Thursday, April 21, 2016

Best of PlayGround Gala!

PlayGround-LA, Los Angeles’s incubator for a new generation of playwrights, caps off its fourth season on Monday evening, May 9 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 160 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 $20-$40 and are available through the Box Office at 323-992-6766 or online at PlayGround-LA.org/bestof.

Best of PlayGround

The six plays to be presented in this year’s Best of PlayGround are:
She Has Seen the Wolf by Allie Costa, directed by Jennifer Chang
A New Happily Ever After by Vincent Terrell Durham, directed by Tamiyka White
Bright Shining Sea by Julianne Jigour, directed by Lee Sankowich
Antic Resolutions by Arthur Keng, directed by Jim Kleinmann
Psycho by Jessica June Rowe, directed by Sylvia Blush
Goodnight Joanne by Nicki Spencer, directed by Ivan Rivas

About the Plays

She Has Seen the Wolf by Allie Costa
A modern-day Red Riding Hood asserts herself after receiving unwanted attention from a wolf.

A New Happily Ever After by Vincent Terrell Durham
A South Central twist on the classic tale of Cinderella!

Bright Shining Sea by Julianne Jigour
An empty bathtub. Dead sea lions washed up on shore. A couple grapples with a personal loss that the Earth seems to echo back to them.

Antic Resolutions by Arthur Keng
The dark prince is in a better mood, and no one's happy about it.

Psycho by Jessica June Rowe
When Mike’s girlfriend mistakes his “romantic” Christmas gift for a pending proposal, a dinner date quickly gets out of hand. Hold on to your cutlery!

Goodnight Joanne by Nicki Spencer
At the end of their first date, the pivotal moment of “will-they/won’t-they” kiss, Joanne and Frank are literally and physically interrupted by the competing voices of their New Year’s resolutions.

About the Playwrights

Allie Costa works in film, TV, theatre, and voiceover as an actor, writer, director, and singer. She has appeared in shows as varied as Spring Awakening, Hamlet, and 90210. Her original plays and screenplays include Femme Noir, How I Knew Her, A Taste of the Future, and Can You Keep a Secret? http://www.alliecosta.com

Vincent Terrell Durham honed his storytelling skills in comedy clubs across the country. A reunion with a classmate and his comment, “You were supposed to have been a writer,” caused Vincent to open his laptop and became a writer.  His plays have been featured in a host of festivals nationwide.

A California native, Julianne Jigour has had staged readings and productions in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Aspen, and New York. For her screenwriting, she has received funding from the Steeltown Entertainment Project and the Sloan Foundation. Julianne earned her MFA in dramatic writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Arthur Keng is a Los Angeles-based playwright and actor. Previous MNP selections include A Settled MatterDream EnforcementInfiltrated LearningOver the Falls, Antic Resolutions, and Forced Position. Acting credits include Silicon Valley (HBO), Criminal Minds (CBS), The Eric André Show (Adult Swim), and many plays across the country.

Jessica June Rowe is the Editor-in-Chief of Exposition Review, and the former Fiction Editor of the Southern California Review. Her work has been published, or is forthcoming in Noble/Gas Qtrly, Pidgeonholes, Timber Journal, and The Cultureist. This is her second year as a PlayGround-LA playwright. Find her on Twitter @willwrite4chai.

Nicki Spencer received her Master’s in Professional Writing from USC in 2015. She has written many short plays, stories, and a feature length script. She currently works as a Writer’s Assistant for an upcoming History Channel Drama, and hopes to continue a career writing for Television.

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 750 original ten-minute plays by 200 Bay Area early-career writers and has commissioned/developed 61 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 fourth season!

WHEN:           Monday, May 9, 2016 @ 8pm

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

HOW:             (323) 992-6766  or http://PlayGround-LA.org/bestof
TICKETS:      $20-$40.

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