PlayGround's programs are made possible by the PlayGround Company, a dedicated team of staff, writers and artistic company members representing the depth and breadth of the Bay Area's professional theatre community.


Name Play Title

Staff

Writers Pool & Resident Playwrights

Company Members

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Terry Anderson Terry Anderson

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Zara Benner Zara Benner

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William Bivins William Bivins * is an award-winning playwright whose productions include Headlock, The Education of a Rake, The Apotheosis of Pig Husbandry, and Pulp Scripture, among others. He is thrilled and honored to be entering his second season with PlayGround.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Cass Brayton Cass Brayton * is also known as Sister Mary Media, original member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Francisco's radical drag street theater-political-spiritual-charitable troupe. His plays The Boy Who Did Not Listen to His Mother and I’d Like to Buy a Vowel were selected for Best of PlayGround Festivals. Bodhisattva by Lagoon, premiered by Actors Theatre of Santa Rosa, has been published by Dramatic Publishing in 35 in 10: Thirty-Five Ten-Minute Plays. He played Chesty LaBoom in Bound + Gagged (2005 SF Fringe Festival), and most recently directed Broadway With a Twist. His website for playwrights (and shameless self-promotion) is www.standingpoem.com.

e-mail:


Plays

Stiff Competition

Synopsis: They thought it would be a piece of cake -- going on the TV show “Such Sweet Sorrow” to win their Momma a coveted final resting place among the celebrity corpses in a Hollywood memorial park/cemetery. But for the three remaining Chilblains, competing against other families was not the hard part, first they had to deal with each other. Welcome to the hothouse world of reality TV, where naked ambition is considered appropriate funeral attire.

History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2010-11).

Excerpt:

Habituees

Synopsis: San Francisco’s Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a radical, street theater group of activists, has been in existence for over a generation and spawned almost 100 affiliated convents around the world. Paradox is at the core of the group. Men (and women) in drag (who some might say are quintessential egoists) join together to form a group. Raunchy habitués of the seedy side of the city’s sex and drug subcultures raise money and awareness for underserved populations. People who celebrate pleasures of the flesh also are committed to spirituality. The origin of the Sisters is the story of a contemporary need for community, a desire to experiment with gender identity, and a search for instances of spiritual/religious authenticity in a plastic culture. The play zeroes in on gender and uses publication by the group of an early safe sex pamphlet (now considered groundbreaking by historians) as a focal point for demonstrating how individual identity impacts the ability to accomplish projects collectively.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Erin Bregman Erin Bregman * has had her plays produced locally by Just Theater, PlayGround, Actor's Theater of Santa Cruz, and Bay One Acts. Her work has been developed across the country, including readings and workshops with The Brick, Inkwell, The Lark, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, PlayGround, and American Conservatory Theater, among others. She has been a multi-year finalist for the Princess Grade Awards and the Global Age Project, and is a current resident of the Playwrights Foundation and PlayGround. During the day, she makes operas with kids.

e-mail:


Plays

Nightmare Play

Cast: 1M/2W

Synopsis: A father and his ten year old daughter have only each other, so when the girl begins to share her father’s terrible nightmares night after night, he struggles to stay awake so she can sleep in peace. A play of nightmares and the hallucinations of extreme sleep deprivation, reality blurs until father and daughter cannot tell reality from dreams.

History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2009-10).

Excerpt:

John Jacob O'Reilly Smitherton's Bid to Save the World (ten-minute) **

Cast: 2M/3W

Synopsis: On the first day of the new year, a young woman encounters a street singer and sparks a series of events that will change her life and ultimately the fate of the world.

History: Originally developed and premiered by PlayGround at the 13th annual Best of PlayGround Festival, on May 7, 2009.

Excerpt:

A Bid to Save the World

Synopsis: Nobody has died. In generations. Adam and Evelyn, two high school friends, are trying to figure out why, and maybe if they're really lucky they'll even be able to die themselves. A Bid to Save the World is a mythic folksong where we're taken from one world into another, and through that one into the next.

History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2010-11).

Excerpt:

**Ten Minute Play

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Rachel Bublitz Rachel Bublitz is the Founder of the 31 Plays in 31 Days Project and Co-Artistic Director of All Terrain Theater. Her work has been produced around the country. She is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at SFSU. Rachelbublitz.com

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Madeleine Butler Madeleine Butler is a professional marketing writer and amateur jazz vocalist. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she's also hard at work on a crime novel, a memoir, essays, poems — and now plays, thanks to Daniel Heath's inspiring PlayGround class.

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Ron Campbell Ron Campbell + became a founding member of the Actor's Gang and Artistic Associate of The Los Angeles Theatre Center, after working as a street performer in Europe. Awards include the London Fringe One Man Show of the Year and both the Los Angeles and Bay Area Critic's Circle Awards for Lead and Solo Performances, The Helen Hayes Award, A Jeff Award Nomination and 4 Backstage West Garland Awards. One man shows: The Thousandth Night, R. Buckminster Fuller, A Tale of Two Cities, The Bone Man of Benares, and Beckett's Eh Joe. He has performed at The Habima, The Mark Taper Forum, The American Conservatory Theatre, The Old Globe and the Old Red Lion in London. An Associate Artist at the California Shakespeare Theatre, Campbell was one of three recipients of The Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement in 2008. More information can be found on his website: http://www.soarfeat.org.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Patricia Cotter Patricia Cotter * has an Emmy Award for her comedy writing, the Richard Rodgers Award for her musical ROCKET SCIENCE and is twice winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for her musical, THE BREAK UP NOTEBOOK Patricia is a Groundling Theatre alum.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Victoria Chong Der Victoria Chong Der * has a BA in Creative Writing from Oberlin College and an MA in Intercultural Service and Management from SIT Graduate Institute. She is excited to be in her third year of PlayGround.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Ruben Grijalva Ruben Grijalva * is a playwright, director, and filmmaker. He earned his BA in Cinema from San Francisco State University and serves as Creative Director at dynamic local media startup, Virtual Active. His works include the award-winning short film Shadow Ball (2007), the technically innovative play Foresight (2010), and the short play Value Over Replacement (2012), which appeared in The Best of PlayGround 2013.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Garret Jon Groenveld Garret Jon Groenveld * is a founding writer of PlayGround, a seven-time winner of the Emerging Playwrights Award and delighted to return this season. Among his full-length plays include: The Empty Nesters, The Grand Divorce, The Hummingbirds, Missives and The Serving Class. His play Missives, originally commissioned by PlayGround, appeared in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival in 2004, premiered in San Francisco in 2005 at Theatre Rhino and in New York in 2008 at 59E59 Theatres. His play, "The Hummingbirds" won the Global Age Project at the Aurora and the Internationalists Global Playwrighting Prize which has lead to an ongoing tour in Romania, two productions in Mexico City and a developmental workshop with Olympia Dukakis in New York. He is an inagural Writer in Residence at the Playwrights Foundation and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

e-mail:


Plays

The Grand Divorce

Cast: 3M/3W

Synopsis: The perfect couple with the perfect marriage decide to kick it up a notch by having the perfect divorce. This fast-paced, subverted modern romantic comedy makes fun of the foibles of the super rich and our notions of what marriage and divorce mean. It throws romantic comedy structure on it's head; instead of marriage being the goal, it is the obstacle to romance. Snappy dialogue, high style humor and a fun, twisty plot about San Franciscans make this play an upbeat option for a local theatre season. The first play in the "Grand Series," following the wealthy San Franciscan Grand family and those that circle them. Plays stand on their own, but characters cross between them.

History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2006-07). Staged reading by Firemused Productions at SF Playhouse (Aug 2009).

Excerpt:

The Serving Class

Cast: 4M/2W

Synopsis: Winner of the 2010 GAP Festival! It should have been a simple "no" but an elite interior decorator gets roped into planning the high society wedding of the decade. Suddenly, he's knee deep in an unconventional love triangle, arrested, bribed, and planning an entirely different wedding! Three breathless acts without an intermission, this class comedy about love and commitment makes a lighthanded comment in the Beaumarchais style about the lives of gay men (who cannot get married), without whom many weddings would never happen. Fun, fast-paced romance with a wacky world view makes this the gayest comedy in years; a cult hit in the making! The second play in the "Grand Series," following the wealthy San Franciscan Grand Family and those that circle them. Plays stand on their own, but characters cross between them.

History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2007-08). Winner of the 2010 GAP Award (Aurora Theatre Company). Staged reading by Firemused Productions at SF Playhouse (Aug 2009).

Excerpt:

The Empty Nesters

Synopsis: A middle-aged couple sets off on a sight-seeing adventure to mark their last child leaving the nest. But can you ever really go home again?

History: Selected for the 2013 PlayGround Festival of New Works (readings on May 19, 2013 at 2pm and on May 25, 2013 at 1:30pm).

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Tanya Grove Tanya Grove is president of the California Writers Club in Berkeley, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and a tenor in the Berkeley Broadway Singers. She writes plays, stories, poems, and songs for children and adults.

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Leah Halper Leah Halper is a Bay Area playwright with historical hindsight and quirky global perspective. She collaborates with several theatres, and for eight seasons has enjoyed PlayGround's innovative, supportive company. She's working to bring her full-length plays to light; visit www.garlic.com/~lhalper.

e-mail:

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Karen Hartline Karen Hartline

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Colin Johnson Colin Johnson is a writer, director and filmmaker with a degree in Theatre and Film Production at Eastern Washington University. Notable recent credits include Daomu from Image Comics, Pianofight's ShortLived 2010, San Francisco Olympians, DIVAFest 2013, SF Fringe Festival 2012, Actor's Ensemble of Berkeley (director, Noises Off, 2012), Theatre Pub, First Person Singular, Albany Film Festival (2011, 2012) and Deathscribe at the Wildclaw Theatre in Chicago. He is Artistic Director of Battle Stache Studios in Oakland, and is incredibly thrilled to be a first-year member of the writers pool.

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Melissa Keith Melissa Keith received a BA in Theatre Arts from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. In the Bay Area, Melissa has taken classes at Killing My Lobster and Three Girls Theatre and had her work performed by Oakland-based sketch comedy group Battlestache Studios. Melissa will be performing as Cassius in the SF Shakespeare Festival's Fall tour of Julius Caesar.

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Sang S. Kim Sang S. Kim has contributed to NY Fringe Festival, SF SketchFest, and many NYC and Bay Area companies. A graduate of NYU, his work has been profiled within the Village Voice and the SF Chronicle.

e-mail:

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Elliott Kopstein Elliott Kopstein

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Brady Lea Brady Lea * is a playwright, performer and theatre arts educator. She is a three-time PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner and the recipient of the 2006 June Anne Baker Prize. She is a graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College and performed for several years with the vaudeville trio The Kloons. Brady is currently a visiting artist in physical theatre and improvisation at San Francisco School of the Arts. She lives in Bernal Heights with her husband David.

e-mail:


Plays

Mushroom Boy (full-length)

Cast: 4M/3W

Synopsis: Katherine is pre-middle-aged and mildly depressed, but determined to shake her funk by cooking organic produce from local farmer’s markets three times a week. Or is it her unnatural obsession with a steamy young mushroom vendor? She keeps buying produce she never cooks as she develops a fantasy life with this young man. Meanwhile, her uneaten produce is berating her, and her best friend is a turkey sandwich (with avocado and bacon). What happens when fantasy becomes reality? And what if your parsnip really does hate you?

