2012 Bay Area Playwright's Festival (BAPF) Features Six New Plays, Now thru 7/29

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The Playwrights Foundation's now legendary Indie New Play Festival begins the 35th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF) tonight, July 20 -July 29 2012 at the Thick House Theater in San Francisco. Building on three decades of Indie New Plays that in many cases foreshadow the emerging voices, careers and themes of scores of now established playwrights.

The BAPF 2012 is a diverse and eclectic cycle of work that highlights the immense range of work underway in the young writing community today. The six winning plays are by playwrights Gordon Dahlquist, Aditi Brennan Kapil, George Brant, Aaron Loeb, Lauren Yee, and Christopher Chen. "BAPF does not intentionally construct a thematically based festival..." PF artistic director Amy Mueller points out "there is however, a powerful theme emerging in this year's festival line up, it's about a shift in consciousness occurring in our culture, in every sector, as a result of advanced technology." The plays range from no holds barred stand-up hilarious to captivating, sobering and with a very present political terror both in the US and abroad.

This year's six full-length works, chosen from over 500 submissions, feature some of the most intelligent and innovative up-and-coming writers in American theater. "The creative capacity of this group of emerging writers is extraordinary. Not only are they asking important questions about our world – but they are doing so in excitingly innovative ways, abandoning conventions of time and space, and utilizing language, rhythm and theatrical devices with tremendous imaginative power." states Playwrights Foundation's artistic director, Amy Mueller.

All of these plays, in various ways, are exploring how advanced technologies are impacting the human spirit, psyche, and its socio-political systems. Gordon Dahlquist's TEA PARTY twists our perceptions of time and space to explore the shady, and very present political terror hovering on The Edges of America's near future; BRAHMANI, A ONE HIJRA STAND UP COMEDY SHOW by Aditi Brennan Kapil is a no holds barred stand-up play that busts jokes on such heady, and well, personal, topics as gender identity, the history of colonialism in Southeast India, and modern medicine. (Sounds complex? It is. And literally fall off your seat funny.)

Princess Grace Award winner George Brant's GROUNDED is a captivating, and sobering solo play in which an F-16 fighter pilot finds herself reassigned to the Air Force's drone program from an air-conditioned trailer outside of Las Vegas. Aaron Loeb's fast paced play IDEATION asks what happens if you know too much, or too little in the ruthless, and morally questionable day-to-day boardroom of corporate America.

SAMSARA by Lauren Yee takes on international surrogacy in a hilarious and heart-wrenching four-hander that collapses 25 years, two continents and one Zygote, who finally has his day in court. THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT by Christopher Chen, is a meta-theatrical journey into the reign of Mao Tse Tung through a play-within-a-play structural device that mirrors Mao's impact on modern China, and its profound effect on political and social engineering on the world stage.

2012 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
GROUNDED by George Brant: Friday, July 20, 8pm; Sunday, July 28, 3pm
IDEATION by Aaron Loeb: Saturday, July 21, 12pm; Saturday, July 28, 8pm
BRAHMANI by Aditi Brennan Kapil: Saturday, July 21, 4pm; Friday, July 27, 8pm
SAMSARA by Lauren Yee: Saturday, July 21 8pm; Saturday, July 28, 12pm
THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT by Christopher Chen;
Sunday, July 22, 12pm; Sunday, July 29, 6pm
TEA PARTY by Gordon Dahlquist: Sunday, July 22, 6pm; Saturday, July 28, 4pm

All 2012 Bay Area Playwrights Festival performances take place at the Thick House, 1695 18th Street. Tickets are $15 each (multi-use passes start at $60, prices go up on July 9) and are available via www.playwrightsfoundation.org.

Technology played a role this past May when the Playwrights Foundation launched on multiple platforms the DES VOIX … FOUND IN TRANSLATION Festival with the wildly received BAL LITTERAIRE New Play Night Club which featured three French playwrights Samuel Gallet, Marion Aubert, Nathalie Fillion as well as American Playwrights Octavio Solis, Marcus Gardley and Liz Duffy Adams. As part of the spring 2013 season at Theatre de la ville in Paris, France, all three US writers, plus Rajiv Joseph, will be featured (translated into French) in a reciprocal Des Voix Festival.

The annual BAPF brings together a select group of playwrights and professional directors, dramaturgs, the Bay Area's top actors, and new this year, designers, to engage in an in-depth development process of six new plays over three weeks, including a three-day artists retreat outside the city, and two weeks of rehearsals during which artistic teams support the playwright's dramaturgical investigations. The work leads to two public staged readings of each play, with a week for rehearsal and rewriting in between the readings. In addition to readings BAPF includes the New Play Institute playwriting classes, interactive dialogue with playwrights and directors, a Playwrights Panel, and the annual Symposium on a topic cogent to the field.

Playwrights Foundation is dedicated to discovering and supporting local and national American Playwrights across a broad spectrum of artistic and career positions, in the inception and development o f new plays that speak to and from an increasingly diverse society. Founded on a deeply held belief that the relevance and vitality of American theater depends upon a continual infusion regard as the creative wellspring of theater.

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