Friday, October 21, 2011

October People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... This month's People's Choice Award goes to Ken Slattery for his original short play, When Emoticons Run High, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround season opener at Berkeley Rep this past Monday.  Congratulations, Ken!

Courtesy of Mr. Slattery, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script.  Enjoy!

When Emoticons Run High
by Ken Slattery

Cast Breakdown (In Order of Appearance):

BRAD MILLER Male Age 30s
NICOLE BENNETT Female Age 30s Brad’s girlfriend
JERRY MARTINEZ Male Age 30s Brad’s friend from High School
SALLY JACOBS Female Age 30s Brad’s friend, stuck on a Muni
ZACH WILSON Male Age 30s Brad’s colleague from work
CARMEN HERNANDEZ Female Age 30s Brad’s ex-girlfriend
SIMON DAVIS Male Age 50s Random Guy 




BRAD MILLER and NICOLE BENNETT have checked in to Mount Tamalpais. #walking #smartphones in their hands #staring at their smartphones #communicating with their Facebook friends #ignoring surroundings.

BRAD
Brad Miller checked into Mount Tamalpais with Nicole Bennett, nearby San Francisco, a few seconds ago.

NICOLE
Nicole Bennett likes this.
                       
JERRY
(# sitting in audience #stands up #also on Smartphone) Jerry Martinez likes this.

SALLY
(# sitting elsewhere in audience #stands up #also on Smartphone) Sally Jacobs likes this. Commenting on Brad Miller’s activity: “That is so awesome. Hashtag jealous hashtag lovely day today hashtag beautiful views from Mount Tam hashtag stuck on a Muni hashtag first world problems.”

BRAD
Commenting on his own activity: “At symbol Sally: What Muni are you stuck on, Sally?”

SALLY
At symbol Brad:“J”

NICOLE
At Sally: “That’s terrible, Sally. Did the J break down? Frowny face.”

SALLY
At Nicole: “Just very slow. Hashtag crowded. Hashtag people are gross. Hashtag just saw a guy floss his teeth.”

NICOLE
At Sally: “Wait, what? He flossed his teeth on the J?”

ZACH
(# sitting elsewhere in audience #stands up #also on Smartphone) Zach Wilson likes Sally Jacobs’ comment. At Sally: “LOL! Did you take a photo?”

SALLY
At Sally: “Yes.” At Zach: “Yes. Uploading it now.”

ZACH
Zach Wilson likes Sally Jacobs’ photo. “LOL! Guy flossing his teeth on the Muni!”

BRAD
Brad Miller likes Sally Jacobs’ photo. “Awesome photo, Sally.”

NICOLE
Nicole Bennett likes Sally Jacobs’ photo. “Gross.”

SALLY
At Zach, at Brad, at Nicole: “Thanks, you guys. Hashtag feel better about my life now.”

JERRY
Jerry Martinez  likes Sally Jacobs’ photo. At Sally: “I know we’re not friends, but we have 7 mutual friends, and your photo appeared on my feed.”

SALLY
At Jerry: “np Jerry. Adding you now.”

JERRY
“Awesome. Confirming now.”

JERRY AND SALLY
(in unison)Jerry Martinez and Sally Jacobs are now friends.

BRAD
Brad Miller likes this.

NICOLE
Nicole Bennett likes this.

ZACH
“Zach Wilson is listening to “Smells like Teen Spirit” on Spotify.”

SALLY
At Brad, at Nicole: “So how is the date going, you guys?”

BRAD
 “Smiley face.”

NICOLE
“Happy face.”

ZACH
“Wait, what? You guys are dating? How did I not KNOW this!!!? Confused face.”

BRAD
 “Raised eyebrow face.”

...
Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround at Berkeley Rep on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 8pm and choose your own favorite!

