Friday, March 21, 2014

March People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The March People's Choice Award goes to Victoria Chong Der for her short play, Riding Dragons, presented as a staged reading at the Bard-inspired Monday Night PlayGround on March 17 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Victoria!

Courtesy of Ms. Der, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!

by Victoria Chong Der


MOTHER – Female – 35+ years old – Caucasian. Anxious and a slight perfectionist. Has been through a lot and it shows every now and then. Especially since she probably didn’t have it all together in the first place.

EMMY – Female – 14 years old – Caucasian. Just at the beginning of her teenage years but still holds the confidence of having been in her upper tweens. Mature for her age given her life experiences. Absolutely likeable.

MR. PAULSON – Male – 21+ years old – Caucasian.

Setting: Mr. Paulson’s office at the Holy Virgin Mary’s School for Girls.

MOTHER and EMMY are center stage in an interview. They speak to an interviewer but we don’t see him.

With teenage nonchalance.
Ok…. So, I woke up. I picked the sleep out of my eye-

I’m sure you don’t have to be that detailed, Emmy.

Ok. I didn’t pick the sleep out of my eye?

MOTHER smiles nervously.

I brushed my teeth. I ate a pop tart-

That’s not an approved breakfast. I get those for – uhm – dessert. She pays for that out of her own allowance.


She’s fourteen. I feel like I need to give her some autonomy. If I don’t give her any autonomy how will she be able to make decisions in life, right?

Are we done?

You haven’t even finished answering Mr. Paulson’s question about what you did this morning-

It was my question-

Only because Mr. Paulson wants to have an open interview and let you choose the subject. Since he was so nice to do that, don’t you think you should finish your own list of what you did this morning?

Fine. I ate my pop tart, I brushed my teeth again, even though you’re supposed to wait for 30 minutes to brush your teeth after eating sugar, otherwise it like, weakens your teeth or something. But I do it because I feel like it really pisses off my dentist and he’s an asshole-



She doesn’t mean that.

Yeah I do.

Mr. Dennis is perfectly kind.

His name is Dennis the dentist.

He can’t change his name, sweetie.

He could insist I call him by his last name, Koybayashi.

Oh, please. No one can pronounce that.

Way to be racist, mother.

Quickly, to interviewer.
I’m not racist! No, no. I know what happens when racists get called racist. They immediately blurt out something ridiculous like, “I have a black friend” but I’m not racist. So I’m not going to say that. I don’t have any black friends.
I mean, not because they’re black, but because, well Jesus, we live in New Hampshire. I mean, do you have black friends?

Mother, stop.


Stay tuned for the announcement of this year’s Best of PlayGround lineup, featuring the top six short works from the 2013-14 season. Click here for more info on the Best of PlayGround.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2014 Young Playwrights Contest!

PlayGround, in association with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (Rebecca J. Ennals, Artistic Director), has announced the topic for the 6th Annual Young Playwrights Contest: 

‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts…’
- from Shakespeare’s As You Like It

This same topic was given to PlayGround’s writers pool for the March 17 Monday Night PlayGround. We invite aspiring high school writers and theatre artists, currently enrolled in grades 9-12, to submit their own ten-minute plays inspired by this topic. The topic is intended as a jumping-off point and all forms of theatrical expression are encouraged. Submissions will be accepted until April 7th, 2014. Four plays will be selected as finalists and receive professionally staged readings concurrent with the 18th Best of PlayGround Festival in May. For complete guidelines, visit 

“Through the Young Playwrights Project, PlayGround and Bay Area high schools partner to enable young writers to find their own expressive voice through the creation, development, and production of short plays,” stated PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann. This year marks the sixth year of the Bay Area-wide Young Playwrights Contest.  “This is a tremendous opportunity for creatively-inclined high school students to  experiment with writing for theatre in the ten minute theatre form. The finalists gain immeasurable confidence and accomplishment from seeing their works staged by Bay Area theatre professionals, alongside the adult professional playwrights at Best of PlayGround,” added PlayGround Education Coordinator Dylan Russell.

