Thursday, June 27, 2013

PlayGround Residency at A.C.T. Costume Shop

PlayGround is pleased to announce the lineup for our month-long residency at the A.C.T. Costume Shop, featuring readings, performances and playwriting workshops by PlayGround Resident Playwrights, the PlayGround Writers Pools and students in the two-part Summer Playwriting Workshop. All performances and readings are free and open to the public (donations graciously accepted at the door).

Wednesday, July 3 / 7:00pm
New Works by the PlayGround Resident Playwrights
A public look inside the monthly gathering of PlayGround's most distinguished alumni as the playwrights read excerpts from brand-new works-in-progress, including plays by Erin Bregman, Garret Jon Groenveld, Daniel Heath, Evelyn Jean Pine and Tom Swift.

Monday, July 8 / 7:00pm
The Shakespeare Bug by Ken Slattery
A read-through of the latest draft by Ken Slattery prior to its Killing My Lobster world premiere production, presented in association with PlayGround, this September at Stage Werx. Directed by M. Graham Smith.

Friday, July 12 / 7:00pm
First by Evelyn Jean Pine
A staged reading of the latest draft by Evelyn Jean Pine prior to the Altair/Aluminous/PlayGround world premiere production in October at Stage Werx. Directed by Michael French.

Saturday, July 13 / 2:00pm
First by Evelyn Jean Pine
A staged reading of the latest draft by Evelyn Jean Pine prior to the Altair/Aluminous/PlayGround world premiere production in October at Stage Werx. Directed by Michael French.

Sunday, July 14 / 2:00pm-6:00pm
Summer Playwriting Workshop with Daniel Heath
A summer playwriting intensive focused on the short form, led by PlayGround alumnus Daniel Heath. Each part of this two-part workshop will culminate in public readings of student works with professional actors. Registrants only. http://playground-sf.org/classes.shtml

Monday, July 15 / 7:00pm-10:00pm
Summer Playwriting Workshop with Daniel Heath
A public presentation of the student works from part one of the Summer Playwriting Workshop.

Tuesday, July 16 / 8:00pm
Works by Josh Senyak, Cleavon Smith and Victoria Chong Der
Triple Dog Dare presents readings of new one-acts by PlayGround playwrights Senyak, Smith and Der, directed by Cindy Goldfield. http://tripledogdare.eventbrite.com/

Wednesday, July 17 / 8:00pm
Works by Josh Senyak, Cleavon Smith and Victoria Chong Der
Triple Dog Dare presents readings of new one-acts by PlayGround playwrights Senyak, Smith and Der, directed by Cindy Goldfield. http://tripledogdare.eventbrite.com/

Sunday, July 21 / 2:00pm-6:00pm
Summer Playwriting Workshop with Daniel Heath
A summer playwriting intensive focused on the short form, led by PlayGround alumnus Daniel Heath. Each part of this two-part workshop will culminate in public readings of student works with professional actors. Registrants only. http://playground-sf.org/classes.shtml

Monday, July 22 / 7:00pm-10:00pm
Summer Playwriting Workshop with Daniel Heath
A public presentation of the student works from part two of the Summer Playwriting Workshop.

Tuesday, July 23 / 7:00pm
Invasive by Brady Lea
A reading of Brady Lea's new full-length play, adapted from the Monday Night PlayGround short (December 2011).

Monday, July 29 / 8:00pm
O Happy Dagger by Crish Barth
A reading of act one of Crish Barth's new full-length play, adapated from the Monday Night PlayGround and Best of PlayGround Festival short (2008).

Friday, August 2 / 8:00pm
A New Work by Ignacio Zulueta
Collaborators Ignacio Zulueta and Ken Sonkin have pulled together this evening-length program drawn from a half dozen short plays by Zulueta originally written for the Monday Night PlayGround series.

Saturday, August 3 / 8:00pm
A New Work by Ignacio Zulueta
Collaborators Ignacio Zulueta and Ken Sonkin have pulled together this evening-length program drawn from a half dozen short plays by Zulueta originally written for the Monday Night PlayGround series.

Sunday, August 4 / 7:00pm
Shakedown 12th Street
A version of Shakespeare's classic told as a folklore ritual. Conceived and directed by Jon Tracy, this workshop presentation hopes to raise awareness and finances for the future production. Featuring: Ben Euphrat, Will Hand, Nick Medina, Rebecca Pingree, Ari Rampy, Billy Raphael, Deborah Rucker, Terry Rucker, Leah Russo, and Jeremy Vik. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/save-shakedown-12th-night/x/53203


For the complete calendar, visit http://playground-sf.org/calendar.shtml.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl Takes a Bite from the Big Apple!

