Thursday, December 18, 2014

December People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The December People's Choice Award goes to Mercedes Segesvary for her short play, Record, presented as a staged reading at THE HOLIDAY PARTY-inspired Monday Night PlayGround on December 8 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!

by Mercedes Segesvary


SARA: Female, no specific race. Age; late 20’s to 40’s.
CYRUS: Male, no specific race. Age; late 20’s to 40’s.
Sara and Cyrus are married so they should be somewhat close in age.

Sara and Cyrus’s bedroom.

Present Day

Two chairs, one small table, a smart phone. Some make-up items, hair brush.

Lights up. SARA sits downstage at a small vanity table, facing audience. She is wearing a robe. Her nice high heels are near her chair. She is slowly applying make-up as if looking in a mirror. Her smart phone is on the table. She picks it up and checks it, pressing the screen. She puts it back down on the table. CYRUS enters opposite of SARA in boxers and t-shirt holding his pants, shirt, shoes and tie. He places his clothes on a chair and shoes on the floor. He gets down on the floor and begins doing push ups.

Ninety-three, ninety-four, ninety-five, ninety-six, ninety-seven….

He struggles with the last few push-ups.

Ninety-eight… ninety-nine… One hundred!

He falls to the floor.

I’m impressed.

As you should be.

CYRUS sits up on his knees and massages his arms as if they are sore.

Did you get the tickets babe?


CYRUS lifts his arms and flexes them. Kissing each muscle.

To the gun show.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Every time. You fall for it every time.

Quit messing around. You’re gonna make us late.

Five minutes. I need five minutes. You on the other hand…

Pause. CYRUS rethinks his comment.

Yes? You were saying oh wise one?

CYRUS stands.

I was saying that you, my treasure, on the other hand, are like a lovely diamond who’s beauty may take centuries to form but such exquisite extravagance is worth the wait.

SARA looks at her phone with a casual smile.

You should really consider wearing briefs. I believe all the cool air that seeps up to your little brain does make you a babbling fool.

CYRUS looks at his boxers. He stretches out his boxers as if looking down his boxers and walks over to the chair with his clothes.

The boys thank you for your attention to their details.

CYRUS takes his pants and puts them on. He looks off stage as if looking in a mirror, checking himself out.



Come on Cyrus. I don’t want to wait.

I want to wait.

            SARA checks her phone.

Why? I’ve waited all day. Damn it, I should have gone with you. You never ask questions.

I want to tell everyone, tonight.  At the party.


Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, January 12, at the Zephyr Theatre and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.

Friday, December 5, 2014

PlayGround-LA's Dec 8 Selections Announced!

Naughty or nice? PlayGround-LA continues its third season and celebrated monthly staged reading series, Monday Night PlayGround, on December 8 at the Zephyr Theatre with six original short plays inspired by this month’s topic… THE HOLIDAY PARTY! Los Angeles-based playwrights in the inaugural PlayGround-LA Writers Pool had four-and-a-half days to write and submit scripts inspired by the topic. The six finalists (see below) will be presented as script-in-hand staged readings at 8pm on December 8. For tickets, low-cost subscriptions or for more information, the public can call (323) 992-6766 or go online at

This month’s selected plays/playwrights are:
Santa the Clause by Ron Burch, directed by Sylvia Blush
Over the River and Through the Woulds by Kathleen Cecchin, directed by Andy Lowe
HM by Forrest Hartl, directed by Lee Sankowich
Baby Black Jesus by Vincent Terrell Durham, directed by Ivan Rivas
Record by Mercedes Segesvary, directed by Frieda de Lackner
All the Mees by Chelsea Sutton, directed by Jim Kleinmann 

Ten days before the designated Monday, a topic is announced and the thirty-six playwrights in the PlayGround-LA Writers Pool 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 “Mistaken Identity”.

