SAN FRANCISCO: PlayGround has announced four new associate producers to assist with the company’s playwright incubation. These associate producers will work closely with artistic staff for season curation. This year’s cohort comprises Norman Gee, founder of Oakland Public Theatre; Jed Parsario, resident artist at Bindlestiff Studio; Stephanie Prentice, casting director for TheatreFirst in Berkeley; and Katja Rivera, a member of such Bay Area theatres as Shotgun Players and Latinx Mafia. All are current PlayGround company members.
During the upcoming season, the cohort will work alongside artistic director Jim Kleinmann and associate artistic director Annie Stuart on curating PlayGround programs such as Writers Pool and Resident Playwright Program selections, monthly Monday Night Playground selections, the Playground Solo Fest and the Playground Festival, as well as general consultation on PlayGround artistic programs. The associate producers fill a one-year position with an option for renewal. The group succeeds Aldo Billingslea, who served as PlayGround’s first associate producer from 2019 to 2021. The curatorial committee intends to help PlayGround build an equitable, diverse, and inclusive artistic community.
Norman Gee has acted, directed, and taught within the Bay Area for years. Aiming to create a different kind of Black theatre, he founded Oakland Public Theatre to expand our notions of culture by encompassing the too often invisible presence of the African diaspora—from reimagining plays by Shakespeare and Strindberg to new works and beyond. As a teaching artist, Gee offers that perspective to students throughout the Bay in acting and playwriting. He steps into this new role as a PlayGround associate producer with a desire to continue broadening our community’s experience both onstage and throughout the organization.
Jed Parsario is an Oakland-based actor and teaching artist. A company member of PlayGround and Red Ladder, and a resident artist at Bindlestiff Studio, he has performed around the Bay Area with the likes of American Conservatory Theater, Magic Theater, and San Jose Stage. Parsario is excited to bring his experience to the role of associate producer.
Stephanie Prentice is a Bay Area native and an AEA member for 20 years. She has been a PlayGround company member since 2015. Prentice was featured in Best of PlayGround 19 and 20, has performed in three full-length Festival of New Works plays, co-chaired the PG Ambassadors, and currently serves her second year as a member of the board of directors. She is a graduate of the Santa Clara University Theatre and Dance program, where she taught as a member of the SCU voice faculty from 2005–17. Prentice also serves as casting associate for TheatreFirst in Berkeley, and is the director of patron services. Most importantly, she is the proud mother of two wonderful kids.
Katja Rivera studied theatre at LACC Theatre Academy and Drama Studio London at Berkeley. Bay Area acting credits include work at Shotgun Players, Magic Theatre, Theatre Rhinoceros, and Center Rep. Directing credits span Shotgun Players, Douglas Morrison, CustomMade Theatre, RPE (Danville), SF Playground and TheatreFIRST. She is a proud member of AEA, Shotgun Players, SF Playground and Latinx Mafia.
Support American Theatre: a just and thriving theatre ecology begins with information for all. Please join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theatre Communications Group. When you support American Theatre magazine and TCG, you support a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism. Click here to make your fully tax-deductible donation today!