Friday, January 17, 2014

January People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The January People's Choice Award goes to Zoe Young for her short play, Last Stop in Gringrolandia, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ on January 13 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Zoe!

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

Last Stop in Gringolandia
by Zoe Young

Setting:
2014: San Francisco City College – Unity Mural Gallery. BOY and GIRL stand,
ATTENDANT sits at a table with a stack of brochures at the back of the stage. All
characters face the audience as though Diego Rivera’s Pan American Unity Mural is
demarcated by the end of the stage.
1940: Large San Francisco studio – The mural is almost complete and DIEGO RIVERA
and FRIDA KAHLO look at the work in the same style as the 2014 characters.

2014 Characters:
ATTENDANT: Male - mid 20s – whitish – passionate art student currently bored out of
his mind. He has two brochures in his back pocket.
BOY: Male – 21 – white – upper middleclass – trying to impress girl.
GIRL: Female – 21 – Latina – from a family of farm workers – on second date with boy,
lukewarm.

1940 Characters:
DIEGO RIVERA: Male – 53 – Mexican (with an upper class Mexican accent) – About
to complete his “Pan American Unity Mural” for the Golden Gate International
Exposition.
FRIDA KAHLO: Female – 33 – Mexican (with an upper class Mexican accent) – ready
for a long trip in America to end.
Last Stop in Gringolandia Zoe Young – zoe.o.young@gmail.com

Lights up on ATTENDANT, sitting board at the back of the stage.
Enter BOY and GIRL. BOY looks at mural in awe, leading GIRL in.

BOY
So this is it.
(Makes sweeping gesture with hand.)
I can’t believe you’ve been here for 3 years and never seen it.

GIRL
It’s a fucking city college, I just go to class.

BOY
(Ignoring her.)
This was the last piece Diego Rivera did in California, actually I think it’s the last thing
he did in America…

GIRL
It’s kind ‘a gaudy.

BOY
(Reacting.) It’s a mural!

GIRL
Yeah, I can see that.

BOY and GIRL look on in silence.
BOY attempts to hold girl’s hand. GIRL isn’t having it.

BOY
There in the middle- that’s the Aztec goddess Coatlicue…

ATTENDANT
(Yelling from the back, correcting his pronunciation.)
Coatlicue!

BOY and GIRL look back at ATTENDANT, realizing he is there for the first time.
ATTENDANT waves.

ATTENDANT (cont’d)
You want a brochure?

GIRL moves toward ATTENDANT.

BOY
We’re okay.

Awkward Beat. GIRL returns to BOY brochureless.

BOY (cont’d)
So, Coatlicue. Anyway, she’s turning into a machine…

GIRL
You mean like a fem-bot?

ATTENDANT laughs.

BOY
I guess. She’s supposed to be an Earth Goddess.
She’s not a very sexy fem-bot.

BOY
She’s a symbol!

GIRL
Hey, why do you like this stuff anyway?

BOY
I don’t know, it’s powerful. This thing is 74 feet long and 22 feet high.

GIRL looks back at ATTENDANT for confirmation.
ATTENDANT nods.

GIRL
Okay, so it’s big.

BOY
It’s filled with portrait after portrait of great people.

GIRL
(Points to lower right.) What, you mean like Hitler over here?

BOY
It was the 40s. He was trying to paint a whole picture of the time.

GIRL rolls her eyes.

BOY (cont’d)
But my favorite part is, it all happens right here. Look,
(Points to upper right.)
That girl is diving over the Golden Gate.

ATTENDANT
Helen Crlenkovich.

BOY and GIRL do not look back at him.

BOY
The founding fathers are pretty much standing under the Bay Bridge. And all of this
ancient Mayan imagery,
(Points to upper left.)
If you follow the landscape it’s basically happening in Daly City.

GIRL
(Pointing to center.) Okay well who’s that? Her, dressed like a Mexican.

BOY
That’s Frida Kahlo.

Enter FRIDA stage right looking forward with her hand on her hip. She stands frozen
once she assumes her pose.

BOY (cont’d)
She was Rivera’s wife, also a great artist.
And over to the side there, holding the brush, that’s Rivera.

Enter DIEGO with a brush in his hand. Stands frozen near FRIDA as though in the
middle of painting.

BOY (cont’d)
He always throws in a self-portrait.

GIRL
He looks a little fat for her.

BOY
Just look at the damn painting.

