Friday, October 6, 2017

PlayGround-LA Oct 9 Selections!

“From small beginnings come great things.” (American Proverb) PlayGround-LA kicks off its 6th season on Monday, October 9, 8 PM at the Zephyr Theatre with an all-new season of the celebrated Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series. The topic for the first round, announced last Friday, is “IN THE BEGINNING...”. Members of the recently announced 2017-18 PlayGround-LA Writers Pool had just four-and-a-half days to generate their original ten-minute plays inspired by the topic. The top six scripts (see below) will each receive an hour-and-a-half rehearsal and a professional script-in-hand staged reading at the Zephyr Theatre on October 9. PlayGround writers in the Bay Area were given the same prompt and their finalists will be presented at Berkeley Repertory Theatre on October 16.  Tickets are $15-$30 and 6-admission series subscriptions are just $75. For tickets or more information, visit http://playground-la.org/monday.
The October 9 selected plays/playwrights are:
In the Beginning God Created Adam & Steve by Vincent Terrell Durham, directed by Tamiyka White; No Expectations by Elayne Heiveil, directed by Frieda de Lackner; Turn On, Tune In by Mildred Inez Lewis, directed by Rondrell McCormick; Stacey Gets Mad by Scott Mullen, directed by Jim Kleinmann; Balloon by Mercedes Segesvary, directed by Paris McCarthy; and The Honeymoon by Nicki Spencer, directed by Greg Bryan.
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. Recent topics have included: “We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident,” “A Cautionary Tale,” and “Awakening to the Dream of the Earth” as part of a now-four-year collaboration with Planet Earth Arts and Stanford University. The top six plays from each month are rehearsed for just one-and-a-half hours each and presented as script-in-hand staged readings at Monday Night PlayGround, now celebrating its sixth year. Audience members can also experience the thrill of being a producer through the monthly People’s Choice Awards, helping to determine which plays and playwrights go on for consideration in PlayGround’s annual showcase, the Best of PlayGround Gala.
The playwrights of the 2017-18 PlayGround-LA Writers Pool are: Matt Ackels, Nayna Agrawal, Christopher Aguilar, Diana Burbano, Kathleen Cecchin*, Allie Costa*, Meagan Daine, Matt DeNoto, Vincent Terrell Durham*, Elayne Heilveil, Susan C. Hunter, Daniel Hurewitz, Jen Huszcza, Julianne Jigour*, Starina Johnson, Mark V. Jones, Jonathan Josephson, Arthur Keng*, Jonathan Kuhn, Mildred Inez Lewis, Dana Lyman, Rhea MacCallum*, David Meyers, Alison Minami, Scott Mullen, Rosie Narasaki, Nicholas C. Pappas*, Andrew Joseph Perez, Brittny Roberts, Jessica June Rowe*, Richard Ruyle, Joe Samaniego, Mercedes Segesvary*, Mark Sherstinsky*, Nicki Spencer*, and Jennie Webb* (* past Best of PlayGround finalist).
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 75 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.


