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April 26 @ 12:00 pm - April 28 @ 5:00 pm PDT

Community Playwriting Retreat

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.”


The ANPF Community Writing Retreat is sponsored in part by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Dramatists Guild 


Ashland New Plays Festival

Community Playwriting Retreat

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