Friday, April 05, 2013

PlayGround Gala an All-Star Success!

We did it! The 2013 PlayGround Gala was a huge success, raising more than $42,000 in support of PlayGround and its playwright incubator programs. Huge thanks goes out to the Gala Honorary Committee, PlayGround Board of Directors, guests of honor, attendees, auction donors and many supporters who even while they couldn't attend made the event such a success with their donations.

Set in American Conservatory Theater’s gilded lobby and brick-walled top-floor Garret Room with its exposed turn-of-the-century trusses, the event drew a capacity all-star cast of Bay Area theatre supporters and artists. Guests included playwright-filmmaker Philip Kan Gotanda, master of ceremonies Steven Anthony Jones, A.C.T. Chair Nancy Livingston and Fred Levin, A.C.T. Executive Director Ellen Richard, Frannie Fleishhacker, Berkeley Rep Trustee Jean Strunsky and Michael Strunsky, Magic Theatre Trustee Delia F. Ehrlich, Rebecca Martinez, commercial theatre producers Jill Matichak and Deborah Taylor, Theatre Bay Area past-President Lisa Thomas, Neil Barth, Aurora Theatre Company Board Member Zandra Faye LeDuff, along with PlayGround co-founder and Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann and Board Chair Regina S. Guggenheim, among others.

While event Honorary Chair and Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone was sidelined by a bad cold, he rose to the occasion, welcoming everyone and kicking off the event from his sick bed via iPhone to much applause.  Gala honoree Lynn Nottage was a huge hit and much in demand as she made the rounds to greet the assorted guests and emerging playwrights and shared her inspirations and challenges as a writer in an entertaining and insightful thirty-minute “on stage” chat with Mr. Jones.

The evening concluded with a toast to this year’s Best of PlayGround playwrights and award winners: William Bivins, Ruben Grijalva, Katie May, Evelyn Jean Pine, Amy Sass, and Jonathan Spector. The 17th PlayGround Festival of New Works, including the Best of PlayGround 17, runs May 1-26 at San Francisco’s Thick House. For more information, visit

And while the Gala has past, the PlayGround Gala Auction continues, with a limited number of tickets to Jill Matichak's New Play Salon on April 21 (with special guests Jonathan Moscone, Steven Jones and Katie May) and a three-piece collection of Bay Area art photographs by filmmaker-playwright Kenn Rabin. Visit for details and to make your auction purchase.


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