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 www.lhtsf.org 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 http://cltc.org/footer-opportunities/new-play-series 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 thealuminouscollective.org for more information. Original works from Mercedes Segesvary's "Faces" series will be showing  October 8 and 9 at Everybody Bikes Gallery.  Contact at www.hugithegreat.com 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 http://www.sfolympians.com, including Kirk Shimano, Daniel Heath, Sang Kim, Evelyn Jean Pine and PlayGround alumna Melissa Fall.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

New Play Production Fund Round 3


PlayGround Announces Third Round
of New Play Production Fund

$25,000 to be distributed to Bay Area theatres in 2012

Supporting local production of Bay Area playwrights

BERKELEY, (October 5, 2011) – PlayGround announced today the third round of the New Play Production Fund. Designed to encourage full production of Bay Area playwrights’ work, the Fund will distribute at least $25,000 in 2012. Guidelines and applications are available online at http://playground-sf.org/productionfund and the deadline for applications is December 5, 2011.
Since 1994, PlayGround has been a leading incubator for some of the Bay Area’s most promising new playwrights, developing nearly 600 original short plays by 170 Bay Area emerging playwrights. In the last several years, PlayGround itself has emerged, as one of the leading commissioners of new full-length works by Bay Area writers. 34 full-length plays have been developed to date and 7 new works are being commissioned this season by PlayGround’s most distinguished alumni.
In support of these playwrights and to further encourage the production of new works by Bay Area playwrights in Bay Area theatres, PlayGround established the New Play Production Fund in 2009. The New Play Production Fund provides awards totaling $25,000 annually to Bay Area theatres in support of professional production of full-length works commissioned and developed by PlayGround that have not yet received their world premiere. 2010-11 recipients included: Daniel Heath’s Seven Days at SF Playhouse; Trevor Allen’s Lolita Roadtrip at San Jose Stage Company; and Erin Bregman’s Down a Little Dirt Road at Just Theater. 2011-12 recipients include: Kenn Rabin’s Reunion at SF Playhouse (Feb 2012); Lauren Yee’s Crevice at Impact Theatre (May 2012); and Ken Slattery’s Truffaldino Says No at Shotgun Players (June 2012). 2012-13 recipients will be selected from this year’s applicants.
Numerous plays developed with direct PlayGround support have gone on to have successful productions at theatres throughout the Bay Area and around the country, including Aaron Loeb’s Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party, which won “Outstanding Play” at the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival and received its off-Broadway debut last year, following its 2008 SF Playhouse premiere. Loeb, a two-time winner of the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for “Best Original Script” (both for PlayGround commissions), commented: “PlayGround’s commissioning program has been a huge part of my own growth and I see the New Play Production Fund as another critical way in which PlayGround can help bring local theatres and playwrights together.” Other PlayGround commissioned works that have premiered in the Bay Area in just the past six years include: Daniel Heath’s Seven Days, Geetha Reddy’s Safe House and Aaron Loeb’s First Person Shooter at SF Playhouse (in PlayGround co-productions); Trevor Allen’s Tenders in the Fog and Lolita Roadtrip (in a PlayGround co-production) at San Jose Stage; Garret Jon Groenveld’s Missives at Theatre Rhinoceros (which also received its New York debut in a PlayGround co-production in 2008 at 59E59 Theaters); and Martha Soukup’s Manumission at Exit Theatre. Round 2 New Play Production Fund awards announced earlier this year and scheduled for co-production later this season include: Kenn Rabin’s Reunion at SF Playhouse; Lauren Yee’s Crevice at Impact Theatre; and Ken Slattery’s Truffaldino Says No at Shotgun Players. In addition, PlayGround writers and commissioned works have been featured in some of the Bay Area’s top new play programs, including the Playwrights Foundation’s Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project.
In 2012, PlayGround will distribute at least $25,000 in production support. The upcoming deadline of the New Play Production Fund is Midnight, Monday, December 5, 2011. Selected theatres and productions will be announced by December 15. Production must take place between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013. For complete guidelines and applications, visit http://playground-sf.org/productionfund. For more information, contact PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann at jim@playground-sf.org or (415) 992-6677.
For more information, visit http://playground-sf.org. For more information on the commissioned works of PlayGround, visit http://playground-sf.org/commissioning.shtml.