Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PlayGround-LA's 3rd Annual Best of PlayGround Gala!

PlayGround-LA, Los Angeles’s incubator for a new generation of playwrights, caps off its third season on Monday evening, May 11 at the Zephyr Theatre with the Best of PlayGround, a one-night gala celebration of the best playwrights and short plays selected from more than 140 submissions and 36 works developed as part of the season’s Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series. The Gala will feature an all-star performance of the six Best of PlayGround winners and a post-show reception with the performers and playwrights. Tickets start at $25 and are available through the Box Office at 323-992-6766 or online at PlayGround-LA.org/bestof.

The six plays to be presented in this year’s Best of PlayGround are:
Sexy Popcorn by Megan Breen, directed by Lee Sankowich
Meeting Matt Damon by Ron Burch, directed by Frieda de Lackner
About Your Mother by Tiffany Cascio, directed by Jim Kleinmann
Baby Black Jesus 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

About the Plays

Sexy Popcorn by Megan Breen
A suffocating artist and her sexy muse/sometimes lover - the Moon - struggle to create authentic "art" amidst a sassy audience member's intrusive perspective on what that art should be. 

Meeting Matt Damon by Ron Burch
Hilary's dream is to meet Matt Damon, whether he likes it or not.

About Your Mother by Tiffany Cascio
Family secrets and the mess they make when spilled.

Baby Black Jesus by Vincent Terrell Durham
Letting your family know who sucks your toes, might be the best Christmas gift you could ever give them.

Dinner Story by Mercedes Segesvary
One quiet night at a dinner table, the most epic battle takes place between the greatest hero and villain a child has ever encountered... her own parents.

‘Till It’s Over by Jennie Webb
A death in the family doesn’t mean certain things will stay buried, or that anyone can rest in peace... at least not in this particular family.

About the Playwrights

Megan Breen (Playwright, Sexy Popcorn) wrote the screenplay for Ron Hanks’ short film Dirt Eaters which will have its world premiere at Cannes Film Festival’s 2015 Court Métrage (Short Film Corner), and is workshopping a biker gang riff on Woyzeck with L.A.’s The Vagrancy – premiering at their readings series Blossoming this August. Vroom vroom!

Ron Burch (Playwright, Meeting Matt Damon) is the Co-Executive Producer for Dinotrux, a TV show for DreamWorks Animation, scheduled for Netflix in 2015.  His plays have been performed in the UK, Seoul, New Zealand, NYC, LA, and elsewhere; his work has been published in Smith & Kraus's anthologies THE BEST TEN MINUTE PLAYS.  www.ronburch.com.

Tiffany Cascio (Playwright, About Your Mother) is a television producer and writer from Sacramento. Her short plays have been performed by PlayGround LA, including the Best of PlayGround LA 2014, and Fresh Produce’d. She’s currently writing and producing for HGTV and Travel Channel, looking forward to a summer full of inspiration on the road.

Vincent Terrell Durham (Playwright, Baby Black Jesus) is a writer from Binghamton, NY. His plays have been featured in a number of festivals since the start of 2015: TST Theatre Festival, Eight Tens @ 8 and Pick of the Vine.  He’s currently working on the full-length play Eugenics. Check out vtdisme.com for more.

Mercedes Segesvary (Playwright, Dinner Story) is a first generation Hungarian-American Playwright and Fine Art Illustrator whose work often reflects the clashing of cultures, sexes and generations while painting colorful depictions of congruency within humanity. Her plays have been on stage in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Nova Scotia.  Discover more: www.hugithegreat.com

Jennie Webb (Playwright, ‘Till It’s Over) is an LA-based playwright currently in residence at Rogue Machine & Theatricum Botanicum with works produced nationwide and supported by organizations including The Playwrights Center, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Little Black Dress INK & Virginia Avenue Project. Member, Playwrights Union, Fell Swoop, EST/LA Playwrights; co-founder, LA FPI.

About PlayGround-LA

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.

Ten days before the designated Monday, October-March, 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 “The Drought,” “Mistaken Identity,” “The Holiday Part,” and “Heroes and Villains.”

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 190 Bay Area early-career writers and has commissioned/developed 55 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, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, and Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project, 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).

WHAT: Best of PlayGround Gala, a performance of the best short works from the third season!

WHEN: Monday, May 11, 2015 @ 7:30pm

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

HOW: (323) 992-6766  or http://PlayGround-LA.org/bestof

TICKETS: $25 (Performance Only), $50 (Performance and Reception), and $100 (Premium, includes priority seating and complimentary glass of wine).

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