Friday, January 31, 2014

PlayGround-LA Feb 10 Topic... Take it to Heart!

PlayGround-LA continues its second season and celebrated monthly staged reading series, Monday Night PlayGround, on February 10 at the Zephyr Theatre with six original short plays inspired by this month’s topic… IDIOMS OF THE HEART (e.g., change of heart, heart-to-heart, heart of gold, etc.; see http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/heart). 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 February 10. For tickets, low-cost subscriptions or for more information, the public can call (323) 992-6766 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 “California Dreamin”.

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 “Idioms of the Heart”

WHEN:
February 10, 2014
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, January 17, 2014

January People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The January People's Choice Award goes to Forrest Hartl for his short play, Imperfection is Beauty, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ on January 13 at the Zephyr Theatre. Congratulations, Forrest!

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

IMPERFECTION IS BEAUTY
by Forrest Hartl

TIME: 1945.
PLACE: Norwalk, CA. Twenty miles south of Hollywood.

CAST OF CHARACTERS:
DONNA - late 20s-40. Honest woman with a genuine concern for
others. The owner & waitress of a train station diner.
ED - 20s-40. A wise-cracking ne'er-do-well. Especially blunt when
he drinks. He's been drinking.
JEAN - 20. Possibly a future Hollywood icon. But, right now, her
ambition outweighs her talent. And her complicated personal life
is putting a strain on her decision-making ability.
JOHNNY - 50. Finely-dressed and mannered. He is very successful
and tends to be impatient and self-serving.

The year is 1945. It’s late at night
inside a train station diner. The town
is Norwalk, a small suburb of LA, still
full of orange groves and dairy farms.
A surly drunk, ED, leans on the
counter, frowning. Another MAN reads a
newspaper, bored.
The friendly, but tired, waitress &
owner, DONNA, walks over to Ed.

DONNA
You done yet?

ED
One more cup.

DONNA
None left. I’ll bring you the bill.

ED
A danish, then. And a cigar for the walk home. Phillies.

DONNA
Just go home, Ed. I want to go see all the hubbub over there.

ED
They’re not letting any normal folk get close to the movie
stars.

DONNA
I know, I know. But, I might catch a glimpse of John
Garfield. That man might sweep me off my feet.

ED
Only because he’d mistake you for a big pile of dirt.
Ed laughs at his own joke.

DONNA
You never worked a honest day in your life.

ED
I’m only teasing, Donna.
(To the Man reading.)
You knew I was joking, right?
(The Man ignores him.)
Sheesh. OK, I’ll go with you over there. I wouldn’t mind
getting a look at that sweater girl.

DONNA
I don’t remember inviting you!

JEAN, a pretty brunette enters, luggage
in tow. She’s in a state.

JEAN
Oh, good! You’re open! I’m supposed to be on the 10:15 train
to Union station, but- - -

ED
That left twenty minutes ago.

JEAN
I know. I missed it.

ED
Well, what’d you do that for? That wasn’t very smart.

JEAN
I lost track of time, I suppose.

ED
You suppose.

DONNA
What can I get you?

JEAN
Glass of water, please.
(To Ed.) I didn’t mean to be late.

ED
You’re going to have to wait another hour now. That was a
dumb thing to do.

JEAN
I know.

ED
What’d you do that for? You don’t own a watch?

DONNA
Ed, be quiet.

JEAN
He’s right. (She begins to sob.) He’s right. I---
(She begins to cry.)

DONNA
Oh, dear, no don’t- - -
(To Ed.)
Look what you’ve done, you bully.
(Hands a napkin to JEAN.)
Here, darling. What’s your name?

JEAN
Jean.

----

Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, February 10, at the Zephyr Theatre and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.

Friday, January 10, 2014

December People's Choice Award


The people have spoken... The December People's Choice Award goes to Mercedes Segesvary for her original short play, @LoVerBoY2248, presented as a staged reading at the PlayGround-LA Monday Night PlayGround December 9 performance at the Zephyr Theatre. Congratulations, Mercedes!

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


@LoVerBoY2248
by Mercedes Segesvary

Characters:
CHARLIE - Male, no specific race. Age; Late 20’s to 30’s
SARA - Female, no specific race. Age; Late 20’s to 30’s.
JULIE - Female, no specific race. Age; 20’s. She wears a winter coat and hat.
CJ (Charlie Junior) - Male, no specific race but he is the child of Charlie and Sara so
some resemblance to either parent. Age; pre-teen/toddler, can be played by adult for
comedic effect.

Setting
The living room of an apartment. Romantic lighting. A cold winter evening.

Props
Cheap toy drum with drum sticks. Paper receipts. Cell phone. Two glasses. Liquor bottle.
Lap Top. Two gold rings.

Lights Up. Charlie and Julie are standing center stage facing each other.

JULIE
I really can’t stay.

CHARLIE
God, I’ve been hoping that you’d drop in. No, not hoping. Wishing, dreaming, praying.
Now here you are, not even five minutes and you’re ready to leave? You haven’t even
thawed from the cold outside.

