Friday, November 09, 2012

PlayGround's 4th annual Eugene O'Neill Night

PlayGround announced this morning the topic for its fourth annual collaboration with the Eugene O’Neill Foundation to develop O’Neill-inspired short plays for the upcoming Monday Night PlayGround, taking place at 8pm, Monday, November 19 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.  In preparation for this month’s topic and in search of inspiration, the PlayGround playwrights took a field trip on November 4 to Tao House, O’Neill’s Danville home from 1937 to 1944 where he wrote some of his most significant plays.  That topic, Haunted by the Past, a theme infused throughout many of his works and particularly A Moon for the Misbegotten, will lead to the creation of more than thirty original short plays, of which six will be selected for presentation on November 19. For more background on the topic, visit Participating directors this month include: Joy Carlin, Jessica Heidt, and PlayGround Resident Directors Desdemona Chiang, Mina Morita, Michael French, and Jon Tracy. Selected plays will be announced via Facebook and PlayGround’s website on Friday, November 16. 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 November 19 PlayGround event is “HAUNTED BY THE PAST .

WHERE:       Berkeley Repertory Theatre
2025 Addison St
Berkeley, CA

WHEN:          Monday, November 19, 2012 at 8pm
                        Additional Season Dates:
                        December 17, 2012
                        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.  Introductory subscriptions are just $60 (50% off priority seating).  For more information about the Monday Night PlayGround series, call (415) 992-6677 or visit

Friday, November 02, 2012

PlayGround Company in the News Nov-12

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

Ignacio Zulueta's full length comedy, THE FELLOWSHIP, is a finalist for the 2012-2013 La Voz de los Autores play development program at IATI Theatre in NYC, and will receive an in-house reading at Asian American Theatre Company's NewWorks Incubator in November.

Carla Pantoja is reprising the title role of LA LLORONA, a musical/operetta in San Jose at the School of Art and Music November 2-4.

Ken Sonkin is directing a student project of WELCOME HOME JENNY SUTTER at USF where he teaches acting. He is also directing a staged reading of Bernard Weiner's new play MY LIFE WITH DEATH on Wednesday, November 14 at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley featuring company members Tim Kniffin and Julia McNeal.

Danielle Thys finished up MISS JULIE for the Strindberg Foundation at Stanford in October with fellow PlayGrounders Gabe Marin and Arwen Anderson. She is also a principal in a sitcom with a quirky take on autism and family life called THE ROCKET FAMILY CHRONICLES which got picked up by the Autism Channel last week.

Michael Barrett Austin is in San Francisco Playhouse's BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON in their new theater at 450 Post St through November 24.

Garret Jon Groenveld's play THE HUMMINGBIRDS will receive its world premiere in Bucharest, Romania on Saturday, November 17, 2013 ( and will receive a reading in New York on Monday, December 3. He is also teaching an intensive playwriting workshop on Sunday, November 11 at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. For more info check out

Joy Carlin is giving a talk with slides on Friday, November 2 called 'A Life In The Arts' at the Museum of Performance and Design as part of the 'Artists in Conversation' series. She will also be in Anthony Clarvoe's new play OUR PRACTICAL HEAVEN at the Aurora, opening in January.

Lauren Yee  is a new member of the Women's Project Playwights Lab and Ma-Yi Theatre's Writers Lab, as well as the Shank playwright-in-residence at Second Stage Theatre. She was also a contributing playwright to Centerstage's MyAmerica project of monologues, now online at

Liam Vincent will be doing A CHRISTMAS CAROL at ACT.

Christopher Chen's play, THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT, continues its run at Thick House through November 17. Limited run, no extension, get tickets now!

Aaron Wilton will be performing as Jane/Lord Edgar in Sacramento Theatre Company's THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP from November 7 to December 16.

Rosie Hallett is rehearsing STATUS UPDATE, a world premiere play with music that runs November 1-18 at CenterREP.

Lizzie Calogero will appear in San Jose Rep's production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL in the role of Christmas Past. Come see her sing, play violin and tubular bells, and literally swing form the rafters.

Tom Swift and Brian Tolle have been invited to submit their short film, THE BEGINNING, to Out in the Desert (Tuscon's International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival) and to the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. They await word on final selections. THE BEGINNING has also made the final round for Short+Sweet, Sydney Australia's International Short Play Festival.

Cindy Goldfield heads into rehearsal for her 9th season of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at ACT and just performed in a staged reading of D'Arcy Drollinger and Christopher Winslow's new musical, MR. IRRESISTIBLE, which heads to New York in the spring.

Barbara Oliver is directing WILDER TIMES at the Aurora - four one-act plays by Thorton Wilder: INFANCY, CHILDHOOD, THE HAPPY JOURNEY FROM TRENTON TO CAMDEN, and THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER opening November 8.

Evelyn Jean Pine's ten-minute play BACK, which premiered at the 2005 Best of PlayGround Festival, is being produced by Love Creek Productions at the Producers Club Theatres in New York City on November 9-11 as part of  "Welcome Home: An Evening of One Act Plays Celebrating Our Veterans".