Saturday, October 22, 2016

PlayGround 2016-17 Playwriting Classes

PlayGround has announced its 2016-17 class and workshop offerings for playwrights, kicking off on Monday, November 7 with a one-night Intensive on “Developing Memorable Characters & High Impact Plays” led by 19-year PlayGround Casting Director Annie Stuart, followed by a one-day Documentary Theater Workshop led by playwright/performance artist Paul Flores on Saturday, November 12, and continuing with a new six-week PlayLab with Ragged Wing Ensemble Artistic Director Amy Sass on “Writing the Sensual Script,” launching Tuesday, November 15. The season continues through April with more than ten different offerings, from the monthly Monday evening two-hour Intensives on various aspects of playwriting to the all-new Saturday 4-hour workshops and the immersive six-week Tuesday evening PlayLabs. Classes start at just $40/session and significant discounts (up to 50%) are available with early-bird registration. All classes take place at the PlayGround PlaySpace in South Berkeley (BART-accessible and plenty of free available parking). For more information and detailed class descriptions, visit http://playground-sf.org/classes.  To register, visit http://playground-sf.org/register.

2016-17 PLAYWRITING INTENSIVES, WORKSHOPS & PLAYLABS

INTENSIVES

Mon, November 7, 8pm-10pm
DEVELOPING MEMORABLE CHARACTERS & HIGH IMPACT PLAYS with Annie Stuart
($40; subscriptions as low as $25/session)

Mon, December 5, 8pm-10pm
PLAYING WITH SOUND - TAKING APART DIALOGUE with Garret Jon Groenveld
($40; subscriptions as low as $25/session)

Mon, January 2, 8pm-10pm
DRAMATURGY FOR PLAYWRIGHTS with Jim Kleinmann
($40; subscriptions as low as $25/session)

Mon, February 6, 8pm-10pm
FROM STAGE TO SCREEN: CRAFTING VISUAL STORIES FROM SPOKEN WORD with Jonathan Luskin
($40; subscriptions as low as $25/session)

Mon, March 6, 8pm-10pm
WORDLESS STORYTELLING with Amy Sass
($40; subscriptions as low as $25/session)

Mon, March 27, 8pm-10pm
WRITING THE PERFECT TEN-MINUTE PLAY with Jim Kleinmann
($40; subscriptions as low as $25/session)


WORKSHOPS

Sat, November 12, 12pm-4pm
TELLING THE REAL: DOCUMENTARY THEATER WORKSHOP with Paul Flores
($100; $50 early-bird registration thru 10/31)


PLAYLABS

Tues, November 15- December 20, 7pm-10pm
PLAYLAB “Writing the Sensual Script” with Amy Sass
($360; $240 early-bird registration thru 10/31)

Tues, January 24-February 28, 7pm-10pm
PLAYLAB “Adapting Classics for the Contemporary Audience” with Dan Wolf
($360; $240 early-bird registration thru 12/16)

Tues, March 7-April 11, 7pm-10pm
PLAYLAB “Art & Craft of Playwriting” with Anthony Clarvoe
($360; $240 early-bird registration thru 10/31)


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For more information and detailed class descriptions, visit http://playground-sf.org/classes.

Friday, October 21, 2016

October People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The October People's Choice Award goes to Nancy K. Fishman for her short play, Pageant, presented as a staged reading at Monday Night PlayGround on October 17 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Nancy! The play along with the other short works from the evening were featured as a part of the 3rd Annual Planet Earth Arts New Play Festival.


Courtesy of Ms. Fishman, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!






PAGEANT
By Nancy K. Fishman

CAST IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE


Rosana Oppedisano– female–early 20s-Italian/any race-Italian accent


Noa Diskin- female-early 20s-Israeli/Caucasian or of Ethiopian descent-Israeli accent


Nadege Hayatou- female-early 20’s, a West African rhinoceros from Cameroon-any race-French accent (possibly two people in a costume, front and back)


Kanako Akita- female-early 20s-Japanese/Japanese accent


Donald Trump- male-late 60s-Caucasian-New York accent


Male employee/Male Judge- Male-any age over 30 - any race


Everyman Republican- male-any age over 21-any race -silent audience member


(In the dressing room of the Miss Universe
pageant, 2013. Rosana, Noa, and Kanako 
are in various states of dress and undress, trying 
desperately to get ready for the swimsuit contest)


NOA
(Searching desperately in a make-up bag She digs deeper and deeper
into her bag, throwing things out on the table as she looks for the eyeliner. 
We see her bag emptied of tampons, deodorant, bobby pins, tubes 
of lipstick. Finally she shrieks, which makes Rosana, Noa and Kanako 
jump a foot in the air. Then she slowly swivels in her chair 
and looks at the other three women with dagger eyes)


Okay, which one of bitches you took my eyeliner?


