Friday, December 07, 2012

PlayGround Year-End Campaign

PlayGround launched its year-end campaign last week, with a goal of raising $50,000 by December 31 in support of our innovative incubator and accelerator programs. This season alone, PlayGround will facilitate the development of nearly 45 short and full-length plays, 6 short films, and the world premiere of 3 new full-length plays, involving more than 300 of the Bay Area’s best playwrights, directors, actors, designers and filmmakers for an audience of more than 7,000. It’s an incredible community that over the past eighteen years has helped to change the face of Bay Area theatre and is beginning to have a national impact. To learn more about our impact, take a look at some of the testimonials posted at GreatNonprofits.Org (we’ve included a few excerpts for you below).
 Please consider making a gift to the PlayGround Year-End Campaign at this time. Click on the button below to make your secure online contribution through our Year-End Campaign on Causes.Com, visit our contributors page to use PayPal, Google Checkout or make a gift of stock, or call (415) 992-6677 to give by phone. However you choose to participate and at whatever level you give, thank you for helping us ensure the future of the American Theatre, one playwright at a time!

What They’re Saying About PlayGround:

“PlayGround gave me my start in play writing, provided a lab and a support structure to cut my teeth on the ten minute form, then commissions and production grants to get my full lengths off the ground. I don't know of any other opportunities where a new playwright can work so extensively and consistently with theater artists of such high caliber--the directors and actors (and audiences) of PlayGround offer an amazing community of artists. More…Daniel Heath, Playwright

“At a time when there is so much talk — and activism — around creating more opportunities for women playwrights, it's marvelous to be a winner of PlayGround's June Anne Baker award — an award and commission for a woman playwright who is an exciting new voice for the stage. More…Evelyn Jean Pine, Playwright

“Writing is an infamously lonely undertaking. Writing plays somehow more so. To really grow as a playwright, your plays need to be read, acted, dissected, and played with by other people. PlayGround offers playwrights this opportunity, along with a strong community to fall back on and be lifted up by. More…Rachel Yong, Playwright

“I have been a member of PlayGround for 8 years. They are an exceptional group of extremely hard working theater professionals dedicated to nurturing Playwrights and supporting local actors and directors. PlayGround is the main source of my inspiration as a writer and has given me the essential support and feedback that a writer needs to grow. More…Jonathan Luskin, Playwright/Filmmaker

“Far and away, the best non-profit theater company I have ever encountered. They do more program than you can imagine - and they continue to expand, respond to client needs and promote community, creativity and collaboration. More…" Tom Swift, Playwright/Producer

Click on the button below to make your secure online contribution through our Year-End Campaign on Causes.Com, visit our contributors page to use PayPal, Google Checkout or make a gift of stock, or call (415) 992-6677 to give by phone. However you choose to participate and at whatever level you give, thank you for helping us ensure the future of the American Theatre, one playwright at a time!

Happy Holidays!

PlayGround December Topic Announcement!

PlayGround announced this morning the topic for the upcoming Monday Night PlayGround “HolidayExtravaganza”, taking place at 8pm, Monday, December 17 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. That topic, End of Days, will lead to the creation of more than thirty original short plays, of which six will be selected for presentation on December 17. The evening will also include PlayGround’s second annual Holiday Cookie Bake-Off (visit for Bake-Off rules) where PlayGround audience and artists can compete side-by-side for “Best in Decoration” and “Best in Taste” honors. Participating directors this month include: Michael Butler, Nancy Carlin, Josh Costello, Mina Morita, and PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann. Selected plays will be announced via Facebook and PlayGround’s website on Friday, December 14. For tickets and more information, visit

PlayGround audiences get to enjoy a unique behind-the-scenes perspective, with free pre-performance discussions every month at 7:10pm, featuring playwrights and other special guests related to that month’s topic.  Audience members can also experience the thrill of being a producer through the monthly People’s Choice Awards, helping to determine which plays and playwrights go on for consideration in PlayGround’s annual showcase, the Best of PlayGround Festival.

PlayGround, the Bay Area’s leading playwright incubator, provides unique development opportunities for the Bay Area’s best new playwrights, including the monthly Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series, annual Best of PlayGround Festival, full-length play commissions and support for the production of new plays by local playwrights through the New Play Production Fund and, PlayGround’s newest initiative, the PlayGround Film Festival. To date, PlayGround has supported more than 185 local playwrights in the development and staging of nearly 650 original short plays and 41 new full-length plays, with 7 more commissions currently in development. For more information, visit

WHAT:          Occurring monthly, October-March, the popular Monday Night PlayGround series presents staged readings of thematically-connected short works by the Bay Area’s best new playwrights each month at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, staged by leading local professional actors and directors.  The given topic for the December 17 PlayGround event is “END OF DAYS .

WHERE:       Berkeley Repertory Theatre
2025 Addison St
Berkeley, CA

WHEN:          Monday, December 17, 2012 at 8pm
                        Additional Season Dates:
                        January 21, 2013 – Musical Theatre Night
                        February 25, 2013 – Collaboration with Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
                        March 18, 2013

TICKETS:     $15/$20 (priority seating), available online or at the door.  Pay-What-You-Can at the door beginning one hour before the performance, subject to availability.  4-admission flex subscriptions are just $60.  For more information about the Monday Night PlayGround series, call (415) 992-6677 or visit

PlayGround Company in the News Dec-12

Read on to learn more about PlayGround Company Members' recent news, current happenings, and upcoming events.

