Friday, January 16, 2015

PlayGround's Jan 26 S.T.E.M. Night Topic Announcement

“Know thyself!” (Delphic Maxim) PlayGround writers will launch the new Monday Night PlayGround S.T.E.M. Night and explore what it means to be human with the development of original short plays inspired by this month’s topic, “The Human Genome Project.” Additional background material on the topic has been provided at http://playground-sf.org/topic. Over the past eleven winters, PlayGround playwrights have found a rich source of inspiration from PlayGround’s annual Math Night, drawing upon the field of mathematics in the development of more than 300 original short plays as part of the celebrated Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series performing at Berkeley Rep. With the twelfth year, PlayGround’s most popular themed evening has expanded to include the fields of science, technology and engineering, resulting in the all-new S.T.E.M. Night. PlayGround writers have four-and-a-half days to generate their original ten-minute scripts and the top six plays will be performed at 8pm, Monday, January 26 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre for PlayGround’s first Monday Night PlayGround of the New Year. Tickets and discount season subscriptions can be purchased online at http://playground-sf.org/boxoffice.

At the conclusion of each evening, audience members can 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 200 local playwrights in the development and staging of over 700 original short plays and 54 new full-length plays, with 3 more commissions currently in development. For more information, visit http://playground-sf.org.

WHAT: Occurring monthly, October-March, the popular Monday Night PlayGround series presents staged readings of thematically-connected short works by the Bay Area’s best new playwrights each month at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, staged by leading local professional actors and directors.  For January, PlayGround will present six original short plays inspired by “The Human Genome Project.”

WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St, Berkeley, CA

WHEN: Monday, January 26, 2015 at 8pm
               
Additional Season Dates:
February 16, 2015
March 16, 2015

TICKETS: $15 general admission ($20, priority seating) in advance, $20 at the door.  Pay-What-You-Can at the door beginning one hour before the performance, subject to availability.  4-admission priority seating flex passes are just $60.  For more information about the Monday Night PlayGround series, call (415) 992-6677 or visit www.PlayGround-sf.org.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

PlayGround Launches S.T.E.M. Night!

Over the past eleven winters, PlayGround playwrights have found a rich source of inspiration from PlayGround’s annual Math Night, drawing upon the field of mathematics in the development of more than 300 original short plays as part of the celebrated Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series performing at Berkeley Rep. With the twelfth year, PlayGround’s most popular themed evening will expand to include the fields of science, technology and engineering, resulting in the all-new STEM Night. The first STEM Night will take place on Monday, January 26 at Berkeley Rep with the first STEM topic to be announced on Friday, January 16. Advising PlayGround artistic staff on the expanded program will be the STEM Council, a committee of science- and mathematically-minded advisors and supporters. To learn more about STEM Night and the STEM Council, contact PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann at jim<at>playground-sf.org or call (415) 992-6677.

Each month, PlayGround announces a topic to the forty-eight playwrights in the PlayGround Company and the writers have four-and-a-half days to generate original ten-minute scripts inspired by the topic. The top six plays are rehearsed for just one-and-a-half hours each and presented as script-in-hand staged readings at Monday Night PlayGround, now celebrating its twenty-first year. Audience members can 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 200 local playwrights in the development and staging of over 700 original short plays and 54 new full-length plays, with 3 more commissions currently in development. For more information, visit http://playground-sf.org.

WHAT: Occurring monthly, October-March, the popular Monday Night PlayGround series presents staged readings of thematically-connected short works by the Bay Area’s best new playwrights each month at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, staged by leading local professional actors and directors.  For January’s new STEM Night, PlayGround will present six original short plays inspired by a science/mathematics topic to be announced January 16.

WHERE: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St, Berkeley, CA

WHEN: Monday, January 26, 2015 at 8pm
Additional Season Dates: February 16, 2015 / March 16, 2015

TICKETS: $15 general admission ($20, priority seating) in advance, $20 at the door.  Pay-What-You-Can at the door beginning one hour before the performance, subject to availability.  4-admission priority seating flex passes are just $60.  For more information about the Monday Night PlayGround series, call (415) 992-6677 or visit www.PlayGround-sf.org.

PlayGround Company in the News Jan-15

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

Ignacio Zulueta directs ZoĆ« Young's POOR YORICK at the Shelton Theater for ShotzSF: Shotzpeare this Tuesday January 6th at 8pm, being produced in collaboration with SF Shakes and presented as part of the Shakespeare Theatre Association's 2015 conference. Also appearing in this tonight’s ShotzSF is Daniel Heath's short play The Code, a contemporary riff on Shakespeare's double-cross-dressing boy actors. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1093091/ 

Patricia Cotter's play The Anthropology Section will be presented as part of THE TENS at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, January 13-17.