----

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

Saturday, January 11, 2014

PlayGround Company in the News Jan-14

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

The Eugene O’Neill Foundation's Playwrights’ Theatre will present staged readings of Eugene O’Neill-inspired short plays this Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12, at the Museum of San Ramon Valley in Danville, including works by Patricia Cotter, Ruben Grijalva, Karen Macklin, Katie May, Amy Sass, and Robin Lynn Rodriguez. The plays were originally written for the November 2012 Monday Night PlayGround O'Neill collaboration on the topic "Haunted by the Past." http://www.eugeneoneill.org/events/playwrightsTheatre.php

The Townsend Center Contemporary Drama Working Group, a group co-founded by former PlayGround pool member Joshua Williams, featured a reading of Cleavon Smith’s full-length play Before the Shadows of Night Are Gone, adapted from a short story by Frances Hwang, back on 4 December at the UC Berkeley Durham Studio Theatre.

Tom Swift is now writing a regular financial planning column for Theatre Bay Area, focused on the financial challenges facing artists.  You can find the debut column here:  http://www.theatrebayarea.org/editorial/Ask-the-Captain-Terrified-of-Taxes.cfm

Molly Noble is directing James and The Giant PeacH for the Marin Masque Unit. She is in pre production for Five Women Wearing The Same Dress by Alan Ball at the College of Marin ( March). She is in the dreaming stages of a 2015 production of The Cherry Orchard and is very excited about PlayGround-LA, where she will direct for the January 13 Monday Night PlayGround.

Andrew Saito's full-length play Sam the Ham will be featured in Theater Mu's 22nd Annual New Eyes Festival in Minneapolis, MN, in a public staged reading on January 26.

The 2013 Stuart Award for Best Performance by a Bay Area Actress was awarded by Stuart Bousel to Brandice Thompson, who played "Georgia Potts" in Evelyn Jean Pine's FIRST, directed by Michael French, produced this fall by PlayGround in partnership with Altair Productions and the Aluminous Collective. http://sftheaterpub.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/the-stuart-excellence-in-bay-area-theater-awards-for-2013/

Katja Rivera recently directed Ignacio Zuleta's two-minute play, Please Hold, at SOMArts "in The Hole”, as well as a reading of Grace(by Craig Wright) at DMT. She will be performing in PlayGround's Eugene O'Neill-inspired short plays in collaboration with the Eugene O'Neill Foundation this weekend (Jauary 11-12) at the San Ramon Valley Museum (see above).

Madeleine Butler’s short play THE BOX and Madeline Puccioni’s THE INTERVIEW have been selected for performance in the Sheherezade 14 Festival sponsored by the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco and staged by Wily West Productions. The Festival, an evening of eight short plays, will have a three-week run at the Exit Theatre in San Francisco in June 2014.

Inbal Kashtan’s 10-minute play, SAFE, was seen as part of Your Name Here's BLIPS! Festival of Queer Plays in NYC in December, and her one-minute play, CLIMATE CHANGE, will be seen at the end of January as part of Fast and Furious, a festival of one-minute plays at Stage Left Theater in Spokane, WA.

After having spent the fall touring to support his band Misner & Smith's new album, Sam Misner will be returning to Shotgun Players to play Nicolas Ogarev in the third installment of Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia trilogy: Salvage.

Ross Peter Nelson is a co-writer on a new one-act to be presented at the Southern Rep "Bacchanal".  http://www.southernrep.com/SEASON/bacchanal.HTM
Patricia Cotter is excited to share that her ten-minute play Rules of Comedy will be produced by the Actors Theatre of Louisville 2014 A/I Tens showcase in January of this year. It will be performed at the Victory Jory Theatre in Louisville. Rules of Comedy is also a finalist for the Heideman Award which will be announced in January.

Rachel Bublitz's ten-minute play Baby Shower Games, will join the line-up for Acme Theater Productions’ New Works Winter Festival 2014 running January 10th-18th in Maynard, MA.

PlayGround alumnus Dave Garrett is mentoring students at Laney College in the writing of five interconnected ten-minute plays. They will be presented as a full production, with dance and original music, under the direction of Michael Torres, March 21-23, 2014.

Cathleen Riddley is in a world premeire of a play called The River Bride by former PlayGround writer Marisela Trevino Orta at AlterTheater Ensemble, directed by Ann Brebner and Jeanette Harrison, opening Saturday, January 11.