High school students from the Bay Area nine counties are invited to submit original short scripts inspired by the assigned topic by the deadline of Monday, April 7, 2014 deadline. The same topic was also assigned to PlayGround’s professional writers pool members for the March 17th round of Monday Night PlayGround in residence at Berkeley Rep.

Past Young Playwrights Project finalists include: Jake Rosenberg (Jewish Community High School of the Bay ’14), Alona Bach (Berkeley High ’11), and Hannah Sears (Urban School ’12).

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:     Monday, April 7th, 2pm 
TOPIC:                                        “All the world’s a stage…” (see guidelines for full quote) 
MORE INFO:                             Dylan Russell, Education Coordinator; 415.992.6677;;

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 nearly 200 local playwrights in the development and staging of over 680 original short plays and 50 new full-length plays, including more than a dozen that have since premiered in the Bay Area. For more information, visit

For more information, visit  For more information on the Young Playwrights Project, visit

PlayGround Company in the News Mar-14

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

6th Street Playhouse has selected Garret Jon Groenveld's The Empty NesterS for a world premiere production in February 2015 in Santa Rosa.  The play was a 2013 PlayGround Festival selection where it received a developmental workshop and public staged readings.

Erin Bregman’s Little Opera will host their first gala on Tuesday evening, March 18 with a special performance of AN ACCIDENTAL TRIP TO CANDYLAND. Erin heads to Washington DC later this month for a final workshop of A Bid to Save the World in preparation for the play's premier at the Source Festival in June.

Lauren Yee's play SAMSARA will have a reading at Arizona Theatre Company as part of their Cafe Bohemia Series. The play is scheduled to premiere at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre in 2015.

Gwen Loeb is starting rehearsals for Diane Sampson's SLEEPING CUTIE: A FRACTURED FAIRY TALE MUSICAL!, directed by Cindy Goldfield and set to open April 19 at Thick House, after which Gwen will be playing Mrs. Bennett in PRIDE & PREJUDICE, directed by Ginny Reed, at Livermore Shakespeare Company. In June, Cindy will be performing in Darcy Drollinger’s MR. IRRESISTIBLE with Colin Thompson and Steven Shear.

Amy Harrison and Kirk Shimano’s short film, MISS FINKNAGLE SUCCUMBS TO CHAOS, the People’s Choice Award winner from the 2013 PlayGround Film Festival, is the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival online short film selection of March. The film has been making the rounds of film festivals all over the country.

Robert Sicular will be in the Cutting Ball Theater's staged reading of Wink by Jen Silverman, Friday March 21st and Saturday March 22nd, 8:00 PM, performed at The Exit Theater. He just completed two readings of Yussef El Guindi's The Mummy and the Revolution for the Playwrights Foundation’s In the Rough reading series.

Rebecca Pingree is playing Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun with Napa Conservatory Theatre through March 23.

Ron Campbell is playing Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of Baskervilles at TheatreWorks next. 

Rachel Bublitz' full-length play, Under The Gods' Golden Cleats, had a staged reading through the Dramatist Guild's Footlight Reading Series March 3rd.

Liz Anderson directed Vincent Terrell Durham’s A BAREFOOT EASTER for PlayGround-LA this past Monday. She leaves shortly for an improve tour in Dubai.

Bounce me in Your Knee, a short play by Zoe Young will appear in the Shotz showcase through The Amios West group at the Tides Theater in San Francisco on March 18th at 8:00pm. Tickets are $10 and come with a beer!!

Arisa White is auditioning female vocalists for Post Pardon: The Opera. For more information visit

Ignacio Zulueta's RIOTS OF SPRING was a finalist for the Ground Floor 2014 at the Berkeley Rep. His short A GOOD MOM WITH A GUN will be read in April at City Lights Theater.

