Friday, March 29, 2013

PlayGround Company in the News Apr-13

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

DUCK DUCK OCTOPUS continues through April 12th. The show was conceived and directed by Gabriel Grilli, with contributing writer Ignacio Zulueta and assistant direction by Anthony Williams.

Bennett Fisher will begin graduate school at the UC San Diego MFA Playwriting program in the fall. Currently, his play DIS/CONNECTED is in rehearsal with NCTC's YouthAware program and he is dramaturging Andrew Saito's KRISPY KRITTERS IN THE SCARLETT NIGHT at Cutting Ball.

Brian Herndon is in rehearsals for BEING EARNEST at TheatreWorks right now. He will play Tranio in TAMING OF THE SHREW this summer at Livermore Shakes, and Edward Gant in EDWARD GANT'S AMAZING FEATS OF LONELINESS.

Mercedes Segesvary's play, ALIVE AND WELL, will be one of eight plays in this year's East Village Chronicles Festival at the Metropolitan Playhouse in New York, opening April 15th. Mercedes will also be reading from her new work, THIS IS TERRY GROSS, at Lit-Up LA on April 7th. For info visit 

Michael Barrett Austin will be appearing in the new play HANGING GEORGIA at The Pear Avenue Theatre May 24th-June 9th.

Danielle Levin, Gabriel Grilli, Elena Wright, and Stacy Ross will be performing in THE LANGUAGE ARCHIVE with Symmetry Theatre at the Berkeley City Club April 6th-April 28th. For info visit

Garret Jon Groenveld continues his journey with THE HUMMINGBIRDS in April. Following the ongoing tour in Bucharest, Romania, a second production will open in Mexico City at Lab Treces and run through April, followed by a third production to open in Zaragoza, Spain at Las Armas. A local reading featuring Stacy Ross and Elena Wright, will be on April 16th at Symmetry Theatre. The last Internationalist reading will take place in Zoetmeer, The Netherlands on Monday, April 22nd. There will be a fourth production in Berlin later this year.

Katja Rivera's current show EURYDICE has been extended through April 26th at Custom Made Theatre. She is also directing a staged reading of Leah Halper's play, BOZO TO SQUIRT at City Lights on April 9th and a production of ORPHEE at Theatre Pub on April 15th.

There are still a few spaces left in Julia McNeal's class at The Marsh SF on Playing Multiple Characters. The class is four Thursdays in April from 6:30-9:30pm. For more info, visit

Cindy Goldfield stars in D'Arcy Drollinger and Chris Winslow's new sci-fi thriller musical, MR. IRRESISTIBLE, opening Friday at LaMaMa in NYC.

George Maguire is directing THE CHERRY ORCHARD at the Eugene O'Neill Tao House in May, THE PARIS LETTER by Jon Robin Baitz at NCTC opening January 2014, and GOD OF CARNAGE for Town Hall Theater in February 2013.

Tim Kniffin and Gwen Loeb begin performances of THE ARSONISTS at Aurora Theatre Company on April 5th.

Tracy Held Potter will begin her studies as a Dramatic Writing MFA student at Carnegie Mellon University in August 2013. Her short play THE LIBRARIAN WHO WAS ALLERGIC TO CATS will be performed in the solo performance showcase 'Women in Solodarity: Cat Ladies' by All Terrain Theater in April. Info at

Rachel Yong is moving to New York where she will continue writing and acting.

TIME SENSITIVE, written and directed by Amy Sass, will open April 18th and run Thursday-Saturday at 8pm at The Sanctuary for the Arts. For more info visit

William Bivins has been nominated for the 2012 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Original Script in the under 100 seat category for his play THE EDUCATION OF RAKE at Central Works.

Mary Baird is back home in California and looking forward to acting for PlayGround and other Bay Area theaters.

Patricia Cotter's new musical JUSTIN LOVE won two L.A. Drama Critics Circle awards: Best Production and Best Score.

Ross Peter Nelson's play DISCONTINUUM will be presented as part of Pear Slices 2013 at The Pear Avenue Theater in Mountain View from April 5th-28th. The literary journal Ellipsis will be publishing his play RETURN OF THE FROGS in their 2013 issue.

Ken Slattery's play TRUFFALDINO SAYS NO was nominated for 7 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle awards including Best Ensemble, Best Director, and Best Original Script. His play THE SHAKESPEARE BUG, a PlayGround commission from last season, will be produced by Killing My Lobster in September. M. Graham Smith will direct, and the cast includes David Cramer and Rosie Hallett.

Tom Swift's short film, THE BEGINNING, has been accepted into The London Independent Film Festival which runs in mid April. It has also been accepted to the Miami Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March People's Choice Award

The people have spoken (again)... and The March People's Choice Award goes to PlayGround writer (and January People's Choice Award winner) Tracy Held Potter for her original short play, Princess Audrey, presented as a staged reading at the March 18 Monday Night PlayGround at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Tracy!

by Tracy Held Potter

Audrey – Female, Age 5; Any Race; Little girl.
Aunt Beth – Female; Age 32; Any Race; Aunt on Audrey’s mother’s side.

Bed‐time in Audrey’s bedroom.

BETH and AUDREY are playing with dolls on the floor.

When is Mommy coming back home?

Not until after your little baby brother is born.

When is that going to be?

Any minute now.

Are you going to stay here?

Yep, for the next few days, until your mommy and daddy and baby brother come home and after everyone gets settled in.

I like when you visit.

Me, too.

You let me stay up late and eat ice--‐cream.

Whoa! It’s already 8:30! Okay, Squirt, time for bed. (BETH ushers AUDREY to bed.)

But, Auntie Beth! I wanted to keep playing dolls with you.

