes who do their parts to make ANPF one of the premier new play festivals in the country.

As we celebrate nearly 30 years, we like to think that the work of the next generation of great American playwrights might begin with a reading at ANPF.