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Ashland New Plays Festival

Playwrights Cary Pepper of San Francisco and Suzanne Bradbeer, Richard Manley and Joshua Rebell of New York City will present stage readings and workshops during the 2012 Ashland New Plays Festival.

This year's selections are "This Rough Magic" by Manley, directed by Michael J. Hume; "The God Game" by Bradbeer, directed by Kimberly Scott; "How It Works" by Pepper, directed by Cristofer Jean; and "Omission" by Rebell, directed by Liisa Ivary.

The winning plays penned by these seasoned playwrights were chosen from more than 200 entries from all over the country, along with a few from Europe. Douglas Rowe, artistic director for Ashland New Plays Festival, selected the final four.

Coincidentally, this year's winners, like last year's, are three playwrights from the East Coast and one from San Francisco. The authors will come to Ashland for the professionally staged readings by actors and directors from Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the local community. Many plays that debut at ANPF have gone on to be professionally produced at regional theaters.

Each play will have two readings at the Unitarian Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland.

"This Rough Magic," a look at technology and emotions, will be at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, and at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.

"The God Game," an examination of religion's role in politics, is set for 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.

Pepper's "How It Works" explores success, fame, recognition and integrity. Readings are set for 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28.

"Omission," about a family with a shady investment secret, will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets to the readings cost $15 each and are available at Music Coop and Paddington Station in Ashland, at www.showtix4u.com, by emailing tickets@ashlandnewplays.org or by calling 541-488-7995.

Writing workshops will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday in Room E of the Campbell Center, 655 Frances Lane, on the Southern Oregon University campus.

One workshop, "All Writing!" will be led by playwright E.M. Lewis and will include writing exercises and prompts to help participants delve into character motivations — and to discover new inspiration. Lewis' "Song of Extinction" won the 2009 Steinberg New Play Award from the American Theatre Critics Association. Premiered at Ford Theatre in Los Angeles, the play also won the Ashland New Plays Festival in 2008.

A second workshop, "All About Your Plays in Progress," will be led by this year's ANPF winners.

The workshops cost $10 or $15 for both sessions.

New to the festival this year is ANPF Theatre Talk, a series of conversations with OSF actors John Tufts, Nell Geisslinger and Mark Bedard. Theatre Talk is inspired by James Lipton's television series, "Inside the Actors Studio."

Rowe will host hourlong interviews with Tufts, Geisslinger and Bedard at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, respectively, at 84 Fourth St. Admission to Theatre Talk is free.

Left to right: Cary Pepper, Suzanne Bradbeer, Joshua Rebell and Richard Manley will have works showcased at Ashland New Plays Festival. - Photo courtesy of ANPF