History: Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround at the 2009 Best of PlayGround Festival (May 2009).

Excerpt:

The Sum of All Parts

Synopsis: Three childhood best friends reunite in the small town they grew up in. As teenagers, they got wild in that small-town way, partying, causing trouble and vowing to leave their crappy little town. Twenty-something years later, only one has managed to get out, and even he is tormented by the trauma that haunts them all: In a drunken teenaged game of truth or dare, the three accidentally blew up a house they all thought was abandoned. It wasn’t. And they each live with constant reminders of its mysterious occupant.

History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2009-10).

Excerpt:

Feets Too Big

Cast: 3M/2W

Synopsis: Suzy fancies herself a grown-up these days. She has a grown-up house and cooks grown-up dinners for her grown-up friends (VPs and CEOs), but when she loses her grown-up job in a crap economy, she is torn: Should she go back to her old career with her old partners? One of them is her ex, and the other barely grew up. Oh, and they’re all clowns. As her worlds collide, she strives to answer the questions: Can you be a yuppie clown? Circus nuttiness and stick puppets combine to form Suzy’s mid-life identity crisis.

History: Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround at the 2007 Best of PlayGround Festival (May 2007).

Excerpt:

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Jon Wai-keung Lowe Jon Wai-keung Lowe

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Jonathan Luskin Jonathan Luskin * has received two PlayGround Emerging Playwright Awards, a full length commission and two short film grants. His work has been read at the Playwrights Lab, the Magic Theatre, and the Bay Area Shorts Festival. Jonathan has directed for theater and film, and is a co-founder of Flying Moose Pictures, a video design company.


Plays

Ecce Homo

Synopsis: A romantic comedy. Troy Steel is an aspiring action movie hero, fired from a reality television show for his inability to lie, and left publicly humiliated but internationally famous. Annabella is a talented actress, too big-boned and brusque for a career on screen, she can only find work performing behind the mask of computer animated characters. When Troy is hired to animate a heroic warrior using a motion-capture suit, he is unable to perform even the simplest of scenes without suffering a crisis of confidence. The producer coerces Annabella to act Troy’s part for him. The animated pilot is a wild success and Troy and Annabella are bound together by her secret work on his behalf and his unknowing collaboration. Their journey together is perilously guided by therapy sessions with Oona, a plush-toy orca whale, and Troy’s grandparents, famous vaudeville actors who return from the past.

History: Ecce Homo was commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2011-12 and received a public staged reading as part of the 16th annual Best of PlayGround Festival in May 2012. This full-length play is adapted from the short of the same name, featured in the 15th annual Best of PlayGround Festival. The full-length script was developed at the Djerassi Artists Residency in the fall of 2011.

Excerpt:

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Karen Macklin Karen Macklin * is a playwright, poet, and prose writer. Her plays have had readings or productions at Actors Theatre SF, Eureka Theatre, Off-Market Theatre, The SF Playhouse, and Berkeley Rep (via Playground). She is also a yoga teacher. Visit www.karenmacklin.com.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Katie May Katie May * was a recipient of the PlayGround Emerging Writers Award for 2011. Her recent short play, Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero, was a 15th Annual Best of PlayGround selection. Her dramatic works have been produced and developed in Arizona, Idaho, California, Philadelphia, and Chicago. She has taught creative writing for Arizona State University, College of Idaho, and the National University of Singapore. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.

e-mail:


Plays

Manic Pixie Dream Girl or The Lily Chronicles Issue #1

Synopsis: After his breakup with Evil Ex-girlfriend Jacqueline, Lee Tallman, a would-be graphic novelist, is unable to create. Enter the mysteriously silent Lily— with whom he falls in love. In a burst of creativity Tallman slays the specters of heartbreak and creative impotence, in this play-turned-graphic novel, starring himself as the hero. But when Tallman makes an agonizing discovery, he must confront Lily’s true identity, and his refusal to see her as more than just his muse.

History: Manic Pixie Dream Girl or The Lily Chronicles Issue #1 was commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2011-12 and will receive a public staged reading as part of the 16th annual Best of PlayGround Festival in May 2012.

Abominable

Synopsis: A Yeti-obsessed mortician’s assistant finds herself at the mercy of Fate and Luck. Can she regain control of her life and fulfill her destiny?

History: Commissioned by PlayGround. A 2013 PlayGround Festival of New Works selection (staged readings on May 18, 2013 at 3pm and May 26 at 12:30pm).

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Genne Murphy Genne Murphy

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Naomi Newman Naomi Newman

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Meghan Kathleen O'Connor Meghan Kathleen O'Connor

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Erin Marie Panttaja Erin Marie Panttaja is in her third year as a member of the Writers Pool. Her plays have been produced at the Dublin Fringe Festival's Thread workshop and Mendocino College's New Works Festival and as part of Twisted Christmas Live. She received a Planet Earth New Play Festival commission to expand her short play PREAPOCALYPTICA. She is also an engineer, designer, roboticist, and homemaker.

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Madeline Puccioni Madeline Puccioni was produced at the Magic Theatre (TWO O'CLOCK FEEDING) and published in West Coast Plays. She'll have a 10 minute play performed during PCSF's 24 Hour PlayFest Sept. 28, and her one-act, WALL OF TROY, will be performed in the SF Olympians Festival in November.

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Takeo Rivera Takeo Rivera

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Mandy Hodge Rizvi Mandy Hodge Rizvi * has been a member of the PlayGround Writers Pool since 2009. Her short play, Escapades, was recently premiered at the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround (2011) Festival. In addition, Mandy is the recipient of the 10th Annual (2011) June Anne Baker Prize. Her full length plays include Burning and Drowning and Literary Biography: Chapter 11. Her newest full lengthplay, Drive Thru—Open till Midnite or Later, currently under commission by PlayGround, will receive a staged reading in May, 2012.

e-mail:


Plays

Drive Thru-Open till Midnite or Later

Synopsis: In Wellington, Kentucky, where people call each other by name and mind each other's business, the fluorescent glow of a new late night drive-through becomes a beacon of hope for outcasts and sinners and an omen of doom for The Regulators of Righteousness. Will the Regulators succeed in closing the drive-through and preserving righteous existence, and if they do, will the outcasts slink quietly back into the shadows, or will this sleepy town be forced to face its worst nightmares in the harsh light of day?

History: Drive Thru-Open Till Midnite or Later was commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2011-12 and will receive a public staged reading as part of the 16th annual Best of PlayGround Festival in May 2012.

Excerpt:

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Robin Lynn Rodriguez Robin Lynn Rodriguez * iis one of this year's SF-Playground Resident Writers. She received the Emerging Playwright Award in 2012 when Hella Love Oakland was presented at the 2012 Best of Playground Festival. She has also won Playground's June Anne Baker Award and her commissioned full length version of Hella Love Oakland received a staged reading at its 2013 Festival. Her full length play Hedge was a finalist for the SF Playwrights Foundation Festival in 2011. She has recently begun writing for the stage after being an actor and theater teacher.


Plays

Hella Love Oakland (full-length)

Synopsis: Can a conscientious mother choose between raising awareness and raising her kids?

History: A PlayGround commission. Developed at the 17th PlayGround Festival of New Works (readings on May 18, 2013 at 12pm and May 25 at 4pm).

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Andrew Saito Andrew Saito is Resident Playwright at The Cutting Ball Theater. Previously, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Papua New Guinea. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. He has lived in Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru.

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Diane Sampson Diane Sampson * is happy to be entering her eighth Writers Pool season. She earned an M.A. in Creative Writings, worked in arts administration, raised two sons, then (finally!) settled down to write. She has penned two musicals, Oh, Progeny! and Writes and Re-writes, and the full-length plays, Charlotte Takes the Plunge and Naked, a 2010 PlayGround commission when Diane received its June Anne Baker Prize. Her short plays have appeared in venues as far afield as Miami and Seattle.

e-mail:


Plays

Naked

Synopsis: Naked explores what can happen when a comment made privately by a person of stature is taken — rightly or wrongly — to be politically incorrect, even intolerant, and made public. Jean Remner, a celebrated playwright and humanitarian, finds her life crumbling after saying something that can be construed to contradict everything she has stood for. How does such an event affect not only Jean, but others close to her, and where, in fact, does the truth — if there is such a thing — lie?

History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2010-11).

Excerpt:

The Tale of the Sleeping Cutie

Synopsis: This musical adaptation of a Monday Night PlayGround short play proceeds with a nod to the myths and fairy tales in which the fair princess’s hand is given to the guy who can kill the most dragons. The rich and powerful but now dethroned father (read Bernie Madoff) wants his daughter married before he goes to the slammer. Against her wishes, he enrolls Lucy in on-line dating, hoping a suitable fellow will appeal to her and vice-versa. This last may prove difficult, as she suffers from narcolepsy, not the most endearing trait in a bride. Unbeknownst to him, Lucy isn’t narcoleptic. Rather, she sneaks out every night to rock concerts, as it is her one great ambition to be a drummer in an indie rock band. Exhausted from her nocturnal outings, she does, indeed, fall asleep at inopportune times. Applicants appear but withdraw when Lucy can’t stay awake for their narcissistic ramblings. This isn’t an issue, though for the last candidate, who is blind. He has no idea his words go unheard. Plus, he plays guitar in an indie rock band needing a drummer! It all sounds perfect, but who knows? Maybe fairytale endings only occur in real fairytales. With a back story about daddy’s financial skullduggery and the thought-to-be-deceased mother’s amazing reappearance, the piece is a present-day fairytale about staying true to yourself, following your dreams and staying clear of Ponzi schemes. Characters include the Father, the Daughter, the Mother, the Blind Aspirant, and three other Aspirants who would also play various minor roles.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Amy Sass Amy Sass * is a multidisciplinary artist and the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Ragged Wing Ensemble. Last season, she received the People’s Choice award for her short plays Significant People and Structural Instability. She is also the recipient of the June Anne Baker Commission.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Kirk Shimano Kirk Shimano * wrote the screenplay for Miss Finknagle Succumbs to Chaos, which received the People’s Choice Award at last year’s PlayGround Film Festival. His plays include Love in the Time of Zombies (San Francisco Theater Pub), The Judgment of Paris Is Burning (San Francisco Olympians) and Sean and Chris and Shawn and Chris (featured in Wily West Productions’ Lawfully Wedded). At his day job, he illuminates imaginary things with imaginary lights.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Cleavon Smith Cleavon Smith * is going into his fourth year in the PlayGround playwright’s pool. His play, You Eat What You Kill, was produced in the 2012 PlayGround Festival. He lives in Oakland and teaches in the English department at Berkeley City College.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Martha Soukup Martha Soukup * is a two-time PlayGround Emerging Playwright and winner of the 2003 June Anne Baker Prize. Her June Anne Baker Prize commission, Manumission, was mounted at San Francisco's Exit Theatre by Cassandra's Call Productions. She is an alum of the Clarion Writer's Workshop and the Players Workshop of Second City. Her Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning and -nominated short fiction is collected in her book, The Arbitrary Placement of Walls.

e-mail:

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Aimee Suzara Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American playwright, poet and educator based in Oakland, CA. Her poetry has been published widely including two chapbooks and appearances in numerous journals and anthologies. Her debut book, SOUVENIR, will be forthcoming in February 2014. Her theater work has been awarded grants and commissions from the Zellerbach Foundation, East Bay Community Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts; she is a part of the PlayGround at Berkeley Rep Writer’s Pool, ATLAS for Playwrights (Theater Bay Area) and her current play, A HISTORY OF THE BODY, will is in progress towards a World Premiere. Suzara has performed her poetry nationally and teaches Creative Writing and Social Action at CA State University at Monterey Bay. www.aimeesuzara.net

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Steven Westdahl Steven Westdahl graduated from Emory University with degrees in English and Theatre & Film. While in Atlanta, he co-founded multi-media production company Collective Works and co-created shows like The Wide Open Beaver Festival and The Invisible College. Since returning to CA, he hosts and performs monthly at WRITE CLUB SF and Shipwreck.

