Wednesday, September 25, 2013

PlayGround Announces 20th Season & Writers

PlayGround has announced its 20th season line-up, including an all-new season of Monday Night PlayGround at Berkeley Rep, the 18th PlayGround Festival of New Works, and co-productions of several full-length plays originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround. Monday Night PlayGround, the Bay Area’s largest staged reading series, opens on Monday, October 21 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre with a special tribute to the late Bay Area icon and longtime company and board member Barbara Oliver. Tickets are $15 ($20 for priority seating) and six-admission Introductory Subscriptions start at just $60. For tickets and more information, visit http://PlayGround-sf.org.

The monthly Monday Night PlayGround series will continue its growing success at Berkeley Repertory Theatre on third Mondays, from October through March (note: the January round will take place on January 13). Two Fridays before the designated Monday, a topic is announced to PlayGround’s selected pool of local playwrights, who then have until 2pm the following Tuesday to submit a short script (some of last season’s topics included “Play Ball,” “End of Days,” and “Fearful Symmetry” presented in partnership with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute).  A panel of judges selects six winners, whose entries are cast by the following weekend and then rehearsed with the area’s best professional actors and directors in a whirlwind 90 minutes each before being performed as script-in-hand stage readings.

After the Monday Night Series concludes, a panel will revisit and re-evaluate the 36 scripts produced throughout the season and, at the PlayGround Benefit & Awards Night on April 7, 2014, six scripts will be chosen for the 2014 Emerging Playwright Awards.  Also announced at the benefit will be the winners of PlayGround’s new play commissions: the annual June Anne Baker prize, honoring a distinguished female playwright, and the PlayGround Fellowship (the 2013 commissioned writers, announced at last April's benefit, are JAB Prize Winner Amy Sass and PlayGround Fellows Ruben Grijalva and Jonathan Spector). Emerging Playwright Award winners will receive an honorarium, publication in the annual script anthology, and a fully-staged production as part of the 18th PlayGround Festival of New Works, May 8-25, 2014, being held at Thick House in San Francisco.

PlayGround will also support the world premiere of several new full-length plays by PlayGround alumni this season through its ground-breaking New Play Production Fund, which has supported more than a dozen premieres over the past seven years. Projects already announced include Ken Slattery’s The Shakespeare Bug (produced by Killing My Lobster and running through September 29 at Stage Werx; killingmylobster.com), Evelyn Jean Pine’s First (co-produced with Altair Productions and The Aluminous Collective, October 10-November 3, at Stage Werx; firsttheplay.com) with 2-3 more plays to be announced later this fall.

At PlayGround’s 20th Season Kick-Off this past Monday, PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann introduced the 2013-14 PlayGround Writers, including the 30 members of the Writers Pool and 20 Resident Playwrights. It’s PlayGround’s largest playwright company ever and represents an increasing commitment to serving and representing the Bay Area’s best new playwrights. Among the writers are 15 new members, including Arielle Brown, Rachel Bublitz, Madeleine Butler, Tanya Grove, Andrew Hsieh, Colin Johnson, Inbal Kashtan, Melissa Keith, Sal Mattos, Lorraine Midanik, Madeline Puccioni, Andrew Saito, Dylan Waite, Steven Westdahl, and Zoe Young. Returning pool members are William Bivins, Patricia Cotter, Victoria Der, Ruben Grijalva, Leah Halper, Sang Kim, Karen Macklin, Jordan Puckett, Amy Sass, Josh Senyak, Kirk Shimano, Cleavon Smith, Aimee Suzara, Jeff Wincek, and Maury Zeff. PlayGround Resident Playwrights, representing some of PlayGround’s most distinguished alumni and a Who’s-Who of Bay Area writers, include Trevor Allen, Crish Barth, Tim Bauer, Cass Brayton, Erin Bregman, Garret Groenveld, Daniel Heath, Brady Lea, Aaron Loeb, Jonathan Luskin, Katie May, Evelyn Pine, Kenn Rabin, Mandy Hodge Rizvi, Robin Lynn Rodriguez, Diane Sampson, Ken Slattery, Martha Soukup, Tom Swift, and Ignacio Zulueta.

PlayGround, the Bay Area’s leading playwright incubator and theatre community hub, provides unique development opportunities for the Bay Area’s best new playwrights, including the monthly Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series, annual PlayGround Festival, full-length play commissions and support for the production of new plays by local playwrights through the New Play Production Fund. To date, PlayGround has supported more than 185 local playwrights in the development and staging of over 650 original short plays and 48 new full-length plays, with 3 more commissions currently in development. For more information, visit http://playground-sf.org.

WHAT:           PlayGround, the Bay Area’s incubator for the next generation of playwrights, has announced its 2013-14 season. Occurring monthly, October-March, the popular Monday Night PlayGround series presents short works from new and emerging playwrights each month at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, featuring the best of the Bay Area’s professional actors and directors in short rehearsed staged readings. The culmination of the year’s hard work, the 18th PlayGround Festival of New Works will take place May 8-25, 2014 at Thick House in San Francisco.  Now in its 20th season, PlayGround is dedicated to supporting the development of new local voices for the theatre.  The season opens October 21 with a special tribute to the late Barbara Oliver.

WHERE/WHEN:
                        Monday Night PlayGround
Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St, Berkeley
October 21, 2013 at 8pm – Season Opener & Barbara Oliver Tribute
                        November 18, 2013 – Musical Theatre Night
                        December 16, 2013 – Holiday Extravaganza
                        January 13, 2014
                        February 17, 2014 – Math Night
                        March 17, 2014

TICKETS:    6-admission Introductory Subscriptions to the Monday Night PlayGround series are just $60.00 (a 50% savings off priority seating). Individual tickets for each Monday Night PlayGround are $15 ($20, priority seating) and can be purchased online or at the door. Student and group discounts available. For more information about the Monday Night PlayGround series, the PlayGround Festival or any of our upcoming co-productions, call (415) 992-6677 or visit www.PlayGround-sf.org.

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