The following selected plays will be presented as staged readings and serve as “curtain raisers” each night of the festival May 19-22:
- Thu 5/19: Act After Curtain by Alona Bach (Berkeley High ’11)
- Fri 5/20: You Wanna Refill? by Rebecca Leiner (SOTA ’11) and Madison Worthington (SOTA ’11)
- Sat 5/21: Secrets in a Backstage Box by Pavla Berghen-Wolf (Jewish Community High School of the Bay ’13)
- Sun 5/22: Shakespeare in an Airport by Caety Klingman (Miramonte High ’11)
“Through the Young Playwrights Project, PlayGround and Bay Area high schools partner to enable young writers to find their own expressive voice through the creation, development, and production of short plays,” stated PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann. With a generous planning grant from the California Arts Council Artists-in-Schools program in 2007, PlayGround began taking its unique playwright development efforts into Bay Area high schools as part of the PlayGround Young Playwrights Project. This year marks the third year of the Bay Area-wide Young Playwrights Project Contest. “We are excited to open the PlayGround process and particularly the PlayGround Festival – our celebrated annual showcase for the Bay Area’s best new writers – to Bay Area high school students and look forward, in turn, to sharing their work with Bay Area audiences and theatre-makers,” added PlayGround Education Coordinator & Company Member Eric Fraisher Hayes.
The Best of PlayGround Festival, a showcase of the Bay Area's best new writers and their work, runs May 5-29 at Thick House with performances Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm. In addition, PlayGround presents staged readings of new full-length plays commissioned and developed by PlayGround. For more information, visit http://playground-sf.org/bestof.shtml. For tickets to the Festival and Young Playwrights Project performances, visit http://playground-sf.org/boxoffice.shtml.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS:
Alona Bach is a graduating senior at Berkeley High, and plans to take a gap year in the Bay Area to start a teen theater-going non-profit before heading East to Harvard. She is new to the world of playwriting but is an avid audience member, actor, and fan of PlayGround’s work.
Pavla Berghen-Wolf is a sophomore at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay. When not juggling schoolwork, she takes dance and pilates classes at the ODC dance school. She has been tap dancing since age six. She also enjoys reading, sewing, creative writing and is on her school’s literary magazine board.
Caety Klingman is a senior at Miramonte High School. Next year she will be attending the University of Chicago. She was a finalist of last year's Young Playwrights Project, and she has participated in the New Works playwriting program through Young Rep.
Rebecca Leiner is a senior at San Francisco School of the Arts and has studied acting and playwrighting for four years. Next year she will attend the University of Minnesota's Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program. She enjoys acting, clowning, reading and writing.
Madison Worthington is a senior at San Francisco School of the Arts, where she has studied theatre for the past four years. Her interests include acting, playwriting, juggling, and aerial arts. This fall she will be attending UCLA as a B.A. Theatre major with an acting specialization.
PlayGround is the Bay Area’s leading playwright incubator. The mission of PlayGround is to support the development of significant new local voices for the theatre. More than just a play development program, PlayGround focuses on the creation of a true theatre community by nurturing the collaborative process between first-time or early development playwrights, and established professional actors and directors. With a particular focus on the ten-minute form and increasingly on new full-lengths through PlayGround’s commissioning programs, PlayGround creates a microcosm of the greater theatre scene, allowing for experimentation and risk-taking as well as the honing of style and technique. More information, including artist biographies, at http://www.playground-sf.org/.
BEST OF PLAYGROUND:
The Best of PlayGround Festival is PlayGround’s annual showcase of the best new plays by the best new writers. The festival features a four-week run of an evening-length program of six short plays and one short musical originally developed as part of the Monday Night PlayGround series at Berkeley Rep, with performances Thursday through Sunday evenings. In addition, the festival also features staged readings of seven new full-length plays commissioned and developed by PlayGround (see http://playground-sf.org/commissioning.shtml for the complete schedule) and readings of four high student short plays as part of the third annual Young Playwrights Project Contest (http://playground-sf.org/ypp.shtml).
For more information, visit http://playground-sf.org/ypp.shtml.
|Alona Bach (left) in a production shot from|
Berkeley Playhouse's Narnia.