Our 2024 Season

Featuring a Community Playwriting Retreat, a new take on Hamlet, and our annual Fall Festival.

Ashland New Plays Festival is expanding its offerings in 2024 with a new Community Playwriting Retreat, designed to give writers of any level a chance to develop their craft among fellow artists. The retreat will take place April 26-28 in beautiful downtown Ashland, Oregon. 

Join host playwright and teacher E. M. Lewis for a long weekend of writing and community building. “We’ll cover everything,” Lewis shares, “from the fundamentals of playwriting to strategies for delving deep into your own experience to craft your stories and add magic to your plays. Come with an idea, or just an open mind — and leave with the first pages of your new play!” 

Lewis, ANPF’s former Fall Festival Host Playwright, is the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, and her award winning plays include Song of Extinction, The Gun Show, and Magellanica.

Beyond the classroom, retreat participants will also enjoy a playwrights’ tea and Q&A with renowned playwright Octavio Solis (at Lovejoy's Tea Room), a wine reception and Q&A with another of our regional playwright luminaries, Lisa Loomer, and will see Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s  Born with Teeth and Macbeth (tickets included in retreat admission). The retreat weekend experience is open to just 16 writers and priced at $195 general admission per person, or $175 for Rogue Valley residents. See our website for tickets and more information.

“Every year, I am approached by people eager to learn more about playwriting,” says ANPF Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca. “They ask how ANPF can help them develop their own writing skills. I’m gratified that our focus on playwrights has sparked local interest in the art, and looking forward to bringing E.M. Lewis to Ashland to shepherd the workshops. Major thanks to Oregon Shakespeare Festival for welcoming participants into two of their productions over the weekend, to further spark creative fires. The retreat playwrights are going to have a wonderful time creating and connecting in our beautiful town. ” 

Next up in June, ANPF will partner with Play On Shakespeare to present a developmental reading of UNIVERSES’ translation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Play On Shakespeare commissions playwrights from around the world to tackle Shakespeare’s work through a contemporary lens. UNIVERSES, Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s former Ensemble in Residence, is a New York-based company of multidisciplinary writers and performers who create their own unique brand of theater-based performances. This will be the second partnership between ANPF and Play On, which have previously joined forces to develop Octavio Solis’ translation of Edward III. ANPF will present readings of Hamlet, still in development, in early June at the Southern Oregon University Main Stage Theater.

"We're excited to work with ANPF again,”  says Play On Shakespeare President Lue Douthit. “The process to create these translations incorporates all the elements of new play development, and we know that UNIVERSES will benefit from ANPF's stewardship."

Finally, ANPFs centerpiece, the annual Fall Festival, will take place from October 16-20, also on SOU’s Main Stage. This year’s festival will feature the four winners of this international new plays competition. The reader process leading toward the selection of winners is currently underway—with more than 60 reader volunteers reading 350 scripts, ultimately selecting 12 finalists. Artistic Director Apodaca will then choose the four winning playwrights and invite them to town for the event.     

“ANPF exposes me to theatre as it is evolving,” commented a 2023 Fall Festival attendee. “The plays are taking leaps in new directions through topics addressed, approaches to storytelling, or validations of social changes.” 

Named by Oregon Arts Watch writer Brett Campbell as his “most memorable theatre experience of 2023,” the festival is a longstanding Rogue Valley tradition, bringing new works to the stage through dramatic readings. Each year, the winning playwrights come to Ashland and work with world-class directors and actors to develop their scripts and share them with the community in evening and matinee readings, followed by audience talkbacks. 

Another 2023 audience member summed up the company’s work this way, “ANPF is consistently moving theatre forward.”

Past Events

Jackie Apodaca Director Headshot Option 2 Crop



Tune in! ANPF Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca talks about the 2023 Fall Festival on JPR's The Jefferson Exchange: Ashland New Plays Festival features a play about here: Ashland

ANPF 2023 Banner Graphic Playwrights
Lyons Pride Poster For Playbill Page
Ashland Poster For Playbill Page Ashland
A Long Time Coming Poster For Playbill Page
ANPF 2022 Playwright Winners Banner
Jackie Apodaca ANPF artistic director

When: Tuesday, September 27, at 6:30 pm

Where: Oregon Cabaret Theatre, 241 Hargadine St, Ashland

Tickets: $10

Note: Masks are required. We can provide you with one if you do not have it at the door.

Inside ANPF: A conversation with ANPF Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca

Join us on Tuesday, September 27, at the nationally recognized and celebrated Oregon Cabaret Theatre for an in-depth conversation with ANPF Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca, interviewed by John Rose.

