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PlayGround Finds a New Home at Thick House

PlayGround will further its mission to support independent artists and find new voices with a renovation of Thick House.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Bay Area playwright incubator PlayGround and Art Space Development Corporation (ArtsDeco) have announced that PlayGround has signed a six-year master lease at Thick House, a venue owned by ArtsDeco, where the company will lead a capital campaign and renovation.

Thick House is an organization that provides individual artists and theatre companies a place to create. PlayGround is the venue’s longest renter. PlayGround began producing its annual Best of PlayGround festival at Thick House in 2008, and began coproducing new full-length plays at the venue in 2014 with Diane Sampson’s Sleeping Cutie, Robin Lynn Rodriguez’s Hella Love Oakland, and Garret Jon Groenveld’s The Empty Nesters.

As the new master tenant, PlayGround, under the leadership of co-artistic director Jim Kleinmann, will lead a $260,000 capital campaign to support capital improvements and a renovation of the space.

While Thick House has continued to provide affordable creative space, the organization has been unable to reach its full potential as a community resource because of its aging equipment, poor ventilation, lack of air-conditioning, and no ongoing facility management of the 78-seat black box theatre space.

In addition to producing its new play festival and full-length coproductions at the new home, PlayGround will curate and facilitate the venue’s programming to support small theatre companies and individual artists. One of PlayGround’s efforts will be to utilize the Bay Area Performing Art Spaces online database to provide companies and artists with streamlined information about rental rates and availability.

The venue will close for 6-8 weeks next fall for renovation, and will re-open with a new name in January 2017.


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