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Arisa White Arisa White * received a PlayGround Emerging Playwrights Award for her 2011 Best of PlayGround Festival selection Frigidare. She is a Cave Canem fellow and holds an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon, she was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List. Recipient of the inaugural Rose O’Neill Literary House summer residency at Washington College, she has also received residencies from Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005, her poetry has appeared in numerous journals and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet and in the anthology and staged production of Fingernails Across a Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Josh Williams Josh Williams

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Davern Wright Davern Wright has written and directed many plays and films, including Something’s Wrong with Peter (2011 Santa Fe Film Festival), and acted with many Bay Area companies.

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Zoe Young Zoe Young is a writer living in Berkeley. She was educated at New York University and has had work produced in Manhattan, Los Angeles, and Dublin, Ireland. In addition to playwriting Zoe currently reviews jazz for Downbeat Magazine.

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Maury Zeff Maury Zeff * has an MFA from the University of San Francisco and was a SF Writers' Grotto Fellow. He was an American Fiction Prize finalist and has been published in multiple journals, including Southern California Review and American Fiction 2012.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Lesli Zephyr Lesli Zephyr

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Ignacio Zulueta Ignacio Zulueta * was born in Manila, studied in Providence, and writes in Oakland. His plays have been seen and heard throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in Ashland, New York, Minneapolis, Kalamazoo(!), and on KUSF 90.3FM and KPFA 94.1FM. He’s a 2011 AlterLAB writer at AlterTheatre and part of the NewWorks Incubator at Asian-American Theatre Company. He was a semifinalist for the Global Age Project at Aurora Theatre, and his works have been supported by three Theatre Bay Area Ca$hgrants – the latest for THE FELLOWSHIP’s premiere stage reading this Spring 2012 at AlterTheatre in San Rafael.

e-mail:


Plays

Kano and Abe

Synopsis: Originally conceived as “Civic” for the Monday Night PlayGround ‘palindrome’ topic in 2008, this playlet has bloomed into a sizzling domestic drama for an all-Asian cast. Abe’s the good son, returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Kano’s the prodigal, conniving his way towards the illegal’s American Dream. And Regina’s the woman who brings out their best and their worst, a property manager who can’t quite manage the two men in her life. Kano and Abe is a story of rivalry, illegal immigration, and some good old fashioned murder.

History: A PlayGround commission.

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

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Molly Aaronson-Gelb is the Founder of Just Theater for whom she directed Take Me To The Bridge, Far Away and Three Plays About Your Mom. Other directing credits include the premiere of Blastosphere by Aaron Loeb and Geetha Reddy for CentralWorks, Aaron Loeb’s Brown for Crowded Fire Matchbook, First Person Shooter at Capitol Stage in Sacramento and Oliver! for Berkeley Playhouse. She has also directed for Shotgun Players, Crowded Fire, the San Francisco Fringe Festival, and the Hangar Theater in Ithaca, NY. As an assistant director she has worked with Leigh Silverman, Tony Taccone and Lillian Groag at Berkeley Rep, ACT, and the Women's Project. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab and holds an MA in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. By day she teaches Drama at The Bentley School.

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Patrick Alparone Patrick Alparone + has worked around the Bay Area in productions such as Octopus at the Magic Theatre;Twelfth Night, Ambition Facing West atTheatreWorks; A Streetcar Named Desire at Marin Theatre Company; The Glass Menagerie at Berkeley Rep; Hamlet at Impact Theatre; The Little Dog Laughed at B Street Theatre;All's Well That Ends Well at Valley Shakespeare Festival; The False Servant at ABYDOS; Karima's City in Egypt for The Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre with Golden Thread Productions. Website: patrickalparone.com.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Liz Anderson +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Rinabeth Apostol Rinabeth Apostol + is incredibly proud to be a PlayGround Company Member! She recently appeared in the Ferocious Lotus Comedy Festival and as Dr. Charlotte in Stir Fry Theatre’s inaugural production of Falsettoland. Other credits include the 2010 Best of PlayGround Festival, the critically acclaimed world premiere of The Kite Runner as Soraya/Mrs. Nguyen at San Jose Rep and work with notable companies such as TheatreWorks, East West Players (Los Angeles), Arizona Theatre Company, Pasadena Armory Center for the Arts, Skirball Theatre (NYC) and The Groundlings improv comedy troupe (Los Angeles).

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Michael Asberry +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Michael Barrett Austin Michael Barrett Austin + is a Bay Area native who returned to San Francisco after earning a theatre degree from Whitman College and spending several years Kerouac-ing around the country, acting, writing and directing. Michael has worked with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks, SF Playhouse, San Jose Stage, 42nd Street Moon, California Conservatory Theatre, The Shawnee Playhouse and others. He is also a member of Just Theater the sketch comedy troupe Funny But Mean. www.michaelbarrettaustin.com

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Bethanie Baeyen + has worked as a stage manager and production manager for many companies including PlayGround, Livermore Valley Opera, Shotgun Players, Marin Theatre Co., Encore Theatre Co. Sacramento Opera, Ash Lawn Opera Festival, Opera Boston, Le Theatre Mouffetard, Sacramento Theatre Company, Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre, Music Circus. Ms. Baeyen is a proud member of Actor’s Equity. www.bethaniebaeyen.com

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Mary Baird Mary Baird + was last seen at Pegasus Books in a reading of Glengarry Glenn Ross. At the Mint in NYC she was in What the Public Wants . She created the role of Sister Francis Regis in Gracie and the Atom at Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland, OR. and the role of the mother in Frauline Else at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She played the title role in Mother Courage in Vermont and now splits her time between California and NYC. Mary has acted on and off Broadway, regionally, and nationally, receiving awards for her performance in Holiday Memories , No Way to Treat a Lady and Blue Plate Special .

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Julia Brothers Julia Brothers + recently appeared in Superior Donuts at Theatreworks. In the Bay Area, Julia has worked with TheatreWorks, Marin Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre, Magic Theatre, Brava! for Women In The Arts, and Pacific Repertory Theatre. She has won numerous Bay Area theatre awards and was named MVP for Theatre in 2006 by the San Francicso Chronicle.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Stephanie Buchner is Resident Lighting Designer for PlayGround, having designed for the past several Monday Night PlayGround seasons and the 15th annual Best of PlayGround Festival. Recent designs include: Songs of Dragons Flying Towards Heaven for Asian American Theater and Crowded Fire, A Year with Frog and Toad for Bay Area Children’s Theater, Iph at Brava, The Ten Will Festival at Boxcar Theatre, The Creature for Black Box Theatre, Singing in the Rain and Peter Pan at Berkeley Playhouse, The Bald Soprano and Thom Pain at Cutting Ball, Current Nobody for Just Theater, Midsummer Night’s Dream at Impact Theatre, Love Person at Marin Theatre Company, Mike Daisey’s Great Men of Genius at Berkeley Rep, Fe and the Desert for Campo Santo, Playboy of the Western World, Dear Liar and Fools in the Forest at Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

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Anna Bullard Anna Bullard + is a San Francisco native who is delighted to make the Bay Area her professional home. Her recent local credits include CalShakes (Mrs. Warren’s Profession), ACT, San Jose Rep (As You Like It), Theatreworks, the Magic (Goldfish), Marin Theatre Company (Equivocation, Killer Joe), and Porchlight Theatre; regional credits include Arizona Theatre Company (Ten Chimneys), Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), Laguna Playhouse (Around the World in 80 Days), and the Dorset Theatre and NYC Fringe Festivals.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Lizzie Calogero +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Ron Campbell Ron Campbell + became a founding member of the Actor's Gang and Artistic Associate of The Los Angeles Theatre Center, after working as a street performer in Europe. Awards include the London Fringe One Man Show of the Year and both the Los Angeles and Bay Area Critic's Circle Awards for Lead and Solo Performances, The Helen Hayes Award, A Jeff Award Nomination and 4 Backstage West Garland Awards. One man shows: The Thousandth Night, R. Buckminster Fuller, A Tale of Two Cities, The Bone Man of Benares, and Beckett's Eh Joe. He has performed at The Habima, The Mark Taper Forum, The American Conservatory Theatre, The Old Globe and the Old Red Lion in London. An Associate Artist at the California Shakespeare Theatre, Campbell was one of three recipients of The Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement in 2008. More information can be found on his website: http://www.soarfeat.org.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Joy Carlin Joy Carlin + has been a leading actress, director and teacher with the American Conservatory Theater since 1969 and was an Associate Artistic Director there from 1987 until 1992 winning seventeen Bay Area Critics Circle and L.A. Dramalogue Awards for her acting and directing. From 1981-84 she was an Actor and Resident Director at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and served as its Interim Artistic Director from January, 1983 to August, 1984. She has also directed for The San Jose Repertory Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, the Berkeley Stage Company, Shotgun Players, Aurora Theatre Co., Theatreworks, The San Francisco Playhouse and the Shanghai Youth Drama Troupe where she directed You Can't Take It With You. This season she will direct Body Awareness at Aurora and is working on a new play with Aaron Loeb for JustTheatre.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Nancy Carlin Nancy Carlin + is an associate artist of the California Shakespeare Theater, an affiliate artist of the Foothill Theatre Company, a PlayGround company member and a former company member of the American Conservatory Theater. Nancy has directed for the Foothill Theatre Company, Traveling Jewish Theatre, the B St. Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Center Rep, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, and A.C.T.’s MFA program. She is the writer of a new musical, Max Understood, which was developed at the O’Neill National Music Theater Conference in July. Nancy holds a BA in comparative literature from Brown University and an MFA in acting from A.C.T.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Desdemona Chiang

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David Cramer David Cramer + has a BFA from the University of New Mexico, studied at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, H.B. Studios in NYC., and Harvey Lembeck’s Comedy Improv in L.A. Film. TV credits include A Piano For Mrs. Cimino with Bette Davis, The Waltons, M*A*S*H*, among others. Local theatre credits include Magic Theatre, Word For Word, Shotgun Players, Marin Theatre Company, and recently the SF Playhouse co-production (developed by PlayGround) of Seven Days.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Sally Dana Sally Dana + has worked in the Bay Area as an actor, singer, drummer and voiceover artist. Favorite stage credits include: Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal’s Juan Darien, world premiere of Campo Santo’s The Language of Angels, Something in the Air at the B Street, the world premiere of A Common Vision at The Magic and Iphigenia and Other Daughters with Mettle Theatre. Sally has performed with many rock/pop bands as a singer and a drummer…currently, drummer for the all-girl LA band, The Reform School Girls. She is a graduate of the professional actors training program from Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts. Sally is proud to be a part of the talented PlayGround family.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Will Dao

