Monday, December 23, 2013

Support PlayGround-LA: What's in a Name?

PLAYGROUND. The name says it all. It's a wild, often wacky, always wonderfully fun adventure for all the writers, directors and actors (and the audience) who have the good fortune to be connected with it each month. It's as if we've been put in a time machine and returned to our kid times, and have been encouraged to go out and just play.

Writers are given a topic that can fall anywhere on a spectrum from the very "normal" to the very "abnormal", and then four and a half days to submit a script. They are urged to stretch their imaginations, and are never saddled by any rules or regs other than a limit of 10 pages maximum. "Here's the topic; go with it where you wish". 6 Scripts are selected from the submissions, given to directors and casts are chosen.

Then....well, then, another whole room of the PlayGround opens up. As with the writing, there are no rules and regs for directors and actors other than "go for it", and "let's see what ya got", as they bring these little 10 page gems to life.There is a 1.5 hour rehearsal time in which the directors and actors hem & haw, stammer & stew, behave and misbehave to the max until they hack and hew the rough drawing of their vision of how the play will best be served on the night.

And finally...the night! The Monday night when the PlayGround is opened up for everyone to come and enjoy the playing. The great energy, enthusiasm and camaraderie is infectuous, and it really is like watching kids having a ball on the playground. This is where it all comes together: writers, directors and actors get to strut their stuff bringing theatrical magic to life.

This is what's so wonderful about PlayGround-LA: it provides a place where artists can do their art; where you can take chances and risks and you're not going to be sent to your room with no dessert if you "fail". (No one fails, and there's always plenty of dessert)  And it provides a place where joy and the enjoyment of the process of doing art is shared by all.

The moment I first heard about PlayGround, I knew something good was brewing, and I immediately got involved, as an artist and a donor. I've loved every minute of it.

Give it a shot. Support the PlayGround. I promise, you're gonna be happy ya did.

Michael Cavanaugh
Actor

https://www.causes.com/campaigns/69966-support-the-playground-la-year-end-campaign





To give to the PlayGround-LA Year-End Campaign, click the button above or visit http://playground-la.org/contribute today!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Support PlayGround-LA!

PlayGround-LA was launched last October and, in just our first year-and-a-half, we’ve produced nine rounds of Monday Night PlayGround, developing fifty-four original plays by more than two dozen L.A. playwrights and involving over three hundred L.A. theatre artists. With your support, PlayGround-LA has become a leading hub for the L.A. theatre community, where we can discover bold new voices for the stage and create new networks and opportunities.
 
To complete our second season, we need your help! Ticket sales cover less than half the cost of producing the Monday Night PlayGround series, with the balance made up by donations from individuals like you. Whether $25 or $250, every contribution counts! And we've got special perks to thank you for your support, from discount vouchers to a free copy of the Best of PlayGround anthology, and more!. This holiday season, please consider making a gift to the PlayGround-LA Year-End Campaign and help us secure the future of L.A. theatre, one playwright at a time!
 
To contribute to our Year-End Campaign on Causes.com, click the link below, visit our website or call (323) 992-6766.

Happy Holidays!
 
Jim Kleinmann
Artistic Director

Give 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

PlayGround-LA Alumni in the News Dec-13

See what PlayGround-LA Alumni are up to as we prepare for the December 9 round of Monday Night PlayGround.

Valerie Perri has been nominated for Best Leading Actress in a Musical (local production) for Sunset Boulevard by the critics from Broadway World. To vote, visit http://www.broadwayworld.com/los-angeles/vote2013region.cfm. 

Marc Forget signed with Kepler Entertainment management and shot 2 short films in the last 2 weeks. 

Marc Jacobson stars in the viral video Girls Are A**holes: At a Bar, which received over 3 million views in 4 days. 

Allie Costa is playing Tiny Tammy in the musical LITTLE MISS SCROOGE at The Rubicon

Tom Misuraca's play Santa Baby will be produced at Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga's Dysfunctional Family Xmas Festival in December. 