Colin Johnson wrapped production on his film adaptation of H.P Lovecraft's short story The Terrible Old Man and is actively submitting to festivals. He and Ignacio Zulueta are finalising episode 2 of The Krawlspace Tapes radio thriller series.

Katja Rivera is directing a staged reading of DYING CITIES at Douglas Morrison Theatre on April 1st.

This summer, Ken Sonkin is teaching acting at the SF Ballet School.  Next fall, he’s directing The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek at Sonoma State. He is directing Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg for Dragon Theatre opening in July.

You can read Karen Macklin’s latest feature story in the Bay Guardian, The Beautiful Path To Now, on the yoga exhibit at the Asian Art Museum.

Cathleen Riddley is currently nurse/chorus leader in African American Shakespeare Company's production of medea.

Anthony Williams opened AFTER THE WAR BLUES at UC Berkeley last Friday.

Elena Wright is headed to Carmel to perform VENUS IN FUR at Pacific Rep this April.

Mary Baird starts rehearsal April 7th for Daylighting at Shotgun. They will be performing a thank you benefit for the Library on the 16th of March.

Molly Noble is directing James and The Giant Peach (March at  Marin Center) and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress ( April at College of Marin).

Andrew Saito presents his new play Mount Misery at Cutting Ball Theater at 8pm on March 14 and 2pm on March 15 at 277 Taylor Street, San Francisco.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

February People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The February People's Choice Award goes to Patricia Cotter for her short play, When You Talk About This, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround MATH NIGHT on February 17 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Patricia!

Courtesy of Ms. Cotter, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!

by Patricia Cotter

Cast: One man, one woman

Nina - Female - Age 40's - College statistics professor,
attractive, self possessed, powerful, a fantastic teacher and very
practical. Never has stepped over the line with a student until
this day.

William - Male - Age early 20's. Open, sincere, passionate about
life, a good student, no real interest or aptitude for math.

A college classroom. William and Nina, his statistics professor make out on her desk.

...This is ...great.

They kiss some more.

You locked the door?


They kiss more.

I think.

You think? Or you know?

I am ninety nine percent sure.

Nina goes to check the door.

Since ninety nine percent is not a hundred percent...

She checks, it’s locked. She goes back to kissing William.

This is awesome. I mean...come on... this is the best statistics class ever.

Thank you...feel free to include that in your class evaluation. (Beat.) Not really.

Professor Jacobson-Cray --

-- How about me Nina.

Yeah, cool. I’d love to call you Nina.’re a really, really good kisser.


And...a great statistics professor. I thought I would hate statistics, since I don’t really like
any kind of math or numbers thing, but when I came into class and I saw you I thought:
“Hey, this might not be the worst thing in the world.” At least my prof is hot. Like really,
really incredibly hot and not just for a professor but for, like, a woman...

Maybe, let’s just...not talk so much.


They kiss. Nina is distracted, he notices.

Do you want some music? (Pulls out his phone.) Here pick a station. Whatever you want.

She scrolls though his Pandora stations.

Okay. I don’t know any of these people.

Really? That’s funny. How about...

He randomly hits a station. Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”
begins. They make out but, after a few beats Nina can’t
stop herself from laughing.

Sorry. Sorry. That just reminds me of Stephen Colbert.



Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, March 17, at Berkeley Rep and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.

Friday, March 07, 2014

March 17 & Young Playwrights Contest Topic Announced!

The play’s the thing! PlayGround has announced the topic for the final Monday Night PlayGround of the twentieth season (and the topic for the 2014 Young Playwrights Contest), presented in association with first-time partner San Francisco Shakespeare Festival (Rebecca J. Ennals, Artistic Director) and taking place at 8pm, Monday, March 17 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Drawn from Shakespeare’s As You Like It (which SF Shakes will produce for its 2014-15 Shakespeare On Tour production), the topic is:
‘All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts…’

That topic will lead to the creation of more than thirty short plays, of which six will be selected for presentation on March 17. Selected plays will be announced via Facebook and PlayGround’s website on Friday, March 14. For tickets and more information, visit

PlayGround audiences will get to enjoy a unique behind-the-scenes perspective, with a free pre-performance discussion on March 17 at 7:10pm, led by SF Shakes Artistic Director and PlayGround Company Member Rebecca J. Ennals and featuring Cal Shakes Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly and the selected PlayGround playwrights.  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.

