Ashley Naftule

Ashley Naftule

Ashley Naftule is a resident playwright and the Associate Artistic Director at Space55 theatre in downtown Phoenix. He’s written and produced four full-length plays: "Ear," "The First Annual Bookburners Convention," "The Canterbury Tarot," and "Radio Free Europa." His next play, "Selena and Judy Go Dancing," is set to premiere in 2021. Both "Ear" and...
Ashley Naftule is a resident playwright and the Associate Artistic Director at Space55 theatre in downtown Phoenix. He’s written and produced four full-length plays: "Ear," "The First Annual Bookburners Convention," "The Canterbury Tarot," and "Radio Free Europa." His next play, "Selena and Judy Go Dancing," is set to premiere in 2021. Both "Ear" and "Bookburners" received AriZoni theater award nominations for Best Original Writing, and "Radio Free Europa" is currently nominated in the same category for this year's awards.

As a freelance journalist, his work has been published in The AV Club, Pitchfork, Daily Bandcamp, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Vice, The Outline, Longreads, Phoenix New Times, Echo Magazine, AZCentral, and The Cleveland Review of Books. His short fiction has been published in Coffin Bell Journal, AEther/Ichor, The Molotov Cocktail, Cabinet of Heed, Grasslimb, Dark City Mystery Magazine, Hypnopomp, Write Ahead/The Future Looms, and Planet Scumm (forthcoming). His micropoetry chapbooks Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth and Epoch & Olivetti Sing All The Hits are available (respectively) via Rinky Dinky Press and Ghost City Press.

Despite the uncanny resemblance, he bears no relation to country singer Vince Gill nor is in any way an evil Vince Gill doppelganger that escaped from The Black Lodge.

Plays

  • Radio Free Europa
    Broadcasting from the Nevada desert, Delilah Peel hosts the nation’s most popular late night AM radio talk show. Fielding paranoid calls about UFOs, Bigfoots, dead pop stars, and chupacabras is all in a day’s work for Peel. But when her equipment begins picking up ominous transmissions from beyond the stars, she starts to worry that she’s turning into one of her callers. Inspired by Art Bell's Coast to...
    Broadcasting from the Nevada desert, Delilah Peel hosts the nation’s most popular late night AM radio talk show. Fielding paranoid calls about UFOs, Bigfoots, dead pop stars, and chupacabras is all in a day’s work for Peel. But when her equipment begins picking up ominous transmissions from beyond the stars, she starts to worry that she’s turning into one of her callers. Inspired by Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM, the works of Philip K. Dick, and the strange recordings of The Conet Project, Radio Free Europa is a darkly comic exploration of one woman’s struggle to find a signal in a universe full of noise.
  • The Canterbury Tarot
    Set in a tavern outside space and time, "The Canterbury Tarot" puts on an occult spin on Geoffrey Chaucer's immortal classic. A group of pilgrims, waylaid by a violent storm, take refuge in a tavern and pass the time by telling stories. But rather than letting the Wife of Bath or the Miller or Knight do the talking, the pilgrims in this tavern are Major Arcana pulled from a deck of Tarot cards:...
    Set in a tavern outside space and time, "The Canterbury Tarot" puts on an occult spin on Geoffrey Chaucer's immortal classic. A group of pilgrims, waylaid by a violent storm, take refuge in a tavern and pass the time by telling stories. But rather than letting the Wife of Bath or the Miller or Knight do the talking, the pilgrims in this tavern are Major Arcana pulled from a deck of Tarot cards: Death, The Tower, The Chariot, The Empress, The Star, The Fool, Judgment, and The Wheel of Fortune.

    Inspired by the works of Chaucer, Neil Gaiman, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Annie Baker, "The Canterbury Tarot" is a freewheeling journey through a strange series of stories about druidic sacrifices, haunted heiresses, radiated messiahs, and the inevitable heat death of the universe.
  • The First Annual Bookburners Convention
    Every day feels exactly the same for the employees at the Opera Street Bookstore: talking about pop culture, taking never-ending smoke breaks, and dealing with insane customers. Their dead end jobs turn deadly, though, when a sketchy customer sells them a strange book. Written in "the language of angels," it becomes the store's most in-demand rare book. The only problem? The people who want to...
    Every day feels exactly the same for the employees at the Opera Street Bookstore: talking about pop culture, taking never-ending smoke breaks, and dealing with insane customers. Their dead end jobs turn deadly, though, when a sketchy customer sells them a strange book. Written in "the language of angels," it becomes the store's most in-demand rare book. The only problem? The people who want to get their hands on it aren’t people at all. A play about slackers & sinister forces, "The First Annual Bookburners Convention" is a dark comedy about bookworms, cosmic horror, and what you stand to lose when you keep looking at life through the rear-view mirror.

Recommended by Ashley Naftule

  • Be My Little Baby
    20 Sep. 2020
    A striking blend of sentiment and surreality, Be My Little Baby takes cowboys off the range and puts them on the astral plane. A unique take on a coming-of-age story full of interesting characters and indelible images, the BMLB would give adventurous actors, directors, and designers plenty of opportunities to try out some new tricks.