Wednesday, March 04, 2015

PlayGround Company in the News Mar-15

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

Mina Morita will be joining the Crowded Fire team as their new artistic director! She is also directing Chris Chen’s AULIS: AN ACT OF NIHILISM IN ONE LONG ACT, which opens at UC Berkeley on March 6, with Anthony Williams as Menelaus.

Tracy Ward is directing Fancy Nancy for Bay Area Children's Theatre, which opens April 11 at the Freight and Salvage before touring to Marin Theatre Company and later to the Children's Creativity Museum in SF.

Diane Sampson's short play TWEAK will be done as part of Little Black Dress Ink's Outside the Lines Female Playwrights Festival, dates and location TBA. Another of her ten-minute plays, An Unexpected Stop Along the Yellow Brick Road, will be produced in May by North Park Vaudeville in San Diego, and WHAT’S TRUE, a Monday Night PG selection, will be performed in Virginia this month. 

Melissa Keith is performing in OTHER DESERT CITIES at the New Conservatory Theatre Center from March 6–April 5.

Doyle Ott directs the West Coast premier of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane for Bay Area Children's Theatre, which runs through April 12 at Berkeley Rep’s Osher Studio and at the Children's Creativity Museum Theatre in San Francisco.

Mary Baird will be playing Lord Capulet in ROMEO AND JULIET at the Omni Commons in Oakland on March 27, 28; April 3, 4, 10, 11. (Parking is tricky, so come early.) The show is free, but artists are paid with funds raised via Indigogo. To donate, go to 

Bethanie Baeyen is stage managing for Livermore Valley Opera’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor on March 14, 15, 21, and 22.

Rebecca Ennals just opened Jane Eyre, a co-production of SF Shakes and Los Altos Youth Theatre, and will be directing Romeo & Juliet for SF Shakes’ Free Shakespeare in the Park this summer, featuring several fellow PG company members! (See below.)

Gwen Loeb is heading to the Berkshires in March for a workshop performance of the new musical Can You Hear Me Baby, which originated as a PG cast reading. It will be directed by two-time Tony nominee Jayne Atkinson. Gwen is also playing the Nurse this summer in San Francisco Shakespeare Festival's production of Romeo & Juliet, which includes PG company members Carla Pantoja as Tybalt and Michael Asberry as Lord Capulet.

Michael J. Asberry just finished LANDLESS with AlterTheater in San Rafael, playing four distinctly different characters. Says Asberry, “I thought about how my experience in Best of Playground 16 prepared me for that challenge.” He credits PlayGround for the opportunity to show versatility and range, which led to more opportunities.

Julia McNeal will be reading Heather in Fred's Diner at the Magic's Virgin Play Series on March 4, and is thrilled to be working with several other PlayGround company members on the four-performance reading of Talley and Son at the Aurora this spring.

Molly Noble is directing SEAGULL at the College of Marin and will be acting in four staged readings of Talley and Son at Aurora Theatre in May.

Ross Peter Nelson's full-length play BONES will receive a staged reading at the University of New Orleans on March 26.

Rehearsals start this month for the musical MAX UNDERSTOOD, written by Nancy Carlin with composer Michael Rasbury. It will run two weeks only, April 15–26, at the Cowell Theater at Fort Mason in SF. PlayGround regular Teddy Spencer plays Dad.

Teddy Spencer is currently playing Nicholas in a workshop production of the new musical SOME PEOPLE HEAR THUNDER at the Southside Theatre in San Francisco. There will be three free public performances March 6, 7, and 8. For more information, go to

Colin Johnson’s play, The Night Before, initially developed as part of Monday Night Playground, will be performed March 5–7 as part of Pianofight's Shortlived audience-judged playwriting competition.

Louis Parnell will be directing the 3GirlsTheatre production of MOMENTS OF TRUTH, a new musical by Patricia Milton and Caroline Altman that will play in September and October at the Royce Gallery in SF.

Patricia Cotter's play THE RULES OF COMEDY will be featured at the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 39th Humana Festival in April.

The collaborative theatre ensemble BrickaBrack is moving to New York in April. Gabriel Grilli, its founding artistic director, says, “I will miss all of you in the Bay! We're very excited about this next chapter of BrickaBrack, and hope our Bay Area friends will continue to follow our work in New York."

Brian Herndon, Cindy Goldfield, and Michael Barrett Austin are currently in rehearsal for NICK & NORA for 42nd Street Moon, which will be playing April 1–19.

Nick Sholley and Thais welcomed baby boy Sidney Joseph late last October and are now seeing more sunlight and hopefully more of you, too. Nick is now in Conor Mcpherson's Shining City at Main Stage West in Sebastopol through March 15, and will be appearing as Clarence in RICHARD III at Marin Shakes this summer.

Ignacio Zulueta's PRESS CONFERENCE goes into its final week at the Snowdance Comedy Festival in Wisconsin. He is also collaborating on a large-scale immersive theatrical experience coming to San Jose in early summer. Only a limited number of tickets will be released for this one-night-only event, so join Ignacio's mailing list ( to be one of the first to know when tickets become available.


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