Friday, March 13, 2015

March People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The March People's Choice Award goes to Mercedes Segesvary for her short play, Dinner Story, presented as a staged reading at HEROES AND VILLAINS-inspired Monday Night PlayGround on March 9 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!

Dinner Story
by Mercedes Segesvary


NARRATOR: Female. Age; 30’s. No specific race. Intended to be grown up version of Daughter so some similarity to Daughter is favored.

FATHER: Male. Age; 40’s. No specific race. Married to Mother. He has no speaking lines. All his actions are pantomimed.

MOTHER: Female. Age; late 30’s. No specific race. Married to Father. She has no speaking lines. All her actions are pantomimed.

DAUGHTER: Female. Age; 10. Mother and Father are her parents so some similarity necessary. Intended to be younger version of Narrator so some similarity is favored. She has few speaking lines. All her actions are pantomimed.

Dining room of Mother and Father’s house.

Present Day but dream like.

Table, four chairs, three plates, three napkins, three sets of forks/knives, one serving dish. A newspaper. A Journal. A Lego figurine.

Dinner Story
by Mercedes Segesvary

Lights come up low.

There is a table center stage with three chairs around it.

There is a chair down stage facing audience.

Narrator enters carrying a journal. She walks past the table and examines it. She then walks to downstage chair and sits. She adjusts herself then opens her journal and begins to read to the audience.

Lights come up.

                        Lights come up quickly.

Slowly. They must come up slowly.

                        Lights dim. Lights then come up again slowly.

A soft music begins to play.

                        A soft music begins to play.
                        Narrator listens to music. Then she looks off at the table.

Mother enters carrying three plates.

                        Mother enters carrying three plates.

She softly moves around the table placing a plate in front of each chair.
Adjusting and readjusting each plate.

                        Mother moves around the table placing a plate by each chair.
Adjusting and readjusting each plate.

She does this over and over, almost neurotically,
until it is uncomfortable to do anymore.
Then, she stops.
She looks at her table and tries to admire it.
Its presentation must hold a certain value. It must be, perfect.
Mother knows this. 
                        Mother stops and admires her table.

She pulls a cell phone from her pocket and pushes the screen trying to call someone.

Mother pulls a cell phone from her pocket and pushes the screen trying to call someone.

It goes to voicemail.
She hangs up, annoyed.
She places her phone on the table.

                        Mother hangs up, annoyed. She places her phone on the table.

She adjusts the plates again.
She then exits to the kitchen. Her kitchen. Her secret lair where she plots the demise of the world. Her world. Their world.

                        Mother adjusts the plates again.
She exits.

Here there is an uncomfortable pause.
The table sits alone in the middle of an empty dinning room.
It waits and waits for someone to attend to its loneliness.
The music changes.

                        The music changes to something sad.

No, not that. Something … happier.

                        A happier song begins to play (softly.)

Good. That. Yes.

Daughter enters slowly. She looks over at the Narrator. They acknowledge each other.

Daughter enters slowly. She sees something in the room. Something. Maybe a ghost? Or an imaginary friend? She’s not sure but she acknowledges it then continues her entry.
She has a toy.
It’s a Lego figurine from the race car series. It’s only the figurine, no racecar. She’s named the Lego figurine—

                        Music stops.

—Robert Diego the Holy Man of Emptysville.

Or Empty Rob for short.
She runs around the table playing with Empty Rob.

                        Daughter runs around table playing with the Lego figurine.

Friday, March 6, 2015

2015-16 PlayGround-LA Writers Pool Deadline: May 31

Applications for the 2015-16 PlayGround-LA Writers Pool are being accepted, now through May 31, 2015. Only members of the Writers Pool may submit scripts as part of the monthly staged reading series, Monday Night PlayGround, and from which are selected the six plays and playwrights for each year's Best of PlayGround. For specific eligibility requirements and responsibilities, see below or visit

To be eligible, writers must reside within the five counties of the Greater Los Angeles Area. To apply for a place in the 2015-16 writers pool, playwrights must submit a maximum ten-page double-spaced script (previously produced and unproduced scripts eligible) via email to as Portable Document Format (.pdf) attachment. Applications must be received by Midnight Sunday, May 31, 2015. The script must have the playwright's name, address, email and phone number at the top of the first page of the script and include a detailed cast breakdown, and all pages must be numbered. Excerpts from longer works are not accepted but short plays that meet the above requirements and are derived from a longer work are accepted. Writers featured in the Best of PlayGround (2013-2015) need not submit a script but must send an email confirming interest in being in the pool by the deadline. Women and playwrights of color encouraged to apply.

To view sample script formats, click the link(s) below.
Submission Format #1
Submission Format #2


The 2015-16 PlayGround-LA Writers Pool will be announced on or before July 1, 2015. Writers Pool members must commit to submitting for at least four of the six Monday Night PlayGrounds in any season. The submission of a script to Monday Night PlayGround grants PlayGround-LA the exclusive option to stage the play as part of the Monday Night PlayGround and, should it be so selected, to present the world premiere as part of The Best of PlayGround and publish the script in the "Best of PlayGround" anthology. Upon publication, PlayGround-LA serves as the exclusive licensor for English language stock and amateur rights in the U.S. and Canada.

