Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017-18 PlayGround-LA Writers Pool Deadline

Applications for the 2017-18 PlayGround-LA Writers Pool are being accepted, now through May 31, 2017. 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.

To be eligible, writers must reside within the five counties of the Greater Los Angeles Area. To apply for a place in the 2017-18 writers pool, playwrights must submit a maximum ten-page double-spaced script (previously produced and unproduced scripts eligible) via email to scripts<at>playground-la.org as Portable Document Format (.pdf) attachment. Applications must be received by 11:59pm PST Wednesday, May 31, 2017. 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 (2014-2017) 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

ANNOUNCEMENT & POOL REQUIREMENTS

The 2017-18 PlayGround-LA Writers Pool will be announced on or before September 1, 2017. There will be a mandatory meeting of the Writers Pool at 6pm on September 10, 2017 (location to be confirmed). 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.org.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The March People's Choice Award goes to Nicki Spencer for her short play, Interesting Question, Collette, presented as a staged reading at Monday Night PlayGround on March 13 at the Zephyr Theatre. Congratulations, Nicki!

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

Interesting Question, Colette
by Nicki Spencer

Cast Breakdown
ALEXA – Female – Any Age – Any Race – A robot with a monotone voice but expressive feelings that only the audience can see.
KEITH – Male – 20s-30s – Any Race – Too charming, always looking.
COLETTE – Female – 20s-30s – Any Race – Smarter than she thinks she is.
CINDY – Female – Any Age – Any Race – Giggles and wears a lotta pink.

*Note – Keith and Colette can never see Alexa. Whenever she speaks, they act as if they’ve
heard her voice from the cylindrical machine (Echo) at center. Alexa is free to touch Keith and
Colette, but they cannot react to her touch.

(LIGHTS UP. There is a table DR. Two chairs where Keith fiddles with a
cylindrical shaped machine (the Echo) at C. He is reading from and
Instructor’s Manual. Colette ENTERS holding groceries.)

KEITH
Look what I got us!
(She kisses him before unloading the groceries on the table. Keith points
to the Echo.)

COLETTE
What’s that?

KEITH
It’s that Amazon Echo. The boys at the office love it. Ya know, one of those machines where
you call her name and she does stuff for you.

COLETTE
Her? She?

KEITH
Alexa. She’s the robot who lives inside there. I’ll show ya. I was just about to finally turn her on.

COLETTE
How about you turn me on instead.
(Colette gets nice and close to Keith. Seductive.)

KEITH
Yeah, in a minute babe. This is important.

COLETTE
Excuse you?

KEITH
I mean… can we wait just one second please? While I get Alexa online?

COLETTE
I’m not sure I want one of these things in our house. My friend Stephanie said the minute
you turn it on, someone is always listening.

KEITH
Your friend Stephanie… isn’t she the one who has a relationship with a tree?

COLETTE
It’s a sequoia… but I still think she has a point. I dunno if I feel comfortable with Big Brother
listening in on us. Creeps me out.

KEITH
You’re being paranoid.

COLETTE
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that people aren’t out to get you. Didn’t you ever
read 1984?

KEITH
Oh please. She won’t be listening to us all the time. She does, however, play music, dim the
lights, tell us the news and weather, and perform many other convenient tasks all through voice
command. I’m getting turned on as I’m turning it on.
(Keith pushes the button on the machine. It turns on with a
“WOOOOOPDING!” – ALEXA ENTERS UR. When she speaks, her voice
is automated and robotic. She studies her surroundings. Explores the
room, Keith, and Colette. They cannot see her, but she can see them.)

ALEXA
(robotic) Hello. You have now successfully connected to your Amazon Echo. My name is Alexa.

KEITH
Alexa, how many cups are in one quart?

COLETTE
4.

ALEXA
There are four US customary cups inside one US quart.

COLETEE
Tell us something we don’t know.

KEITH
You’re so smart. You ask her something.

COLETTE
Okay, Alexa, (thinking…) how many democrats are needed to win the house so we can impeach
the president?

ALEXA
I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re saying.

COLETTE
You see, even your new gadget doesn’t know what to do with Trump.

---

Come see the best short plays from the entire season at the Best of PlayGround Gala, on Monday, May 8, 2017, at the Zephyr Theatre. Click here for more info.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Company in the News Mar-2017

See what PlayGround-LA Writers are up to as we prepare for the March 13 round of Monday Night PlayGround.

