PlayGround named today the nine up-and-coming Bay Area playwrights who will participate in the playwright incubator’s new Resident Playwrights program. The invitation-only program will provide year-round support and additional development opportunities for some of PlayGround’s most distinguished alumni and their new works. Running parallel to the PlayGround Writers Pool, the Resident Playwrights will continue to participate in the Monday Night PlayGround series and the Best of PlayGround Festival (one slot reserved in each event for Resident Playwright submissions) while also working on the development of new full-length works and other content. PlayGround is accepting applications for the 2012-13 Writers Pool through August 31 and will announce thirty emerging writers to participate in PlayGround’s cornerstone incubator program at the company’s season kick-off celebration, scheduled for Monday evening, September 24 at the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood (Berkeley) in conjunction with the rescreening of the first PlayGround Film Festival.
The inaugural PlayGround Resident Playwrights are: Trevor Allen, Tim Bauer, Erin Bregman, Garret Jon Groenveld, Daniel Heath, Brady Lea, Sean Owens, Evelyn Jean Pine and Tom Swift. Collectively, they have received thirty-three PlayGround Emerging Playwright Awards since 1997 and had their short plays featured in fifteen of the past sixteen Best of PlayGround Festivals. They have received twenty-two full-length play commissions from PlayGround over the last ten years, five of which premiered in Bay Area theatres with several more pending for the coming season, including Tom Swift’s gay marriage play, A Marriage, scheduled to premiere at New Conservatory Theatre Center next May.
Trevor Allen received PlayGround’s Emerging Playwright Award, Playwriting Fellowship and four Alumni Commissions and is currently writing a co-commission for San Jose Repertory Theatre and PlayGround, entitled Valley of Sand. He was a playwright in residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Productions include: Lolita Roadtrip (S.J. Stage), The Creature (Black Box Theatre), Tenders in the Fog (S.J. Stage, Goodman Award, Original Script), Working for the Mouse! (Impact Theatre), 49 Miles (Crowded Fire), Chain Reactions (The Cutting Ball and CAFE). Recipient of a SF Arts Commission grant for Zoo Logic (Z-Space/Magic Theatre, Crowded Fire), two SF Fringe Festival’s “Best Of” awards and a Bay Area Playwrights Festival alumni. BA, Theatre UCLA and MFA Creative Writing from SFSU. Active Member, Dramatists Guild of America.
Tim Bauer is a Bay Area playwright. His plays include Gyroball (Magic Theatre commission and STAGE International finalist), Exit Wounds (Just Theater’s New Play Lab), Beyond Words (Aurora Theatre Global Age Project finalist), and The Secret Rulers of the World Go To Camp (PlayGround Fellowship commission). He’s been a three-time finalist for the Heideman Award, a finalist for the Lark Playwright’s Festival, and a winner of the Storer Boone Award for Best Original Play. His plays have been produced around the country by theaters like Southern Rep, Sleepwalkers Theatre, Colonial Playhouse, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Stage Werx, PianoFight, Arclight Rep, Bay One Acts Festival and Austin Script Works, and developed by Just Theater, Bay Area Playwright’s Festival and the Great Plains Conference.
Erin Bregman is a resident playwright at PlayGround and the Playwrights Foundation, and company member of Just Theater. She is a multi-year Princess Grace Award finalist, with work produced or developed with Just Theater, The Lark, the Playwrights Foundation, ACT, FuryFactory, PlayGround, and Actors Theatre of Santa Cruz. Past commissions include the Magic Theatre, Just Theater, and PlayGround. Erin teaches for the San Francisco Opera, and runs Little Opera, an all-kids opera company.
Garret Jon Groenveld is among the founding writers of PlayGround and a seven-time winner of the Emerging Playwrights Award. Among his full-length plays include: The Empty Nesters, The Grand Divorce, The Hummingbirds (Winner, Internationalists 2012 Global Playwriting Contest; 2012 Global Age Project), Missives and The Serving Class (2010 Global Age Project). His play Missives, originally commissioned by PlayGround, appeared in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival in 2004, premiered in San Francisco in 2005 at Theatre Rhino and in New York in 2008 at 59E59 Theatres. His play The Serving Class, also commissioned by PlayGround, won the Global Age Project from the Aurora Theatre in 2010. He was an inaugural Resident Playwright of the Playwrights Foundation and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.
