Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Best of PlayGround-LA Lineup

PlayGround-LA, Los Angeles’s incubator for a new generation of playwrights, caps off its fifth season on Monday evening, May 8 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. Tickets start at $20-$40 and are available through the Box Office at 323-992-6766 or online at PlayGround-LA.org/bestof. All proceeds support PlayGround-LA’s playwright incubator programs.

Best of PlayGround

The six plays to be presented in this year’s Best of PlayGround are:
Take Your Daughter to Work by Tiffany Cascio
Shooting at the Universe by Vincent Terrell Durham
Bluster Bound by Arthur Keng
Exceeding the Purchasable Calories by Rhea MacCallum
All or Nothing by Nicholas C. Pappas
Interesting Question, Collette by Nicki Spencer

About the Playwrights

Tiffany Cascio (Take Your Daughter to Work) is a writer and TV producer from Sacramento. This is her fourth season with PlayGround-LA and her work’s featured in their 2014 & 2015 “Best Of” Anthologies. This summer her full-length play, Thanksgiving, will be produced for Hollywood Fringe and she can’t stop smiling about it!     

Vincent Terrell Durham (Shooting at the Universe) is a playwright who first honed his story telling skills as a stand-up comic. He’s authored over thirty short plays and five full length pieces, including The Fertile River. A powerful play about a southern family’s attempt to escape the sterilization orders of the North Carolina Eugenics Board.

Arthur Keng (Bluster Bound ) is a Los Angeles-based playwright and actor. Monday Night PlayGround selections include Antic Resolutions (Best of PlayGround-LA 2016), A Settled Matter, Dream Enforcement, Infiltrated Learning, Over the FallsForced Position, Bluster Bound, The Dream Scenario, and I Told You. MFA Acting, University of Southern California.
Rhea MacCallum’s (Exceeding the Purchasable Calories) plays have been produced on six continents.  She is published with Smith & Kraus, Pioneer Drama, Original Works and Heuer Publishing.  A member of the Dramatists Guild, ICWP, LAFPI and ALAP, she holds a BA from USC and MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School, NSU.  www.rheamaccallum.com  @rheaplaywright

Nicholas C. Pappas (All or Nothing) is a playwright, dramaturge, and director. Plays: Including Shooter (publisher: Playscripts), The Ballad of 423 and 424 (Heideman Award, Actor's Theatre of Louisville), and Fatty (Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor). Nick received his MFA from San Francisco State. @NicholasCPappas and nicholascpappas.com for more info on Nick’s directing, dramaturgy, and film projects.

Nicki Spencer (Interesting Question, Collette) is a screenwriter and playwright from Glendale, California. She graduated from USC's Masters in Professional Writing program in 2015 and spent most of last year working in the Czech Republic on an upcoming TV drama for the History Channel.

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 “We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident,” “Zero-Sum Game,” and “A Cautionary Tale.”

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 850 original ten-minute plays by 220 Bay Area and Los Angeles early-career writers and has commissioned/developed 71 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 fifth season!

WHEN: Monday, May 8, 2017 @ 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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