Over the next six months, the Writers Pool will create more than 180 original, short plays inspired by monthly prompts as part of a staged reading series at Berkeley Rep. Each month, the top six plays will receive professional, script-in-hand readings. At the conclusion of the season, the best plays will receive a full production as part of the annual Best of PlayGround festival.
The participants in the 2016-17 Writers Pool are Sowmya Ashokkumar, Kathy Boussina, Madeleine Butler, Ai Ebashi, Simon Fill, Nancy Fishman, Vanessa Flores, Jerome Joseph Gentes, Tanya Grove, Anthony Gutierrez, Karen Hartline, Aren Haun, Genevieve Jessee, Nicole Jost, Melissa Keith, Sang Kim, Jeffrey Lo, Laylah Muran de Assereto, Meghan O’Connor, Isaac Ontiveros, Erin Marie Panttaja, Madeline Puccioni, Julius Rea, Jennifer Roberts, Cleavon Smith, Nic Sommerfeld, Cherie Song, Martha Soukup, Aimee Suzara, Zoe Young, Maury Zeff, and Lesli Zephyr.
PlayGround will also support the development of more than a dozen new works through the Resident Playwrights Program. Four plays will then be selected for a two-week developmental workshop and public staged readings as part of the PlayGround Festival of New Works in May 2017. The resident playwrights are Patricia Cotter, Victoria Chong Der, Ruben Grijalva, Garret Jon Groenveld, Karen Macklin, Katie May, Evelyn Jean Pine, Robin Lynn Rodriguez, Amy Sass, Kirk Shiman, Steven Westdahl, and Ignacio Zulueta.