Kenn Rabin served as Archive Producer on the new film, SELMA, which tells the story of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to earn voting rights for African-American citizens. The film is particularly timely given current events in Missouri, New York and elsewhere. It opened in NY and LA to unanimous critical approval on Christmas Day, and opens elsewhere around the country Friday, January 9.

Ruben Grijalva is directing the short film adaptation of his own play Value Over Replacement, seen as part of Best of Playground 17.

Meghan Kathleen O'Connor has taken on the role of Co-Artistic Director for the 2015 season of Theater Pub, helming monthly performances and readings at the new theater venue PianoFight in San Francisco. She is looking for original scripts and project proposals. If you have an idea or play, please contact her at thesingingwriter@gmail.com.

Julia McNeal has started rehearsals for A Lie of the Mind at the Magic Theatre, directed by Loretta Greco (first preview Jan 28th).

Lauren Yee is starting rehearsals for SAMSARA at Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre, opening February 13. SAMSARA was workshopped at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival in 2012.

Michael Barrett Austin is supporting Kathleen Turner in Berkeley Repertory Theatre's RED HOT PATRIOT: THE KICK-ASS WIT OF MOLLY IVINS, extended through January 11th. http://www.berkeleyrep.org/season. Next up, Michael will perform in NICK AND NORA at 42nd Street Moon, April 1-19. http://42ndstmoon.org/2014-2015-season

Mary Baird is in rehearsal for INDIAN INK at ACT. First preview is Jan 14 and the show opens Jan 21 and runs until Feb 8th.

Rachel Bublitz's ten-minute play Mom's Ham, written and performed in PlayGround's 2013 Holiday Special, is a semi-finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Rachel will attend the conference in Washington State this February. Rachel was commissioned by the San Francisco Olympians Festival to write a one-act play inspired by Circe. Finally, Rachel is proud to announce she hit her goal of submitting a play a day in 2014 with 366 submissions.

Steven Westdahl (https://twitter.com/swestdahl/) and the rest of the San Francisco Neo-Futurists continue their ongoing and ever-changing attempt to perform 30 plays in 60 minutes with Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (Editors’ Pick, Theatre Bay Area; Best Theater of SF – SF Weekly’s 2014 Readers’ Poll; Best of the Bay – SF Bay Guardian 2014). After a wildly successful first year, they've bid a fond farewell to the Boxcar Theater on Natoma and will be touring the show to SF venues like Exit, Kunst-Stoff Arts, and Stage Werx while continuing to search for a full-time home. Find out more at http://www.sfneofuturists.com/

Molly Noble is currently playing Mrs. Gibbs in Shotgun Players' OUR TOWN, now extended through Jan 25. https://shotgunplayers.org/Online/ourtown

Ken Prestininzi’s COOKIE PLAY is running at the Trap Door Theatre in Chicago, Jan 8-Feb 14, 2015. http://www.theatreinchicago.com/cookie-play/7433/

Ross Peter Nelson's one-act, IN THE END, will be featured as part of Real|Unreal, at Playhouse NOLA, Jan 22-25. http://www.southofuqbar.net/#!current-production/cb3i

Louis Parnell will be directing a new musical entitled MOMENTS OF TRUTH by Patricia Milton and Caroline Altman for 3GirlsTheatre in the fall.

Ken Sonkin is directing The Foreigner at Contra Costa Civic Theatre, opening April 3, 2015.

2014 was a great year for PlayGround alumnus Mark Routhier.  Here's what happened with the four shows he directed: LEVELING UP by Deborah Zoe Laufer -- Theatre UCF -- Named in the Top Ten Plays of 2014, Orlando Sentinel; PLUTO by Steve Yockey -- Orlando Shakespeare, NNPN Rolling World Premiere -- Named in the Top Ten Plays of 2014, Orlando Sentinel; ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST adapted by Dale Wasserman -- The NOLA Project (New Orleans) -- Named Best Play of the Year, Best Director of a Drama by Times-Picayune; THE BEST OF ENEMIES by Mark St. Germain -- Orlando Shakespeare Theater -- Named in the Top Ten Plays of 2014, Orlando Sentinel. He starts directing a new play called (a love story) by Kelly Lusk at Theatre UCF on January 12th and follows that with a world premiere called BAD DOG by Jennifer Hoppe-House at Orlando Shakes.