A staged reading of Evelyn Jean Pine's one act play, COEUS AND CRIOS OR TWELVE TWELVE, will be presented at the Exit Theatre on Dec 12th at 8pm as part of the SF Olympians Festival. Kirk Shimano's play, HERMES: THE COMPUTER THAT WANTED TO LOVE is also being performed as part of the festival on Sat, Dec 8th at 2pm. Tracy Potter will be directing a staged reading of HADES for this year's Olympians Festival on Wed, Dec 12th She was also selected to write two short plays for the 2013 Olympians Festival, inspired by the ships and the sword from the Trojan War. For details, visit

Daniel Heath's Christmas comedy, A MERRY FORKING CHRISTMAS, is being produced by PianoFight for the fourth year in a row! The play is about the last minute frenzy of Christmas Eve at the mall; it is a fully scripted play with audience votes that determine what happens at certain key moments--and whether the play ends happily, or with fire and destruction. The show opens Thurs Dec 6th and runs through the 30th.

This year's One Minute Play Festival includes the work of many PlayGround writers including, but not limited to, Trevor Allen, William Bivins, Erin Bregman, Chris Chen, Victoria Chong Der, Garret Jon Groenveld, Daniel Heath, Jonathan Luskin, Katie May, Evelyn Jean Pine, Arisa White, and Ignacio Zulueta.

Rosie Hallett is gearing up for the premiere of YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE with Word for Word. The show performs at ZSpace in February then tours to France. French lessons are proceeding well!

Mina Morita will be directing BY AND BY, by Lauren Gunderson at Shotgun Players in production from May 31st - Jun 23rd, 2013. She will also be directing UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL, by Glen Berger with Just Theater in July 2013.

Tim Kniffin has begun rehearsals for A COUPLE OF BLAGUARDS at  Cinnabar Theatre in Petaluma. Performance dates are Dec 31st - Jan 20th

Aaron Wilton  and Maryssa Wanlass will be in Theatre Rhinoceros's production of SOMETHING CLOUDY, SOMETHING CLEAR. Opens Jan 2nd at the Eureka Theatre in SF. Visit for more info.

Michael Barrett Austin will be performing in Katie May's MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, directed by Jon Tracy at the A.C.T. Costume Shop Jan 17-Feb 10, 2013.

Eric Hayes will be directing a staged reading of Eugene O'Neill's MORE STATELY MANSIONS for the Eugene O'Neill Foundation in January.

Lizzie Calogero is playing the Ghost of Christmas Past (and others) in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at San Jose Rep. For tickets and more info, visit

Louis Parnell is performing in BELL BOOK AND CANDLE at the SF Playhouse from Dec 4th through Jan 19th.

Karen Macklin is having another 5-minute play in a festival. It's called Shotz: A Very Special Holiday Shotz and it is being produced by Amios Theatre Company on Tues, Dec 11 at 8pm at Traveling Jewish Theatre (470 Florida St., SF).

George Maguire will be doing Geetha Reddy's OBIT as a film directed by Brian Tolle in January. OBIT was an award-winning part of the PlayGround season a few years ago and will be appearing in the next PlayGround Film Festival.

Reggie White was recently cast in Marin Theatre Company's TYA Tour of THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.

Katja Rivera is busy directing EXPECTING ISABEL for Role Players Ensemble,, and for the SF Olympians Festival,

Thursday, December 06, 2012

November People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... Last month's People's Choice Award goes to first-time PlayGround writer Amy Sass for her original short play, Significant People, presented as a staged reading at the November 19 Monday Night PlayGround "O'Neill Night" at Berkeley Rep.  Congratulations, Amy!

Eugene O'Neill's Tao House
Courtesy of Ms. Sass, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script.  Enjoy!

A play in one act
By Amy Sass

Cast of Characters
Docent 1 - Male, 60s
Docent 2 - Female, 60s
We begin with a blank stage. It is an historic site of cultural significance. The house of a notable couple. As the characters tour the house, the scenic objects and rooms mentioned in the text are left to the imagination. The only room to appear in tangible form is The Study.

(As the play opens, the Docents stand addressing the audience. They wear tags that say: DOCENT. A tour is about to begin.)

Certain people are important.

More important than others.

This is because they contributed. They put us on the map.

By us, we mean: Americans. They put Americans on the map.

They made strides in one direction or another.

They were known.

Known for their contributions, their works of outstanding creative or cultural genius. They were significant.

Well, he was significant. She wasn’t quite as significant.

She was significant.

Not really.

She was significant to him.

Not the same.

Does it matter?

Depends on whom you ask.

Ok, she was somewhat significant.

Maybe. But she was certainly not historic.
(Pause. She remembers the audience. Smiles.)
He was famous.

He didn’t start famous.

He won awards.

He became famous.

Famous people thought he was famous.

He was only famous to some.

He was trendy-famous. Tortured-famous. Remove yourself from the world famous. Drink yourself into oblivion famous. (Pause.)




Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround at Berkeley Rep on Monday, December 17, 2012 at 8pm and choose your own favorite! For more info, click here.