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 http://playground-sf.org/contribute 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!