Thursday, June 05, 2014

PlayGround Company in the News Jun-14

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

Madeline Puccioni’s ten-minute play, THE INTERVIEW, developed in PlayGround teacher Daniel Heath's class, will have a full production, June 6-28, in Sheherezade 2014  at The Exit Theatre. Madeleine Butler's play, THE BOX, will also be in Sheherezade  2014. Get tickets now!

Mr. Irresistible opened June 4 and runs through June 8, with book and lyrics by D'Arcy Drollinger, music by Chris Winslow, and starring Cindy Goldfield.  Tickets at

On Monday, June 16 at 7pm, Garret Jon Groenveld's play The Empty Nesters (a 2013 PlayGround Festival selection) will be read as part of the TRU Festival at Baruch Engelman Recital Hall in NYC, featuring Jana Robbins and Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli, and directed By Tony winner Martin Platt.  A Dollars and Sense panel discussion will follow. Please RSVP to reserve a seat:

THE FELLOWSHIP opens June 18th and runs thru July 13th! Hugo Cabrajal directs the world premiere of Ignacio Zulueta's epic farce at AlterTheater. Tickets at!now-playing/co5z

Lauren Yee's play IN A WORD will have a rolling world premiere at San Francisco Playhouse and Cleveland Public Theatre in spring 2015.

Michael Barrett Austin recently performed in readings of Daniel Heath's Dust to Dust as part of the PlayGround Festival of New Works and Kate Ryan's The Worst with Just Theater's New Play Lab.

A scene from Michael Dougan’s play, POPS, and Lorraine Midanik’s THE SIEGE will receive staged readings during the Stagebridge playwrights showcase on Monday, June 9, 7pm, at Ashby Stage.

On Friday, June 6, Just Theater and The Cutting Ball Theater will co-present a staged reading of Andrew Saito's play Mount Misery, the name of a Maryland plantation where teenage Frederick Douglass toiled; 170 years later, it was purchased for a vacation home by Donald Rumsfeld.  The reading is at 7pm at The Cutting Ball Theater at the EXIT on Taylor, 277 Taylor Street.  Admission is free. On June 14, 15, and 16, The Cutting Ball Theater will present a workshop production of five tries, a one-act play by Andrew Saito, directed by Addie Gorlin, that examines a genius scientist's successive series of attempts to create a human being incapable of suffering, loosely inspired by the Maya Quiché creation myth, the Popol Vuh.  Showtimes are 7:30pm on Saturday June 14 and Sunday June 15, and at 5pm on Monday June 16.  Admission is pay-what-you-can.

Louis Parnell will be appearing in INTO THE WOODS at the San Francisco Playhouse from June 24-September 6, Tue-Sun. He’s also doing a number of readings on his Monday nights off.

Rebecca Pingree has two more weekends as Prossy in George Bernard Shaw's CANDIDA, directed by fellow company member Molly Aaronsen-Gelb.

Great Beast will present “Subtle Whoring: Short Works by Cass Brayton” (a PlayGround resident playwright) at the Shadowbox Theatre in New Orleans, June 17,18, 24, and 25. Described as a “high-camp, high-style, high-flying Pride Month offering,” the plays include The Boy Who Did Not Listen to His Mother, premiered in the 2008 Best of PlayGround festival. Three of the five plays began life in Monday Night staged readings at Berkeley Rep.

M. Graham Smith is back from a teaching semester in Barcelona and is beginning rehearsals for an SF Fringe project, Deal With The Dragon by writer/actor Kevin Rolston.

William Bivins's play Ransom, Texas will be produced by Virago Theatre Company, directed by Jon Tracy. Opens September 30th at Tides Theater, with an additional January run in Los Angeles at Theater Asylum.

It’s the final legs of Colin Johnson’s Terror-Rama Kickstarter campaign. A special reading of the plays will coincide with the final hours of the campaign on Friday, June 13th, 8:30 PM at the EXIT Cafe in San Francisco.

Zoe Young will have a short play in the ShotzSF showcase. Tuesday, June 24th at 8pm at Tides Theatre. The theme this month is 1977. Tickets are $10 and come with a beer/glass of wine.

Inbal Kashtan’s Black Man Walking and Climate Change,  two one-minute plays, will be part of FlashFest 2014 in NYC, June 15. Her 10-minute play, Don’t Play it Safe, will be read as part of Girl Play at The Women’s Theatre Project in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, June 27-29.

