Ashland New Plays Festival

ANPF, September 2021

streaming producer, leanna keyes smiling inside a green bordered circle

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ANPF is a great example of how Transcend Streaming uses our tools to vastly amplify the amount of support we’re able to offer to a festival without breaking the bank. In new play development work, you want to give the playwright and their story the support of design, but you don’t have the time or resources to have dedicated designers in every rehearsal process simultaneously. By clever use of design meetings, spreadsheets, templates, and a hacker’s collective worth of technical tricks, Transcend Streaming was able to have every reading fully designed before tech rehearsals even begin. (Yes, really). This means more time spent on the words, more context for the audience, and way more exciting staging than a Zoom-only room.

Ashland New Plays Festival

A festival of readings showcasing developmental new works.

Ashland New Plays Festival assists playwrights in the development of new works through public readings and offers an educational forum to the community through discussions, workshops, and podcasts.

Founded in 1992 and managed by a volunteer board of directors, Ashland New Plays Festival is a nonprofit theatre that encourages playwrights in the creation of new works through public readings. ANPF’s flagship Fall Festival is an international playwright competition that culminates in the reading of four new plays chosen by a team of volunteer readers from hundreds of submissions. This unique and much-loved event features professional actors from Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Southern Oregon University’s Theatre Department, the local community, and regional theatre hot spots. The reading performances, and the talkbacks that follow, are a rich theatrical experience for audiences.

The winning playwrights look to our sophisticated playgoers, skilled directors, world-class actors, and expert guidance from our artistic director and host playwrights for responses to their works as they evolve from the page to the stage. Those magical exchanges of feedback, comments, or suggestions may help turn a very good play into a masterpiece and encourage playwrights to continue their efforts in the challenging endeavor of bringing new works to the public.

The soul of ANPF is our Reading Committee, which starts with organizational and training meetings in the fall and then reads anonymized scripts throughout the winter and spring. Through a series of group discussions and employing a numerical scoring system, readers reduce the submissions from several hundred to around 35. At that point, further discussions result in 10 to 15 semifinalists; the artistic director leads the collaborative process of choosing the four winners.

The winning playwrights are announced in July, and in October they travel to beautiful Ashland, Oregon, for the Festival, which draws playwrights and theatre lovers from far and wide for a week of readings, talkbacks, workshops, and playwright appreciation as we celebrate new works for the stage.

Ashland New Plays Festival featured the following playwrights: 

Thomas Brandon, TyLie Shider, Meghan Brown, Andrew Lee Creech

Ashland New Plays Festival Creative Team:

Jackie Apodaca – Artistic Director

Sarah Cho – Associate Artist

Kyle Haden – Associate Artist

Octavio Solis – Associate Artist

Beth Kander – Host Playwright

Transcend Streaming – Streaming Producer

Molly Norris – Stage Manager

Moira Gleason – Stage Manager

Beth Falkenstein – Production Manager

Kara Q Lewis – Program Manager

Rhonda Kohl – Pocket Universe Director

Martine Kei Green-Rogers – Certain Aspects of Conflict In The Negro Family Director

Holly L Derr – What Happened White Hero Was Dead Director

Valerie Curtis-Newton – Last Drive To Dodge Director

Ashland New Plays Festival featured the following performers: 

Amy Kim Waschke, Moses Villarama, Danya Torp-Pereda, Michele Mais, Tyrone Wilson, Doron JéPaul Mitchell, Safiya Harris, Cameron Davis, Isabella Briggs, Christina Clark, Emily Serdahl, Zach Appelman, Rafael Untalan, Andrés Rodriguez, Galen Molk, Nina Pamintuan, M.L. Roberts, Krystel Lucas, Danforth Comins, Erica Sullivan, Josie Seid, & Allison Walker.

You can view the digital playbill here.

“It was great knowing that many of the technical questions would be handled without worry on our end! I appreciated Leanna’s positive and ever calm perspective.” 

– Jackie Apodaca

Artistic Director


“It’s hard to say what we most enjoyed because there were so many aspects of working with Leanna that were deeply appreciated: patience as we learned the process, flexibility as the process played out, willingness to creatively fulfill requests from our directors, excellent channels of communication with our production crew, and a steady, masterful hand at the helm during tech.  Just to name a few.” 

– Beth Falkenstein

Production Manager


“I enjoyed everything about working with Transcend Streaming. The ease with which Leanna fit into our team and led the way with managing all things tech was seamless and incomparable. I loved working with her behind-the-scenes on prep and organizational detail work – there was never any stress involved. And that level of trust and professionalism was also felt by all of our artists – playwrights, directors, actors – in the virtual stage rooms. Everyone felt taken care of, listened to, and supported with Leanna. Add to that the impressive, engaging production value that the finished product had and its positive impact on our audiences, we were so lucky to get to work with her and Transcend Streaming.”

– Kara Q. Lewis

Program Manager