The inaugural PlayGround-LA Writers Pool are:
Megan Breen, Cort Brinkerhoff, Ron Burch*, Tiffany Cascio*, Kathleen Cecchin*, Maurice Chauvet, John Corcoran*, Allie Costa*, Andrew Crabtree*, Kevin Crust*, Mike Deas, Thomas Dunn, Vincent Terrell Durham*, Joshua Fardon, Miguel Garcia, Forrest Hartl*, Elayne Heilveil, Tim Hill, Karen Howes, Susan Hunter, Sara Israel, Ian Kaye, Arthur Keng, Marc Ketchem, Carolina Rojas*, Raquel Rosser, Jessica Rowe, Katie Rubin, Richard Ruyle, Mercedes Segesvary*, Mark Sherstinsky*, Ann-Giselle Spiegler, Chelsea Sutton, Lucy Wang, Jennie Webb, Lilliana Winkworth,
* Best of PlayGround Award recipient


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 nearly 700 original ten-minute plays by 200 Bay Area early-career writers and has commissioned/developed 54 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 or follow PlayGround on Facebook ( and Twitter (

PlayGround-LA’s Monday Night PlayGround is

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

December 8, 2014 at 8pm

Additional Season Dates:
    January 12, 2015
    February 9, 2015
    March 19, 2015

Zephyr Theatre
7456 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90046

(323) 992-6766  or

ADVANCE TICKETS: $20, priority seating; $15, general admission; $10, student admission with ID. $20 general admission tickets at the door beginning one hour before the performance, subject to availability. 6-admission flex subscriptions (includes priority seating) start at just $75.

PlayGround-LA Company News Dec-14

See what PlayGround-LA Writers are up to as we prepare for the December 8 round of Monday Night PlayGround.

Timothy Hill just completed Grumpy Cat's worst Christmas ever for LifeTime network, which he co-wrote and directed. It's the first time an internet meme has been made into a movie. It aired last weekend and will continue to air until Christmas.

Jennie Webb, resident playwright at Rogue Machine, will be writing for the company's annual Around The Clock Play Festival, in an all-female playwrights night on Sunday, December 7th.

Katie Rubin has spent the past five months touring the country with her second hour and a half Stand Up Show, D#%k So Big. She is thrilled and excited to be back in LA, writing, petting her friend's dog, recording voice overs, auditioning for commercials and working with her healing clients. for more info.

Ron Burch's short play THE BABY is being produced in "Class Acts: One Act Play Program" at the New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts in Bloomfield, NJ on December 5-6, 2014. His short play CHRISTMAS SPIRIT is being produced in "Father Tony Zamboni's Christmas Shorts" at the James Downing Theatre in Chicago, IL on December 5-7, 2014. JOLLY SAINT DICK, another short play, is in Hobo Junction's "Hobo Robo 7: Hobos Nipping at your Nose" at the Greenhouse Theater in Chicago, IL on December 8-10, 2014.

Forrest Hartl is writing an interactive stress management workshop for Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs.

Allie Costa's funny play Tofurkey Day is being produced by two different theatres this winter. See it in Los Angeles December 6th-14th at Charles Stewart Howard Playhouse as part of Hard Candy Christmas, and in Chicago December 8th-10th at Greenhouse Theater Center as part of Hobo Fest 7. Tofurkey Day has previously been staged in Florida (where it was named Best of the Fest, Audience Choice), San Diego, and the UK. Three of Allie Costa's plays, including Don't Shoot the Messenger Pigeon (Nov 2014 PlayGround-LA selection), will be performed tonight, at Variations XVI in San Diego.

Kevin Crust is collaborating with director Chris Beach on MAP/SLAM, a theatre project inspired by humanity's impulse to map our various environments, for a Fall 2015 production. Follow their progress at

Joshua Fardon has written, composed and directed a short musical called I Will Go On and written and directed a (non-musical) short called The Dove for this year's Slap & Tickle Holiday Benefit Show - Tuesday Dec. 16 and Wednesday December 17 at 8PM at The Llllian Theatre. Twelve bucks gets you drinks and snacks - all proceeds go to weSPARK Cancer Support Center.

@IssaRae and ColorCreative.TV recently announced 31 quarter finalist selections for their search for 3 Writers / 3 Drama Pilots. Over 600 one-sheet submissions were received, and The Spencer Douglas Show, created by Vincent Terrell Durham, has earned entry into the next round. The ColorCreative team will now read 31 pilot episodes and announce 10 semi-finalists on December 8th. Vincent's pilot episode has been submitted and he looks forward to the hearing the results.