Young Playwrights Project


PlayGround is pleased to share the 2019 Howard & Lenore Klein Foundation PlayGround Young Playwrights Contest finalists! Each will receive a public staged reading of their original short play, inspired by this year’s topic (“Adapt a Fairy Tale”) as a curtain raiser before select Best of PlayGround performances, May 16-19, 2019, at Potrero Stage.

Thu, May 16 @ 8pm: Behind the Trance by Ashlee Nguyen (Galileo Academy of Science & Technology ’19)
Fri, May 17 @ 8pm: Lizzy in the Room by Jennifer Xiang (Mission San Jose High School ’20)
Sat, May 18 @ 8pm: Princess and the P.E.A. by Cicely Henderson (SOTA ’19)
Sun, May 19 @ 7pm: Snip Snip! by Lucy Urbano (Oakland School for the Arts ’19)


Cicely Henderson
Ashlee Nguyen
Lucy Urbano
Jennifer Xiang


Through the Lenore & Howard Klein Foundation PlayGround Young Playwrights Project, PlayGround and Bay Area high schools partner to enable young writers to find their own expressive voice through the creation, development, and production of short plays. Each year, Bay Area high school students, grades 9-12, are invited to submit short plays for consideration in the Young Playwrights Contest. The top four playwrights receive professional public staged readings of their winning short works as part of the Best of PlayGround Festival at PlayGround’s San Francisco home, Potrero Stage.

New in 2019, PlayGround is offering two three-hour Playwriting Master Classes at Potrero Stage in conjunction with the annual PlayGround Festival of New Works and led by festival featured playwrights Ruben Grijalva (June 3, 7pm-10pm), author of Anna Considers Mars and Katie May (June 10, 7pm-10pm), author of A History of Freaks. Registration is $50 per session and students/25-and-unders can register for half-price. For more information or to register, click here.


2018 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
True Colors by Nicholas Wong (Galileo Academy of Science & Technology ’18)
Shorter Than Fiction by Trey Harris (SOTA ’18) & Oliver Paddock (SOTA ’19)
We Don’t Have Day Jobs Anymore by Lucy Urbano (Oakland School of the Arts ’19)
Highly Qualified by Penelope Gould (Oakland School of the Arts ’18)

2017 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
Crash by Annais Guerroro (SOTA ’19)
Parliament by Cicely Henderson (SOTA ’19)
Assumptions by Chava Novogrodsky-Godt (SOTA ’20)
Bear All, Bear Arms by Camilla Dwyer (SOTA ’17)

2016 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
Apartment Number Four by Cicely Henderson (SOTA ’19)
Coming Around by Isabel Rose Aks (SOTA ’19)
In Black and White by Camilla Dwyer (SOTA ’17)
My Name Is by Max Itsikson (SOTA ’18)

2015 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
Home Front by Camilla Dwyer (SOTA ’17)
Darling on the Nickel by Rocko Bauman (Berkeley High School ’15)
Man’s Work by Neil Binnie (Miramonte High School ’17)
Different Pieces of Oppression by Rebecca Shalliker (Albany High School ’16)

2014 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
Who Wants the Moon by Eliza Mantz (Tamalpais ’14)
Occupi by Jake Rosenberg (JCHS of the Bay ’14)
Walk A Night in My Moccasins by Christine Lim (SOTA ’15)
Somnambulism by Tessa King (Tamalpais ’15)

2013 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
Ariadne’s Thread by Hilary Buffum (SOTA ’14)
Marriage, On the Rocks by Louise Newlin (Urban ’13)
Pitch Slap by Jake Rosenberg (JCHS of the Bay ’14)
Flowershop by Carly Van Liere (Redwood High ’14)

2012 Young Playwrights Project Finalist:
Roundabout by Ayelet Schrek (JCHS of the Bay ’13)

2011 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
Act After Curtain by Alona Bach (Berkeley High ’11)
You Wanna Refill? by Rebecca Leiner (SOTA ’11) and Madison Worthington (SOTA ’11)
Secrets in a Backstage Box by Pavla Berghen-Wolf (JCHS of the Bay ’13)
Shakespeare in an Airport by Caety Klingman (Miramonte High ’11)

2010 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
Eden by Hannah Sears (Urban School ’12)
Pandora by Lucas Baisch (SOTA ’10)
Family Values by Nathan Forster (Berkeley High ’11)
Blankie by Caety Klingman (Miramonte High ’11)

2009 Young Playwrights Project Finalists:
The Toyshop by Sophie Becker (Tamalpais ’11)
How To Make A Clean Get Away by Tanea Lunsford (SOTA ’09)
Before the Once Upon A Time by Jose Villegas and Melanie Manzana (Acad. of Arts & Sciences ’11)
Bear by Reese Adams-Romagnoli (SOTA ’11)