The March topic will also serve as the inspiration for this year’s Young Playwrights Contest. Aspiring Bay Area high school dramatists now have until April 7 to submit their original short plays inspired by the topic. The top four student works will be presented as curtain-raisers before select performances of the 18th Best of PlayGround Festival, May 15-18, 2014, at Thick House. For guidelines and more information, visit

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 nearly 200 local playwrights in the development and staging of over 680 original short plays and 50 new full-length plays, including more than a dozen that have since premiered in the Bay Area. For more information, visit

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival began in 1983, with Free Shakespeare in the Park's debut production of The Tempest in Golden Gate Park. Today SF Shakes is a regional theater company and major arts-education provider. The Festival’s mission is to make the words and themes of Shakespeare accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, financial status, or level of education. 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 17 PlayGround, presented in association with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, is “THE WORLD’S A STAGE AND ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN MERELY PLAYERS; THEY HAVE THEIR EXITS AND THEIR ENTRANCES; AND ONE MAN IN HIS TIME PLAYS MANY PARTS…” from Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

WHERE:    Berkeley Repertory Theatre
2025 Addison St
Berkeley, CA

WHEN:    Monday, March 17, 2014 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

Monday, March 03, 2014

Sleeping Cutie Musical to Premiere at Thick House!

The development of a new theatre work can be a long and winding journey. More so for a new musical. Our fractured fairy tale begins on March 6, 2009 when PlayGround announced the topic for the March 16 Monday Night PlayGround: Adaptation of a Fairytale. Diane Sampson created an elegant and highly entertaining short play about an erstwhile "king" of commerce waiting on his final appeal (think Bernie Madoff) who tries to orchestrate the match-up of his only daughter, Lucy, a seeming narcoleptic who’s just a bit tired from hanging out at rock clubs every night in pursuit of her dream to be an indie rock drummer. The short play was a huge success and here the story may have ended - a short play content to remain a short play - but for the intervention of a fairy godmother in the form of a PlayGround Alumni Commission. In 2012, Diane received such a commission to adapt her short play into a full-length musical. She teamed up with past collaborator New York-based composer Doug Katsaros, and in January 2013 PlayGround hosted the first read-through of the new work. Two more workshops and a year later and we're pleased to announce a very happy ending to this modern-day fairy tale: Off a Cliff Productions in association with PlayGround will premiere SLEEPING CUTIE: A Fractured Fairy Tale Musical at San Francisco's Thick House for a four-week run beginning April 17, 2014 and tickets are now on sale at!

Directed by Cindy Goldfield with music direction by David Aaron Brown, the show features a stable of well-seasoned Bay Area actors including: Jesse Caldwell* (Father); Luke Chapman (Charlie); Marissa Joy Ganz* (Lucy); Buzz Halsing* (Man 2); Gwen Loeb* (Woman); John Patrick Moore* (Man 1) and Stephanie Prentice* (Mary) with Bethanie Baeyen* stage managing. (*Member Actor’s Equity Association)

Sleeping Cutie runs Thurs-Sat at 8pm and Sun at 2pm, April 17-4 with a special Monday evening performance on May 5 at 8pm and concluding matinees on Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11 at 2pm. Opening Night is Saturday, April 19. Tickets are $30-$35 (priority seating available for an additional $10; student/group discounts available) and Thursdays are Pay-What-You-Can, subject to availability. Thick House is located at 1695 18th Street (between Arkansas and Carolina Streets) in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. To purchase online, visit