The critically-acclaimed Manic Pixie Productions and PlayGround (“Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party”)  production of MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, a graphic novel play, by Katie May, directed by Jon Tracy, and featuring the art of Rob Dario, will be presented as part of the 17th New York International Fringe Festival, August 9-16 at The Living Theater. The San Francisco cast returns, including Liz Anderson, Michael Barrett Austin, Lyndsy Kail and Joshua Roberts, and joined by Antonio Alvarez. For tickets visit www.FringeNYC.org.

PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann said, “This is our third production heading to New York in the past five years and second to be featured at the New York International Fringe Festival. It’s extremely gratifying to see the increasing attention Bay Area playwrights are drawing outside of the Bay Area and, clearly, the trend is growing.”

Two indie art forms intersect in this darkly comic story about a struggling graphic novelist who falls in love with a mysteriously silent manic pixie dream girl, a term coined by film critic Nathan Rubin to describe “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” Think Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown or Natalie Portman in Garden State. May’s play takes this stock character and traces what happens if the quirky, girlish character that is supposed to serve the needs of the eccentric leading man becomes a full-fledged character.

Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround, Manic Pixie Dream Girl is produced by PlayGround, Katie May, Liz Anderson, Jim Kleinmann and David Steele, who premiered the play at the A.C.T. Costume Shop Theater in San Francisco in January 2013.The San Francisco Examiner called it “short, crisp and devilishly entertaining.” The San Francisco Chronicle described it as “an offbeat blend of realism and cartoon exaggeration. The debut of an intriguing new voice.”

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Katie May’s plays include Black Sheep Gospel (Great Plains Theater Conference), A History of Freaks (finalist for the David Mark Cohen Award in playwriting), and Manic Pixie Dream Girl (SF PlayGround fellowship commission) among others. Her short play Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero (Best of PlayGround Festival, Short + Sweet Sydney) was published in the Best of PlayGround Anthology, 2011. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Virginia Piper Writing Center and the National University of Singapore, a grant from the Society for Women in Film, and an Emerging Playwright Award from PlayGround.

Jon Tracy is also the recipient of the Kennedy Center Meritorious Achievement Award, 15 North Bay Arty Awards, a Sacramento Elly Award, a Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award and is a grant recipient from Theatre Bay Area and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a proud member of SDC, the union for stage directors and choreographers. jontracy.com

PlayGround has been a leading incubator for some of the Bay Area’s most promising new playwrights since 1994, premiering 116 original short plays by 61 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 48 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.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

PlayGround Night at THE SHAKESPEARE BUG

Join the PlayGround community on Saturday evening, September 7, 2013, for the first performance of THE SHAKESPEARE BUG, a brand new comedy by Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award winner Ken Slattery ("Truffaldino Says No"), directed by M. Graham Smith and produced by Killing My Lobster in association with PlayGround. The production runs September 7-28, 2013 at Stage Werx, 446 Valencia Street, San Francisco. To purchase tickets for PlayGround Night ($20; discounts for subscribers, students and company members), visit playground-sf.tix.com.

Hamlet's entire world suddenly turns into a Shakespeare play. His mother is divorcing his father and marrying his uncle. His father is acting like he’s a ghost. His friend Marybeth receives a prophecy that makes her to want to kill colleagues at work. Last but not least, Hamlet's roommate is suddenly madly in love with him but has jealousy issues, while her boyfriend Larry has become the Earl of Outer Sunset. What has happened? Is the play Hamlet saw the night before somehow to blame for this strange bug everyone appears to have caught? How will Hamlet restore reality, or is he content to let all the world be a Shakespeare stage?


Ken Slattery has been a member of the Writers Pool since 2003. He recently won the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Best Original Script (100-300 seats) for his play Truffaldino Says No, premiered at Ashby Stage last summer in a Shotgun Players-PlayGround co-production. The Shakespeare Bug is his second PlayGround commission. He is a member of Killing My Lobster. 

The Shakespeare Bug was originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Film Fest Reprise & 2013 People's Choice Award!

