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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Austin Dean Ashford will present his one-man musical "(I)sland T(rap)" Feb. 1 during an Artinfusion Happening at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

Austin Dean Ashford, an MFA student in his last semester at the University of Arkansas, has made huge waves in the theater community with his one-man musical "(I)sland T(rap)." Right now, he's rehearsing for a show Feb. 1 at Crystal Bridges Museum, but he paused for a moment to catch 'SUP readers up on his success.

Q. What's been going on since the last time we talked?

FAQ

‘(I)sland T(rap)’

WHEN — 7 p.m. Feb. 1

WHERE — Great Hall at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville

COST — Free with reservations

INFO — 657-2335

A. I was offered an encore performance off-Broadway at the United Solo Festival after having a sold-out performance the first time and winning Best One Man Show out of 130 solo plays. I had to decline because I was invited to be the host and speaker for TEDx Fayettville, where I shared a portion of "(I)sland T(rap)." As soon as 2019 arrived, I was invited as the keynote speaker to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 3, a festival for college theater students in Madison, Wis., -- and I facilitated four workshops the next day.

Q. Will the performance at Crystal Bridges have any special message?

A. For me, personally, Crystal Bridges means a lot, because in Northwest Arkansas every artist wants to showcase their work at the national museum. So I really want to use this as a chance to motivate the community that dreams come true, and we can tell our stories in our authentic voice. I am elated because Crystal Bridges will have a special Q and A and maybe a concert with new music, if I can fit it all in the time frame.

Q. What's next for you?

A. Next for me is back to New York on a flight at 5 o'clock the next morning. I will have some workshops and performances with high school students and meet with some agents. Then I will fly to L.A. for my short film "Black Bones" to debut Feb. 10 at the Pan African Film Festival. Then I will fly to Texas for my play "Black Book" at the ACTF Region 6 festival as an invited production, and then "(I)sland T(rap)" begins the international portion of the tour in Australia and New Zealand -- all before I graduate in May!

-- Becca Martin-Brown

bmartin@nwadg.com

NAN What's Up on 01/25/2019

Print Headline: Three Minutes, Three Questions: Austin Dean Ashford

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