Katy Davis is just back from filming the short movie Absaroka: Sins in Wyoming — a direct result of having participated in PlayGround-LA last January. 

Molly Noble is performing in never fall so heavily again by fellow PlayGround SF member Gabriel Grilli at Brickabrack. www.mollynoble.com 

Ivan Rivas just directed the Palm Springs premiere of Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz at the Palm Canyon Theatre. 

Gary Poux’s new film ASSASSINS TALE (currently on dvd) just released internationally. 

Arthur Keng performed in The Playwrights Foundation's workshop of Go On Living. 

Kloii Hollis was a "California Cowgirl" dancer for independent country singer Scotty McCoy's music video. She also played a supporting role in an Independent short film, ROUND HOUSE.

Joseph Patrick O'Malley recently narrated BLACK COBRA, a full length audiobook available on audible.com this Christmas.

Brittany Slattery is in rehearsals for Sarah Ruhl's THE PASSION PLAY at the Odyssey Theatre, directed by Bart DeLorenzo and opening January 18.

Tahmus Rounds appeared recently on THE BRIDGE on FX.

Katie Rubin just landed a commercial agent and a manager and is up for the lead role in an awesome play she feels she can't yet mention at an awesome theater in LA.  Pray for her?!

Laura Gardner appeared on CASTLE and LAKE ANNE at The Road Theatre.

Jennifer Chang is directing Lee Blessing's FORTINBRAS for the USC undergrad program in the Spring and was recently on an episode of TWO AND A HALF MEN.

Mary Linda Phillips has started rehearsals with The Open Fist Theater Company for the Tony Award-winning musical, James Joyce's THE DEAD, opening January 17th at The Greenway Court Theater in Hollywood. 

Robert Cucuzza has launched a revolutionary actor studio for LA: studiocucuzza.com

Kathleen Cecchin is currently elevating the internet by recreating content in the manner of Oscar Wilde. Watch for it here: kathleencecchin.com 

Laura Owen is thrilled to be in pre-production for her upcoming dramatic short, which she wrote and will be staring in.

Friday, November 29, 2013

PlayGround-LA Announces Dec 9 Topic!

PlayGround-LA continues its second season and celebrated monthly staged reading series, Monday Night PlayGround, on December 9 at the Zephyr Theatre with six original short plays inspired by a Holiday Song. Los Angeles-based playwrights have until 2pm on Tuesday to write and submit scripts inspired by the topic. Playwrights are encouraged to be creative and use the topic as a jumping-off point with all forms of theatrical expression encouraged. For submission guidelines, visit http://playground-la.org/submit. The six finalists will be presented as script-in-hand staged readings at 8pm on December 9. For tickets, low-cost subscriptions or for more information, the public can call (323) 992-6766, email info@PlayGround-LA.org or go online at http://PlayGround-LA.org.

Ten days before the designated Monday, a topic is announced and emerging playwrights in the Greater Los Angeles Area have until 2pm the following Tuesday to submit a short script. A panel of judges selects six winners, whose entries are cast over the weekend and then rehearsed with the area’s best professional actors and directors in a whirlwind ninety minutes each before being performed as script-in-hand staged readings. Previous topics include “Origin Story”, “Sea-Change”, “Holiday Spirit”, “I Have A Dream...”, and last month’s “The Secret”.

The mission of PlayGround-LA is to support the development of significant new local voices for the theatre. PlayGround-LA has developed a unique model for identifying and nurturing the best new writers, helping them to build a significant body of original work, and strongly weaving these artists into the family of local theatre professionals. PlayGround pairs early development playwrights with established, professional actors and directors and fosters the artistic relationships that develop.

