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"Bright Shining Sea" at the 2015 Best of PlayGround reading. Pictured: Gary Poux and Cristina Fernandez. (Photo by Jim Kleinmann)

PlayGround Announces 2017-18 Readings and Festival

The new-play incubator program will feature two world premiere plays, four new plays, and short works.

SAN FRANCISCO and BERKELEY, CALIF.: PlayGround has announced the lineup for the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series and the PlayGround Festival of New Works.

The festival will feature works by PlayGround’s Writers Company, including 36 new writers and 12 alumni of the program. This year’s writers are Lynn Aylward, Kathy Boussina, Madeleine Butler, Karen Catalona, Nara Dahlbacka, Rob Dario, Victoria Chong Der, Ai Ebashi, Nancy Fishman, Elizabeth Flanagan, Jerome Joseph Gentes, Akaina Ghosh, Lauren Gorski, Ruben Grijalva, Garret Jon Groenveld, Tanya Grove, Karen Hartline, Devony Hof, Sam Hurwitt, Genevieve Jessee, Melissa Keith, Kate Keleher, Katie May, Alanna McFall, Jeanie Ngo, Cheryl Ossola, Ishai Padawer, Lana Palmer, Erin Marie Panttaja, Ken Prestininzi, Madeline Puccioni, Marsha Roberts, Annette Roman, Cleavon Smith, Nic Sommerfeld, Aimee Suzara, Jon Tracy, Mary Weikert, Steven Westdahl, Zoe Young, Maury Zeff, Lesli Zephyr, and Ignacio Zulueta.

The Monday Night PlayGround series will run Oct. 16-March 19, 2018, at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The writers will write short, prompt-based works each month, and the top six plays will receive professional script-in-hand staged readings. At the end of the season, the best works will receive full productions as part of the 22nd annual Best of PlayGround show.

The PlayGround Festival (May 10-June 17, 2018), will feature the Best of PlayGround (May 10-27, 2018), four new works by PlayGround alumni (May 19-10 and 26-27, 2018), and two commissions. The festival will be presented at the Potrero Stage, PlayGround’s newly renovated home in San Francisco.

The first commission will be the world premiere of Julianne Jigour’s Bright Shining Sea, about six characters navigating different losses. The play was originally developed as part of the 2016 PlayGround program.

The festival will also feature with the world premiere of William Bivins’s Scapegoat, about a struggling comic and his series about the African-American experience. The play was also part of the 2016 PlayGround program.

PlayGround, founded in 1994, develops and produces new works.

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