Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PlayGround Company in the News Oct-11

Members of the PlayGround community are busy this October.  Take a look to see what they’re up to! 

Emily Esner is a finalist for the 2012 Heideman award and Humana Festival for Walter the Plum, a play she wrote for PlayGround. Daniel Heath has just returned from New York where his musical, Man of Rock, was featured in the New York Musical Theatre Festival. A Climate Theatre production, Man of Rock was directed by Climate Artistic Director Jessica Heidt. Danielle Thys is Maive in a new web series called Maivens, due to be released in January.   She recently completed a film Still No More and is currently acting in a Murder Mystery Speakeasy at The Hamilton Ballroom set to open in late November. Gwen Loeb will be playing Columbina in Ken Slattery’s full-length Truffaldino Says No at Ashby Stage next June/July in a PlayGround-Shotgun Players co-production. Also featured in the cast are company members Brian Herndon, Michael Phillis and director M. Graham Smith.  Gwen initiated the role of Columbina in Ken’s original Monday Night PlayGround short play reading in 2009. Julia Brothers is in previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theater in New York for Relatively Speaking, three one-act comedies by Woody Allen, Ethan Coen and Elaine May, directed by John Turturro. 

Gabriel Grilli is currently playing Trevor Graydon in Pacific Coast Rep’s Thoroughly Modern Milllie. Michael Barrett Austin’s next production is the West Coast Premiere of The Internationalist by Anne Washburn, directed by Jonathan Spector for Just Theater at Ashby Stage, Nov 4 - 20. New company member Reggie D. White is Rooster in Berkeley Playhouse’s production of Annie. Reggie will be performing next May in Lauren Yee’s Crevice at La Val’s Subterranean in a PlayGround-Impact Theatre co-production. Carla Pantoja is in two one-act plays, Day of Absence by Douglas Turner Ward and Almost Nothing by Marcos Barbosa (North American Premiere), both directed by Steven Anthony Jones for Lorraine Hansberry Theatre.  Opening night is October 14 and runs until November 20th. Call (415) 474-8800 or visit for more information.

For one night only, Jonathan Luskin will have a reading of his full-length play Seder at City Lights Theater Company on Tuesday October 18 at 8:00pm. Call (408) 295-4200 or visit for more information. Jonathan is just over halfway through his Djerassi Artists Residency where he has been working on his PlayGround commission, the full-length adaptation of his 2011 festival short, Ecce Homo. Molly Noble is directing Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights at College of Marin Sept 30 to Oct 16, 2011.  She is also developing a play with PlayGround alumnus Kenn Rabin about restorative justice with the San Francisco Healing Circle and the No More Tears leadership at San Quentin.  Performances will be this winter 2011. Kenn’s full-length play Reunion will receive its premiere at SF Playhouse Stage 2 next February in a PlayGround-SF Playhouse co-production. 

Ignacio Zulueta’s The Fellowship, a short play developed for Monday Night PlayGround, was produced earlier this year by Fancy Pants Theatre in Kalamazoo, MI and the Native Aliens Theatre Collective in New York, NY.  San Rafael-based AlterTheatre is currently supporting the expansion of the short into a full-length comedy and local readings will be held in March and May 2012. Directed by Nancy Carlin, Working For the Mouse by PlayGround alumnus Trevor Allen will be at the Exit Theater in November.  Nancy will also be performing as Cheryl Crawford in In The Maze of Our Own Lives at The Jewish Theater, from Oct 15 - Nov 13. Tim Kniffin is currently in rehearsals for Paula Vogel’s How I Learned To Drive at Sonoma State University. 

Elena Wright’s upcoming show, Blackbird by David Harrower and directed by Michael French, will run October 28-November 6 at Dance Mission Theatre. The show is a benefit for PlayGround regular Summer Serafin. Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets. com/event/186225 or visit for more information. Original works from Mercedes Segesvary's "Faces" series will be showing  October 8 and 9 at Everybody Bikes Gallery.  Contact at or (415) 368-2918 for more information. Joy Carlin will direct Body Awareness at the Aurora in January and is working on a new play by PlayGround alumnus Aaron Loeb for Just Theater. Finally, check out all the PlayGround writers represented in the Olympians Festival at, including Kirk Shimano, Daniel Heath, Sang Kim, Evelyn Jean Pine and PlayGround alumna Melissa Fall.

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