Monday, April 25, 2016

PlayGround Celebrates "Platinum" Festival!

PlayGround, the Bay Area’s leading playwright incubator, caps off its 2015-16 season with the 20th annual PLAYGROUND FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS, running June 2-July 10, 2016, at San Francisco’s Thick House. This year’s “Platinum” Festival features more than 44 performances and readings by over a dozen local writers, including: BEST OF PLAYGROUND 20, a fully-produced program of six 10-minute plays selected from more than 175 submissions to the Monday Night PlayGround series; the world premiere of Katie May’s ABOMINABLE (2013 PlayGround Festival and 2015 Lark Playwrights’ Week selection) and Ruben Grijalva’s VALUE OVER REPLACEMENT (2014 PlayGround Festival, 2015 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist and 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award winner), and staged readings of four bold new full-length plays in development. Individual tickets are $25-$45 and All-Festival Passes (including priority seating tickets to all festival activities) start at $80. Tickets are available through the Box Office at 415-992-6677 or online at For the complete schedule of performances and readings, visit

BEST OF PLAYGROUND 20 (World Premiere)
Featuring New Works by: Madeleine Butler, Patricia Cotter, Karen Macklin, Isaac Ontiveros, Kirk Shimano, and Joshua Williams
June 2-19, 2016 at Thick House

The six ten-minute plays to be presented at this year’s Best of PlayGround are:
The River God by Madeleine Butler, directed by Jeffrey Lo
I'm Really Sorry About This by Patricia Cotter, directed by Tracy Ward
Ophy's Apothecary by Karen Macklin*, directed by Reena Dutt
Digging Ditches in Fresno by Isaac Ontiveros, directed by Steven Anthony Jones
Boys Beware by Kirk Shimano**, directed by Katja Rivera
The Lunatics by Josh Williams, directed by Jim Kleinmann
* Winner, 2016 June Anne Baker Prize
** 2016 PlayGround Fellowship Recipient

ABOMINABLE or The Misappropriation of Beverly Onion by Forces Beyond Her Control by Katie May (World Premiere)
Directed by Chloe Bronzan
June 6-July 9, 2016 at Thick House

Manic Pixie Productions in association with PlayGround and Symmetry Theatre Company are proud to present the world premiere of ABOMINABLE or The Misappropriation of Beverly Onion by Forces Beyond Her Control by Katie May, June 6-July 9, at Thick House as part of the 20th annual PlayGround Festival of New Works ( Previews are June 6 & 7 and Opening is June 8. Abominable tells the story of Beverly Onion, the world’s loneliest mortician’s assistant (and Star Wars fan) who finds herself the subject of a wager between the forces of Fate and Luck. Over the course of her hero’s journey, from the basement of Hortaman’s Funeral Home to a Star Wars convention to the mountains of Tibet, Beverly tries to reclaim control over her life and seeks to understand her deep connection to the mythical Abominable Snowman. May’s Abominable was originally commissioned and developed as part of the 2013 PlayGround Festival. It was further developed last October as part of the Lark Playwrights’ Week in NYC. Directed by Chloe Bronzan, the premiere features Lisa Morse, Amy Resnick, Nican Robinson, Chad Deverman, Gwen Loeb, and Steven Westdahl (an Equity-approved project).

VALUE OVER REPLACEMENT by Ruben Grijalva (World Premiere)
Directed by Jim Kleinmann
June 13-July 10, 2016 at Thick House, San Francisco (CA)

VOR Productions in association with PlayGround is proud to present the world premiere of VALUE OVER REPLACEMENT by Ruben Grijalva, June 13-July 10, at Thick House as part of the 20th annual PlayGround Festival of New Works ( Previews are June 13 & 14 and Opening is June 15. Value Over Replacement provides an insightful look at America’s favorite pastime and the choices players face to stay in the game. At 5’7”, 160 lbs, light-hitting shortstop turned drive-time sports radio host, Edward “Chip” Fuller is hardly the poster-boy for baseball’s steroid era. But when he learns his name will appear on a list of players linked to performance enhancing drugs, Chip is forced to explain his choice to colleagues, his listeners, and his family. In doing so, he must choose between a bland public apology and a much more difficult confession: that if he had it to do over again, he wouldn't change a thing. Grijalva’s Value Over Replacement was originally commissioned and developed as part of the 2014 PlayGround Festival. A 2015 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference finalist, Value Over Replacement was recently awarded an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Directed by PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann, the premiere features Jomar Tagatac, Melissa Ortiz, Alex Shafer, Martha Brigham, Stephanie Prentice, and Christian Haines (an Equity-approved project).

Four bold new works by William Bivins, Patricia Cotter, Victoria Chong Der, and Julianne Jigour
June 11-12 & June 18-19, 2016 at Thick House

PlayGround, the Bay Area’s leading playwright incubator, has selected four bold new full-length plays by Bay Area playwrights to be developed and presented as public staged readings over two weekends, June 11-12 and June 18-19, as part of the 20th annual PlayGround Festival of New Works at San Francisco’s Thick House. The plays are: Julianne Jigour’s BRIGHT SHINING SEA, Patricia Cotter’s 1980 (OR Why I’m Voting For John Anderson), William Bivins’ SCAPEGOAT, and Victoria Chong Der’s LIKE ME. Over the past two decades, the PlayGround Festival has served as a launching pad for some of the Bay Area’s most significant new writers. And with the inclusion of new full-length plays in development in 2003, more than eighteen past festival selection have gone on to premiere at theatres in the Bay Area and around the country, including Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party by Aaron Loeb, Crevice by Lauren Yee, and The Empty Nesters by Garret Jon Groenveld, with three more this spring/summer  Whale’s Wake by Amy Sass, Abominable by Katie May, and Value Over Replacement by Ruben Grijalva.