Carla Pantoja plays Katherina and Lizzie Calogero plays Curtis/Pedant/Widow in SF Shakes production of The Taming of the Shrew, opening June 28th in Pleasanton. Directed by Rebecca Ennals, it tours the Bay Area, stopping in Cupertino, Redwood City, and San Francisco.

Arisa White is trying to raise $5,000 for Post Pardon: The OperA, a contemporary opera she's developing in collaboration with tenor-saxophonist Jessica Jones. The Kickstarter campaign ends on June 14.

Ross Peter Nelson's 10-minute play Timequake will be presented in Southern Rep's June production of 6x6, and one of his scripts will serve as the basis for an improv session at the June 20th performance of You Don't Know the Half of It.

Rachel Bublitz has recently been named the Dramatist Guild's Young Ambassador for the San Francisco region. Additionally, Rachel's one-minute play Pepper is being produced with Playsmiths' Flash Fest in New York City on June 15th, at 7pm. For tickets and more information:

Brian Herndon is playing Mortimer Mortimer in FAILURE: A LOVE STORY at Marin Theatre Company, June 5-29. This fall, he’ll perform in FIRE WORK, a world premiere by Lauren Gunderson, at TheatreFIRST in Berkeley.

Gwen Loeb and PlayGround regular Lindsey Schmeltzer will sparkle in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, adapted by Christina Calvit, directed by Ginny Reed for the Livermore Shakespeare Festival. Great wine, wonderful women, the wit of Jane Austen… oh, and some amazing men, too! Limited, 6-show run, July 10-13 and 18-20. All shows start at 7:30 pm, at the beautiful Concannon Vineyard LSF at Concannon:

Will Dao is currently in THE CRAZED at Central Works at the Berkeley City Club through June 22. See for more info. Will Dao, Rosie Hallett, and Carla Pantoja will be appearing in Harry Thaw Hates Everybody, directed by M. Graham Smith, at Shotgun Players this fall.

Steven Westdahl recently began writing book and lyrics for a musical collaboration with local composer Dennis Aman and producer Kevin Brunetti focusing on the life and times of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone. Westdahl also continues to perform monthly at his live literature shows WRITE CLUB SF (at The Make-Out Room), Shipwreck (at The Booksmith), and the new Scene Missing (at The Cynic Cave) as well as weekly with the SF Neo-Futurists in Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (this year's SF Weekly's Readers' Poll winner for Best Theater).

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


Join PlayGround Resident Playwright Daniel Heath for a new hands-on three-session playwriting workshop, THE IDEA LAB, on how to develop your ideas into theatrical magic. This nine-hour workshop is the perfect primer for those considering applying to the 2014-15 Writers Pool. All sessions will take place at the PlayGround PlaySpace in South Berkeley (BART-accessible and easy street parking). Registration is $180 ($150 early-bird registration by June 15). To register, click here.

July 1, 8 & 15, 2014

In order to write a good play you need a good idea. But how do you generate ideas? How do you know which ones are good and which ones aren't? How do you develop an idea into a story? And when you run into trouble along the way, when do you keep working and when do you toss the whole thing out and start again?
Working with your own ideas is one of the most magical, frustrating, and rewarding parts of the writing process. In this three-session workshop, we'll work through a series of exercises and discussions to practice generating, refining, and pruning ideas. The first session will focus on idea generation and selection, the second session on refinement and translation into the structure of a play, and then everyone in the class will write a short play. For the third session we'll be joined by a pair of PlayGround company actors for a workshop reading and discussion.

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. His play, DUST TO DUST, was a 2014 PlayGround Festival of New Works finalist.

Monday, June 02, 2014

2014-15 PlayGround Submission Guidelines

Applications for the 2014-15 PlayGround Writers Pool are being accepted, now through July 31, 2014. 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.

To be eligible, writers must reside within the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. To apply for a place in the 2014-15 writers pool, playwrights must submit a maximum ten-page double-spaced script (previously produced and unproduced scripts eligible) via email to scripts<at> as Portable Document Format (.pdf) attachment. Applications must be received by Midnight Thursday, July 31, 2014. 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 2010 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


Selected writers must attend a mandatory company meeting at 7pm on Monday, September 8 at the PlayGround PlaySpace in Berkeley. The 2014-15 PlayGround Writers Pool and Resident Playwrights will be publicly announced at the PlayGround Season Kick-Off/20th Anniversary Celebration on Monday evening, September 15, 2014. 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>