Daniel Heath is a three-time recipient of commissions from PlayGround (2009, 2010, and 2011) and winner of the PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011). His recent productions of full-length plays include Man of Rock (New York Musical Theatre Festival 2011, and the Climate Theatre, San Francisco, 2010), Seven Days (SF Playhouse Sandbox, San Francisco, 2010, a PlayGround co-production) and A Merry Forking Christmas (PianoFight, San Francisco, 2010 and 2009). His short plays have been performed across the country from San Francisco to NYC.
Brady Lea is a playwright, performer and theatre arts educator. She is a three-time PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner and the recipient of the 2006 June Anne Baker Prize. She is a graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and performed for several years with the vaudeville trio The Kloons. Brady is currently a visiting artist in physical theatre and improvisation at San Francisco School of the Arts. She lives in Bernal Heights with her husband David.
Sean Owens is the author of over 35 short and full-length plays, including three musicals with composer Don Seaver. He received the Critics Circle Award for Best Original Script for The Big Drag in 1997, and was named Best Comic Playwright by the SF Weekly in 2006. His solo show Naught But Pirates garnered Audience Choice at New York’s FRIGID Fest in 2007. He is co-founder of Foul Play Productions with partner Cameron Eng.
Evelyn Jean Pine writes plays about the moments when you feel your life is brand new. She is a five-time PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner, and received the June Anne Baker prize. PlayGround commissioned three of her full-lengths: The Secrets of the World (Queen Isabella meets the Indians), Astonishment (the birth of the movies), and Altair (Bill Gates at 19). She loves the SF Olympians Festival. Her award-winning short plays are staged around the country.
Tom Swift is a four-time PlayGround Emerging Playwrights Award winner and a PlayGround Fellowship and Alumni Commission recipient. Most recently his short film, The Beginning, was featured at the inaugural PlayGround Film Festival where it received the People’s Choice Award. His short play My Name Is Yin was one of six winners of the 2011 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival, the oldest short-play festival in the United States. Mr. Swift recently founded a production company, serving as producer of his own work at the Samuel French Festival, and as Associate Producer of Aaron Loeb’s Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party off Broadway. His new full-length play, A Marriage, originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround, will premiere at New Conservatory Theatre Center next May.
Since 1994, PlayGround has been a leading incubator for some of the Bay Area’s most promising new playwrights, premiering 110 original short plays by 57 Bay Area emerging playwrights from several thousand submissions through its Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series and Best of PlayGround Festival. PlayGround has also commissioned 41 new full-length plays and supports the premiere of many of these works in partnership with Bay Area theatres through its innovative New Play Production Fund. In 2012, PlayGround launched the PlayGround Film Festival to showcase the works of local filmmakers and writers. PlayGround alumni include a who’s who of the Bay Area’s best up-and-coming writers, including Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Aaron Loeb, Garret Jon Groenveld, Geetha Reddy, and Ken Slattery, among others, with many having their first professional production through PlayGround.
PlayGround’s alumni have gone on to win not only local but also national (and international) honors for short and full-length work, including recognition at the Internationalists Global Playwriting Contest, Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project, Guthrie Theatre, Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, and The Drama League’s New Directors-New Works series. Works have been premiered at numerous theatres throughout the Bay Area, including: Theatre Rhinoceros, San Jose Stage Company, Just Theater, and SF Playhouse. Of particular note is Aaron Loeb’s Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party which, following its premiere at SF Playhouse in 2008, received a sold-out run at the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival (named “Outstanding Play”), its off-Broadway debut in 2010 and numerous regional productions over the past season. Most recently, Ken Slattery’s Truffaldino Says No enjoyed a successful five-week run at Shotgun Players.