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Anne Darragh +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Dodds Delzell Dodds Delzell + has appeared in more shows than he cares to remember throughout the Bay Area over the last 25 years. He recently completed the world premiere of The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) and Much Ado About Nothing for Shakespeare Napa Valley and last appeared in The Peoples Temple and Art. He has a BFA from University of North Carolina School of the Arts and is a Proud Member of Actors' Equity Association.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Carolyn Doyle Carolyn Doyle + is thrilled to return for another season of great writing! Locally, she has worked with Marin Theatre Co., Encore Theatre Co., San Jose Rep's Red Ladder, Willows Theatre, Theatre Rhino, Signal Theatre, Kaliyuga Arts, Eastenders Rep, Western Stage, Shotgun Players, Woman’s Will, Cal Shakes, Rough and Tumble and Boxcar Theatre (where she was most recently nominated for a BATCC for A Lie of The Mind). As a solo performer, her Confessions of a Refrigerator Mother enjoyed a highly successful 4-week run at The Marsh, playing to sold-out crowds.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Lauren English +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Rebecca J. Ennals Rebecca J. Ennals is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and has been directing for PlayGround since 2011, including Best of PlayGround 2013. Bay Area credits include productions for SF Shakes’ Shakespeare on Tour, the Pear Ave Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Peninsula Youth Theatre, Los Altos Youth Theatre, Shakespeare at Stinson, California Conservatory Theatre, and others. She has taught Shakespeare and Theatre to all ages, from pre-school to adult. Rebecca holds an MFA from U.C. Davis and a BA from Scripps College. Also a playwright and poet, she has been a finalist for the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award and the Midwestern Playwrights Award and a recipient of the Crombie Allen Award for poetry.

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Michael French

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Amy Glazer Amy Glazer has directed world, American and West Coast premieres at Magic Theatre including Sam Shepard’s , Rebecca Gilman’s The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, Blue Surge and The American in Me, Steven Belber’s Drifting Elegant and Tape, and Barry Gifford’s Wyoming. For Marin Theatre Company she has directed Frozen, Displaced, Life X 3, My Old Lady, The Music Lesson, Misalliance, Candida, and Indiscretions. For Eureka Theatre, Stonewall Jackson’s House and Trust, and for TheatreWorks, Spinning Into Butter, Pride’s Crossing, An American Daughter, Conversations With My Father, Marvin's Room and Mrs. Klein. The recipient of Dean Goodman, Drama-Logue, and Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards and finalist for TCG’s 2003 Alan Schneider Director Award, Amy is an associate artist at Magic Theatre and is a theatre and film professor at San Jose State University. Her short film, Ball Lightning, premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival, and her feature film, Drifting Elegant, premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

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Cindy Goldfield Cindy Goldfield + is a two-time recipient of both the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award and the Dean Goodman Choice Award. Regional theatre credits include work at A.C.T., San Jose Rep, Center Rep, TheatreWorks, Playhouse West, The Willows Theatre, Broadway by the Bay, Marin Theatre Company, 42nd Street Moon, and Golden Thread Productions. Ms. Goldfield has extensive directing and choreography credits in several Bay Area theatres, in addition to numerous corporate shows throughout the country and abroad. She also enjoys a successful voice-over career and the cabaret collaboration of Goldfield and Koldewyn with the inimitable Scrumbly Koldewyn.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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BW Gonzalez BW Gonzalez + appeared in the 2008 Best of PlayGround Festival and has worked locally with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Oakland Ensemble Theatre and the San Diego Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater and PlayGround. As a nine-year company member with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, she performed Ariel in The Tempest, Masha in The Three Sisters, Shen The/Shui Ta in The Good Person of Szechuan, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cassandra in The Trojan Women, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Mattie Campbell in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, among many others. She created the role of Phoebe in Darker Face of the Earth by former poet laureate Rita Dove, which she performed at The Kennedy Center. Recent television credits include three seasons as Lupe on the Emmy Award winning show, Arrested Development. Gonzalez is a recipient of a Citation of Excellence in Theatre from the Massachusetts House of Representatives and has taught Theatre Arts workshops and master classes to men, women and children in prisons and juvenile detention centers and has also worked with at-risk youth for over 30 years.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Gabriel Grilli Gabriel Grilli + is an actor, director, and writer. He has performed and directed with PlayGround since 2007. As Artistic Director of BrickaBrack, he has created and directed Stalking Christopher Walken and Duck Duck Octopus. He was born by the sea in little Rhode Island. www.gabrielgrilli.com

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Rosie Hallett Rosie Hallett is proud to be a member of the extraordinary Playground community! Her recent credits include You Know When the Men Are Gone (Word for Word), The Great Pretender (TheatreWorks New Works Festival), Status Update (CenterREP), Imaginary Love (Hapgood Theatre Company), Bellwether (Marin Theatre Company), and the Playground productions and co-productions Best of Playground 16 and The Shakespeare Bug. She will be touring France as part of the cast of Word for Word’s In Friendship in the spring of 2014. Rosie is a Stanford graduate and a recipient of the Theatre Bay Area TITAN Award. Website: www.roselynhallett.com

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Eric Fraisher Hayes Eric Fraisher Hayes + is a director/actor/educator. He is currently a resident director at Solano College. Bay Area directing credits include the Eugene O'Neill Festival, St. Mary's College, New Conservatory Theatre, and Playground. He has directed numerous shows for the Cal Shakes and SF Shakes educational outreach programs. Chicago acting credits include: Steppenwolf, the Goodman, Next, Circle, Northlight, Apple Tree, Stage Left and Shattered Globe. Local acting credits include: the Magic, Alternative Theater Ensemble and PlayGround. He has performed with the Colorado and Wisconsin Shakespeare Festivals. Recently, Eric directed the West Coast premiere of Eugene O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings. He is currently working on a romantic comedy entitled Anthony Pepys is Moving Out, which is dedicated to his 9/11 hero Rob Hurst.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Jessica Heidt