If you missed the 2nd PlayGround Film Festival last month, you have one more chance to catch the impressive short films and screenwriter interviews that ran May 1-25 in Berkeley, San Francisco, Palo Alto and San Rafael, including this year's People's Choice Award winner! PlayGround will mark the kick-off of its twentieth season with a special one-night-only rescreening of the 2nd PlayGround Film Festival at the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley on Monday, September 23, 2013 at 8:00pm, following a 7:00pm season announcement with PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann. Tickets are $15 ($20 for priority seating) and can be purchased online at http://playground-sf.org/filmfest or at the door, subject to availability.

The 2nd PlayGround Film Festival features six short films adapted by teams of local filmmakers and writers from short plays originally developed through PlayGround's celebrated Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series at Berkeley Rep and premiered in the Best of PlayGround Festival. Among them is Kirk Shimano and Amy Harrison's Miss Finknagle Succumbs to Chaos, recipient of the 2013 People's Choice Award. The other films include: Undone by Diane Sampson and Bruce Coughran; Obit by Geetha Reddy and Brian Tolle; The Secret Life of a  Hotel Room by Garret Jon Groenveld and the Runnels Brothers; Aegis by Jonathan Luskin, Mark Leialoha and Flying Moose Pictures; and Climax by Sean Owen and Jeremy Solterbeck. "Anthology films are always a dicey proposition..., but the second annual PlayGround Film Festival gets it right." - SF Weekly. "...one of the best synergistic developments since one teenager got his chocolate in another teenager’s peanut butter..." - Berkeleyside. For the full reviews and other coverage, click the links: SF Weekly review / Berkeleyside review  / Huffington Post review / KQED article.
 
PlayGround recently announced guidelines for the 3rd PlayGround Film Festival Competition, with an August 23, 2013 deadline for completed applications. The 3rd PlayGround Film Festival will take place in May 2014. For more information, click here.

To purchase tickets to the September 23 screening, click here.

Summer Playwriting Intensive with Daniel Heath

We're pleased to announce a new two-part, four-session workshop covering the fundamentals of short playwriting, led by Bay Area playwright and PlayGround alumnus Daniel Heath. This workshop will provide an introduction for newcomers to the form and practical exercises for veterans to refine their skills, in preparation for the July 31 PlayGround Writers Poolapplication deadline. Students may register for parts one and two separately ($120/each) or together ($200). A limited number of financial hardship scholarships are available. All workshops and performances will take place at the A.C.T. Costume Shop, 1117 Market Street, San Francisco.

THE ART AND CRAFT OF THE SHORT PLAY

Part One: Character (July 14-15, 2013)

Good plays start from good characters, and the most interesting conflicts come from real human complexity. In this workshop, we'll work on devising compelling characters who speak authentically. We'll talk about writing for actors--what are our responsibilities as writers who are sending actors out on stage to say our words? July 14, 2pm-6pm; July 15, 7pm-10pm.
To register, visit http://playground-sf.org/register.shtml.

Part Two: Story (July 21-22, 2013)

Once we have our characters, the next most important thing in a play is that something happens. That sounds simple, but like most things that really matter you can spend the rest of your life working on it. We'll talk about how to find a story, how to recognize when you've found it (and when you haven't), and how to turn a story into a well-structured play. We'll also talk about your audience (that all-important final partner of theatrical productions) and how to plan the journey that we're asking them to take. July 21, 2pm-6pm; July 22, 7pm-10pm.

To register, visit http://playground-sf.org/register.shtml.


Each part of the workshop will consist of two sessions: first, a four-hour Sunday session where we'll discuss theatrical principles and work through some writing exercises. We'll work in small and large groups and tackle real writing problems, then begin work on a new play. Second, on Monday, your brand-new play will receive its first public reading by professional actors (family and friends are welcome). We'll wrap up with a brief small-group feedback session, and a reception will follow.

On Sunday, bring a laptop or a pad of paper, whatever you use to write on. On Monday, you'll bring copies of a brand-new script for actors to read.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Daniel Heath is a PlayGround Resident Playwright and a former member of the PlayGround writers pool for seven seasons. He is a four-time winner of the PlayGround Emerging Playwright award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011) and recipient of three PlayGround commissions (2009, 2010, and 2012). His short and long plays have been performed across the country.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

PlayGround Company in the News Jun-13

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

Stacy Ross can be seen in Mark O’Rowe’s TERMINUS, directed by Jon Tracy, through June 16 at Magic Theatre. http://magictheatre.org/season/terminus
 

Gabriel Grilli is appearing in REEFER MADNESS at San Jose Stage: http://www.thestage.org/season1213/reefer_madness.php

William Bivins’ play HEADLOCK is currently playing at Tides Theatre. Based on Ryan Gabrielson's Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative series called "Broken Shield," HEADLOCK is one of two 30-minute one-acts called StoryWorks, a collaboration between Tides Theatre Co. and The Center for Investigative Reporting. StoryWorks runs through June 15th. Tickets and info at http://tidestheatre.org.

