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#GodHatesYou: A new play igniting conversations across the proverbial aisle


 
Ashland, ORE -- Ashland New Plays Festival and Curious Theatre Company of Denver present a one-night-only dramatic reading of a new play, #GodHatesYou, by Emily Dendinger on Friday, January 25, at 7:30 pm in Ashland at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth Street. The reading features Jackie Apodaca, Cameron Davis, John Alan Hulbert, John Jurcheck, Scott Kaiser, Stephanie Neuerburg, Nolan Sanchez, and Martha Thatcher. Curious Theatre Company founder Chip Walton will direct, with dramaturgy by Dee Covington.
 
#GodHatesYou follows the transformation of a young woman at the center of a church that is rigorous and vitriolic in its attempts to “save the sinners.” When Laurel begins posting these messages on social media, she is exposed to the outside world and begins questioning her beliefs. Set in an all-too-familiar world marked by deep divisions and ugly disparagement, the play asks what Laurel will do when her faith--her whole life--comes crashing down around her.
 
Inspired by an article in The New Yorker about the experiences of a young woman who grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church, this play has been in development with Curious Theatre Company and Emily Dendinger since the article appeared in 2015. Both director Walton and playwright Dendinger were intrigued by the woman’s “fascinating and incredibly moving” story and began work together on this provocative play.
 
“Emily’s curiosity as a playwright is unique and remarkable; she is constantly drawn to topics often considered taboo or inexplicable,” shared Walton in a statement. “She has an exceptional gift for ‘climbing into the skin’ of characters that normally seem foreign or forbidden. This, combined with our extensive and successful collaborative history, make her the ideal playwright for this particular project.”
 
Ashland New Plays Festival is a local non-profit dedicated to supporting the creation of new plays and assisting playwrights in the development of new work. ANPF is partnering with Curious Theatre Company to provide a 22-hour intensive workshop in Ashland the week before the dramatic reading. The playwright, director, dramaturg and cast will work together to develop the play. 
 
Tickets are $20 and available for purchase online and at the door the evening of the event. For more information visit www.ashlandnewplays.org.

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