ROSANA
(swiveling in her own chair, which is opposite Noa’s chair)
Porca miseria, you think we care about your eyeliner? You are pazza…completamente pazza. Everyone else here is sweet--maybe a little manipulative--but you,(she stabs at the air for emphasis with the eyeliner brush), you are like a wet blanket.


NOA
Bat-zona! I know you took it!!! I’ve met pickpockets before. .


ROSANA
(standing up and facing NOA ).
You know, cara, you could get kicked out of the Miss Universe contest for using dirty words.Sozzone!


NOA
(wielding a curling iron like a sword)
Yes, you can get kicked out for cursing. But when I was in the army, I learned not to snitch on
anyone.


KANAKO
(Frantically trying to tease some body into her hair).
Same with me. We don’t snitch. Better to suffer a bully than to snitch and be ostracized


(walks over to NOA’S station and picks 
up an eyeliner pencil off of the ground).


Is this your eyeliner?

NOA (grabbing the eyeliner)
Ah, thank god you found it.!


KANAKO (sarcastically)
Well, I’m so glad we avoided an international incident. Let’s set some ground rules, shall we girls?


NOA
I don’t know about you, but the only ground rule for me is that I’m gonna win this contest.


ROSANNA
(applying lipstick)
When does Ms. Cameroon get here? If she’s not here in an hour, she’ll be disqualified.


KANAKO
Have you prepared for the final question?


ROSANNA
(jumps up and starts pacing, pulling down the back of her bathing suit)
What do you think they’ll ask? Something about world peace? Zika? Motherhood, what?


NOA
As long as they don’t ask about the separation barrier, they can ask me whatever they want.

-------


Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, November 21, at Berkeley Rep and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Our Dreams, Earth's Nightmare: Hurricane Matthew, DAPL, and the Human Relationship to Earth's Environment

Read on to learn more about Hurricane Matthew, the Dakota Access Pipeline Project, the candidates' stance on the Environment, and why the topic "Awakening to the Dream of the Earth" matters....


“Physical degradation of the natural world is also the degradation of the interior world of the human.” (Thomas Berry, “The New Political Alignment,” in The Great Work, 110). 


Our Dreams, Earth’s Nightmares: DAPL, Hurricane Matthew, and the Human Effect on Planet Earth
The October installment of Monday Night PlayGround will be our third year collaborating with Planet Earth Arts on the Planet Earth Arts New Play Festival. The plays this year will be focusing on the topic “Awakening to the Dreams of the Earth”. The topic itself rings of hope, the word dream implies a lofty idealization of the way we envision our Planet to be, how we see ourselves interacting with it and then how we envision the Earth’s interaction with us. We often like to speak about our desires for this planet as if we had an infinite amount of time. What a grave mistake that is, to have such lofty ideas leaves little room for a sense of urgency to address  the very real issues occurring in our global environment today. Two of those most urgent issues are Hurricane Matthew and the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. Both of these environmental issues highlight the affect that we as humans have on our Planet and in turn how our Planet affects us.

Hurricane Matthew
Since September 29th Hurricane Matthew (which is no categorized as a post-tropical cyclone) has devastated  the Southern America (Colombia), the Caribbean Islands (Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas) and in the U.S. Matthew has torn through Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. With winds reaching up to 157+ miles per hour Matthew has left 1000 people dead in Haiti (a country who is now fighting against cholera in their storm ravaged country) and 23 people dead in the United States (so far). Some say that the that the increases in both the number of storms but also the strength of the storms is due to the changing climate affected by constant destruction of the Earth through frakking, increased non-compostable waste, and the constant mining and exploitation of natural resources.

Dakota Access Pipeline Project
Right now as you are reading this there is a large peaceful protest movement occurring to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline Project. The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a project approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers to create a 1, 172 mile long 30 inch wide pipeline that would transport light, sweet crude oil from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois. This pipeline would be pumping 470,00 barrels of crude oil, the equivalent of 374.3 million gallons of personal gasoline per day.  The Standing Rock Sioux tribe sued the corps saying that not only will the pipeline effectively destroy their environment and spiritual well being as it would destroy/disturb sites of great historic, religious and cultural significance, but also, it puts the Missouri River (which the pipeline would run directly under) at risk for contamination if the pipeline were to ever burst or rupture. During the presidential debate on Sunday evening, the U.S. Congress rejected the injunction that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe had against the continued the construction, yesterday, as protesters peacefully held space at the construction site police in riot gear moved in on them arresting many protesters for trespassing, those that were not arrested were berated and forcefully moved away from the site.

