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Ethical Perspectives

Ashland New Plays Festival presents staged reading of Manley's 'Quietus'
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Left to right: Michael Elich, Denis Arndt, Kenneth Albers and Catherine Lynn Davis will perform a staged reading of a new play by Richard Manley. Douglas Rowe (standing) directs. Photo courtesy of Geri MathewsonPhoto courtesy of Geri Mathewson
 Posted: 8:30 AM April 11, 2013

Playwright Richard Manley delighted audiences during the 2012 Ashland New Plays Festival with "This Rough Magic," a story that takes place in a foreseeable future, where the problems of overcoming loneliness and feeling unloved prevail but technology provides solutions to those who can afford them.

The play, under its alternate title "The Truth Quotient," recently finished an off-Broadway run at the Beckett Theatre in New York City.

Ashland New Plays Festival will present a staged reading of Manley's new play, "Quietus," to be directed by ANPF Artistic Director Douglas Rowe, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, at the Unitarian Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland.

If you go

What: Richard Manley's "Quietus"

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 15

Where: Unitarian Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland

Tickets: $15

Call: 541-488-7995 or email

The cast will include Actors' Equity Association members Kenneth Albers, Denis Arndt, Catherine Lynn Davis and Michael Elich.

While "This Rough Magic" took audiences to a place where a billionaire could have family and friends recreated in robotic forms — and programmed to be slightly more lovable or well-read — "Quietus" foresees a time when bodies can be kept functioning after brain death for use in medical, scientific — or perhaps less-ethical — research.

In "Quietus," the audience is taken into the headquarters and medical facility of Quietus, Inc., a building on the campus of Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore. Three characters — a medical researcher, a business entrepreneur and a bioethicist — approach the issue from three different perspectives. A fourth character, who has a direct relationship with such a situation, brings her intensely personal experience to the mix.

The word quietus is defined as a discharge or release from life, but an equally relevant meaning is a finishing stroke, reckoning or settlement.

The reading will be presented in two"'acts and followed by a Q-and-A session with Rowe and the actors. John Rose will moderate.

Tickets cost $15 and may be purchased at Paddington Station, Music Coop, by emailing or by calling 541-488-7995.

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