William Bivins’s (Scapegoat) productions include The Apotheosis of Pig Husbandry, The Education of a Rake,  The Position, The Afterlife of the Mind, Pulp Scripture, and Ransom, Texas. He has won, among others, the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Original Script and the Hyperion Project Original Play Competition. He is a two-time recipient of the PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award and is currently a PlayGround Resident.

MADELEINE BUTLER (The River God) just completed her third season with PlayGround. Her produced short plays include A Beautiful Evening and The River God (Monday Night PlayGround), as well as The Box and A Comfortable Life (PCSF Sheherezade Festivals). She’s currently at work on a full-length play, along with other creative writing projects.

Patricia Cotter (I’m Really Sorry About This; 1980) is an Emmy Award winning, Groundling Theater Alum. Plays: The Rules of Comedy Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival (Heideman Award finalist); The Surrogate; 1980 (Or Why I’m Voting For John Anderson) Musicals: The Break Up Notebook; and Ladykillers. Patricia was the receipt of June Ann Baker Prize 2014.

Victoria Chong Der (Like Me) has written for several Bay Area companies and received a 2014 PlayGround Fellowship. Victoria is a PlayGround Resident Playwright and a member of the Playwrights Foundation’s Resident Playwright Initiative. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Oberlin College.

Ruben Grijalva (Value Over Replacement) earned his BA in Cinema from San Francisco State and helped start the fitness-entertainment company Virtual Active. His works include the award-winning short film Shadow Ball, the full-length multimedia play Foresight, and short plays Value Over Replacement and Mr. Wong’s Goes to Washington, both Best of PlayGround selections. His full-length Value Over Replacement was commissioned and developed by PlayGround (2014), and named a 2015 O’Neill Natl Playwrights Conference finalist and 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award winner.

A California native, Julianne Jigour (Bright Shining Sea) has had staged readings and productions in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Aspen, and New York. For her screenwriting, she has received funding from the Steeltown Entertainment Project and the Sloan Foundation. Julianne earned her MFA in dramatic writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the PlayGround-LA Writers Pool and received a Planet Earth Arts New Play Commission to write Bright Shining Sea.

KAREN MACKLIN’s (Ophy’s Apothecary) plays have been staged in readings and productions in SF, NYC, & Seattle with companies such as Actors Theater SF, Playground, SF Playhouse, and Nylon Theatre. She has an MFA in Creative Writing, and has been a finalist for the Kennedy Center ACTF, Humana Festival, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

Katie May’s (Abominable) plays include Abominable (PlayGround Commission, Lark Playwrights’ Week selection, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist),  Manic Pixie Dream Girl (fringeNYC, A.C.T. Costume Shop), Black Sheep Gospel (Great Plains Theater Conference), A History of Freaks, among others. Her short play Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero (Best of PlayGround Festival, 2011) is being made into an animated short film scheduled for release in spring, 2015. May holds an MFA in Playwriting from Arizona State University.

Isaac Ontiveros (Digging Ditches in Fresno) was born in Santa Maria, California and has lived and worked in Oakland for most of his adult life. As a member of Critical Resistance, Isaac is involved in grassroots efforts to stop the violence of policing and imprisonment. He is a life-long artist, has written and co-authored many articles, and currently works as trade union researcher.

KIRK SHIMANO (Boys Beware) is returning for his third Best of PlayGround. His work has been presented by PianoFight, Wily West Productions, and the San Francisco Olympians. His “Portal: The Musical” will be performed at San Francisco Theater Pub in July and his “Princess and the Porn Star” is currently in development as part of the Custom Made Theater Company’s Undiscovered Works series.

Joshua Williams (The Lunatics) is a writer, director, translator and graduate student at U.C. Berkeley. His plays have been developed or produced at U.C. Berkeley, C.U. Boulder, Princeton University, SUNY Buffalo, Capital Fringe Festival, Theatre Intime, New York Musical Theatre Festival, CAP 21, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest and PlayGround San Francisco.

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, PlayGround Festival of New Works, Best of PlayGround, 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 nearly 200 local playwrights in the development and staging of over 750 original short plays and 61 new full-length plays, including more than eighteen that have since premiered in the Bay Area. PlayGround alumni have gone on to win local, national and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, the Lark, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Internationalists Playwriting Prize, and New York International Fringe Festival, among others.  More information at

WHAT: 20th Annual PLAYGROUND FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS, featuring more than 44 performances and readings of bold new plays by over a dozen Bay Area playwrights. The Festival includes: BEST OF PLAYGROUND 20 (world premiere), Katie May’s ABOMINABLE (world premiere), Ruben Grijalva’s VALUE OVER REPLACEMENT (world premiere), and staged readings of four new full-length plays in development.

WHERE: Thick House , 1695 18th Street, San Francisco, CA

WHEN: June 2-July 10, 2016

TICKETS: $25-$45. All-Festival Passes start at just $80. For more information about the PlayGround Festival of New Works, call (415) 992-6677 or visit

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