Ashland New Plays Festival

Ashland New Plays Festival, founded in 1992 and managed by a volunteer board of directors, is a nonprofit organization that encourages playwrights in the creation of new works through public readings. It also offers an educational forum to the community through discussions and workshops.

ANPF's flagship festival is an international playwright competition that culminates in the reading of four new plays culled from hundreds of submissions by a cadre of volunteer readers. This unique and much-loved event features professional actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the community. These readings and the discussions that follow are a rich theatrical experience for audiences, and the guest playwrights look to Ashland's sophisticated playgoers for responses to their works as they evolve from the page to the stage. In those magical exchanges of feedback, audience comments may help turn a very good play into a masterpiece or encourage a playwright to continue his or her efforts in the challenging endeavor of bringing a new work to the public.

 At the heart of ANPF is its Reading Committee, which starts with organizational and training meetings in the fall and then reads blinded scripts through the winter and the spring. Using a scoring system, readers reduce the submissions from several hundred to around 35. At that point discussions lead to 10 to 14 semifinalists. The four winning scripts are selected by the artistic director and the four theatrical directors. The ANPF Board of Directors takes it from there, planning a five-day festival in beautiful Ashland, Oregon, that draws playwrights and theatre lovers from far and wide for a week of workshops, readings, and playwright appreciation in a celebration of new works for the stage.

Want to Get Involved?

Interested in joining the Reading Committee? Let them know! No experience is necessary, and training is provided. You can contact ANPF at

If you are interested in joining the ANPF Stagehands volunteers to help at events, contact the volunteer coordinator at You can also send your contact info (they promise not to share it) to receive the quarterly newsletter and occasional e-mails with advance notice of events. Learn more at If you're on Facebook, "Like" ANPF at