Jackie took over the helm during the unprecedented global pandemic and kept the focus on creating new work, nourishing both the creative process and the writers to create it. She was able to pivot productions to be online, thereby keeping our regular audience engaged and reaching new fans who hadn’t had access to the Fall Festival before.

Jackie will share her thoughts about Ashland New Plays Festival: the history, the luminaries who have had work produced here, and what her vision is for the future. There will be an overview of the upcoming Fall Festival and the opportunity for you to ask questions about the curation of a season, what it takes to build a play, and where works can go from here.

Inside ANPF is a community engagement opportunity for fans, friends, members, readers and donors to connect more deeply with the art we collectively create. It is a forum for hearing about big ideas from inspiring artists. We look forward to welcoming you into the ever-evolving dialogue.

The doors will open at 6:15 for seating; the talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10.

New Voices 2022 Playwrights Graphic With Logo

We launched our 30th anniversary season with the return of the New Voices Emerging Playwrights Retreat June 2–5. Hailing from Ashland, Portland, Rainier, and Banks, this year’s retreat cohort features Oregon playwrights Mikki Gillette, Lindsay Partain, Lorenz Qatava, Leslie Slape, and Ken Yoshikawa.

Ashland New Plays Festival New Voices Emerging Playwrights

Emerging playwrights Kathryn de la Rosa, Ty Greenwood, Heesun Hwang, Jasmine Sharma, and Carlos-Zenen Trujillo are the inaugural cohort of ANPF's New Voices Retreat 2021. The virtual retreat, running August 1-7, will allow the artists to fully engage with the writing process. They are paired with established theatre professionals as mentors who will assist with the development of a script in progress, and special guest artists will meet with them to share their experiences and insight.

Mentors for the week include: comedy writer and playwright Sarah Cho; playwright and TV writer Inda Craig-Galván; theatre director, adapter, and activist Lavina Jadhwani; Senior Cultural Strategist and Dramaturg for Play On Shakespeare Amrita Ramanan; and, Artist Repertory Theatre’s Director of New Play Development and Dramaturgy Luan Schooler.

The guest artists include: Octavio Solis, nationally renowned playwright and ANPF associate artist; Oregon Shakespeare Festival Literary Manager Paul Adolphsen; Dana Lynn Formby, playwright and faculty member at Chicago Dramatists; actor, director, and cofounder of UNIVERSES Steven Sapp; and ANPF Host Playwright Beth Kander, a Chicago-based playwright and author.

The playwrights also receive a $500 stipend and will return to ANPF for a live virtual conversation during the Fall Festival. The retreat is funded in part by a grant from the Kinsman Foundation.

"These young playwrights are passionate, generous, and original artists poised to make big waves in the future of theatre,” says ANPF Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca. “We are thrilled to be able to support them as they develop new works for the stage."

Click below to read each playwright's Q&A playwright profile to learn more about them and their work. 

New Voices Artists
Berth Breach/Breech Birth by Inda Craig-Galván poster art by Kara Q. Lewis and LUMEZIA

Berth Breach/Breech Birth
By Inda Craig-Galván
Directed by Kyle Haden
Lead sponsor: Donna Ritchie
Featuring: Christiana Clark, Desean K. Terry, Shaun Heard, Josie Seid, and Samantha Wynette Miller

During a house call for a pregnant mare, a veterinarian 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? What has happened to any of us? This play 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.

Berth Breach/Breech Birth was performed on Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Lonesomes Postersize V3

Lonesomes: Conrado and Paisley Blue
Two New Pieces Written In and For Isolation
By Octavio Solis
Directed by Jackie Apodaca

By popular demand, we are bringing back Lonesomes by Octavio Solis for an encore with the release of a newly recorded performance, available to stream this March 16 through 21! After a successful two-day run of the play in February where hundreds of audience members were able to see this powerful new work, we received many requests to make it available on demand.

Lonesomes was such a special event,” says the show’s director and ANPF Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca, “I've done some virtual readings and Zoom theatre, sure, but getting to work on a script written expressly for our remote world was freeing. I hope this release gives a wider audience the chance to see Octavio's work, and the brave, personal performances given by Armando Durán and Isabel Pask.”

NOTE: This play features mature themes and may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

Explore Our Events

ANPF 2021 Playwrights Coffee Deer And Church

Fall Festival

A celebratory week-long festival featuring public readings, talkbacks, a playwriting workshop, and more.

Nina Pamintuan in stains by Sarah Cho Ashland New Plays Festival photo by Kara Q. Lewis

New Play Workshops

New play development intensives culminating in public readings and talkbacks

ANPF 2022 New Voices Retreat

New Voices

An annual retreat for emerging playwrights, with a focus on craft and community building.

Ashland New Plays Festival conversation series

Inside ANPF

Inspiring conversations with theatre artists about the process and productions that make up ANPF.