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Brian Herndon Brian Herndon + has been proud to represent PlayGround as an inaugural company member since 2006, and has performed in the Monday Night Series since 2000. You may have seen him in the Best of PlayGround Festivals in 2007, '09, '10 or '11, or in the world premiere of Truffaldino Says No, co-produced by PlayGround and Shotgun Players. He has performed all over the San Francisco Bay Area, at Marin Theatre Company, Berkeley Playhouse, Aurora Theatre and Theatre on San Pedro Square. He has taken part in four New Works Festivals and six mainstage shows at TheatreWorks. He has done five seasons with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and originated the role of Mr. Elton in Jane Austen's Emma, which has taken him to Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the Old Globe, Lincoln Center and Arizona Theatre Company. Other favorite roles include Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Charlie Baker in The Foreigner, and Horton in Seussical. Brian received his MFA in Acting from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and studied at the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Christen Karle Christen Karle + proudly calls the Bay Area home, having grown up in both the Midwest and East Coast. Local acting credits include the Marin Theatre Company, Center Repertory Company, TheatreWorks, CalShakes, Berkeley Rep, Valley Shakespeare Festival, Antenna Theater, Mendocino Theatre Co., The Playwrights Foundation, and more. She is an eager player in the Monday Night PlayGround Series and was seen in The Best of PlayGround Festivals 9 and 12. Christen earned her B.A. in Theatre from the College of the Holy Cross, MA, studied Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, UK, and completed an apprenticeship at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, MA. Christen currently lives in San Francisco with her husband, Seth, and son, Silas.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Danielle Levin Danielle Levin + is proud to be a member of the PlayGround Company. Recent rolls include Current Nobody with Just Theater at the Exit, Vera Wilde with Shotgun Players and A Short History of Nearly Everything at Marin Theatre Company. Other Bay Area Credits include The 2008 Re-Orient Festival – Golden Thread Productions; Emma, and Unlock’d (New Works Festival) - TheatreWorks; Anna Bella Eema - Crowded Fire Theatre Company; Urinetown - Contra Costa Musical Theater; Laughter on the 23rd Floor - Center Repertory Company; and Our Lady of 121st St. - SF Playhouse.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Gwen Loeb Gwen Loeb + has been a proud company member of PlayGround for 12 years and is a passionate advocate for new works by the Bay Area’s abundance of exceptionally talented playwrights. Some of Gwen’s fully-staged Bay Area productions include: A Bright New Boise, The Arsonists, and Trojan Women at The Aurora Theatre, Truffaldino Says No and World In A Woman’s Hands at Shotgun Players, and Lovers & Executioners at Marin Theatre Company.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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George Maguire George Maguire + celebrates 50 years as a member of Actors Equity Association. He is the Artistic Director Emeritus of the award winning Solano College Theater, and co-founder of the renown Actor Training Program, whose graduates include company member Jon Tracy. He has acted both on and Off-Broadway and regionally with Actors Theater of Louisville,the Hartman Theater, the Clarence Brown Theater, the Barter Theater, the Riverside, Northshore and Great Lakes Shakespeare Festivals, in over 35 film and TV roles, and locally with A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, CenterRep, Marin Theater Company, the Magic Theater, Shotgun Players, and 5 seasons as a resident actor with Marin Shakespeare Festival. Along with the 50+ productions he has directed for tje O'Neill Foundation, New Conservatory Theater Center, Solano College/Harbor Theater, he has directed for Broadway By The Bay, CenterRep, the Willows Theater, PCPA Theaterfest and projects for A.C.T., The Oregon and Great Lakes Shakespeare Festivals. He is the recipient of the 1984 Samuel French One-Act Playwriting Award for THE ENCHANTED MESA.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Gabriel Marin Gabriel Marin +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Julia McNeal Julia McNeal + Bay Area: Three Sisters (Porchlight Theatre); Old Times (TheatreFIRST); Roulette (SF Playhouse), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Actors’ Theatre of SF), A Streetcar Named Desire (Pacific Alliance Stage Company); Summer and Smoke (Center Repertory Theatre: Dean Goodman Choice Award, BACC & Shellie nominations); Visions of Kerouac (Marin Theatre Company); Best of PlayGround, ’03, ’04 & ‘07 (PlayGround). Film and TV: Pictures of You; The Unbelievable Truth, Flesh and Bone; Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Sam Misner Sam Misner + has performed in the Bay Area at Center Rep (Hank Williams’ Lost Highway), California Shakespeare Theater (A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Seagull), Pacific Alliance (The Sunshine Boys), Abydos Theatre (The False Servant) and The Willows Theatre (Woody Guthrie’s American Song). Regional credits include Syracuse Stage, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York , Foothill Theatre Company in Nevada City, California, and four seasons with Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Sam balances his theatre work with a regular schedule performing original music as part of an Americana/Bluegrass duet, Misner & Smith, and is an award-winning songwriter.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Mina Morita is the Artistic Associate at Berkeley Rep and its center for creation and development of new work, The Ground Floor. During its inaugural lab in 2012, 100 artists were brought in from across the U.S. to workshop 13 projects, of which she directed two. This year, 16 new plays in development where hosted. During her time at Berkeley Rep, Mina has curated and line-produced the Fireworks Festival, directed Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again, and directed a staged reading of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. As assistant director there, she has worked with Tony Taccone on Tony Kushner's Tiny Kushner and Itamar Moses' Yellowjackets; with Les Waters on Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Naomi Iizuka's Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West, and Sarah Ruhl's In The Next Room (which received a Tony nomination), and with Jonathan Moscone on Tony Taccone’s Ghost Light. As a freelance director, she has worked at Shotgun Players (By and By, The Great Divide, and The Norman Conquest's Round and Round the Garden), Just Theatre’s Underneath The Lintel, Sleepwalkers Theatre’s The Nature Line, Aurora Theatre Company's Global Age Project, Playwrights’ Foundation, Campo Santo, Precarious Theatre Company, Impact Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, and Bay Area Children’s Theatre. In 2012, Mina worked with Anna Deavere Smith as the artistic coordinator for her play, On Grace. Upcoming projects include Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Min Kahng at Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Fire Work by Lauren Gunderson at TheatreFirst, and assistant directing Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homesexual’s Guide to Capitalism & Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures with director Tony Taccone. Mina also serves as the Board President for Shotgun Players and is one of the original founders of Bay Area Children's Theatre. She holds a degree in directing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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Lisa Morse Lisa Morse + is delighted to be a new resident of the Bay Area, and a new member of PlayGround. She has performed around the country at such venues as Marin Theatre Company, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Missouri Rep, The Kennedy Center, and Boston Playwrights Theatre. Off-Broadway credits include Lincoln Center, CSC, and P.S. 122 . Favorite roles: Lala in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Tess in The Sisters Rosensweig, Mollie in The Mousetrap and Anna in Syncopation. Lisa also writes her own material, and has performed her one-woman shows, The Clown Bride and Five Times, in NYC and in Boston.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Anthony Nemirovsky Anthony Nemirovsky + has performed in productions throughout the Bay Area, including More Stories by Tobias Wolff with Word for Word, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby and The Tempest with California Shakespeare Theater, The Government Inspector with ACT, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Laughter on the 23rd Floor with Center REP, A Christmas Carol with Napa Valley Rep, and has also worked with the Magic Theatre, GEVA Theatre in New York and the Playwrights Foundation. Anthony is a proud member of PlayGround, Just Theater and the sketch comedy troupe Funny But Mean.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Molly Noble Molly Noble + has directed for several Best of PlayGrounds, most recently Jonathon Luskin's Ecce Homo in 2011. She is the founder of Porchlight Theatre Company. Recent directing projects include Mary Zimmerman's Arabian Nights and Charles Mee's BIG LOVE at the College of Marin. Molly has directed for Word for Word, The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and the American School London. As an actress, Molly has performed with Porchlight Theatre Company, Word for Word, Boston Shakespeare Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and New Dramatists in NYC. She received a Dean Goodman Choice for her portrayal of Lady Utterword in Porchlight's production of Heartbreak House. www.mollynoble.com.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Soren Oliver Soren Oliver +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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June Palladino + has been involved in Bay Area theatre since 1993. Some of her favorite productions include the critically-acclaimed First Person Shooter, Killer Joe and Our Lady of 121st Street. Other favorites: Devil’s Disciple, Burn This, Brainpeople, A Doll’s House, Arms and the Man, Assassins, Symphonie Fantastique and The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. She has staged managed numerous Best of PlayGround Festivals and is a proud PlayGround Company member.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Carla Pantoja Carla Pantoja + is happy to be included in PlayGround’s Company. She has participated in many Monday Night PlayGrounds and several Best of PlayGround Festivals over the years. A Bay Area actor, she has worked with Shotgun Players, TeatroVisión, TheatreWorks, Woman’s Will, and City Lights, to name a few. Carla is also a member of Theatre Bay Area and does fight choreography as well for Bay Area theatres.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Louis Parnell Louis Parnell + has worked extensively as an actor and director with numerous companies in the Bay Area including American Conservatory Theater, Campo Santo, Center Repertory, CentralWorks, The Magic, Marin Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, TheatreWorks, Thick Description and Traveling Jewish Theatre, as well as with many smaller nomadic companies. He most recently appeared in TJT's productions of DEAD MOTHER and DEATH OF A SALESMAN followed by CABARET, CORONADO, THE FANTASTICKS , MAN OF LA MANCHA and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST all at the SF Playhouse, where he also directed RECKLESS. Other favorite acting performances include leading roles in ART, AFTER THE FALL, ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, IT HAD TO BE YOU, SPEED-THE-PLOW and TALLEY'S FOLLY. Favorite directing gigs include AMERICAN BUFFALO, DEATHTRAP, FOUR DOGS AND A BONE, HURLYBURLY, PRIVATE EYES and RECKLESS. He has accumulated 10 BATCC nominations for acting or directing (4 wins) and 5 DramaLogue and Dean Goodman Choice Awards. He has also performed in numerous film, television and commercial roles including TRAUMA, NASH BRIDGES, AMERICA'S MOST WANTED and the PBS documentary RALPH ELLSION: AN AMERICAN LIFE which was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006. He is on the Board of Directors of the SF Playhouse, was a founding member of Genesius Theatre Company and the Actors Theatre of SF, and is a proud member of PlayGround, SAG, AFTRA and AEA.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Michael Phillis Michael Phillis + is an award-winning actor, solo performer, and playwright. His Bay Area theatre credits include The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (California Shakespeare Theater), The Dying Gaul (New Conservatory Theatre Center), and Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party (SF Playhouse). He has written and performed several original plays, including Finding Mrs. Miller, D*Face, Dolls, and Wish We Were Here, which premiered at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival (Time Out New York Critic's Pick, Backstage Critic's Pick). He is also the creator/writer/artist of inFlux, an ongoing graphic e-novel series. For more information please visit www.michaelphillis.com.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Rebecca Pingree Rebecca Pingree is delighted to join the Playground company, having been a Monday Night regular for several years, as well as performing in Best of Playground 17. Local credits include roles with Shotgun Players, Livermore Shakes, Pacific Repertory Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, Ray of Light, 42nd Street Moon, Bay Area Children's Theatre, and TheatreFIRST, among others. She holds a BA in Performance from SFSU, and attended the 2012 Acting Conservatory with Shakespeare & Company.

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Virginia Reed Virginia Reed has collaborated with: Aurora Theatre; Brava; Cinnabar (Playboy of the Western World); Danse Lumiere, Lunatique Fantastique; Magic (Festivals: Irish Women Playwrights; Playwrights in Danger); Mark Taper Forum; McCarter Theater; Pear Avenue Theater; PlayGround; The Playwrights Foundation; San Jose Repertory; Shakespeare’s Associates (Proof; Copenhagen); 6th St. Playhouse (Boy Gets Girl; The Real Thing); Woman’s Will (Importance of Being Earnest); The Shee Theatre Company (Augustine (Big Hysteria); Becca & Heidi; Ladies & Gentlemen). Ginny has taught and directed in the Bay Area at The Branson School, Evergreen Valley College, University of San Francisco and University of the Pacific.

e-mail:

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Cathleen Riddley Cathleen Riddley +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Katja Rivera Katja Rivera + , a director and actor, hails from Los Angeles and studied theater at the venerable Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley. She is a proud member of Shotgun Players and Actor’s Equity. She has two daughters and lives in the East Bay. And she loves to participate in PlayGround.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Adrian Roberts Adrian Roberts + is a graduate of the American Conservatory Theater. He has worked Off-Broadway and in many regional theatres including Lincoln Center Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, Dallas Theatre Center and Willows Theatre Company and most recently at the San Francisco Playhouse where he played Daniel Jamison in Aaron Loeb’s First Person Shooter. Mr. Roberts’ television credits include: Brothers and Sisters, Scrubs, Criminal Minds and the film: Vampyres, Out for Blood for the Sci-Fi Channel.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Stacy Ross Stacy Ross +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Adam Roy

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Mark Rucker

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Lee Sankowich Lee Sankowich

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Josh Senick

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Brian Yates Sharber Brian Yates Sharber +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Kerri Shawn Kerri Shawn

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Robert Sicular Robert Sicular + , a Bay Area native, has performed with ACT, the Berkeley, San Jose, St Louis, South Coast, and Seattle Repertory Theatres, Marin Theatre Company, Denver Center Theatre Company, Sacramento Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Oregon, California, Berkeley, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and Santa Fe Shakespeare Festivals, the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, and, of course, PlayGround. His on-screen credits include General Hospital; The Young and the Restless; Bollywood potboiler, Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya (My Heart Has Become a Foreigner); and the sci-fi action comedy thriller, Never Die Twice.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Chris Smith Chris Smith

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M. Graham Smith M. Graham Smith is the producer of Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project. He has directed at HERE in New York City and many venues in SF including A.C.T.’s Masters program, Aurora Theatre, The EXIT Theatre, Asian American Theatre Company, PlayGround, Playwright's Foundation, BRAVA, Berkeley Playhouse, Golden Thread, SF Opera, Bay Area Children's Theatre and New Conservatory. He directed the West Coast Premiere of JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA in San Francisco as well as TRUFFALDINO SAYS NO at Shotgun Players for which he won a Best Director award from BATCC. He teaches acting in Barcelona, Spain, and at A.C.T. and Waterfront Studio in San Francisco. This season he's excited to direct three World premieres: SHAKESPEARE BUG for Killing My Lobster, SIDEWINDERS at Cutting Ball, and SHE RODE HORSES LIKE THE STOCK EXCHANGE with Crowded Fire. This year is Graham's 5th anniversary working with PlayGround!

