Ashland New Plays Festival Announces New Voices Retreat for Emerging Playwrights Summer 2021

June 3, 2021

Ashland New Plays Festival announces the inaugural New Voices Retreat, to be held August 1–7. New Voices will be a week-long virtual mentorship and workshop experience for five emerging playwrights. Each playwright will be paired with a collaborator who will assist with the development of a script in progress. The goal of the retreat is to allow the artists to fully engage with the writing process while learning from and connecting with established theatre professionals. Each emerging playwright, chosen by nomination of the artistic staff, will also receive a $500 stipend.

"It's been an incredibly difficult year—emotionally, physically, and financially,” says ANPF Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca. “My hope for the retreat is to ‘buy back’ some of these playwrights’ time, from their day jobs or other commitments, so they can spend that on developing their art. ANPF’s mission is centered on supporting and assisting playwrights. That support shouldn't be focused solely on competition and presentation. The New Voices Retreat will extend our earnest commitment to inclusivity by uplifting underrepresented and largely unproduced talent. We are excited to welcome into our sphere emerging playwrights, currently grappling with the difficult, messy, and vital work of the craft."

The retreat week will conclude in conversations with the playwrights, available on ANPF’s podcast. There will also be a live virtual panel with the emerging playwrights that will stream during ANPF’s Fall Festival, October 17–24, where they will talk about their work and what it’s like to be a new writer during this unprecedented time. The playwrights selected for New Voices Retreat 2021 will be announced in late June.