ANPF Anounces Winning Playwrights for 2017
Four award-winning playwrights chosen in blind submissions process for annual fall festival supporting new plays
Ashland, Oregon – In its 26th season, Ashland New Plays Festival will present four playwrights’ new works at ANPF 2017 from October 18–22, 2017. The winners are:
Don Zolidis for A DARK SKY FULL OF STARS
Callie Kimball for SOFONISBA
Emily Feldman for GO. PLEASE. GO.
Blake Hackler for WHAT WE WERE
The four plays range in subject matter from the events leading to a police shooting, to 20 years in the life of a female Italian Renaissance artist living in the Spanish Royal Court, to an exploration of one relationship over a lifetime, to a meditation on abuse and the hard work of healing.
The winning plays were selected from 400 submissions that were read and scored in blind readings by a corps of volunteer readers, who reduced the candidates to 12 finalists. From there, Artistic Director Kyle Haden chose the four plays for the annual Fall Festival. About the winning plays, Haden says:
“The competition was extremely strong this year, and it was truly a tough decision, but these four rose to the top, and I can't wait to share them with our audiences in October.”
These talented playwrights will travel to Ashland for a week of receptions, rehearsals, a playwriting workshop, and other festivities that will culminate with dramatic readings of their plays, which are performed by outstanding actors, many from Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Southern Oregon University’s Theatre Department, in both matinee and evening performances. Talkbacks with Ashland's sophisticated audiences will follow each performance.
Visit www.ashlandnewplaysfestival.org to learn more about the festival, including details about the winning playwrights as well as when the full schedule and ticket sales will become available.
Read More: Winner highlights
Don Zolidis: Playwright, novelist, and former middle and high school teacher. His plays for youth are among the most-produced in the world, receiving more than 10,000 productions, appearing in every state and 61 countries.
The action of DARK SKY FULL OF STARS concerns Brandon, a young man in and out of trouble with the law, who is shot to death by a rookie cop after a suspicious traffic stop. The perspective of the play shifts to the six people most involved in Brandon’s life from the police officer to his girlfriend to his family and explores the long series of unrelated events that eventually led to his death.
Callie Kimball: Earned her MFA under Tina Howe at Hunter College, where she won the Rita & Burton Goldberg Playwriting Award two years in a row. She is an Affiliate Writer at the Playwrights' Center and a former MacDowell Fellow.
In SOFONISBA we follow the Italian artist Sofonisba Anguissola, a student of Michelangelo, during her 20 years at the Royal Court of Spain’s King Philip II. Her time at court is like one long chess game, since Sofonisba must play to and against the expectations of the king, the bishop, the fool, a lovelorn knight, and a 14-year-old queen. What negotiations and sacrifices did she make in the service of her art, and how did she navigate the tricky waters of court politics as an unmarried woman? This is a play about the hunger for creation–of birth and of art–and what it costs.
Emily Feldman: Currently a member of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm. She is also a recent Jerome Fellow and former Core Apprentice at The Playwrights’ Center.
GO. PLEASE. GO. A couple decides: This isn’t working. He says he’ll leave, and then he doesn’t. He stays and stays and stays. Through 70 years of marriages, bar mitzvahs, baptisms, and funerals, he stays. People get drunk. People get sober. People plan vacations. People die. Somebody wins the lottery. A baby grows up. Everybody dances. The story asks what it means to love somebody for a lifetime, and what a lifetime even means.
Blake Hackler: An actor, teacher, and playwright, he holds faculty positions at Southern Methodist University and Yale University. He has an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and is a Fulbright Senior Scholar.
Set in East Texas over a span of two decades, WHAT WE WERE traces the lives of three sisters: Nell, Tessa, and Carlin, whose adult lives have been impacted by a childhood of abuse. After disappearing 17 years ago, Tessa, the youngest sister, resurfaces. It seems she has spent her adult life on the run, moving from state to state and foster family to foster family, pretending to be a teenage girl. When she is found out, her sister Nell must decide how much of her past she is willing to face to save her sister. Weaving scenes from the past and present, this story is a meditation on responsibility, on what we do to cope, and on the very difficult work of healing.
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