Steven Westdahl and the rest of the San Francisco Neo-Futurists have just begun their never-ending 50-weekends-a-year run of Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, an ongoing experiment in staging 30 short plays in 60 minutes with over 25 years of history in Chicago and New York. http://www.sfneofuturists.com













Friday, January 10, 2014

December People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The December People's Choice Award goes to William Bivins for his short play, Dear Mr. Fish, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround Holiday Extravaganza on December 16 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Bill!

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



DEAR MR. FISH
by William Bivins
(based on a true story)

Cast Breakdown:
Delia Budd - Female - Age 40's-50's - Caucasian - Housewife
Albert Budd - Male - Age 40's-50's - Caucasian - Wage worker
Edward Budd - Male - Age early 20's - Caucasian - Son of Delia and Albert Budd
Albert Fish - Male - Age 50's - Caucasian - Convicted murderer

Setting:
The action takes place simultaneously in a tenement in
Brooklyn and a prison cell at Sing Sing.
The year is 1935.

Downstage is a dining room table with four chairs. On the
table is a pot, a ladle, three bowls and a plate of crackers.
Albert Budd stands at his place at the table.
Upstage, in separate light, Albert Fish sits in a chair. He
wears a prison outfit and his hands are shackled.

FISH
(Out to audience.)
Dear Mrs. Budd. I do not know what compels me to continue to write you. Certainly not
my own well-being, since my first letter to you caused me to be apprehended. Nor do I
write out of remorse, for I am not remorseful in the least.

Edward enters, goes to the table.

ALBERT
Is she okay? Is she coming?

EDWARD
She’s coming.

ALBERT
I haven’t seen her like this in months.

EDWARD
I shouldn’t have come over.

ALBERT
Nonsense. It’s Christmas.

EDWARD
She can’t stand the sight of me. Not since Grace went away.

ALBERT
That’s not true. And don’t say that name.

EDWARD
Christ, Pop.

ALBERT
Especially not in front of your mother.

Delia enters. She is in her bathrobe.

ALBERT (cont’d)
There she is! Hello, darling. Aren’t you looking radiant!

DELIA stands at her place at the table.

ALBERT (cont’d)
Well now, isn’t this nice? Here we all are. With Edward home. The stew on the table. It’s
delicious, if I say so myself--though it’s not a patch on yours, darling. Edward, would you
like to say the prayer?

DELIA
Grace.

ALBERT
Excuse me?

DELIA
The mealtime prayer is called grace. Might as well call it by its proper name. Grace.

FISH
I know in my heart I did nothing wrong. If what I did had been wrong, God would have
stayed my hand the way he stayed Abraham’s.

EDWARD
Bless us, oh Lord, and bless these thy gifts--

Delia sits abruptly. The men look at each other. Albert gestures for Edward to continue.

EDWARD (cont’d)
... and bless these thy gifts which we are about to receive. Amen.

ALBERT
And, Lord, we pray for the safety, well being and happiness of our family on this
Christmas Day. Amen.

The men sit. Albert spoons stew from the pot into each of their bowls.

----

Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, January 13, at Berkeley Rep and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.

Jan 13 Monday Night PlayGround CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' Selections!

California playwrights from the Bay Area and Los Angeles will share the spotlight in a first-of-its-kind event on January 13 when PlayGround and PlayGround-LA join forces to produce the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series simultaneously at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Zephyr Theatre. Writers had four-and-a-half days to generate their original short scripts inspired by the topic, CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: Ten-Minute Plays Inspired by the California Experience. The top six plays from each community will be presented as script-in-hand staged readings by leading local directors and actors and audiences will be invited to live tweet their experience using the hashtag #playgroundCA. Tickets can be purchased online at http://playground-sf.org/boxoffice (for information on PlayGround-LA, visit http://playground-la.org).

The selected plays/playwrights are:

Bay Area
Where 101 Becomes The 101 by Ruben Grijalva, directed by Evren Odcikin
A Star is Born by Melissa Keith, directed by Tracy Ward
Nixon, the app by Jonathan Luskin, directed by Rebecca Ennals
Stranger in a Stranger Land by Karen Macklin, directed by Margo Hall
I Have Found It! By Josh Senyak, directed by Gabriel Grilli
Last Stop in Gringolandia by Zoe Young, directed by Delia MacDougall

Los Angeles
Livin' the Dream by Mike Deas, directed by Lee Sankowich
Sassy Black Girl by Vincent Durham, directed by Jim Kleinmann
Imperfection is Beauty by Forrest Hartl, directed by Molly Noble
Hollywood Dreaming by Timothy Hill, directed by Jim Kleinmann
Dream Enforcement by Arthur Keng, directed by Lee Sankowich
Art of Love by Mercedes Segesvary, directed by Veronica Alicino

PlayGround audiences get to enjoy a unique behind-the-scenes perspective, with a free Pre-Performance Discussion at 7:10pm.  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.

