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Winning scripts showcased at Ashland New Plays Festival

Ashland New Plays Festival showcases playwrights from around America
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Jamie Pachino is one of the four featured playwrights whose work is being produced at the Ashland New Plays Festival. She also is a screenwriter and television writer, as well as a winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays and other awards. Photo courtesy of Maria RosenfeldPhoto courtesy Maria Rosenfeld
 Posted: 2:00 AM October 17, 2013

Four new plays will transition from the page to the stage at the Ashland New Plays Festival in Ashland.

Look for "Sleeping Dogs" by Robert John Ford of Des Moines, Iowa, a play that explores the personal reasons some are content to accept matters as they appear while others are compelled to seek the truth.

"A Question of Words," by Richard Manley of New York City, tells the story of a poet who comes to understand that when it comes to happiness, life is a question of words.

If you go

What: Ashland New Plays Festival

When: Mondays through Sunday, Oct. 21-27

Where: Unitarian Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland, and other venues

Tickets: $15 for play readings, free for reception, talks and panel discussion

Call: 541-488-7995 or see

"Other Than Honorable," written by Jamie Pachino of Los Angeles, finds a female protagonist confronting the American military's codes of honor, courage and loyalty.

"The Boatwright," by Bo Wilson of North Chesterfield, Va., explores a relationship between a father and a son.

The four scripts were chosen from about 270 submissions, and the winning playwrights were announced in June.

They will travel to Ashland for a week of staged readings featuring professional actors and directors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the community, along with interviews, workshops and talks.

The festival kicks off with a free reception to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, at the Schneider Museum of Art on the Southern Oregon University campus, at Siskiyou Boulevard and Indiana Street. RSVP to

Readings begin Wednesday and run through Sunday, Oct. 23-27, at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth St.

Each play will receive an evening and a matinee reading, followed by audience discussions with the playwrights. See the schedule at

Robynn Rodriguez, Kimberly Scott and Al Espinosa of OSF will offer free theater talks at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, respectively, at the Unitarian Fellowship. These talks are inspired by James Lipton's "Inside the Actors Studio" and focus on ways actors' lives merge with their process, skill and inspiration to create drama.

For local writers, a playwriting workshop titled "Creating Character and Building the Dramatic Scene" will be offered from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in the Campbell Center on the SOU campus, 655 Frances Lane. A panel discussion with the winning playwrights of the 2013 ANPF will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at OLLI. The cost is $10 for each event, or $15 for both. Reservations can be made by emailing

Readings of the winning scripts will be directed by OSF's Rodriguez, Scott, Ken Albers and Catherine Lynn Davis. The casts will include Albers, Davis, Espinosa, Rodriguez, Scott, ANPF Artistic Director Douglas Rowe, Brandy Carson, Robert Vincent Frank, Nell Geisslinger, Mauro Hantman, Bakesta King, Miriam Laube, Katie Medford, Geoff Riley, Vilma Silva, Sabina Zuniga Varela, Joe Wegner, Brad Whitmore, David Wood and Noah Yaconelli.

The cost of admission to the readings is $15 each. Tickets can be purchased at Paddington Station and Music Coop, by calling 541-488-7995, and online at

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