PlayGround-LA is the first regional expansion of the celebrated Bay Area playwright incubator and theatre community hub, PlayGround(SF). PlayGround was launched in San Francisco in 1994 by co-founders Jim Kleinmann, Brighde Mullins and Denise Shama. In 1996, Kleinmann became PlayGround’s first Artistic Director. Since its founding, PlayGround has developed and staged more than 650 original ten-minute plays by 185 Bay Area early-career writers and has commissioned 51 full-length plays by distinguished PlayGround alumni. In the process of staging those works, PlayGround has helped to identify some of the leading emerging writers and, at the same time, has engendered the creation of a true community of theatre artists, bringing together hundreds of local actors, directors and playwrights. For most if not all of the participating writers, PlayGround is the first professional staging their work has received and serves as their introduction into the professional theatre community.

PlayGround’s alumni have gone on to win local, national and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project, and Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, among others. Directors and actors participating in PlayGround are among some of the most distinguished theatre professionals, regularly working on leading local stages.

For more information, visit http://PlayGround-LA.org or follow PlayGround on Facebook (http://facebook.com/PlayGround.LosAngeles) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/PlayGround_LA).

PlayGround-LA’s Monday Night PlayGround is

WHAT:
Six original short plays by L.A.’s best new dramatists, inspired by a holiday song

WHEN:
December 9, 2013
Monday @ 8pm

WHERE:
Zephyr Theatre
7456 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90046

HOW:
(323) 992-6766  or

TICKETS: $20, priority seating; $15, general admission; $10, student admission with ID.
6-admission flex subscriptions (includes priority seating) start at just $75.

Friday, November 22, 2013

November People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The November People's Choice Award goes to Mark Sherstinsky for his original short play, A David Lynch Family Christmas, presented as a staged reading at the PlayGround-LA Monday Night PlayGround November 11 performance at the Zephyr Theatre. Congratulations, Mark!

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

A DAVID LYNCH FAMILY CHRISTMAS
by Mark Sherstinsky

Characters:
DAVID (aka David Lynch Junior) male, seven years old (played by adult)
MOM female, adult
DAD (aka David Lynch Senior) male, adult

Lights up on stage. There is a paper flip board and a chair up
stage. DAVID enters in a nightgown, appearing to be
sleepwalking, and stops at center stage.

DAVID
Hi. Can you keep a secret? I don’t really sleepwalk. I’m awake. I’m just bored. Or
crazy. I’m not sure. Can you be both at the same time? I read about sleepwalking when
I was five, and I was, like, Wow! Sleeping, plus walking. Now, I’m seven. And I’ve
been pretending to sleepwalk the whole time. My Mom and Dad believe that I’m
actually asleep. And even though I keep them awake, and drive them crazy, and it’s all a
big lie, I can’t stop.

MOM enters from stage left and DAVID approaches MOM.

MOM
David. David? (MOM waves hand in front of DAVID’s face. DAVID does not react.)
Do you need to go to the bathroom?

DAVID
Uh huh.

MOM walks DAVID over to a toilet (chair) and sits DAVID down.

MOM
Let’s do this and go back to bed.

DAVID
I can’t do it, Mom.

MOM
You can.

DAVID
No. I can’t. Sing the song. I need the song.

MOM
You don’t need the song. Ok. Ok. (Sings, like a lullaby*) You shake my nerves and you
rattle my brain. Too much love drives a man insane. You broke my will. Oh what a thrill. Goodness gracious great balls of fire.

DAVID is able to relieve himself, and joins singing in with
MOM. Meanwhile, DAD enters stage. DAD is wearing a
creepy mask. He approaches MOM and DAVID from
behind as they sing.

DAVID & MOM (singing)
I learned to love all of Hollywood money. You came along and you moved me honey.

DAVID notices him, and stops singing. MOM keeps going.

MOM
I changed my mind. Looking fine. Goodness gracious great balls of fire…
(MOM finally notices DAVID’s unease.)

MOM
What is it, David?

DAVID
Um, I’m done here.

MOM
David? Is it Dad? (DAVID does not answer.)
Ok. Let’s go back to bed sweetie.

DAVID stands up from toilet (chair). DAVID and MOM start to exit.

DAVID
Mom?