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 PlayGround Festival of New Works, 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.

In 2012, PlayGround expanded to Los Angeles with the launch of PlayGround-LA, in residence at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood. To date, PlayGround-LA has produced nine rounds of Monday Night PlayGround, engaging more than 300 Los Angeles artists in the development of 54 original short plays by dozens of local writers.

Friday, January 03, 2014

AUDITION NOTICE: The Tale of the Sleeping Cutie

PlayGround announces a new round of auditions for THE TALE OF THE SLEEPING CUTIE, a modern musical fairy tale by Diane Sampson with music by Doug Katsaros, commissioned by PlayGround. Auditions by appointment only will take place on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 3pm-8pm, in San Francisco. The musical will have a workshop/reading, February 3-9, 2014, and a full production, April 17-May 25, 2014, at Thick House in San Francisco (rehearsal begins March 18, 2014). It will be produced under a BAPP, pending approval. 

For AUDITION APPOINTMENTS and additional information, contact Annie Stuart, annie@playground-sf.org. 

Character description:
FATHER - male, 40s-50s; convicted insider trader
LUCY - female, 20; young naive, wannabe rock drummer
MARY - female, 40s; long-time housekeeper/nanny, Mary Poppins
WOMAN - female, 40s; amnesiac, mother of LUCY and wife to FATHER, has been lost for years
CHARLIE - male, 20ish; singer in a rock band, blind, Lucy's love interest
MAN #1 and MAN #2 - male, 30s; play many different parts- varying ages and characters

PlayGround and PlayGround-LA Team Up for Jan 13 Topic

California playwrights from the Bay Area and Los Angeles will share the spotlight in a first-of-its-kind event on January 13 when PlayGround and PlayGround-LA, California’s leading playwright incubators, join forces to produce the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series simultaneously at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Zephyr Theatre. And in another first-ever twist, both programs will use the same topic, CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: Ten-Minute Plays Inspired by the California Experience. Writers have four-and-a-half days to generate their original short scripts inspired by the topic. The top six plays from each community will be presented as script-in-hand staged readings by leading local directors and actors and audiences will be invited to live tweet their experience using the hashtag #playgroundCA. Tickets can be purchased online at http://playground-sf.org/boxoffice (for information on PlayGround-LA, visit http://playground-la.org).

California… a state of such incredible diversity and bounty, with its beaches, mountains, desserts, and valleys; the 12th largest economy in the world; birthplace of the United Nations; home to Hollywood and Silicon Valley; where dreamers come to dream big ideas and change the way we experience the world.
 
PlayGround audiences get to enjoy a unique behind-the-scenes perspective, with a free Pre-Performance Discussion at 7:10pm.  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.

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 PlayGround Festival of New Works, 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.

In 2012, PlayGround expanded to Los Angeles with the launch of PlayGround-LA, in residence at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood. To date, PlayGround-LA has produced nine rounds of Monday Night PlayGround, engaging more than 300 Los Angeles artists in the development of 54 original short plays by dozens of local writers.

WHAT:          Occurring monthly, October-March, the popular Monday Night PlayGround series presents staged readings of thematically-connected short works by the Bay Area’s – and now Los Angeles’ – best new playwrights each month, staged by leading local professional actors and directors.  For January, PlayGround and PlayGround-LA will each present six original short plays inspired by the topic, CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: Ten-Minute Plays Inspired by the California Experience.

WHERE:       Berkeley Repertory Theatre                Zephyr Theatre
2025 Addison St                                 7456 Melrose Ave
Berkeley, CA                                      Los Angeles, CA

WHEN:          Monday, January 13, 2013 at 8pm
                         
                        Additional Season Dates:
                        February 17, 2014 – Math Night
                        March 17, 2014

TICKETS:     $15, available online or at the door.  Pay-What-You-Can at the door beginning one hour before the performance, subject to availability.  6-pack flex subscriptions are just $60 (50% off priority seating).  For more information about the Monday Night PlayGround series, call (415) 992-6677 or visit www.PlayGround-SF.org. For more information on PlayGround-LA, visit www.PlayGround-LA.org.