With the existence of both Hurricane Matthew and the DAPL we see the macro and micro effects of human decisions on Planet Earth. On the one hand we are seeing how our negative decisions affect the the planet globally through the increase of natural disaster and the damage they cause, on the other, we are witnessing our government cast necessary caution to the wind and put at risk another major body of water (despite the oil leaks in to the Gulf and the Flint, Michigan catastrophe) in order to funnel oil for capital gain. In the midst of that, we have two presidential candidates, one who believes that global warming is man-made fiction (Trump), the other believes that global warming is an urgent matter that is scientifically proven and thus wants to focus on alternative/clean energy policies (Clinton). One of these two people will be the ones making the decisions that either continue the acceleration of the physical degradation of the Earth or takes the steps to right our wrongs and make the safety and longevity of our environment a priority.





















































September People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The September People's Choice Award goes to Ignacio Zulueta for his short play, Original Sins, presented as a staged reading at Monday Night PlayGround Alumni Night on September 19 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Iggy! The play along with the other short works from the evening will be further developed and will premiere as part of The Potrero Nuevo Project next January at the soon-to-be-renovated Thick House Theater.

Courtesy of Mr. Zulueta, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL SINS
by Ignacio Zulueta

SANZO, 30s-40s, minor Spanish gentry, now turned a settler of the Californian wilderness in the new republic of Mexico.
MRS. SANZO, 30s-40s, her husband’s better half.
THE OTHER MAN: plays a sententious Jesuit and a gullible, but handsome, Ukrainian. The Other Man must be an imposing physical presence.

Author’s Note: Do you ever wonder what Nick and Nora Archer, from the Thin Man comedy series, might have been like if they lived as bucolic minor gentry on the nineteenth century California frontier? Well, now you know.

Sound of wind in the hills. Strains of spanish guitar.

BOTH THE SANZOS
(To the audience) Alta California. The year was eighteen hundred twenty eight, anno domini.

MRS. SANZO
That means the year of our lord. You know. ( Points up to sky.)

SANZO
It was a new frontier in the New World of the Americas. The Mission Dolores de Francisco de Asis was the pearl in the necklace of the El Camino Real.

MRS. SANZO
That means the Royal road. You know, of the King.

SANZO
Rancheros kept cattle and horses beneath the golden-grassed, oak-studded hills of the bucolic east bay.

MRS. SANZO
That means Oakland. You know, with the… Oaks.

SANZO
Somewhere over the Sierra Nevadas and the great Rocky Mountains, America was just a forty-year-old ongoing experiment with constitutional democracy.

MRS. SANZO
That means Trouble. Just Trouble.

SANZO
But for our little corner of the world, it was the golden age of land barons of Spanish descent.

MRS. SANZO
Provided you were a land baron, had gold, or were of Spanish descent.

SANZO
One out of three ain’t bad.

MRS. SANZO
Ours was more of a silver age, then.

SANZO
Copper.

MRS. SANZO
Bauxite.

SANZO
But it certainly beats living with your mother in Texas. (They cross themselves.)

THE COUPLE
Thank you Jesus, for Alta California!

SANZO
Our little haven from the troubles of the world... (Light change Ominous sound effect.)

MRS. SANZO
Until the day the Ohlone basket arrived. (The Ohlone basket arrives. Light change. MRS. SANZO kisses SANZO on the cheek and restarts the scene.) That’s for your lovely present, Mr. Sanzo.

SANZO
De nada, Mrs. Sanzo. What did I give you again?

MRS. SANZO
(Pulling it out) Why, this beautiful Ohlone basket! Such exquisite weaving and contrast. And this abalone beadwork! Oh, darling, you shouldn’t have.

SANZO
I didn’t.

MRS. SANZO
(Laughs) Flirt.

SANZO
If I am joking, it’s in very poor taste.

MRS. SANZO
Look at these shells! Look at these bracelets. Look at this… I don’t know quite what this is. I’m
thinking it’s a headdress.

SANZO
Well I’m hoping it’s a skirt. Or a codpiece...

MRS. SANZO
Mr. Sanzo, you are incorrigible.

----

Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, October 17, at Berkeley Rep and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.