Three of Jonathan Josephson's short plays will be produced at Chance Theater's Chance-a-thon: March 18-19, 1pm. The bill includes CHUBBY BUNNY, 27 WAYS I DIDN'T SAY "HI" TO LAURENCE FISHBURNE and GRANDPA AND THE GAY RABBI. chancetheater.com

Ann-Giselle Spiegler is excited to report that a piece of hers is currently a part of "The Box: Los Angeles" at Sacred Fools in LA. The Box: Los Angeles is touted as "a Narrative Experiment in Late Night Theater". This is her second time taking part. The Box runs March 3rd through 25th, directed by Adriana Colón, Rebecca Larsen & Jaime Robledo, produced & created by Padraic Duffy & Hans Gelpke.

Scott Mullen has two short plays (GRANDMA and THE SECRET) as part of Neo Ensemble Theatre's "Family Secrets" in Los Angeles (March 25 - April 2) and also has a short piece as part of THE BOX at Sacred Fools.

Allie Costa's play DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER PIGEON, originally developed at PlayGround-LA, just closed at the Barrington Stage Company 10x10 New Play Festival. Her critically-acclaimed play TWO GIRLS will be in three different venues in March: The Future is Female Festival in Atlanta, the Women's Center for Creative Work in Los Angeles, and the Roebuck Theater in New York. Her play A MOMENT OF SILENCE, inspired by the life of Leelah Alcorn, will be performed at Herstory, a festival produced by NOplays in New Haven, Connecticut in honor of Women's History Month and International Women's Day.

Elayne Heilveil will be directing WELCOME TO HERETOFORE by Steve Nevil for the Fringe Festival at The Hudson Theatre in June. Also her 10 minute play, THE TANGO, originated from a PlayGround prompt, will be included in "Best Ten- Minute Plays of 2017."

Lena Ford's short play, THE NEWLYWEDS will be published in Exposition Review in April.

Jennie Webb was invited to the National Winter Playwrights Retreat in Creede, Colorado, where she started her new play, FOOTPRINT. She's excited to continue its development as part of Moving Arts MADlab.

Nicholas Pilapil's full-length play BEFORE AND AFTER just won the Fountain Theatre's Rapid Development Series. The Fountain Theatre will produce a fully staged workshop performance of the play later this month. His short film zoë was also screened at Outfest Fusion.

Rhea MacCallum's plays 9/11 ANNIVERSARY and A DOABLE RESOLUTION have been published in One Minute Plays: A Practical Guide To Tiny Theatre by Routledge.

Jonathan Kuhn's short play ALL THAT WE SEE OR SEEM was selected for publication in the Spring 2017 issue of Exposition Review.

Friday, March 3, 2017

February People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The February People's Choice Award goes to Vincent Terrell Durham for his short play, Baby Black Jesus – Part Deux, presented as a staged reading at Monday Night PlayGround on February 13 at the Zephyr Theatre. Congratulations, Vincent!

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

BABY BLACK JESUS - PART DEUX
by Vincent Terrell Durham

CAST:
DARRYL - Black, 28 years old.
RICHARD - Black, 28 years old.

Darryl and Richard are putting a final end to their relationship after Richard's horrible coming out attempt, two months earlier, at his mother's annual Christmas Eve dinner party.
Setting: Present day, February. Darryl and Richard's mostly empty apartment.

LIGHTS UP:
(A moving box sits on the floor in the mostly empty
room. A large black CD storage case sits on top of it.
DARRYL is on his knees, preparing to seal a second
cardboard box closed with a roll of tape. RICHARD
enters the room carrying a box that reads RICHARD’S
STUFF.)

RICHARD
This is the last box I have. I guess I’ll head out. You almost done?

DARRYL
Yup. I have that box to put in my car and once I seal this up, I’ll be all set.

RICHARD
Do you need a hand?

DARRYL
Nah. I got it. I’m not in a rush to leave anyway. I’m going to miss how big this apartment
was. The place I found downtown is a shoebox. But it’s close to work and it’s cheap.

RICHARD
I’m sorry. I probably should have given you more time. But my mom was pretty eager
for me to move back home. Get things straight again with the family.

DARRYL
Pun intended?

RICHARD
No. No pun intended.

(RICHARD notices the CD case on top of the box. He
puts his own box down and grabs the black case. He
begins leafing through the pages of CDs.)

Hey did you see this? Are these Diana Ross CDs yours, mine or some of both?

DARRYL
Those are all yours.

RICHARD
There’s a hundred and ten CDs in here.

DARRYL
That’s a hundred and ten less than there was. I kept all the doubles. I just assumed they
were mine.

---

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