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Ken Sonkin Ken Sonkin + is an actor/director whose work has been seen at American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, SF Playhouse, Marin Shakespeare Company, The Magic Theater, Sonoma Rep, Center Rep, The B Street Theatre, Sacramento Theater Company, as well as nationally at The Denver Center Theatre Company, The Grove Shakespeare Festival (LA), Pacific Resident Theater (LA), Seacoast Rep (NH), and Pennsylvania Centre Stage. He holds a BFA from Ohio State University and an MFA from A.C.T. Ken was a member of A.C.T.’s acting company and core conservatory faculty and has taught and directed for The National Theatre Conservatory, Stanford University, Northwestern University, Solano College, and Cornell College. Acting: Trinculo in The Tempest, Magnus in The Real Inspector Hound, Kissinger in Nixon’s Nixon, Tom, Phyllis and Leslie in Sylvia, Max in Max & Maxie, and Teach in American Buffalo. Directing: Angels in America, Metamorphoses, Golf With Alan Shepard, Humble Boy, The Subject Was Roses, Twelfth Night, Tape, A Southern Christmas (premiere), and Wild Boy (premiere). Ken acted in The Best of PlayGround 2008. He currently teaches acting at USF and San Francisco Ballet School.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Teddy Spencer

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Howard Swain +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Jomar  Tagatac Jomar Tagatac + has been a PlayGround Company member since 2010 and was featured in the 2010 and 2011 Best of PlayGround Festivals. He’s been seen in Holes (Orpheum/SHN), First Person Shooter (SF Playhouse). He has also been involved in projects with Word for Word and a collaboration of a new play, What’s a Little Death, performed at the Source Festival and The Baltimore Theater Project in Maryland. Jomar holds a B.A. Degree in theater from San Diego State University and an M.F.A. from the American Conservatory Theater. He teaches Hip-Hop Dance and has been a teaching artist for the past six years at the New Conservatory Theatre Center.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Cat Thompson Cat Thompson + is a proud PlayGround company member. Her credits include work with the Magic, MTC, SF Playhouse, Theatreworks, Golden Thread, Center Rep, The Orpheum, & the Marin, California, San Francisco, and Carmel Shakespeare Festival/Companies. Please refer to her website for further details: www.catthompson.com.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Danielle Thys Danielle Thys + received critical acclaim in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as producer/actor in a reprisal of her roles (Carson McCullers, Sylvia Plath, Joan Didion) for the SF Fringe Festival “Best Of” winner “The Way Light Strikes...”  As a producer, writer & lead in the film “Open House”, Ms. Thys’ production company Pixotic, won Best Comedy at the National Film Challenge. Theatre credits include: Lane in Sarah Ruhl’s, “The Clean House” Cinnabar Theatre; Sharon in Octavio Solis’ “Gibraltar”, Thick House/San Jose Stage; “; Woman 2 “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now ChangeNederlander SF Company; Bertha in Tennessee Williams’ “Fugitive Kind” MTC & Center Rep; She in Albee’s “Counting the Ways”. Ms. Thys is a vocalist and songwriter with Soul/Funk/R&B band Wicked Mercies. She also regularly sings jazz with the Randy Craig Trio and has been a Top 5 Download.com Audience Favorite for her vocals, both on The Ruby Moon and on Zeroine. She is a licensed pilot, a Bondurant high performance driving graduate and a proud member of Actors Equity.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Jon Tracy Jon Tracy

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Mark Rafael Truitt Mark Rafael Truitt +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Liam Vincent Liam Vincent +

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Maryssa Wanlass

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Tracy Ward Tracy Ward works as a freelance director in the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on New Works for the American Theater. Recent productions include: National Tours of , and Strega Nona with Bay Area Children’s Theatre/Maximum Entertainment (09-11 tours), The Horses by Brian Thorstenson at AlterTheatre, The Shaker Chair by Adam Bock at Shotgun Players/Encore Theater, Juana, a new opera by Carla Lucero at Theatre Artaud, and the critically acclaimed, award-winning production of Hunter Gatherers by Peter Nachtrieb. Other directing credits include work with: Theatre Rhinoceros, Abydos Theater, Stephen Pelton Dance Theater, PlayGround, Z Space, and the Summer Plays Festival New York City.

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Reggie D. White Reggie D. White + is thrilled to join the PlayGround family and counts himself honored to be in the company of such talented artists. Reggie is also a company member at Impact Theatre and BATCC nominee whose Bay Area credits include: TheatreWorks, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Crowded Fire Theatre Company, Berkeley Playhosue, California Conservatory Theatre, and others. For more info, check out www.ReggieDWhite.com

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Anthony Williams Anthony Williams is an actor and director. He is a proud member of both Playground and BrickaBrack. Recent projects include actor in the Best of Playground 2012, assistant director on BrickaBrack's Duck Duck Octopus, and consulting director on Never Fall Heavily Again. Anthony received his training with the Actor Training Program at Solano College and is now pursing a Bachelor's in Sociology with a minor in Theatre. More info: http://about.me/williams.anthonyj

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Aaron Wilton Aaron Wilton + has been working as a professional actor for 10 years with more than 100 credits on his resumé. Regional credits: George Street Playhouse (worked w/ Oscar nom. Amy Irving & Emmy nom. Peter Scolari), San Jose Rep, Aurora Theatre Company, San Jose Stage Company, Theatre Rhinoceros, Hudson Stage Company, Capital Stage, Pacific Repertory Theatre, B Street Theatre and Sacramento Theatre Company. NYC credits: Greenwich Street Theatre(co-created/performed Happy Mundanes for NYC Fringe), Beckmann Theatre, Curan Rep, South Pleasant Company, Riant Theatre and Shakespeare in the Wild. Shellie Award win for Brighton Beach Memoirs (Stanley) and Perry Award nom for Footloose (Willard). Also numerous films, video games, radio spots, TV shows (Criminal Minds) and commercials. AaronWilton.wikidot.com.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Elena Wright Elena Wright + is a proud playground member! Credits include: Blackbird (Aluminous Collective), Patience Worth (Symmetry Theatre Co.),The Verona Project (California Shakespeare Theatre), The Salt Plays: Part I, Part II (Shotgun Players), Best of Playground ’10 (Playground), Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Sonoma County Rep), The Good News, (Darkroom Productions), The Scene (Capital Stage), The Little Dog Laughed (B Street Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (Seattle Shakespeare), Doubt: A Parable, Hamlet, Evermore (Foothill Theatre). MFA University of Washington.

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

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Alex Moggridge Alex Moggridge * + is delighted to be returning to PlayGround. He is a two-time Emerging Playwright Award winner, most recently with his play The Audition in 2009. Alex's full length play The Squirrel was produced in off-Broadway’s Summer Play Festival in 2006. The previous year, his play Manatee was seen in the New York International Fringe Festival. Also an actor, Alex has been seen locally at ACT, Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep, Aurora Theatre, San Jose Rep, SF Playhouse and many others. Alex was born in England, but grew up in the Bay Area before spending time in London, New York and, once again, San Francisco.

e-mail:

+Member, Actors' Equity Association

* PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner.

Alumni

Each year, PlayGround honors seven of the most promising new writers in the Bay Area through the PlayGround Emerging Playwright Awards and showcases their short work in the Best of PlayGround Festival. Since 1997, PlayGround has recognized 61 local playwrights, premiering 116 of their original short plays and commissioning 51 full-length plays by this same distinguished group. Below we list those PlayGround alumni who, though no longer active in the PlayGround Writers Company, continue to distinguish themselves as among some of the most important new writers of our day.

  • Trevor Allen *
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    Trevor Allen Trevor Allen received PlayGround's Emerging Playwright Award, Playwriting Fellowship and an alumni commission for Lolita Roadtrip. A recent playwright in Residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Productions include: Tenders in the Fog (S.J. Stage, Goodman Award, Original Script), Working for the Mouse! (Impact Theatre), 49 Miles (Crowded Fire), Chain Reactions (Theatre of Yugen, CAFE and The Cutting Ball). Recipient of a SF Arts Commission grant, Zoo Logic (Z-Space/Magic Theatre, Crowded Fire), two SF Fringe Festival’s “Best Of” awards and a Bay Area Playwrights Festival alumni. BA, UCLA and MFA from SFSU. Active Member, Dramatists Guild of America.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    Lolita Roadtrip

    Cast: 2M/2W

    Synopsis: This darkly comic play follows Julia (a rebellious Stanford graduate student researching her thesis) and Danny (a hitchhiking teenaged runaway she picks up) as together they retrace novelist and lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov’s actual 1941 roadtrip from New York to Stanford. A series of cross country adventures ensues bringing them closer to Julia’s climactic confrontation with Professor Drake (the man who stole her innocence and plagiarized her journal). Nabokov’s spirit visits them and somewhere between the Grand Canyon and Los Vegas they confront their own dark pasts and discover what really causes a chrysalis to transform into a butterfly.

    History: Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround at the 2009 Best of PlayGround Festival (May 2009). Premiered at San Jose Stage Company, April 6-May 1, 2011, in a San Jose Stage Company-PlayGround co-production. Directed by Lee Sankowich.

    excerpt:

    Golden Gate Fair

    Synopsis: An interracial love story, set simultaneously during the 1939 Treasure Island World’s Fair and in the present. Tamara, a heroin addicted singer is caring for her elderly Grandmother, Rose in an old Navy housing unit on Treasure Island. On the last night of her life, as Rose’s mind slips further and further into the past, she finds an old photo album filled with lost memories from when she worked as a beautiful bathing beauty at the Fair and where she met her first husband, a young Latino. As the old woman tells her stories, they come alive, secrets are revealed and the young woman reclaims her life and her Latina heritage.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2009-10).

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    Valley of Sand

    Synopsis: A dark, digital comedy. Joseph Bailey, a fifth generation Californian and an aging computer industry pioneer, forms his own start up and with the help of an unscrupulous venture capitalist creates a new cutting edge silicon chip for a groundbreaking, handheld quantum computer. As a birthday present, he gives the beta version to his young son, Peter. This black box takes the boy on a virtual journey through the ages of sand, tracing his own family’s history in the Santa Clara Valley and following its transformation from the Valley of Heart’s delight into the Silicon Valley of today. The ensuing interracial love story and multigenerational saga spans the time of the Missions and the Quicksilver Mines through the creation of the Hayes Mansion and destruction of the orchards to the cosmic discoveries at the Lick Observatory and the rise of the information age, culminating in a stunning upset in a VIP lounge at the Shark Tank hockey arena during sudden death overtime.

    History: A PlayGround-San Jose Rep co-commission.

    Tenders in the Fog

    Cast: 3M/1W

    Synopsis: A Shanachie, or traditional Irish storyteller, tells the tale of the Bailey Banshee and the ghost ship, Trinity. As the audience meets the crew of the doomed ship (three generations of Irish fishermen from San Francisco) the Shanachie becomes a shape-shifting Banshee, taking on different guises in a siren-like attempt to lure the men into the sea. The story is a haunting and fugue-like exploration of the lives of three men and their relationships to each other and the sea as well as a possible explanation of their sudden disappearance.

    History: Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2003. The play had a PlayGround staged reading in 2004 and at City Lights Theatre Company in 2005. It premiered at San Jose Stage Company, September 21-October 16, 2005. Directed by Kent Nicholson.

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  • Crish Barth *
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    Crish Barth Crish Barth has written over 30 short plays and has had several of those produced in the last few years. He is a company member of PlayGround, San Francisco, where he received PlayGround's 2008 Emerging Playwright Award. Locally, his work has appeared in the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 Bay Area One Act Festivals (BOA), the 2008 Best of PlayGround Festival, the 2008 and 2009 San Francisco Theatre Festivals, the 2010 and 2011 One Minute Play Festivals, and the 2011 8 Tens @ 8 Festival in Santa Cruz. In New York City, his works have been seen in both the 2009 Strawberry One Act Festival (Riant Theater) and the 2009 Salute UR Shorts Festival (Rapscallion Theatre Collective). Additionally, he's been produced by the 2010 Midway Festival of Plays in Midway, Kentucky (Kentucky Playwrights Workshop). He was a finalist for the 2008 Ensemble Studio Theatre One Act Marathon Festival in New York. He is a graduate of the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    O Happy Dagger (full-length)

    Synopsis: O Happy Dagger is a full-length adaptation of the short play featured in the 2008 Best of PlayGround. Two actors are hired by a producer to stage the ultimate production of "Romeo and Juliet." But how far are they willing to go for their art?