MOM
Yes, baby?

DAVID
Can I sleep in your bed tonight?

MOM
Of course you can.

DAVID
Mom?
MOM
Yes, baby.

DAVID
Merry Christmas.

* from Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire”

----

Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, December 9, at the Zephyr Theatre and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Nov 11 PlayGround-LA "Secret" Selections Announced!

PlayGround-LA continues its second season and celebrated monthly staged reading series, Monday Night PlayGround, on November 11 at the Zephyr Theatre with six original short plays inspired by this month’s topic… THE SECRET. Los Angeles-based playwrights had until this past Tuesday to write and submit scripts inspired by the topic. Playwrights were encouraged to be creative and use the topic as a jumping-off point with all forms of theatrical expression encouraged. The six finalists (see below) will be presented as script-in-hand staged readings at 8pm on November 11. For tickets, low-cost subscriptions or for more information, the public can call (323) 992-6766, email info@PlayGround-LA.org or go online at http://PlayGround-LA.org/monday.

The six selected plays/playwrights for November 11 are:
Can You Keep a Secret by Allie Costa, directed by Sylvia Blush
Mass Effect by Forrest Hartl, directed by Casey Stangl
Gentlemen's Pact by Karen Howes, directed by Jim Kleinmann
The Games That We Play by Thomas J. Misuraca, directed by Ann-Giselle Spiegler
Otzi by Carolina Rojas Moretti, directed by Peter J. Kuo
A David Lynch Family Christmas by Mark Sherstinsky, directed by Lee Sankowich


Ten days before the designated Monday, a topic is announced and emerging playwrights in the Greater Los Angeles Area have until 2pm the following Tuesday to submit a short script. A panel of judges selects six winners, whose entries are cast over the weekend and then rehearsed with the area’s best professional actors and directors in a whirlwind ninety minutes each before being performed as script-in-hand staged readings. Previous topics include “Origin Story”, “Sea-Change”, “Holiday Spirit”, “I Have A Dream...”, and last month’s “Shutdown”.

The mission of PlayGround-LA is to support the development of significant new local voices for the theatre. PlayGround-LA has developed a unique model for identifying and nurturing the best new writers, helping them to build a significant body of original work, and strongly weaving these artists into the family of local theatre professionals. PlayGround pairs early development playwrights with established, professional actors and directors and fosters the artistic relationships that develop.

PlayGround-LA is the first regional expansion of the celebrated Bay Area playwright incubator and theatre community hub, PlayGround(SF). PlayGround was launched in San Francisco in 1994 by co-founders Jim Kleinmann, Brighde Mullins and Denise Shama. In 1996, Kleinmann became PlayGround’s first Artistic Director. Since its founding, PlayGround has developed and staged more than 650 original ten-minute plays by 185 Bay Area early-career writers and has commissioned 51 full-length plays by distinguished PlayGround alumni. In the process of staging those works, PlayGround has helped to identify some of the leading emerging writers and, at the same time, has engendered the creation of a true community of theatre artists, bringing together hundreds of local actors, directors and playwrights. For most if not all of the participating writers, PlayGround is the first professional staging their work has received and serves as their introduction into the professional theatre community.

PlayGround’s alumni have gone on to win local, national and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project, and Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, among others. Directors and actors participating in PlayGround are among some of the most distinguished theatre professionals, regularly working on leading local stages.

For more information, visit http://PlayGround-LA.org or follow PlayGround on Facebook (http://facebook.com/PlayGround.LosAngeles) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/PlayGround_LA).

PlayGround-LA’s Monday Night PlayGround is

WHAT:
Six original short plays by L.A.’s best new dramatists, inspired by the topic “The Secret”

WHEN:
November 11, 2013
Monday @ 8pm

WHERE:
Zephyr Theatre
7456 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90046

HOW:
(323) 992-6766  or

TICKETS: $20, priority seating; $15, general admission; $10, student admission with ID.
6-admission flex subscriptions (includes priority seating) start at just $75.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

PlayGround-LA Alumni in the News Nov-13

See what PlayGround-LA Alumni are up to as we prepare for the November 11 round of Monday Night PlayGround.

