Monday, March 28, 2011

15th annual Best of PlayGround Festival

PlayGround has announced this year's Emerging Playwright Award winners and the line-up for the 15th annual Best of PlayGround Festival.  The festival, the leading showcase for Bay Area emerging playwrights and their work begun in 1997, features an evening-length program of seven short plays and/or musicals selected from the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series.  So, without further delay, here are this year's winners!

15th annual Best of PlayGround Festival

This is My Body by Daniel Heath, directed by Susi Damilano
Calling the Kettle by Brady Lea, music by Christopher Winslow, directed by Jessica Heidt
Ecce Homo by Jonathan Luskin, directed by Molly Noble
Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero by Katie May, directed by Jim Kleinmann
See. On. Unseen. The. Lost. by Evelyn Jean Pine, directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges
Escapades by Mandy Hodge Rizvi**, directed by M. Graham Smith
Frigidare by Arisa White, directed by Jon Tracy
** Winner, 2011 June Anne Baker Prize

The 2011 Festival also features staged readings of seven new full-length plays commissioned by PlayGround from writers Trevor Allen, Cass Brayton, Erin Bregman, Geetha Reddy, Diane Sampson, Tom Swift and Malachy Walsh.

Event: Best of PlayGround 15: A Festival of New Writers & New Plays
Date: Thursdays - Sundays, May 5 - 29 (Friday, May 6th, press night)
Time: Thurs. - Sat., 8pm; Sun., 7pm
Location: Thick House, 1695 18th Street, San Francisco
Tickets: Best of PlayGround: $25-$40 (general), discounts available for students, PlayGround subscribers and members, and groups of 10 or more. Thursdays, May 5, 12, 19, and 26 are Pay-What-You-Can performances; Pay-What-You-Can tickets go on sale one hour before the performance, first-come first-served, subject to availability.
Staged Readings: $10 suggested donation at the door
For tickets call (415) 992-6677 or on-line at
Information: Jim Kleinmann, Artistic Director; 415.704.3177;

Performance Schedule
• Best of PlayGround 15 - All seven short plays are presented at each performance, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm (Sunday evenings, May 15, 22, and 29, are followed by post-show discussion with festival playwrights)
• Staged Readings:
Sunday, May 8, 2pm: A Bid to Save the World by Erin Bregman, directed by Jon Tracy
Monday, May 9, 7pm: Naked by Diane Sampson, directed by Chris Smith
Sunday, May 15, 2pm: Stiff Competition by Cass Brayton, directed by M. Graham Smith
Monday, May 16, 7pm: A Marriage by Tom Swift, directed by Lee Sankowich
Sunday, May 22, 2pm: Book Club! The Musical by Geetha Reddy, directed by Jessica Heidt
Monday, May 23, 7pm: Christina Walters by Malachy Walsh, directed by Mina Morita
Sunday, May 29, 2pm: Valley of Sand by Trevor Allen*, directed by Rick Lombardo
* A co-commission with San Jose Repertory Theatre

PlayGround Benefit & Awards Night

PlayGround will celebrate this year’s Festival playwrights at the annual PlayGround Benefit & Awards Night on Monday, April 11th at the Claremont Hotel, with special guests Tony Taccone, Jonathan Moscone and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, and special musical guest Christopher Winslow. Previously announced guest Sarah Ruhl has withdrawn due to health reasons. The event features a talk with Taccone, Moscone and Nachtrieb, a silent auction, reception, three-course dinner and live entertainment. For more information on the PlayGround Benefit, visit

Young Playwrights Project: Spotlight on Next Generation

PlayGround spotlights the next generation of talent with the Young Playwrights Project. Earlier this month, PlayGround announced this year's contest, open to Bay Area high school students: to write new ten-minute plays inspired by the topic “Vaudeville” (this was also the topic for the March Monday Night PlayGround). The students have until April 18 to submit a script. The best four plays will be read as special “curtain raisers” May 19-22 of the Best of PlayGround Festival. For more information and guidelines, visit

For more information, contact Caroline Anderson, Marketing Manager,, 415-704-3177.

Photo credit: Brian Herndon, Jomar Tagatac and Liam Vincent in Alex Moggridge's The Audition, directed by Tracy Ward, part of the 14th annual Best of PlayGround Festival. Photo:


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