Charlie grabs her hands and blows on them to warm her hands. He examines the ring on
her finger.

CHARLIE (cont’d)
Do you like it? I know you said silver but gold suits you so much better.

They embrace and kiss. Julie giggles. Charlie takes Julie’s hat.

CHARLIE (cont’d)
Julie, it’s miserable out there. There’s no way you’ll find a cab in this weather.

JULIE
It’s not that bad.

CHARLIE
Look I got this great fire going. Stay and I’ll drive you as soon as this storm passes. An
hour…maybe two?

Charlie goes to the table, puts down Julie’s hat and pours two drinks. He brings them to
Julie.

CHARLIE (cont’d)
Just call your parents and tell them the weather’s too rough, that you’re staying the night
at a friend’s.

JULIE
A friend?

CHARLIE
A very good friend.

Julie takes the drink and sips it. She coughs a little from its strength.

JULIE
That’s strong.

CHARLIE
Yes. It’ll help you… thaw.

A faint drum sound is heard.

JULIE
What’s that sound?

CHARLIE
The fire. Listen to it roar. Don’t you just want to take that coat off and sit by the warmth?
I promise to behave.

Charlie puts down his drink and removes Julie’s coat.

CHARLIE
Mind if I move in a little closer?

Charlie takes Julie’s glass and coat and puts them on the table. He grabs her and they
embrace in a passionate kiss. The drum sound gets louder.

JULIE
What is that?

CHARLIE
What?

JULIE
You don’t hear it? That drumming sound?

CHARLIE
That’s my heart beating its way out of my chest. You make me feel so alive.

SARA (O.S.)
Charlie!!

CHARLIE
Oh crap.

JULIE
What?

CHARLIE
You need to go.

----

Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, January 13, at the Zephyr Theatre and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.

Jan 13 Monday Night PlayGround CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' Selections!

California playwrights from Los Angeles and the Bay Area will share the spotlight in a first-of-its-kind event on January 13 when PlayGround and PlayGround-LA join forces to produce the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series simultaneously at the Zephyr Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Writers had four-and-a-half days to generate their original short scripts inspired by the topic, CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: Ten-Minute Plays Inspired by the California Experience. The top six plays from each community will be presented as script-in-hand staged readings by leading local directors and actors and audiences will be invited to live tweet their experience using the hashtag #playgroundCA. Tickets can be purchased online at http://playground-la.org/boxoffice (for information on PlayGroundSF, visit http://playground-sf.org).

The selected plays/playwrights are:

Los Angeles
Livin' the Dream by Mike Deas, directed by Lee Sankowich
Sassy Black Girl by Vincent Durham, directed by Jim Kleinmann
Imperfection is Beauty by Forrest Hartl, directed by Molly Noble
Hollywood Dreaming by Timothy Hill, directed by Jim Kleinmann
Dream Enforcement by Arthur Keng, directed by Lee Sankowich
Art of Love by Mercedes Segesvary, directed by Veronica Alicino

Bay Area
Where 101 Becomes The 101 by Ruben Grijalva, directed by Evren Odcikin
A Star is Born by Melissa Keith, directed by Tracy Ward
Nixon, the app by Jonathan Luskin, directed by Rebecca Ennals
Stranger in a Stranger Land by Karen Macklin, directed by Margo Hall
I Have Found It! By Josh Senyak, directed by Gabriel Grilli
Last Stop in Gringolandia by Zoe Young, directed by Delia MacDougall

Founded in 1994, PlayGround is a leading playwright incubator, providing 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. In 2012, PlayGround expanded to Los Angeles with the launch of PlayGround-LA, in residence at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood. To date, PlayGround-LA has produced nine rounds of Monday Night PlayGround, engaging more than 300 Los Angeles artists in the development of 54 original short plays by dozens of local writers. For more information, visit http://playground-la.org.

Friday, January 3, 2014

PlayGround-LA and PlayGround Team Up for Jan 13 Topic

California playwrights from the Bay Area and Los Angeles will share the spotlight in a first-of-its-kind event on January 13 when PlayGround and PlayGround-LA, California’s leading playwright incubators, join forces to produce the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series simultaneously at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Zephyr Theatre. And in another first-ever twist, both programs will use the same topic, CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: Ten-Minute Plays Inspired by the California Experience. Writers have four-and-a-half days to generate their original short scripts inspired by the topic. The top six plays from each community will be presented as script-in-hand staged readings by leading local directors and actors and audiences will be invited to live tweet their experience using the hashtag #playgroundCA. Tickets can be purchased online at http://playground-la.org/boxoffice (for information on PlayGround, visit http://playground-sf.org).

California… a state of such incredible diversity and bounty, with its beaches, mountains, desserts, and valleys; the 12th largest economy in the world; birthplace of the United Nations; home to Hollywood and Silicon Valley; where dreamers come to dream big ideas and change the way we experience the world.

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 “Inspired by a Holiday Song”.

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:
January 13, 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.