Photo courtesy of Mitch Goldstrom.
Ann-Giselle Spiegler’s short play, Indivisible, originally performed at the February 2013 Monday Night PlayGround, was featured in the “First Wave’ of Wave Fest in Santa Monica in September and October, playing to sold out houses.

In December, Abigail Marks is appearing in A Noise Within's A CHRISTMAS CAROL. New company member of Classical Theatre Lab, Paris McCarthy is set to do a reading of A FAMILY AFFAIR (http://www.classicaltheatrelab.org/index.html).

Joseph Patrick O'Malley just opened BY THE BOG OF CATS by Marina Carr at Theatre Banshee. Kathleen Cecchin is currently in post-production of her short film PAM. Laura Owen just got new headshots and can't wait to put 'em to good use.

Andrew Crabtree's short film PLANNING AHEAD won the Critics' Choice Award at the No Budget Film Festival in September and PlayGround-LA actress Emma Fassler won the festival's Performance Award for her work in the film.

Shanel Moore has been getting great workout/performances with Improv Trick LA at Improv Jam in Pasadena. Jean Altadel will be starring in The Musical of Musicals: The Musical at The Attic Theatre Nov 8-Dec 8.

This winter, John Collins will play Thomas Baldwin in Frilly (a new play by Sigrid Gilmer), and Tesman in Hedda Gabler. Allie Costa's new play FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE recently premiered at the Sherry Theater in L.A. Marc Forget is shooting a trailer in November for the upcoming feature The Repass.

Friday, November 1, 2013

PlayGround-LA Nov 11 Topic... Shhhh!

PlayGround-LA continues its second season and celebrated monthly staged reading series, Monday Night PlayGround, on November 11 at the Zephyr Theatre with six original short plays inspired by this month’s topic… THE SECRET. Los Angeles-based playwrights have until 2pm on Tuesday to write and submit scripts inspired by the topic. Playwrights are encouraged to be creative and use the topic as a jumping-off point with all forms of theatrical expression encouraged. For submission guidelines, visit http://playground-la.org/submit. The six finalists will be presented as script-in-hand staged readings at 8pm on November 11. For tickets, low-cost subscriptions or for more information, the public can call (323) 992-6766, email info@PlayGround-LA.org or go online at http://PlayGround-LA.org.

Ten days before the designated Monday, a topic is announced and emerging playwrights in the Greater Los Angeles Area have until 2pm the following Tuesday to submit a short script. A panel of judges selects six winners, whose entries are cast over the weekend and then rehearsed with the area’s best professional actors and directors in a whirlwind ninety minutes each before being performed as script-in-hand staged readings. Previous topics include “Origin Story”, “Sea-Change”, “Holiday Spirit”, “I Have A Dream...”, and last month’s “Shutdown”.

The mission of PlayGround-LA is to support the development of significant new local voices for the theatre. PlayGround-LA has developed a unique model for identifying and nurturing the best new writers, helping them to build a significant body of original work, and strongly weaving these artists into the family of local theatre professionals. PlayGround pairs early development playwrights with established, professional actors and directors and fosters the artistic relationships that develop.

PlayGround-LA is the first regional expansion of the celebrated Bay Area playwright incubator and theatre community hub, PlayGround(SF). PlayGround was launched in San Francisco in 1994 by co-founders Jim Kleinmann, Brighde Mullins and Denise Shama. In 1996, Kleinmann became PlayGround’s first Artistic Director. Since its founding, PlayGround has developed and staged more than 650 original ten-minute plays by 185 Bay Area early-career writers and has commissioned 51 full-length plays by distinguished PlayGround alumni. In the process of staging those works, PlayGround has helped to identify some of the leading emerging writers and, at the same time, has engendered the creation of a true community of theatre artists, bringing together hundreds of local actors, directors and playwrights. For most if not all of the participating writers, PlayGround is the first professional staging their work has received and serves as their introduction into the professional theatre community.

