Monday, May 04, 2015

PlayGround's 2015 Young Playwrights Project Finalists!

PlayGround is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2015 Young Playwrights Contest. PlayGround invited aspiring writers and theatre artists at the high school level to write and submit their own 10-minute plays inspired by the topic:  HERSTORY: The Greatest Stories Never Told. The four selected plays will each receive a professional staged reading, presented as a “curtain raiser” before select performances of the 19th Best of PlayGround Festival at Thick House in May. PlayGround invites audiences to join in welcoming these bold new voices to the stage.

The selected plays/ finalists are: HOME FRONT by Camilla Dwyer (SOTA ’17), DARLING ON THE NICKEL by Rocko Bauman (Berkeley High School ’15), MAN'S WORK by Neil Binnie (Miramonte High School ’17), and DIFFERENT PIECES OF OPPRESSION by Rebecca Shalliker (Albany High School ’16). Join us May 14-17 as we celebrate the work of these emerging young writers as a part of this year’s Best of PlayGround. For more info, visit

Readings Schedule:
Thursday, May 14  @ 8pm / HOME FRONT by Camilla Dwyer, directed by Doyle Ott
Friday, May 15 @ 8pm / ON THE NICKEL by Rocko Bauman, directed by Michael French
Saturday, May 16 @ 8pm / MAN'S WORK by Neil Binnie, directed by Claire Rice
Sunday, May 17 @ 7pm / DIFFERENT PIECES OF OPPRESSION by Rebecca Shalliker, directed by Dylan Russell

About the Playwrights:

Rocko Bauman (Playwright, Darling on the Nickel) is a senior at Berkeley High and cofounder of the Elephant Club, dedicated to protecting elephants from the ivory trade. His previous playwriting experience includes Bell, which was produced in Berkeley Rep’s 2014 Teen One-Acts Festival. He was sound designer for Blast Razor: Viral Hero in the 2015 One-Acts.

Neil Binnie (Playwright, Man’s Work), a sophomore and avid writer at Miramonte High School in Orinda, was introduced to playwriting through a public speaking class; and his performance-turned-short-story, The Soda Pop Bootlegger, won the 2014 Poul Anderson Writing Contest.  A Varsity swim team athlete, Neil also coaches Special Olympics swimmers.

Camilla Dwyer (Playwright, Home Front) is currently enrolled in the theatre program at Asawa SOTA and, in addition to playwriting, enjoys world history and stand-up comedy. She would like to thank her family, friends, and teachers for their continued support and PlayGround for the opportunity to see one of her pieces on stage.

Rebecca Shalliker (Playwright, Different Pieces of Oppression) is a junior at Albany High School who has spent her entire life thus far in the Bay Area. She wanted to combine aspects of her Jewish background with discriminatory themes in her short play Different Pieces of Oppression.

About the Young Playwrights Project:
High school students from the Bay Area nine counties were invited to submit original short scripts inspired by the assigned topic, Herstory. The same topic was also assigned to PlayGround’s professional writers pool members for the March 16 round of Monday Night PlayGround in residence at Berkeley Rep.

“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.

About PlayGround:
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 more than 200 local playwrights in the development and staging of over 700 original short plays and 55 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


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