Brian Herndon is playing Tranio in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at Livermore Shakes this summer, and appearing as Edward Gant in EDWARD GANT'S AMAZING FEATS OF LONELINESS at Shotgun Players this winter.

Celine Delcayre is off to the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center where she will be working as a Literary Fellow. She also recently graduated from Sonoma State University with a B.A. in Theatre Studies and a B.S. in Business Management. Congrats, Celine!

Killing My Lobster will premiere Ken Slattery's THE SHAKESPEARE BUG, directed by M. Graham Smith, at Stage Werx, Sep 7-28 (Sep 7 is PlayGround Night at KML). http://www.killingmylobster.com/the-shakespeare-bug/  Ken and Graham both won Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards earlier this spring for their work on Ken's previous PlayGround commission, TRUFFALDINO SAYS NO, premiered at Shotgun Players last summer.

Evelyn Jean Pine's new play, FIRST, directed by Michael French, will premiere in October and will receive a workshop at the A.C.T. Costume Shop in July.

Patricia Cotter was selected to participate in the Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat in August 2013 to work on her new show LADYKILLERS with composer Lori Scarlett. http://rhinebeckwriters.org Her musical, JUSTIN LOVE, plays at the Diversionary Theatre in San Diego, Aug 29-Oct 6. http://www.diversionary.org

Robyn Brooks’ play, TIGERS, was presented at TWTP Women's Work 2013 Festival, in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 17, 2013. http://artsnash.com/theater/womens-work-showcase-underway

Tracy Held Potter has a short solo piece featured in an encore of Women in Solodarity: Cat Ladies, June 10 & 11. Catladies2.brownpapertickets.com. She will be directing for Theatre Pub in July and directing/producing THE FANTASY CLUB for All Terrain Theater, August 2-11 (www.allterraintheater.org). She is writing for “Babies, the Ultimate Birth Control: Terrifyingly Hilarious Plays about Parenting” at this year’s SF Fringe (sffringe.org).

2013-14 PlayGround Submission Guidelines

Applications for the 2013-14 PlayGround Writers Pool are being accepted, now through July 31, 2013. Only members of the Writers Pool may submit scripts as part of the monthly staged reading series, Monday Night PlayGround, and from which are selected the six plays and playwrights for each year's Best of PlayGround Festival. For specific eligibility requirements and responsibilities, see below.


2013-14 Submission Guidelines

To be eligible, writers must reside within the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. To apply for a place in the 2013-14 writers pool, playwrights must submit a maximum ten-page double-spaced script (previously produced and unproduced scripts eligible) via email to scripts@playground-sf.org as a Portable Document Format (.pdf) attachment. Applications must be received by Midnight Wednesday, July 31, 2013. The script must have the playwright's name, address, email and phone number at the top of the first page of the script and all pages must be numbered. Excerpts from longer works are not accepted but short plays that meet the above requirements and are derived from a longer work are accepted. Writers featured in a Best of PlayGround Festival since 2009 need not submit a script but must send an email confirming interest in being in the pool by the deadline. Women and playwrights of color encouraged to apply.

To view sample script formats, click the link(s) below.
Submission Format #1
Submission Format #2

Announcement & Pool Requirements

The 2013-14 PlayGround Writers Pool and Resident Playwrights will be announced at the PlayGround Season Kick-Off on Monday evening, September 23, 2013 (selected writers must attend a mandatory company meeting at 5:30pm that evening). Writers Pool members must commit to submitting for at least five of the six Monday Night PlayGrounds in any season. The submission of a script to Monday Night PlayGround grants PlayGround the exclusive option to stage the play as part of the Monday Night PlayGround and, should it be so selected, to present the world premiere as part of The Best of PlayGround Festival and publish the script in the "Best of PlayGround" anthology. Upon publication, PlayGround serves as the exclusive licensor for English language stock and amateur rights in the U.S. and Canada.

For any questions not answered above, email to info<at>playground-sf.org.