PlayGround Launches Innovator Incubator

PlayGround has just announced its newest program, the PlayGround Innovator Incubator, a multi-year intensive incubation program to support theatrical innovation and the launch of new innovative theatrical production companies, scheduled to launch in early 2019. PlayGround will competitively select up to 6 projects/teams per year, providing each with access to a suite of services and resources in support of their initial development, first production, and strategic plan for post-incubation sustainability. Applications for the initial class are due by January 21, 2019 (EXTENDED DEADLINE) and the selected participants will be announced in late-January 2019. For more information, visit


Over the past 25 years, PlayGround has served the Bay Area arts community, and most recently Los Angeles, as a leading incubator of significant new playwrights and plays. Through PlayGround’s suite of integrated playwright and new play services, PlayGround has supported over 200 early-career playwrights in the development of more than 300 short and full-length plays. PlayGround has premiered 175 of these through its PlayGround Festival of New Works and innovative New Play Production Fund and helped launch playwrights onto the national scene, including Lauren Yee, Aaron Loeb, Geetha Reddy, and Garret Jon Groenveld. In 2015, PlayGround added the 99-seat black box Thick House theatre in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood to its suite of resources and, following a $290,000 renovation, relaunched the performance space as Potrero Stage: PlayGround Center for New Plays. In addition to hosting PlayGround’s expanding new play programs, Potrero Stage is home to some of the Bay Area’s leading new play developers and producers and offers more than 200 public performances each year. PlayGround also operates the PlayGround PlaySpace, a 300 square foot rehearsal, classroom and meeting space in South Berkeley, supporting the development of new plays and playwrights.


PlayGround will host the following public information sessions regarding the program and the application process:
Thursday, November 29, 7:30pm-8:30pm (Potrero Stage, 1695 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107)
Saturday, December 1, 12pm-1pm (PlayGround PlaySpace, 3286 Adeline St #4, Berkeley, CA 94703)
Monday, December 3, 5:30pm-6:30pm (PlayGround PlaySpace, 3286 Adeline St #4, Berkeley, CA 94703)
Saturday, January 12, 12pm-1pm (PlayGround PlaySpace, 3286 Adeline St #4, Berkeley, CA 94703)

To sign up for a public information session, visit


PlayGround has issued a Request for Proposals for the 2019 Innovator Incubator program, running late-January through December 2019. Applications for the 2019 Innovator Incubator will be due by 11:59pm, Monday, January 21, 2019 (EXTENDED DEADLINE) and finalists will be announced on or before January 28, 2019. Competitive proposals, to be developed by teams of Bay Area artists, will include: a mission statement and vision statement for an innovative new theatre company; a proposal for the initial three productions of this new company; a detailed proposal for the initial production, including artists to be involved (committed, pending, or to be confirmed), a production budget and resource development plan (if funding beyond projected ticket sales will be needed to cover production expenses), the target audience and a marketing plan to reach that audience, and the names of three leading local individuals to serve on an advisory board for the new company. The proposal will also include a strategy to achieve sustainability once the project emerges from the incubator. Applications will be due by January 21, 2019 (EXTENDED DEADLINE). By late-January 2019, PlayGround will competitively select the up to 6 teams/projects to participate in the PlayGround Innovator Incubator.


Participants will sign up for PlayGround’s fiscal sponsorship program, providing them with access to both institutional and individual giving opportunities under the umbrella of PlayGround’s 501c3. Incubator participants will collectively attend monthly gatherings with opportunity for intensive training and peer-to-peer learning on a variety of key capacity building areas, including grant writing, budgeting, artistic and organizational strategic planning, and marketing, among others. Additionally, teams will be matched with mentors from the field to work 1-on-1 on areas of specific relevance and interest. Teams will each develop a business plan to fund and implement their proposed season and PlayGround will competitively award free rehearsal and performance space at Potrero Stage for the top two teams’ opening projects. Remaining teams will be eligible for significantly discounted space use. The initial productions of the PlayGround Innovator Incubator will take place July 29-August 25, 2019 with year 2 productions to be presented July 27-August 23, 2020. Following their initial productions, PlayGround will work with each of the incubated companies to map out plans for the following year, including strategies around production planning, fundraising, and organizational development.

Through the PlayGround Innovator Incubator, PlayGround seeks to launch several bold new companies that will make a lasting and significant contribution on the Bay Area theatre community while further establishing Potrero Stage as a leading center for new play development and production.

For more information and to see the complete application guidelines, visit