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
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.

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