Tom Bruett and Bats Improv to Host AFER Benefit, 6/11

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Bay Area playwright/producer Tom Bruett of marriageequalityplays.com and BATS Improv, the Bay Area's premiere nonprofit improv theatre company, are busily preparing for a special event featuring new short plays by prominent Bay Area playwrights and an improvised short play by BATS Improv on the theme of marriage equality, to benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER). Directed by Tom Bruett, Paul Cello and Jessica Heidt, this special evening will include welcoming remarks by City Attorney of San Francisco Dennis Herrera, Supervisor Mark Farrell (District 2) and Supervisor Scott Wiener (District 8.) The benefit takes place on MONDAY, JUNE 11TH 8pm at the BATS Bayfront Theater (B350 Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, 94123.) A reception will follow the performance.

TICKETS are $25 General Admission; $50 VIP seating; 100% of proceeds will benefit AFER. Visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/239039. For information, go to http://www.marriageequalityplays.com/index.html or BATS Improv www.improv.org.

The evening's entertainment promises to be a lively and powerful tribute on the subject of marriage equality with new short plays by award-winning playwrights William Bivins (2009 BATCCA Award best original script), Michelle Carter (Susan Glaspell Award, Backstage Garland Awards, the PEN West Award, and the PEN USA Literary Award in Drama), Garret Groenveld (2011 Internationalist Award Winner), Lauren Gunderson (NYU Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship), Peter Sinn Nachtrieb (2007 Glickman Award Winner), Lauren Yee (Dramatists Guild and MacDowell fellow), and featuring a cast of heavy-hitters including Michael Barrett Austin, Velina Brown, David Cramer, Anne Darragh, Thomas Gorrebeeck, Rosie Hallet, Molly Holcomb, Cindy Im, Joan Mankin, Galen Murphy-Hoffman, Eden Neuendorf, Ariane Owens, Kevin Rolston, Emily Rosenthal, Stacy Ross, Patrick Russell, Brian Yates Sharber, Jomar Tagatac, Reggie D. White, and Kathryn Zdan. BATS Improv actors will also perform a short, improvised play inspired by audience suggestions

TOM BRUETT is a director, producer, playwright and lyricist living in San Francisco, As a playwright, Tom's work has been produced at the Player's Theatre, NJ Rep, ReGroup Theatre, the Megatroyd Festival, and PianoFight among others. His short play, Fear Sells, was a finalist for the 2011 Heideman Award. This past summer, Tom was selected to be part of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, a division of the American Musical Theatre Project, in Chicago. Since moving to the Bay Area, Tom has spent a season as producer for the Developmental Reading Series at PCSF, served as a dramaturg for Playground, and was on the Literary Selection Committee for Playwrights Foundation. Currently Tom is the FutureWorks Fellow at TheatreWorks, Palo Alto, CA.

BATS IMPROV was founded in 1986, and is San Francisco's largest and longest continually running improvisational theatre company. From their own 200 seat theater (The Bayfront) in the Marina District, BATS produces a variety of shows year round, including competitive formats like Theatresports, plus story-based improvisational works including Shakespeare, Musicals, Dramas, Murder Mysteries and many more. Participation in the BATS Company Guest Program is an excellent opportunity for training and performing with one of the country's premiere improvisational companies.

BATS Artistic Director KASEY KLEMM is a professional improviser and theatre coach who's performed and taught improvisation all across the country. Kasey leads the BATS Main Stage Company in producing over 100 improvised shows a year. He began his improv training with the BATS School of Improv while still a senior in high school. A 15-year veteran of the San Francisco improv scene Kasey joined the BATS Company in late 2000 at the age of 20.

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