Wednesday, March 14, 2012

PlayGround Company in the News Mar-12

Read on to learn about PlayGround Company Members' recent news, current happenings, and upcoming events. 
Jonathan Luskin and Flying Moose Pictures have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their short film, Ecce Homo, based on the 2011 Best of PlayGround Festival short. The film, to be shot at the Paramount Theatre, will be screened at the inaugural PlayGround Film Festival this May. Jonathan is also working on a full-length play commission based on Ecce Homo, to be given a staged reading at this year’s Best of PlayGround Festival in May.

Julia McNeal will be reprising her role as Deb in the short film, Reunion, by Kenn Rabin and filmmakers Greg Runnels and Mark Paul Runnels, based on the 2004 Best of PlayGround Festival short. The film will be screened at the inaugural PlayGround Film Festival in May. Also scheduled to reprise their roles on the big screen are Brian Herndon and Cindy Goldfield, in two of the Festival’s films: Daniel Heath’s Wednesday and Jonathan Luskin’s Ecce Homo. Other finalists for this year’s PlayGround Film Festival include Crish Barth’s O Happy Dagger (2008 Festival), Katie May’s Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero (2011 Festival) and Tom Swift’s The Beginning (2005 Festival), to feature Liam Vincent and Jason Frazier.

And speaking of films based on PlayGround plays, PlayGround alumnus Sean Owens has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to help raise funds for his upcoming short film, Climax, featuring Nick Sholley and Stacy Ross, and based on the 1999 Best of PlayGround Festival short. They’re three weeks out and nearing the $3k mark!

Evelyn Jean Pine’s full-length play, Astonishment, commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2009, will receive staged readings as part of Dragon Productions Theatre’s New Play Development Factory, April 22, 28 and May 4.

Leah Halper’s full-length play about Rachel Carson, Time Not Our Time, will get a workshop and staged reading at The Blank Theatre's Living Room Series in Hollywood on April 16. Her PlayGround-developed short play Pine and Oak will be part of 2012 Pear Slices at the Pear Avenue Theatre in May (thanks to some great feedback at Recess). Her PlayGround-developed short play, No More, Too Late, Adieu, has been chosen for workshopping, presentation and publication at the August Association of Theatre in Higher Education conference in Washington DC.

Ken Slattery’s Death to the Audience, a 10-minute play selected during the 2003-04 season and the first play of his ever selected for a Monday Night PlayGround, is being produced by Precarious Theatre as part of the BOA Festival this year ( M.Graham Smith is directing. BOA features two full programs of intrepid new theater running in repertory, and takes place Wednesdays – Sundays, April 22-May 12, 2012, at the Boxcar Theatre in San Francisco. Ken is working on his fifth draft of Truffaldino Says No in preparation for its world premiere this summer in a PlayGround co-production with Shotgun Players.

PlayGround alumnus Trevor Allen has been nominated for a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle award for his solo performance in his play, Working for the Mouse. He is currently working on a new PlayGround commission, Valley of Sand, a co-commission with San Jose Repertory Theatre.

Katja Rivera is appearing in two plays as part of Boxcar Theatre's Sam Shepard in Repertory Festival: True West and A Lie of the Mind, through April 14. Also performing in A Lie of the Mind is Carolyn Doyle.

Molly Noble is acting in the local independent film, Hero Mars. Her SQ Prison project goes up May 19. She is directing a staged reading of Mandy Hodge Rizvi's PlayGround commission, Drive Thru-Open till Midnite or Later, at Thick House on May 27 and will be directing two operas, Frida (COM) and Mikado (Dance Palace), in June and July.

Brian Yates Sharber has been nominated for a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for best featured actor in a musical for 42nd St. Moon's production of Gershwin's Oh Kay!

Tom Swift’s My Name Is Yin, originally developed and premiered at the 2004 Best of PlayGround Festival, will be published by Samuel French in Off Off Broadway Festival Plays, 36th Series, following its win at the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival last summer.

Katie May's full length play, Black Sheep Gospel, was chosen for a week long developmental workshop as part of the Play Labs series at this year's Great Plains Theater Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. Ignacio Zulueta and Katie May have joined comedic forces to write for two separate sketch comedy shows.  The live Radio Show, 915 Cayuga, can be seen monthly at the Brava Theater and will be featured in the upcoming San Francisco Fringe Festival in September.  Mad Stache, an evening of live sketch and video comedy produced by Battle Stache Studios, is coming up in April.

Robert Sicular is at the Denver Center Theatre Company and in rehearsals for Shaw's Heartbreak House,. running March 30-April 29. Directed by Bruce Sevy, the production features a number of former Bay Area actors: Lise Bruneau, Sam Gregory and Sarah Nealis. Robert will perform at San Jose Rep this summer in Bill W. and Dr. Bob, about the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, playing Dr. Bob Smith.

Alex Moggridge is performing at the Humana Festival in Louisville, in Courtney Baron's Eat Your Heart Out.  He recently performed at the Long Wharf in It’s A Wonderful Life and wrote an interactive film that was made by Less Rain Productions in London.

Tim Kniffin begins rehearsal at Aurora Theatre for Anatol, directed by Barbara Oliver.

Louis Parnell is currently appearing in Alisa Baker’s The Right Thing for 3GirlsTheater at Thick House through April 1. He is directing and about to cast Kenn Rabin’s full-length Reunion, which will receive its world premiere in a PlayGround/SF Playhouse co-production at the Playhouse’s Stage 2 in June.

PlayGround alumna Lauren Yee's existentialist slasher comedy Hookman will have a workshop production at Company One/Boston Center for the Arts, opening March 23, as part of the inaugural XX PlayLab. Moxie Theatre will present the San Diego premiere of A Man, His Wife, and His Hat, opening March 30. Her PlayGround-commissioned Crevice will receive its world premiere in a PlayGround co-production at Impact Theatre, May 3-June 9.

Daniel Heath's new full-length play, Dust to Dust, based on his short play from the October 2011 Monday Night PlayGround, will have a one-night-only staged reading at the Ashby Stage on Tuesday, April 17 at 7pm as part of Just Theater's New Play Lab staged reading series. The cast will include PlayGround company members Anna Bullard, Julia Brothers, and David Cramer. The reading is free and open to the public. Company members Daniel Heath and Anna Bullard will be visiting lecturers at the University of Lisbon in Portugal on March 30. They will be speaking on the collaborative nature of writing and acting in Professor Tom Hines' class on theater practice.

Genevieve Jessee will be performing an excerpt of new material she’s developing for her solo show (which received Best of the Fringe honors in 2011) at Solo Sundays at StageWerx in San Francisco on March 25.

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