SAN FRANCISCO: PlayGround, a play development hub in the Bay Area, has announced the lineup for its 19th annual Playground Festival of New Works, running May 7–June 14 at the Thick House. The festival will include fully produced world premieres by Robin Lynn Rodriguez and Garret Jon Groenveld.
The festival will kick off Best of Playground 19 (May 7–24), featuring six 10-minute plays. The six plays are:
- Reading Babar in 2070 by Rachel Bublitz, directed by Rebecca Ennals
- Someone by Genne Murphy, directed by Jeffrey Lo
- Preapocalyptica by Erin Marie Panttaja, directed by Katja Rivera
- Art and Tech by Kirk Shimano, directed by Jon Tracy
- Frankenstein’s Grandmother by Steven Westdahl, directed by Tracy Ward
- Cratchit by Davern Wright, directed by Jim Kleinmann
Best of Playground 19 will feature actors Michael Barrett Austin, Millie DeBenedet, Melissa Ortiz, Michael Phillis, Stephanie Prentice, Lindsey Marie Schmeltzer and Jomar Tagatac.
Next will be the world premiere Rodriguez’s Hella Love Oakland (May 11–June 13), which incorporates spoken-word poetry, turf dancing, and meta and traditional theatre means to tell the story of three women living in the city of Oakland. Directed by Rebecca Novick, the play is produced in association with Hella Love Productions. It will feature actors Lisa Morse, Safiya Fredericks and Lizzie Calogero.
The second fully produced world premiere is Groenveld’s The Empty Nesters (May 18–June 14), which follows two parents who must decide what to do next with their lives after they drop off their child at college. The play is produced by Empty Nesters Productions, in association with PlayGround and Virago Theatre Company.
PlayGround will also feature four staged readings (May 16-17 and May 23-24).
PlayGround provides development opportunities for Bay Area playwrights, through the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series, PlayGround Festival of New Works, Best of PlayGround, full-length play commissions and support for the production of new plays by local playwrights through the New Play Production Fund. PlayGround’s newest initiative is the PlayGround Film Festival. To date, PlayGround has staged more than 700 short plays and 55 full-length plays.