PlayGround-Chicago Season 2 Monday Night PlayGround Blasts Off Next Month with ORIGIN STORY

The event will take place on October 30th at 7pm CT.

By: Sep. 24, 2023
PlayGround-Chicago Season 2 Monday Night PlayGround Blasts Off Next Month with ORIGIN STORY

"A people without knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey, political activist

PlayGround-Chicago blasts into its 2nd season of innovative new plays - and first fully in-person - by taking you back to before the beginning! Join us for a new round of the Click Here staged reading series, featuring original short plays all inspired by the prompt "Origin Story", presented live for the first time ever at Theater Wit and simulcast online on October 30th at 7pm CT. PlayGround-Chicago's sister companies, PlayGround LA, PlayGround SF, PlayGround NY will present their own interpretations of the opening theme on October 9, October 16, and October 23, respectively. As part of PlayGround's commitment to radical accessibility, Monday Night PlayGround is admission-free (donations gratefully accepted). Advance reservations are required. For the complete schedule or to reserve tickets, visit the link below.

The 2nd season of PlayGround-Chicago's Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series begins on October 30th and then continues on first Mondays, Dec-Apr. The series will be held in-person this year, in partnership with Theater Wit and simulcast (October 30, 2023 - April 1, 2024). Each month, PlayGround-Chicago announces a topic and writers have just four-and-a-half days to generate their original ten-page script. Recent topics have included: "What the World Needs Now...", "Grief and Hope for Planet Earth", "Give and Take", and "Keep Moving Forward." The top six scripts are matched with directors and a cast of leading local professionals and rehearsed for just ninety minutes on the day of the performance. Following a brief technical rehearsal to add sound and other design elements, the six short plays are performed as script-in-hand staged readings for an in-person and live-stream viewing audience. Audience members can also experience the thrill of being a producer through the monthly People's Choice Awards, helping to determine which plays and playwrights go on for consideration in PlayGround's annual short play showcase, Best of PlayGround. Advance reservations are required. Admission is free and donations are welcome. Masks are strongly recommended for in-person performance and attendees should be symptom-free and have no recent exposure to individuals with COVID.

Why Free?

At the beginning of the pandemic in May 2020, PlayGround began streaming all of its live programs, increasing accessibility to artists and audiences not only in the Bay Area but across the globe. At the same time, PlayGround made the bold choice to offer all programs admission-free. Why free admission, particularly when so many arts organizations were struggling to stay afloat and every dollar is a critical resource to support artist compensation? We chose free admission because it furthered our commitment to radical accessibility, ensuring that no one would be turned away for lack of resources. And as many of the PlayGround artists began their journey with us as audience members, it also ensured that the future artists of PlayGround would not encounter barriers to their participation. Of course, we offer audiences the opportunity to make a donation when reserving their free tickets and we hope that you'll consider doing so if you're able, recognizing that your direct support makes it possible for us to continue providing fair and equitable wages for professional artists while sustaining our radical accessibility efforts for all. And, as always, we thank you for your generous support!

PlayGround-Chicago's 2023-24 Writers Pool, the thirty-four Chicago-based writers competitively selected to participate in the monthly series, are: Maria Arreola, Daniel Arzola. Kirsten Baity, Zach Barr, Melda Beaty, Gabriella Bonamici, McKennzie Boyd, Julie Campbell, Ruben Carrazana, Rachel DuBose, Niv Elbaz, Connor Ermir Bradshaw, Kym Fraher, Dana Hall, Carmia Imani, Toby Inoue, Exal Iraheta, Tanuja Jagernauth, Alfonzo Kahlil, Juliet Kang Huneke Kerri Killeen, Gaby Labotka, Samuel Levit, Juliana Liscio, Adelina Marinello, Ian Minh, Shail Modi, Marnie Monogue, J.S. Puller, Mariana Reyes Daza, Emma Rund, Matt Schutz, Katherine Swan, Dan Taube

Supporting PlayGround-Chicago playwrights and the Monday Night series are the members of the PlayGround Chicago Company, representing some of Chicago's leading directors, actors, designers, and stage managers. The 2023-24 PlayGround Chicago Company includes: Brian Balcom, Manny Buckley, Devin Christor, Spencer Diedrick, Sheri Flanders, Ashley Graham, Scott Gryder, Charlotte Harris, Hannah Kato, Benjamin Kelly, Alka Nayyar, Leanna Oliveira, Dakota Pariset, Karla Rennhofer, Brooke-Erin Smith, Yiwen Wu, Braedyn Youngberg, Jordan Zelvin

PlayGround-Chicago, is the first midwest expansion of PlayGround, a national leading playwright incubator, provides unique development opportunities for the Bay Area's, Los Angeles', New York's, and Chicago's best new playwrights, including the monthly Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series, annual PlayGround Festival of New Works, full-length play commissions and support for the production of new plays by local playwrights through the New Play Production Fund. To date, PlayGround has supported over 350 early career playwrights, developing and staging more than 1,500 of their original short plays through the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series and the PlayGround Festival. PlayGround has also commissioned 100 new full-length plays by 60 of these writers through its Commissioning Initiative and, through the innovative New Play Production Fund, has directly facilitated the premiere of 36 plays at theatres of every size, including three that have gone on to NYC and other major theater communities. Most recently, PlayGround renovated and relaunched the former Thick House Theater in San Francisco's Potrero Hill as Potrero Stage, a state-of-the-art center for new plays, home to PlayGround's expanding artistic programs and some of the Bay Area's most distinguished new play developers and producers. Over the past twenty-seven years, PlayGround has served to identify some of the most important new local voices for the theatre. PlayGround's alumni have gone on to win local, national, and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the Steinberg Awards, Glickman Awards (including 6 of the last 10), O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and New York International Fringe Festival, among others. PlayGround received the 2009 Paine Knickerbocker Award for outstanding contributions to Bay Area theatre, 3 BATCC Awards for Best Original Script for PlayGround commissions, a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing (founder of the Tony Awards), and a 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

Theater Wit (Producing Partner) is a theater company within a building, within a community, within a world. As a production company, Theater Wit is the premier smart art theater in Chicago, producing humorous, challenging, and intelligent plays that speak with a vibrant and contemporary theatrical voice. As an institution, Theater Wit seeks to be the hub of the Chicago neighborhood theater scene. In our three spaces, we bring together Chicago's best storefront theater companies. Here you will find a smorgasbord of excellent productions, see the work of a parade of talented artists, and mingle with audiences from all over Chicago.

Additional Season Dates:

December 4, 2023 7pm CT in-person at Theater Wit and simulcast via Vimeo Live
January 1, 2023 7pm CT in-person at Theater Wit and simulcast via Vimeo Live
February 5, 2024 7pm CT in-person at Theater Wit and simulcast via Vimeo Live
March 4, 2024 7pm CT in-person at Theater Wit and simulcast via Vimeo Live
April 1, 2024 7pm CT in-person at Theater Wit and simulcast via Vimeo Live

Admission is free (donations gratefully accepted) but advance reservations are required. To reserve tickets for in-person or online viewing, visit the link below.

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