Diane Sampson (Author, Lyricist) has written the lyrics and melodies (and co-written the books) for two previous musicals, Writes and Re-writes and Oh, Progeny! (two Bay Area productions). She has been a member of the PlayGround writers pool for nine years, and under their auspices has written over 50 ten-minute plays. Her short pieces have been staged in venues as far a field as Seattle and Miami. One of them, Undone, was made into a film that was screened as part of PlayGround’s 2nd  Annual Film Festival in May 2013. Her full-length (non-musical) plays include Charlotte Takes the Plunge and Naked, another PlayGround commission. Her past life included singing in local cabarets, but she doubts that the demise of such once-numerous venues is her sole responsibility! 

Doug Katsaros (Composer) is an Emmy-winning composer who has been making some kind of noise for years, conducting, composing, orchestrating, arranging on and off Broadway for shows like Footloose, The Life, Rocky Horror, Altar Boyz, The Toxic Avenger and A...My Name is Alice. He is composing Broadway’s upcoming Somewhere In Time and his Orphan Train musical will open at Grand Central Terminal in October 2014. He has written and conducted TV and film scores for Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Loggia and Sandra Bullock. He has dozens of gold and platinum CDs for artists such as Kiss, SinĂ©ad O'Connor, Gloria Estefan, Frank Sinatra, Todd Rundgren, Rod Stewart, Judy Collins, B. B. King, Marlo Thomas (Grammy), Donny Osmond, Richie Havens, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Cher, Michael Bolton, and Peter Paul & Mary. He orchestrated Dee Snider’s Heavy Metal Broadway tribute, “Dee Does Broadway” and on TV, he garnered an Emmy nomination for his score to "The Tick" and wrote themes for “The Jim Henson Hour,” “Mancuso FBI” and the “ABC Sunday Night Movie.” He has conducted PBS’s “Great Performances” and the Boston Pops. He writes special material for Ringling Brothers Circus, Macy's 4th of July Fireworks and their Thanksgiving Day Parade, winning the Emmy for Best Original Song. He tours the world with Argentinian pianist Raul Di Blasio, who's latest CD, Primavera, he co-produced. He has two grown sons, and lives in NYC with his wife, composer/keyboardist Elise Morris, raising two teenage girls, who now make all the noise. And yes, he is the guy who wrote "By Mennen". 

Cindy Goldfield (director), an award-winning director, is pleased to be involved with Sleeping Cutie. Other directing/choreography credits include: As Thousands Cheer, Once in a Blue Moon, Finnian’s Rainbow, The Roar of the Greasepaint—The Smell of the Crowd and most recently, SNOOPY!!! for 42nd Street Moon.  She has also directed for The Willows Theatre, CUBIT Productions, The Dance Palace and numerous corporate shows around the world. Ms. Goldfield is also a two-time recipient of both the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and the Dean Goodman Choice awards for acting. Her regional theatre credits include The Mystery of Edwin Drood (title role) (Center REPertory Company); Spring Awakening and Bill W. and Dr. Bob (San Jose Repertory Theatre); Another Midsummer’s Night (TheatreWorks); Brimstone, Moon over Buffalo, and Merrily We Roll Along (The Willows Theatre); Oliver! (Broadway by the Bay); Moving Bodies (Marin Theatre Company); Crimes of the Heart (Playhouse West); OMFG! (world premiere- ODC); Texas Chainsaw Manicurist and Cowardly Things (New Conservatory Theatre Center); Mack & Mabel (42nd Street Moon); and D’Arcy Drollinger’s Scalpel! (Brava!). NY credits include Drollinger’s Project:Lohan, and Mr. Irresistible, with music by Christopher Winslow, at La MaMa E.T.C. In Spring 2014 she will star in the SF production of Mr. Irresistible. Ms. Goldfield also enjoys a thriving voice-over career and the collaboration of Goldfield& Koldewyn with the inimitable original Cockette -  Scrumbly Koldewyn.