Company in the News Oct-2017

See what PlayGround-LA Writers are up to as we prepare for the October 9 round of Monday Night PlayGround.
Scott Mullen has two short plays, ALICE and ONE NIGHT IN THE CEMETERY, in Neo Ensemble's "Tales From the Scrypt" show in Hollywood (October 6-22), while his play WHEELCHAIR is still running in North Hollywood as part of Above the Curve Theatre's "Dark Stories".
Jonathan Kuhn's short play All That We See Or Seem was performed as a stage reading at the Chromolume Theater as part of Exposition Review's Short Play Series.
Starina Johnson’s plays ALL KINDS and BORDER TOWNS have been selected to Broads' Word Ensemble's Fall Staged Reading Series on Saturday, October 14th at 8PM and Sunday, October 15th at 2PM. Tickets are $8 and are available at http://broadswordensemble.com/shows/la-broads/. Also, her play Static will be performed in NEO Ensemble Theatre's spooky evening of ten-minute shorts called Tales from the Scrypt, which opens this weekend! Tickets available are at http://www.neoensembletheatre.org/
Andrew Joseph Perez is playing Sonny in Musical Theatre West's In The Heights running Oct. 20-Nov. 5 and, as always, there's new comedy at YouTube.com/morningsandmondays
Multiple PlayGround-LA writers have been selected for LA Broads, a staged reading festival produced by Broads' Word Ensemble and the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative. Only two performances:  Saturday, October 14th at 8 PM and Sunday, October 15th at 2 PM at the Flight Theatre at the Complex in Hollywood. Playwrights: Nayna Agrawal, Tiffany Cascio, Allie Costa, Aja Houston, Uma Incrocci, and Starina Johnson. Directors: Elkin Antoniou, Lesley Asistio, June Carryl, Allie Costa, Gloria Iseli, Rachel Manheimer, Rasika Mathur, and Desiree York. Tickets: http://broadswordensemble.com/shows/la-broads/.
Two of Allie Costa's plays, Unfinished Business and Safe Distance, were both selected for The Fear Festival, running October 20th through October 22nd at Roebuck Theater in New York City.  http://www.alliecosta.com
Jonathan Josephson's Thoth's Labyrinth is included in "Wicked Lit 2017," an award-winning immersive theatre event at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery (Altadena, CA). Produced by Unbound Productions, Sept. 28-Nov. 11; limited availability, tickets at wickedlit.org.
Christopher Belen Aguilar’s short play Insect will be in an evening of original short plays from the EastWest Players David Henry Hwang Writers Institute at the Santa Monica Playhouse: Tuesday, October 17th at 7:30p. 
Mildred Lewis has been selected for the 2017 PLAY LA Workshop supported by Humanitas. (http://humanitasprize.info/welcome/?page_id=1319)
Nayna Agrawal's play, Catcall, will be presented at Bootleg Theater on Sunday, October 8th at 11 am. Tickets are free and can be found online at the Bootleg Theater website. In addition, her one-act play, Slut, will be presented October 14 and 15 via Broads World Ensemble. Tickets are $5 in advance and can be purchased on the BWE website.

Mark V. Jones just wrapped post on a short film he wrote, produced and directed called The Abortion Clause. The full-length play, Daughters of the Kush, for which he did set design and construction, previews Oct 12th and opens Oct. 13th at the Stella Adler Theater (6773 Hollywood Blvd). Runs three weeks; Friday - Saturday 8PM, Sunday 3PM. 
David Meyer's play We Will Not Be Silent recently premiered at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in West Virginia. The play tells the true story of Sophie Scholl, a German college student who led the only act of organized, public resistance to the Nazis during World War II. The play was featured in the New York Times, and NPR recommended the play, calling it "truly magnetic." Further regional productions are upcoming, and David hopes to find the West Coast premiere soon.
Diana Burbano is one of the writers for Center Theatre Group’s Chisme y Queso, performances ongoing: https://www.centertheatregroup.org/tickets/around-la/2017/chisme-y-queso/. Her play Fabulous Monsters was recently performed at San Diego Rep’s first Latinx Play Festival http://www.sdrep.org/amigos.php
Brittny Roberts is currently taking submissions for the 3rd Annual Halloween Monologue-A-Looza at Samuel French Bookshop October 28th from 1-4pm. Monologues must be original, Halloween themed, 3 minutes or less and PG 13. Please send submissions to broberts@samuelfrench.com by Oct 25th to be considered.
The anthology-style sci-fi/thriller web series THREADS, for which Meagan Daine wrote a few episodes, was recently released on Go90. Her favorite hilariously creepy ep: "The Attendant."
This summer, Rhea MacCallum reached the milestone of having her 50th play produced when The Red Truck premiered at the City Theatre of Independence in Independence, MO.
Jennie Webb is proud to have been part of MADlab 2017; her new play FOOTPRINT, directed by Laura Stribling, will close the First Peek Readings Series on Sunday, October 8 at 1pm. http://movingarts.org/madlab-2017-first-look/