Nope. Your mom said you could stay up until 8:00, and look, it’s already 8:30. You don’t want me to get in trouble, do you?


Come on, Audrey, get under the covers. (BETH tucks AUDREY into the bed.)

Are you going to tell me a story?

Of course! Is there a particular story you want to hear?

I like the one about the princess.

Yeah? Alright. Once upon a time, there was a princess who liked to ride horses and—

And her name was Audrey, you forgot that part.

How could I do that? Once upon a time, there was a princess named Audrey who liked to ride horses and—

You forgot to say how beautiful she was …

She was very beautiful—

And she was the prettiest princess in the whole kingdom and all the princes wanted to marry her.

Maybe you should tell me the story.

No, I want YOU to tell it!

Well, how about you start it and once it gets going, I’ll finish it, okay?

Want to celebrate this year's top playwrights? Join us on April 1 for the PlayGround Benefit & Awards Night with special guest Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage. For more info, click here.

Friday, March 08, 2013

PlayGround Company in the News Mar-13

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

Come audition for a reading of FIRST by Evelyn Jean Pine. FIRST is a new play about a 20-year-old Bill Gates, the birth of the Information Age, and a future that's up for grabs. Auditions are March 16th, 4pm-7pm at A.C.T. Send headshot and resume to Michael French at

Tracy Held Potter will have work performed in BABIES, THE ULTIMATE BIRTH CONTROL: TERRIFYINGLY HILARIOUS PLAYS ABOUT PARENTING at the SF Fringe Festival this September. For info, visit

Jonathan Luskin and Marke Leialoha, filmmakers producing the short film AEGIS, are knee deep in postproduction, refining the edit for the film, experimenting with green screen matte extraction and color correction workflows, and consulting with Buddy Saleman, the composer of the film score.

Ignacio Zulueta's comedy THE FELLOWSHIP will be read at The Garage on March 10th as part of Performers Under Stress' Second Sunday new play reading series. For more info, visit

Molly Noble is performing in the Sandbox at SF Playhouse until March 23rd in Jordan Puckett's INEVITABLE directed by Lauren English.

Lauren Yee's play CHING CHONG CHINAMAN will make its Canadian premiere at fu-GEN Theatre Company in Toronto on March 15. D.C.'s Hub Theatre will open its production of her klezmer-inspired comedy A MAN, HIS WIFE, AND HIS HAT in April.

Cindy Goldfield heads out to NY to star in D'Arcy Drollinger and Chris Winslow's new musical, MR IRRESISTIBLE, premiering this month at LaMama in NYC.

Tom Swift's short film, THE BEGINNING, winner of last year's Audience Choice Award in the Inaugural PlayGround Film Festival, continues to be a hit on the film festival circuit. It was recently featured at SF Indiefest and next month will make its international debut at the Torino GLBT Film Festival in Torino, Italy.

Holli Hornlien will soon represent the United States of America at the International Blackpool Dance Festival in Blackpool, England.

Leah Halper's PlayGround-developed play BOZO TO SQUIRT will receive a staged reading directed by Katja Rivera at City Lights Theatre on April 9th.

Alex Moggridge recently opened CHINGLISH in Hong Kong. He reports that it went over very well, and that it has been an amazing experience so far.

BrickaBrack opens their 2nd show DUCK DUCK OCTOPUS, on March 8th. It plays every Friday at 9pm from March 8th to April 12th. Most shows in Oakland with a March 29th show in SF. Gabriel Grilli is the Creator/Director and Anthony Williams is the AD. It's all new material, comprised of acts that are dramatic, musical, dance, comedic, improv, and other styles. A revelatory, fun, moving and surprising experience. Come see it!

Gwen Loeb will be performing as Babette in THE ARSONISTS at Aurora Theatre Company, April 5th- May 12th. She will also be performing with Word for Word on April 1st in WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ANNE FRANK. She will also be reprising her role as Dave Moss in the all-female GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS with First Person Singular at Shotgun on September 2nd and 9th.

As part of the Women's History Month Festival at SF Playhouse, there will be an evening of one-acts by Writers Pool member Karen Macklin on March 10th at 7:30pm. And it's FREE! Check it out on facebook:

Robert Sicular is in rehearsals for the Hero/Traitor Rep of Shakespeare's CORIOLANUS and Schiller's WALLENSTEIN at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C. They begin previews at the end of this month and play until the beginning of June.

Louis Parnell will be appearing as Freud in the 3GirlsTheatre production of THE COUCH by Lynn Kaufman, directed by Amy Glazer. It plays March 7th-March 31st at the Tides Theatre in the old SF Playhouse space at 533 Sutter St in SF, Thursdays through Sundays.

Patricia Cotter's new musical JUSTIN LOVE will be at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego August 29th - October 6th.

March 11 (and Young Playwrights) Topic Announcement!

PlayGround announced the topic for the final Monday Night PlayGround of the 19th Monday Night PlayGround season, taking place at 8pm, Monday, March 18 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. That topic, (RE)MAKING OF A LEGEND, will lead to the creation of more than thirty short plays, of which six will be selected for presentation on March 18. The topic is also being used for this year's Young Playwrights Project contest, in which aspiring high school dramatists can develop short works inspired by the topic for consideration in the Best of PlayGround Festival. For additional information on the topic, visit Participating directors this month include: Steven Anthony Jones, Rebecca Ennals, Naomi Newman, PlayGround Resident Directors M. Graham Smith and Michael French, and PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann. Selected plays will be announced via Facebook and PlayGround’s website on Friday, March 15. 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 over 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 March 18 PlayGround event is “(RE)MAKING OF A LEGEND.

WHERE:       Berkeley Repertory Theatre
2025 Addison St
Berkeley, CA

WHEN:          Monday, March 18, 2013 at 8pm
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