David Aaron Brown (Music Director) is a Bay Area-native music director, composer, and pianist. He was most recently seen tickling the ivories as Arnie in The Speakeasy presented by Boxcar Theatre.  Favorite musical credits include Spamalot (Conductor/Pianist, 6th Street Playhouse), 'Tis Pity She's A Whore (Composer/Pianist, Bigger Than a Breadbox) and Parade (Asst. MD/Pianist, Trinity Rep).

Jesse Caldwell* (Father) has worked at many local theatres including A.C.T., TheatreWorks, CenterREP, Shotgun Players and TheatreFirst. Moon, He holds a B.A. in Drama from Tufts, an M.F.A. in Acting from Stanford and a J.D. from the U. of Georgia.  Jesse is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.

Luke Chapman (Charlie) is proud to be a part of his first PlayGround show. Last seen as Claude in Hair (Coastal rep), Luke has performed all over the bay area. SF Playhouse, 42nd Street Moon, Hillbarn, Ray of Light, and DTC.

Marissa Joy Ganz* (Lucy) is a Native New Yorker Triple Threat who has been performing since the age of 4. Marissa originated the role of Susan in the World Premiere/1st National Broadway Tour of Disney's  High School Musical. She was also seen on the National Tour of The Boy Friend directed by  Julie Andrews. European Tours: Hair and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Pittsburgh CLO, Atlanta TOTS. A recent transplant, Marissa has  been directing/choreographing throughout the Bay. Much love to my Family, friends and Brent.

Buzz Halsing* (Man 2) is a Bay Area native, performing in companies throughout Northern CA and beyond. Regional credits include Odysseus (Ensemble) at A.C.T., The Music Man (Harold  Hill) at Stockton Theater Co., November (Pres. Chucky Smith) at Ross Valley Players,  Hairspray (Wilber Turnblad) at The Mountain Play, Mill Valley, and various roles at 42nd St. Moon in San Francisco. Buzz is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Gwen Loeb* (Woman) has been a company member with PlayGround for 13 years and is honored to have been a part of this world premiere musical since its first workshop. Some of Gwen’s Bay Area productions include: A Bright New Boise, The Arsonists, and Trojan Women at Aurora Theatre Company, Truffaldino Says No and World In A Woman’s Hands at Shotgun Players, and the upcoming Pride & Prejudice at Livermore Shakespeare.

John Patrick Moore* (Man 1) has worked with Central Works (Artistic Associate), Marin Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, 42nd Street Moon, The Shotgun Players, and  CenterRep. In NYC with NYMF and Expanded Art’s Free Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot.

Stephanie Prentice* (Mary) is thrilled to be working with PlayGround! Credits include appearances with Shotgun Players, SF Playhouse, and Shakespeare at Stinson. Stephanie lives in Danville with her husband and two young children. She is also a member of the voice faculty at Santa Clara University.

Jim Kleinmann (Producer) co-founded PlayGround in 1994 and has served as Artistic Director since 1996. For PlayGround, he has provided artistic and administrative leadership for the past 20 seasons, developing PlayGround’s unique array of new playwright and new play incubator programs, including Monday Night PlayGround, the Best of PlayGround Festival, the full-length play Commissioning Initiative, the New Play Production Fund, and most recently the PlayGround Film Festival. He is a veteran arts administrator with more than 20 years of experience, including stints leading Traveling Jewish Theatre, Smuin Ballet and Berkeley Symphony, and received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

PlayGround (Co-Producer) is the Bay Area’s leading playwright incubator. Founded in 1994, PlayGround creates community by nurturing collaboration between early career playwrights and established professional directors and actors. Led by co-founder and Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann, PlayGround has developed more than 700 short plays by 190 Bay Area writers and, since 2002, has commissioned and developed 50 new full-length plays and musicals, including The Tale of the Sleeping Cutie. PlayGround is the producer of the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series at Berkeley Rep and the Best of PlayGround Festival, the Bay Area’s largest annual showcase for local writers. For more information, visit

For more information, visit