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Ashland New Plays Festival announces three associate artists

As the Ashland New Plays Festival begins its 29th season, one of the first steps taken by new Artistic Director Jackie Apodaca is the addition of three associate artists to the artistic team — Sarah Cho, Kyle Haden and Octavio Solis — an inaugural group of professional theater-makers who will collaborate with Apodaca throughout the season.

Cho is a Los Angeles-based comedy writer and playwright, director, performer and podcast host who earned an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. Apodaca and Cho already are working on ways to engage younger playwrights, with Cho bringing an inventive, fresh perspective, according to an ANPF press release.

ANPF’s former artistic director Haden is extending his longtime connection to the group in this new capacity as associate artist. Haden, who works nationally as a director and actor, is currently an assistant professor of acting, as well as the interim senior associate head at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama.

Solis, a Rogue Valley resident and one of the most prominent Latino playwrights in America, is a New York Times-recommended author for his memoir “Retablos: Stories From a Life Lived Along the Border.”

“His perspective on theatre at the national level,” Apodaca said in the press release, “and as a local, here in our own backyard, make him an invaluable member of our team.

“When I was appointed ANPF’s fourth artistic director, I was of course excited and grateful to accept the honor, but also acutely aware that I had accepted the responsibility. Having these incredible artists ready to weigh in on matters of programming, play and artist selection, and matters of inclusion and equity will be paramount to ANPF’s ability to develop and grow.”

ANPF was founded in 1992, when a group of theatre enthusiasts came together and launched a collaboration among local theaters and playwrights to present new works, with the focus of giving audiences, actors, and playwrights a role in the evolution of a new play.

See ashlandnewplays.org for more information.

"The Ensemble of "Mother Road" at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a world-premiere play written by Octavio Solis, who is among the new associate artists at Ashland New Plays Festival. OSF photo