  • Tim Bauer *
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    Tim Bauer Tim Bauer is a Bay Area playwright. He has received full-length play commissions from Magic Theatre and PlayGround, and he has been a three-time finalist for the Humana Festival’s Heideman Award; a finalist for the Lark Playwright’s Festival, the STAGE International Script Competition and the Aurora Theater Global Age Project; a semifinalist for PlayLabs and the Nicholl Fellowship; a winner of three PlayGround Emerging Playwright Awards; and a winner of the Storer Boone Award for Best Original Play. Tim is an alumnus of the Magic Artists Lab at Magic Theatre and a PlayGround Resident Playwright.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    The Secret Rulers of the World Go to Camp

    Cast: 4M / 2W

    Synopsis: An investigative podcaster obsessed with Bohemian Grove finds a way into the annual encampment of the most powerful men in the world. Will he discover the vast global conspiracy he’s always imagined, or is The Grove just a place for rich men to drink, swim and put on drag-filled adaptations of lesser Shaw plays?

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2009-10).

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  • Sharon Eberhardt *
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    Sharon Eberhardt Sharon Eberhardt received a PlayGround Emerging Playwright award for her short play Hands in Trash. Her play Savage Arts was produced at The Marsh, Emerging Artists’ One Woman Standing Festival, as well as at the Regina, Saskatchewan and London Ontario Fringe Festivals. Becca and Heidi was produced by The Shee Theatre, Alleyway Theater and Collective PAST at chashama, NYC. Spacegrrls was produced by And How! Theater. Her one-acts have been produced by PlayGround, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Moving Arts, New Georges, Bay One-Acts, The Artistic Home, and have been finalists for the Heideman Award. She has an MFA in playwriting from Columbia University.

    e-mail:

  • Daniel Heath *
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    Daniel Heath Daniel Heath is a three-time recipient of commissions from PlayGround (2009, 2010, and 2011) and winner of the PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011). His recent productions of full-length plays include Man of Rock (New York Musical Theatre Festival 2011, and the Climate Theatre, San Francisco, 2010) Seven Days (SF Playhouse Sandbox, San Francisco, 2010) and A Merry Forking Christmas (PianoFight, San Francisco, 2010 and 2009). His short plays have been performed across the country from San Francisco to NYC.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    Fifty Years Hungry

    Cast: 2M/4W

    Synopsis: Fifty Years Hungry tells the darkly comic story of three generations of one family gathered for a funeral. A brother and sister who have fled to opposite coasts return for three long days to a family where not even death will get you the benefit of the doubt. The play takes place across three days and three parallel realities; in each the absence of a different character changes the battle lines for those still standing.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2008-09).

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    Seven Days

    Synopsis: Seven Days is a play in seven scenes, one for each day of the week, telling the linked stories of three couples. Seven Days is an expansion of the short play Wednesday (2009 Best of PlayGround Festival). Wednesday, the middle of the week and the middle of the two characters lives, tells the story of an infidelity; the days and stories that come before and after will deal with the beginnings and the ends of love, starting on a lazy, romantic Sunday and ending on a chaotic Saturday night that finally brings all six characters together.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2009-10).

    Wednesday **

    Cast: 1M/1W

    History: Originally developed and premiered at the 13th annual Best of PlayGround Festival on May 7, 2009.

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    Siren

    Synopsis: Jason, a struggling painter, and Lisa, a successful programmer, buy a house on the edge of Puget Sound so Jason can find inspiration in the water. Instead, they find a mermaid. She revives their aspirations and ambitions in life, love and art--but everyone knows that it's a bad idea to talk to mermaids, and the conflict between the couple's circumstances and their aspirations threatens to destroy them both.

    History: Siren was commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2011-12 and will receive a public staged reading as part of the 16th annual Best of PlayGround Festival in May 2012. It is based on the short play of the same name, staged for the November 21, 2011 Monday Night PlayGround.

    excerpt:

    **Ten Minute Play

  • Genevieve Jessee *
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    Genevieve  Jessee Genevieve Jessee is an actor and playwright based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a BA degree in Theatre Arts from Dillard University, and an MFA in Playwriting from Boston University. Her work has been presented at the Source Festival, Boston Playwright's Theater, and The Bay Area Playwright's Festival. Most recently, her one-woman show Girl in, but not of, the ‘Hood garnered Best of 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival, and “Sold Out” awards.

  • Aaron Loeb *
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    Aaron Loeb Aaron Loeb has written for PlayGround for seven seasons. His work has appeared in seven Best of PlayGround festivals. His play, First Person Shooter, was co-produced by PlayGround at SF Playhouse in 2007. The production won the Bay Area Theater Critic Circle Award for Best New Play and was on the year’s Top 10 lists from the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune. It has gone on to be performed in Sacramento and San Jose. His next play, Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party, also commissioned by PlayGround, premiered at SF Playhouse in 2008 and was subsequently produced at the New York International Fringe Festival, off Broadway and around the country. Aaron is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Inc.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    First Person Shooter

    Cast: 4M / 2W

    Synopsis: First Person Shooter takes us inside ‘JetPack Games’, a start-up video game company, where the hottest, most violent game on the market has brought instant success to its twenty-something tech geniuses. Their celebration fizzles when their game is blamed for a schoolyard shooting. As the young CEO of Jet Pack deals with an impending lawsuit and the father of one of the victims, he must confront whether he has any responsibilities in the world beyond his computer screen.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround in 2006. Premiered in a co-production with PlayGround at SF Playhouse (San Francisco, CA), May 2-June 16, 2007. Capital Stage Company (Sacramento, CA), September 20-November 2, 2008. City Lights Theater Company (San Jose, CA), January 22-February 22, 2009.

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    Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party

    Cast: 4M / 3W

    Synopsis: As we re-imagine our national identity in the 21st century, Aaron Loeb’s Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party deconstructs our greatest icon in this hilarious farce. Told in three acts — the audience decides the order — with a nod to Inherit the Wind, a “Trial of the Century” determines the fate of a rural third grade teacher who outs Abe as gay at the annual Christmas Pageant.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround in 2007. Premiered at SF Playhouse (San Francisco, CA), December 3, 2008-January 17, 2009. New York International Fringe Festival ("Outstanding Performance"), August 2009. Off-Broadway (Acorn Theatre, Theatre Row, NYC), July 27-September 3, 2010.

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    Panopticon **

    Cast: 1M / 1W

    History: Panopticon was originally developed by PlayGround for the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series in residence at Berkeley Repertory Theatre on February 18, 2008. It was directed by Mark Routhier. Panopticon was premiered by PlayGround at the 12th Annual Best of PlayGround (2008) festival on May 8, 2008. It was directed by Barbara Oliver.

    All Thumbs **

    Cast: 4M/3W

    History: Originally developed and premiered at the 13th annual Best of PlayGround Festival on May 7, 2009.

    excerpt:

    **Ten Minute Play

  • Alex Moggridge *
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    Alex Moggridge Alex Moggridge is delighted to be returning to PlayGround. He is a two-time Emerging Playwright Award winner, most recently with his play The Audition in 2009. Alex's full length play The Squirrel was produced in off-Broadway’s Summer Play Festival in 2006. The previous year, his play Manatee was seen in the New York International Fringe Festival. Also an actor, Alex has been seen locally at ACT, Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep, Aurora Theatre, San Jose Rep, SF Playhouse and many others. Alex was born in England, but grew up in the Bay Area before spending time in London, New York and, once again, San Francisco.

    e-mail:

  • Ross Peter Nelson *
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    Ross Peter Nelson Ross Peter Nelson is pleased to return to PlayGround for his sixth season. He has written two non-fiction books and studied playwriting with Amy Freed and Ben Yalom. His work has been performed throughout California and recently appeared internationally with a premiere in Sydney, Australia. He is a past winner of ACT's David Mamet write-alike competition, and PlayGround's Emerging Playwright Award. He is a member of Theatre Bay Area, the Dramatists Guild, and the writers group at the Pear Avenue Theatre in Mountain View, where his work has appeared for five consecutive seasons. His pieces have been anthologized in collections by PlayGround and Three Wise Monkeys.

    e-mail:

  • Sean Owens *
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    Sean Owens Sean Owens


    Plays

    Magnitude

    Cast: 4W

    Synopsis: Three women make their annual pilgrimage to the mountain retreat of their departed mentor, lover and friend and begin to piece together the mystery of her life… and their own future.

    History: A 2013 PlayGround Festival of New Works selection (readings on May 19, 2013 at 11am and on May 26, 2013 at 3pm).

  • Evelyn Jean Pine *
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    Evelyn Jean Pine Evelyn Jean Pine is a five-time PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award winner and a recipient of the June Anne Baker Award. Her short play, Sweet Dreams, launched the Manhattan Shakespeare Project’s Emerging Voices Festival in New York in October 2010. The SF Olympians Festival will stage a reading of her new musical (music by Tom Darter), Walking the Starry Path, on October 13, 2011 at the Exit Theatre. Her short plays are staged around the country. This is her second PlayGround Alumni Commission.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    Astonishment

    Cast: 3M/3W

    Synopsis: In 1895, the first motion picture electrifies the audience at Paris’ Grand Café when it appears a train is thundering down on them. Marcelle, a kept woman and her daughter, Jeanne; a wealthy investor and his pregnant housemaid; a cynical former poet; and, of course, their waiter are astonished as their experience of this emerging technology transforms their lives. Twenty years later in a new century, a war rages, and these friends, lovers and acquaintances enact old lies and new betrayals as they live out the contradictions of generosity, family, and imagination.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2008-09).

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    Seen **

    Cast: 1M/1W

    History: Originally developed and premiered at the 13th annual Best of PlayGround Festival on May 7, 2009.

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    The Secrets of the World

    Cast: 6M/3W

    Synopsis: Four Taino Indians, paraded by Columbus before Queen Isabella, vow to change history: Carey hopes to return to his war-torn home, Guamo tries to escape into Inquisition Spain, Karaya brushes Isabella’s hair, but her husband, Macana, vows to sacrifice himself by killing King Ferdinand to bring down the empire. Steeled by myth, each discovers a new world in which hope, intimacy and conquest collide. And Queen Isabella discovers that the world is bigger and more complicated than in her wildest dreams.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2007-08). Tracy Ward directed a staged reading of The Secrets of the World March 13-15, 2009 at El Teatro de la Esperanza as part of the San Francisco State University Greenhouse Festival of New Plays.

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    Altair

    Synopsis: It’s 1976 and the only way to get your hands on a computer is to “roll your own.” So assemble the hobbyist kit advertised in Popular Electronics and score a copy of Altair BASIC software. Without warning, you’re part of the first epic battle of the computer age. On one side: the hackers, the Future, the Revolution. On the other side: 20-year old Bill Gates. And boy, is that guy pissed.

    History: Altair was commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2011-12 and will receive a public staged reading as part of the 16th annual Best of PlayGround Festival in May 2012.

