Wednesday, July 08, 2015

20th Anniversary Campaign Closes July 31

On July 31, PlayGround concludes our twentieth anniversary season and, as we reflect back on all the achievements of the past year, we ask you to consider making a special gift to our twentieth anniversary season campaign in honor of your favorite PlayGround play or playwright.

The season began last September, when we celebrated twenty years with a one-night performance of six short works by six alumni, selected from more than seven hundred short plays developed by PlayGround since 1994. It was like visiting with dear old friends to see new presentations of Aaron Loeb’s Panopticon, Geetha Reddy’s Net, and Tom Swift’s My Name Is Yin, as well as works by Ken Slattery, Katie May and Robin Lynn Rodriguez. The season got that much sweeter when we learned just three days later that PlayGround was being recognized by the American Theatre Wing (founder of the Tony Awards®) with a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant. I had the honor of accepting the award on behalf of the company in New York later that month, joined by leaders from eleven other distinguished regional theatres (many I’ve long admired) and a number of PlayGround artists now residing in NYC.

It was a season of many firsts, with the launch of the Planet Earth New Play Festival in October, our first S.T.E.M. Night in January, and WomenArts Night and SWAN Day in March. The Planet Earth New Play Festival also provided other firsts – our first public programs at Stanford and Cal, and two new works commissioned directly from the October shorts.

In April, we continued our twentieth anniversary celebration with our annual Gala at American Conservatory Theater, this year featuring distinguished playwright and television writer Theresa Rebeck and company member Amy Glazer. And that month, we also announced the lineup for our nineteenth annual PlayGround Festival of New Works, with more than forty-four performances and readings of over a dozen short and full-length works, including the premieres of Garret Jon Groenveld’s The Empty Nesters and Robin Lynn Rodriguez’s Hella Love Oakland, both originally developed during our 2013 Festival.

And even as we mark the close of this amazing and rich season, we’re already busy planning for the next, which will run from September 21 (“Alumni Night” at Berkeley Rep) to June 12 (closing night of our 20th annual PlayGround Festival of New Works at Thick House).

To say that we couldn’t have reached this point without you is an understatement! The depth and breadth of PlayGround programs and diversity of voices and works is a reflection of the generous support we receive from you, our fans, throughout the year. So, with just a few weeks to go to our July 31 fiscal year end, please help us conclude the year on a strong note with your tax-deductible contribution to our Twentieth Anniversary Season Campaign. Visit to make your secure online donation or download and print a donor reply form you can mail with your gift, or call (415) 992-6677 to donate by phone.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Jim Kleinmann
Artistic Director

PlayGround Company in the News Jul-15

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

Geetha Reddy’s new play, ON A WONDERVERSE, is a 2015 Bay Area Playwrights Festival selection and will receive staged readings directed by Jessica Heidt on July 18 at 12pm and July 26 at 6pm at the Tides Theatre.

Lauren Yee is currently developing THE PERSEPHONE PROJECT, a new play with music with director Larissa Lury and composer Pearl Rhein, commissioned by PlayGround. She has also just been commissioned by South Coast Rep through their CrossRoads program, and will spend July working on a new play at The Chance Theatre and in residence at South Coast Rep.

Teddy Spencer is currently performing the World Premiere of WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S LONG LOST FIRST PLAY (ABRIDGED), a co-production between Shakespeare Napa Valley and the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, written and directed by Reed Martin and Austin Tinchenor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. It runs through July 12th in St. Helena, and travels to South Bend, IN for the month of August. Teddy will also be performing in HOODED, OR BEING BLACK FOR DUMMIES as part of the 2015 Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

Drunk with power, Jon Wai-keung Lowe will direct his own short Killers for Shotz SF, presented Wed, July 8th at Piano Fight. Also involved in this round of Shotz are Jonathan Luskin, Ignacio Zulueta, and Colin Johnson. This month's inspiration is Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks."
Robert Sicular, Stacy Ross, and Dodds Delzell are in Soren Oliver's hilarious sequel to A Midsummer Night's Dream: Demetrius Unbound or The Homeric Mid-life Crisis, playing at the Live Oak Theatre. July 25 - Aug 22.

Ignacio Zulueta is teaching playwriting at the Eugene O'Neill Foundation's Studio Retreat for teen writers at Tao House National Park. Teens may apply for next year's program at

Carolyn Doyle will be performing in Expressing Motherhood - an evening of solo performers (male and female) presenting stories about motherhood. Expressing Motherhood regularly presents stories in Boston and L.A. and now San Francisco will have its first ever show at Brava Theater Center on Oct. 15th at 7:30pm.

Eric Fraisher Hayes recently returned from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival where he presented "Eugene O'Neill: Evolution of an Artist" as part of the Festival Noon Speaker Series.

Gwen Loeb is appearing as the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, directed by Rebecca J. Ennals, with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, every weekend from now through September 27.

Cindy Goldfield is currently appearing in ACT’s inaugural production of LOVE AND INFORMATION at their new Stand Theatre, through August 9th. She will also be presenting her cabaret act, ONE NIGHT STAND…with David Aaron Brown, on Monday, July 27th at Oasis.

Molly Noble is performing  in Sense and Sensibility, directed by Jennifer Le Blanc  at Livermore Shakespeare thru July 19.

Michael Barrett Austin will be appearing in Central Works' Project Ahab; or, Eye of the Whale, July 17-August 23 at the Berkeley City Club. Tickets and information:

Madeline Puccioni's new play, MIDNIGHT AT LA CATRINA, will be staged on August 6 during REPRO RIGHTS NIGHT, as part of the 3 Girls Theatre Festival, at The Thick House.

Rachel Bublitz will have two full-length plays read this month; the first is Code Name: Brass Rose in DIVAfest's Loud & Unladylike Festival which will take place Friday, July 10th at 8pm at the EXIT Theatre in SF ( The second will be a reading of the play Of Serpents & Sea Spray, at Custom Made Theatre Co. at 8pm on Friday July 24th.

Tracy Ward is directing Charlotte's Web at Marin Theatre Company, opening August 8 and playing till August 16.

Rosie Hallett is performing in Top Girls at Shotgun Players, July 2-August 2.