PlayGround’s alumni have gone on to win local, national and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project, and Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, among others. Directors and actors participating in PlayGround are among some of the most distinguished theatre professionals, regularly working on leading local stages.

For more information, visit http://PlayGround-LA.org or follow PlayGround on Facebook (http://facebook.com/PlayGround.LosAngeles) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/PlayGround_LA).

PlayGround-LA’s Monday Night PlayGround is

WHAT:
Six original short plays by L.A.’s best new dramatists, inspired by the topic “The Secret”

WHEN:
November 11, 2013
Monday @ 8pm

WHERE:
Zephyr Theatre
7456 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90046

HOW:
(323) 992-6766  or

TICKETS: $20, priority seating; $15, general admission; $10, student admission with ID.
6-admission flex subscriptions (includes priority seating) start at just $75.

October People's Choice Award


The people have spoken... The October People's Choice Award goes to Elayne Heilveil for her original short play, Till Death Do Us Part, presented as a staged reading at the PlayGround-LA Monday Night PlayGround October 14 performance at the Zephyr Theatre. Congratulations, Elayne!

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



TILL DEATH DO US PART
by Elayne Heilveil

CHARACTERS
MARY JANE: 20’s-30’s. A girl with spunk. From a redneck town.
BILLY JOE: Late 20’s-30’s. A beer drinking guy from the same town.

SETTING: Grand Canyon. October 1, 2013.

Mary Jane and Billy Joe have been hiking up a trail. Mary Jane
leads and Billy Joe, out of breath, lags behind. She is dressed in
partial wedding attire with a bride’s headdress on. It sits on her
head like a tilted crown. Down her back hangs the starchy veil.

MARY JANE
Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of how it would be.

BILLY JOE
Uh huh.

MARY JANE
I’d marry my Prince Charming and we’d stand in front of some Minister of God,
under the bluest heaven above.

BILLY JOE
Uh huh.

MARY JANE
And I’d swear my undying love till death did us part…

BILLY JOE
Uh huh.

MARY JANE
…and dance until the sun goes down under the glorius stars….

BILLY JOE
Mary Jane, you know I don’t dance.

MARY JANE
…Sunsets over the south rim… snuggling on the cliffs until the weeniest hours of day.

BILLY JOE
I told you not to jump the gate.

MARY JANE
I just want to say them vows, Billy Joe. The way we planned.

BILLY JOE
There was one of them armed official types turning back the cars. I think they saw us, Mary Jane. It just ain’t safe.

MARY JANE
I want my mule ride up the hill like the pamphlet said.

BILLY JOE
You are stubborn as one of them mules, Mary Jane. Jesus Christ! They had their rifles out. We could spend our life in jail.

MARY JANE
I want to spend my life hearing your thoughts and seeing your dreams. Right here.
On top of the grandest canyon in the world. It was all planned out. And I wanted
to share my undying love in front of all my facebook friends.

BILLY JOE
All five turned right back and went on home. Come on Mary Jane. It’s getting late.

MARY JANE
Maybe it was good Momma ate that pastrimi sandwich.

BILLY JOE
Don’t say that, Mary Jane.

MARY JANE
Well, she would have come for nothing. She didn’t miss a thing. Except seeing
one of the most natural wonders of the world…CLOSED!

BILLY JOE
She’s your mother Mary Jane. She’s in some I… C… P or U or whatever letter that
was.

MARY JANE
Well it certainly wasn’t some Intensive Culinary Place. You’d think they’d give
her some dietary restrictions after bypassing her heart.

BILLY JOE
I guess she just wanted to live it up. The night before her daughter’s wedding, she
wanted to live it up. Can’t blame her much for that.

MARY JANE
At least my daddy’s with her. Holding her hand.


----

Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, November 11, at the Zephyr Theatre and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.