    **Ten Minute Play

  • Kenn Rabin *
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    Kenn Rabin Kenn Rabin has written several full-length and numerous short plays, including How to Chop Wood, Hotel Poststrasse, and When the Dead Weep, as well as Celadon Box #8, Hunters and Gatherers, and Reunion, the latter three of which won PlayGround Emerging Playwrights Awards. Mr. Rabin received a PlayGround Fellowship, a Marin Arts Council Individual Grant, and Marin Theatre Company’s first-ever commission for Found Objects. His documentary and feature credits include PBS’ Eyes on the Prize and Vietnam: A Television History, Sean Penn’s The Indian Runner, George Clooney’s Good Night, and Good Luck, Steven Soderbergh’s The Good German, and Gus Van Sant’s Milk. He’s a member of the Dramatists Guild.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    Gymnopedie #1 **

    Cast: 1M/1W

    History: Originally developed and premiered at the 13th annual Best of PlayGround Festival on May 7, 2009.

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    Reunion

    Cast: 2M/2W

    Synopsis: Two women from the same high school reunite 15 years after graduation, only to discover they both have the same secret history: both had been seduced and sexually abused by the high school’s drama teacher. The teacher, meanwhile, is undergoing a therapeutic program in prison, meant to “reform” his sexual urges and make him understand why mutual-attraction sexual affairs with under-aged students are a societal taboo. When he’s released, the women confront him, but unexpectedly, a strange symbiotic relationship between them is formed.

    History: Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround as part of the 2005 Best of PlayGround Festival (May 2005).

    excerpt:

    **Ten Minute Play

  • Geetha Reddy *
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    Geetha Reddy Geetha Reddy is a five-time recipient of PlayGround’s Emerging Playwright Award. Her play Safe House premiered in 2010 at SF Playhouse. At Central Works she and Aaron Loeb collaborated to create Blastosphere! In 2008 Safe House was selected for the Bay Area Playwright’s Festival, and Sacramento’s Capital Stage’s Playwright’s Revolution Festival. Geetha's play Me Given You was part of the Playwright’s Foundation’s ‘In the Rough’ reading series. She was awarded PlayGround’s June Anne Baker Prize in 2005 and has since received three Playground Alumni commissions. Her plays have also appeared in the San Francisco Fringe Festival, the Santa Rosa Quickies festival, and the Best of PlayGround Festival. Geetha is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild and Resident Playwright at the Playwright's Foundation.

    e-mail:

  • Molly Rhodes *
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    Molly Rhodes Molly Rhodes has been a member of PlayGround for the past four years, where she has won two Emerging Playwright awards, had nine short plays developed, and garnered the 2007 PlayGround Fellowship to create The Singularity of We. Her short plays have also been performed at American Conservatory Theater, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the 6 Women Playwriting Festival. Molly is a member of Magic Theatre’s Artists Lab and was named one of 13 Up & Coming local playwrights by Theatre Bay Area. Her full-length For All the Babies’ Fathers will have its world premiere at Brava Theater Center in May 2009.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    The Singularity of We

    Cast: 2M/1W

    Synopsis: As Stanley and his collaborator Ramon search for the Higgs Boson, the main missing link between us and the Big Bang, Stanley also yearns to solve the relationship between his wife and Ramon. Yet the harder Stanley pushes, the more he comes up against the limit of what can be fully and completely known and what will forever remain a mystery – the singularities that no one can reach. But how can Stanley ever accept something so fundamental to his universe if he will never be able to hold it in his hand and be absolutely sure?

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2007-08).

    excerpt:

  • Maria Rokas *
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    Maria Rokas Maria Rokas has had her plays produced throughout the U.S., in Europe and Australia. She is a two-time PlayGround Emerging Playwright winner and recipient of their 2004 June Anne Baker Prize, which included the commission of her play Plans and Peccadilloes. Her play Ample will receive a reading in February 2010 as part of “For New Ones” presented by Barbara Oliver. Ample was originally commissioned by the EXIT Theatre for DIVAfest 2007.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    Plans and Peccadilloes

    Cast: 3M/4W

    Synopsis: Economic crisis. Overpopulation. Social security on the chopping block. To survive, one needs a plan. But what if you’re someone who figures things will just work themselves out eventually. What if you’re middle-aged, living with your mother, working as a temp, with an odd assortment of college degrees that don’t open doors? Then Mom dies while undergoing cosmetic surgery and you’re left with… Economic crisis. Overpopulation. Social security on the chopping block. Then what?

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2004-05).

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  • Mercedes Segesvary *
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    Mercedes Segesvary Mercedes Segesvary is a playwright, director, fine art illustrator and comedienne. Her accomplishments include the 2011 Musicals month People's Choice Award for her play, “Save A Little Time and Book Online.” She also holds a 2009 Marin Fringe Director’s award, a 2008 Best of the SF Fringe award and has a traveling fine art exhibition titled “Colors of Emotions.” Mercedes is also a teaching artist with “Art For City Youth” serving children in need. Mercedes ♥’s PlayGround!

  • Ken Slattery *
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    Ken Slattery Ken Slattery studied Drama & Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin. Since moving to the US from Ireland, Ken produced his full-length play American Irish in 2005, and has been a member of the PlayGround Writers pool since 2003. He was awarded the PlayGround Fellowship and commissioned to write Truffaldino Says No for the 2009-10 season. Truffaldino Says No was a recipient of PlayGround’s New Play Production Fund, and will be produced by Shotgun Players in 2012. Ken is a company member of Killing My Lobster.

    e-mail:


    Plays

    Truffaldino Says No (full-length)

    Cast: 6M/3W

    Synopsis: Truffaldino, son of Arlecchino, in love with Isabella but rejected by her, leaves the “old world” and his responsibilities in the commedia dell’arte community behind, and travels to the “new” world. He discovers the new world is not so far removed from the old world. He soon carries some important responsibilities in the new world, and falls in love with Debbie, remarkably identical to Isabella. Meanwhile, the “old world” discovers it needs him. Truffaldino must make a choice: stay in the new world and accept his responsibilities there, or come back to his responsibilities and life in the old world.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2009-10).

    excerpt:

    Truffaldino Says No (ten-minute) **

    Cast: 4M/3W

    History: Originally developed and premiered at the 13th annual Best of PlayGround Festival on May 7, 2009.

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    The Shakespeare Bug

    Synopsis: It's Opening Night of "The Shakespeare Bug"--a parody of Shakespearean tragedies-- and suddenly the worlds of Shakespeare are spilling out into the real world. Leonard, Artistic Director, divides his theatre company into three; Will, playwright, goes mad when his mother Gretchen marries his worst critic, Claude; Orson, actor, becomes Governor of Cyprus, and Marybeth, stage manager, fights the urge to kill everybody. As a tempest rages, they struggle to avoid the fate that befalls protagonists in Shakespearean tragedies: death. Expect swordplay, witches, ghosts, eye gouging, and soliloquies.

    History: The Shakespeare Bug was commissioned and developed by PlayGround in 2011-12 and will receive a public staged reading as part of the 16th annual Best of PlayGround Festival in May 2012.

    **Ten Minute Play

  • Jonathan Spector *
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    Jonathan Spector Jonathan Spector is the Co-Artistic Director of Just Theater, where he’s directed I Have Loved Strangers, Current Nobody, 1001 and The Internationalist. He is a former Associate Artistic Director of Playwrights Foundation and has directed and developed dozens of new plays with writers including Marcus Gardley, Sheila Callaghan, Anne Washburn, Thomas Bradshaw, Jason Grote, Geetha Reddy, Brian Thorstenson, Julia Jarcho and Rachel Axler. He is in his second year in PlayGround Writers Pool and is currently pursuing his MFA in playwriting at SFSU.

  • Tom Swift *
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    Tom Swift Tom Swift is a four-time PlayGround Emerging Playwrights Award winner and a PlayGround Fellowship recipient. Most recently his short play My Name Is Yin was one of six winners of the 2011 Samuel French Off Off Broadway Festival, the oldest short-play festival in the United States. Mr. Swift recently founded a production company, serving as producer of his own work at the Samuel French Festival, and as Associate Producer of Aaron Loeb’s Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party off Broadway. He is currently seeking producing partners for his gay marriage play, A Marriage.

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    Plays

    A Seminar!

    History: Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround at the 2007 Best of PlayGround Festival (May 2007) and 2008 Best of PlayGround Festival (May 2008).

    A Marriage

    Cast: 3M

    Synopsis: As the country debates gay marriage, and as the issue heads to the ballot and the Supreme Court in 2012, there has yet to be a theatrical exploration of this – the defining civil rights issue of our generation. Tom Swift’s A Marriage fills that void, telling the story of one gay marriage, spanning a period of forty years. Heartfelt, poignant and outrageously theatrical, A Marriage is a play for our time.

    History: Commissioned and originally developed by PlayGround (2010-11). A Marriage was a semi-finalist (top 50) for the 2009 San Francisco Playwrights Foundation Festival, and a finalist for Aurora Theater’s Global Age Project (2010). Through his production company, Tom Swift and His Amazing Productions, LLC, Tom Swift will sponsor a final, pre-production reading of the play in late 2011 or early 2012. Derived from short plays featured in prior Best of PlayGround Festivals (The Beginning, Best of PlayGround 2005; The New Season, Best of PlayGround 2010), and the PlayGround Monday Night Reading series (Fifteen for Two, Fifteen for Four, A Pair for Six, 2008; You Promised Me, Promised Me, 2006; Tired, 2006).

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  • Malachy Walsh *
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    Malachy Walsh Malachy Walsh is a past winner of The Excellence In Writing Award at the New York International Fringe Festival, The Patricia Neal Emerging Writer Award, the John Golden Playwright Prize and the Hangar Theatre's SummerLab Award. His work has been produced or workshopped at Playwright's Horizons in NY by Clubbed Thumb, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Chicago Dramatists, The Playwrights Center and the Red Eye Theatre (both Minneapolis) and elsewhere.

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    Plays

    Christina Walters

    Cast: 6W

    Synopsis: Everybody hates a cyber-bully. But what do you do when your 13 year-old-zombie-fiction-loving daughter is the cyber-bully? Oona, a high-powered executive, faces off with Sarah on a playground where the broken swings and slides recall an innocence that will never return.

    History: Originally commissioned by PlayGround and developed during the 2010-11 season and at the 15th annual Best of PlayGround Festival (May 2011).

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  • Lauren Yee *
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    Lauren Yee Lauren Yee is the recipient of the 2008 June Anne Baker Prize and PlayGround commission, the 2008-09 Dramatists Guild Fellowship and a 2009 MacDowell Colony residency. She was also a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Jerome Fellowship, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the Humana Festival's Heideman Award. Lauren has received fellowships from the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony, the New York Mills Arts Retreat, and the Edward Albee Foundation, commissions from the O'Neill Studio at Yale and PlayGround, and funding from Theatre Bay Area. Other awards include Kumu Kahua Theatre's Pacific Rim Prize and the Yale Playwrights Festival. BA: Yale University, 2007.

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    Plays

    Crevice

    Cast: 3M/2W

    Synopsis: Unemployed, overambitious, and verging on thirty, siblings Liz and Rob vow to build themselves brighter futures. But when a sudden change to the landscape promises to provide the direction they need to finally grow up, will they take the leap towards the happily ever after? A comedic exploration of the quarterlife crisis in the 21st century.

    History: Originally commissioned and developed by PlayGround at the 2009 Best of PlayGround Festival (May 2009).

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