For any questions not answered above, email to info<at>

PlayGround-LA's Mar 9 Selections Announced!

“Wait till they get a load of me!” - Joker. PlayGround-LA concludes its third season and celebrated monthly staged reading series, Monday Night PlayGround, on March 9 at the Zephyr Theatre with six original short plays inspired by this month’s topic… HEROES AND VILLAINS! 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 March 9. For tickets, low-cost flex passes or for more information, the public can call (323) 992-6766 or go online at

This month's selected plays/playwrights include:
Sexy Popcorn by Megan Breen, directed by Lee Sankowich
In the Heist by Allie Costa, directed by Jim Kleinmann
The Iris Picker by Thomas C. Dunn, directed by Ann-Giselle Spiegler
Fire and Brimstone by Vincent Terrell Durham, directed by Rondrell McCormick
Dinner Story by Mercedes Segesvary, directed by Reena Dutt
'Til it's Over by Jennie Webb, directed by Alexandra Meda

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 “Silly Love Songs”.

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*, Miguel Garcia, Forrest Hartl*, Elayne Heilveil, Tim Hill, Karen Howes, Susan Hunter, Sara Israel, Ian Kaye, Arthur Keng, Marc Ketchem, Carolina Rojas*, 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 over 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

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

WHEN: March 9, 2015 at 8pm

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

HOW: (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. 4-admission priority-seating flex passes are $60.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

PlayGround-LA Company News Mar-15

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

Karen Howes' full length play Last Flight of The Mercenary is being presented as a staged reading in the InKubator Series at Skylight Theater on Sunday, April 12th at 8PM.  The quirky romantic comedy is about a woman with Asperger Syndrome who arrives at a bed and breakfast to marry the perfect man, but her plans are thrown off course when a physics professor on the verge of turning forty decides to go back in time to see how her life has gone askew. The play merges Quantum Theory, Shakespeare and starless nights. Stay after for the audience feedback session.

Thomas C. Dunn’s monologue THE TANGO is included in the Riverside Theatre’s Walking The Wire Monologue night, running from March 6-15. He directs his feature film, THE BODY TREE, starting the last week of March in Utah.

Ann-Giselle Spiegler’s short play IndivisIble, initially developed at PlayGround-LA, will be done at the Phoenix Theater at the end of this month as part of the Hormel Festival.

Megan Breen wrote the screenplay for a short film that got accepted into the Cannes Film Festival's Court Metrage, or Short Film Corner. The world premiere of the film, DIRT EATERS, directed by and starring Ron Hanks, will be May 2015 at Cannes.

Ron Burch's MEETING MATT DAMON will be in Ghost Dog Productions' "Playground: Mind Games" at The Horse &The Stables, London, UK.  March 23 - 24, 2015.  His play STAT! will be in Longwood University's "Zero to Sixty 10-Minute Play Festival," Longwood University, Farmville, VA.  March 26 - 29, 2015.

Vincent Terrell Durham will premier his new 10-minute play, NOW, at the 8th Annual Towne Street Theatre Festival.  The festival runs March 14th thru the 29th at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, CA.  Vincent is hoping you will come out and say hello during the March 15th performance.  FRESH PRODUCE’d will present an excerpt of Vincent’s one act play, EUGENICS, on March 24th at 8pm.  The performance will be held at Moth Theatre Company, 4359 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029.  Admission is Pay-What-You-Can.

Lucy Wang's DOWN THERE will be performed as part of LADY BITS: Unsolicited Comments on Womanhood, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey in April.

Elayne Heilveil has works in two anthologies, titled “Best Contemporary Monologues for Kids Ages 7-15” and “25 Scenes for Kids” that will be published by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books released in Dec 2015.

Mercedes Segesvary's play Changing Colors is part of the 2015 Ohlone College Playwrights Festival, March 14 & 15.

Allie Costa recently appeared in A Knight at the Museum at the ASCAP/DreamWorks workshop and can be seen in a new commercial running on Cartoon Network during Adult Swim. She was just cast in the new musical New York Society for the Suppression of Vice. Three of Allie's plays were performed in London in February: Can You Keep a Secret?, a PlayGround-LA selection, was produced by Mind Your Head Theatre; A Taste of the Future, also a PlayGround-LA selection, was selected for the East End Literary Salon; and Two Girls was at the UNHEARD Festival, produced by Goblin Baby Theatre Co.

Sara Israel's 10-minute play, The Sixth, will be produced by the Indie Boots Theatre Festival in Chicago, April 27th - April 29th, under the name Ella's Sixth Sense (in the spirit of the festival's title theme).  This will be the third production of The Sixth, which was also a finalist for the Actors Theater of Louisville Heideman Award.

Katie Rubin is touring her current stand up show, Something Different, writing a book about her vast and wacky healing experiences, creating her 5th solo show, pitching her screenplay, and taking a pilot-writing class.  She thinks this is probably enough writing stuff for now.