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New Plays and new writers

Ashland New Plays Festival will launch its 2009 season with an evening of short plays at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, at Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Carpenter Hall, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland. ANPF Student Spotlight is a collaborative project of ANPF and individuals from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Hosted by OSF veteran actor Richard Elmore, ANPF Student Spotlight 2009 will present four one-act plays, including two new works: "Thistles," written by award-winning student playwright Bella Pribyl and directed by G. Valmont Thomas; and "Illyria," written specifically for the event by OSF alumna Rebecca Wood and directed by Cristofer Jean.

The project includes a student director, high school and Southern Oregon University actors, and an Ashland High technical crew — all mentored by OSF professionals.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival mentors include Cristofer Jean, Liisa Ivary, G. Valmont Thomas, David Weberg, Karl Alphonso, and Ben Cobb. The event is produced by Elizabeth von Radics and Amanda Berkeley with support from the ANPF Board of Directors and community volunteers.

Von Radics said in a press release: "For more than 15 years, ANPF has been encouraging new plays by both new and established playwrights through its annual playwright competition. The Student Spotlight continues the focus on new plays while providing talented local theater students with the chance to work with OSF professionals. It's a multigenerational celebration of theatre for art's sake."

Student actors include Orion Bradshaw, Aurelia Grierson, Tim Homsley, Blaine Johnston, Kade Pike, Pribyl, Tay Smith, and Mariko Oyama Thomas, with technical support from Rocky Garcia-Flores, Jacob Roe-Bauer, and Ellie von Radics.

The other two featured plays are: "After You" by Steven Dietz, directed by student director Clementine von Radics; and "Post-Its (Notes on a Marriage)" by Paul Dooley and Winnie Holzman, directed by Liisa Ivary.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for a wine, cheese, and dessert mixer. Curtain is at 7:30. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, send $15 to: ANPF Student Spotlight, PO Box 3314, Ashland, OR 97520. Any remaining seats will be available at the door.

See AshlandNewPlays.org or call 488-7995.

Ashland New Plays Festival and Oregon Shakespeare Festival are mentoring young theater artists for the Student Spotlight 2009 - ANPF