San Francisco Playhouse's IDEATION Opens Off-Broadway Tonight

San Francisco Playhouse's production of IDEATION, which had its world premiere at the Playhouse and won the 2014 prestigious William Glickman playwriting award, moves New York City, playing Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters as part of their 2015-16 5A series. Josh Costello directs.

This is the second consecutive year that a San Francisco Playhouse production has been invited to participate in the 5A series in New York. Last season the Playhouse's commissioned play Bauer by Lauren Gunderson, another world premiere, was a hit at 59E59.

IDEATION received its world premiere as part of the San Francisco Playhouse's Sandbox Series of World Premieres and quickly became a runaway hit earning the William Glickman Award for Best New Play. In September 2014 it became the first Sandbox Series transfer to the Mainstage, where it opened the 2014-2015 season and was both a box office and critical success. IDEATION was originally developed in the Just Theater New Play Lab and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

The full San Francisco cast has signed on to the New York production: Ben Euphrat, Jason Kapoor, Mark Anderson Phillips, Carrie Paff, and Michael Ray Wisely.

"I have always felt a strong mission to bring IDEATION to a wider audience," said Artistic Director Bill English. "And so, I am deeply grateful and thrilled that the team at 59E59 has included us for the second time in as many years in their 5A Season of world premieres, where Aaron Loeb's rabidly entertaining and provocative play will find the larger audience it so richly deserves."

Aaron Loeb brings a dark comic edge to this psychological suspense thriller, in which group of corporate consultants work together on a mysterious and ethically ambiguous project. As the lines between right and wrong are blurred, these characters must navigate the cognitive dissonances and moral dilemmas to decide for themselves if everything is as it really seems.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be partnered with San Francisco Playhouse once more as we take IDEATION to New York City and an off-Broadway production," said playwright Aaron Loeb. "This is our third production together, and there could be no surer friends to a playwright."

The production opens tonight, March 15th, running through April 17, 2016 at 59E59 Theaters, New York, New York. For tickets, the public may contact 59E59 Theaters at 212-753-5959 or More information is available through the San Francisco Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or

Aaron Loeb (Playwright)'s work has been performed in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Ft. Worth, San Jose and Connecticut. His full-length plays include Brown, First Person Shooter, Blastosphere (with Geetha Reddy) and Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party, which had its Off-Broadway premiere in 2010. In addition to the Glickman Award for IDEATION, other honors Loeb has received are: two Bay Area Theater Critic Circle Awards for Best New Play (First Person Shooter in 2007, Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party in 2008--both of which had their world premieres at the San Francisco Playhouse), Outstanding Play from the New York International Fringe Festival (Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party 2009), GLAAD Media Award Nominee (Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party 2009), and seven "Emerging Playwright Awards" from PlayGround. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Inc. and a Playwrights Foundation resident playwright.

Josh Costello (Director) is a Bay Area stage director. Recent projects include his adaptation of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother for Custom Made Theatre Company, Reborning by Zayd Dohrn for San Francisco Playhouse, and Toil & Trouble by Lauren Gunderson for Impact Theatre, all world premieres. He directed My Children! My Africa! and the Bay Area premiere of Lovers & Executioners for Marin Theatre Company. Other directing work includes House of Lucky at Magic Theatre, Romeo and Juliet: A Fire Ballet at The Crucible in Oakland, Hamlet at Shakespeare-by-the-Sea in LA, and his adaptation of The Rover for The Chance Theater in Orange County and for a live television broadcast on LA and Orange County's PBS affiliate. Josh was the founder and first Artistic Director of Impact Theatre. He was the Artistic Director of Expanded Programs at Marin Theatre Company and the Education Director at the Marin Shakespeare Company, and has taught at ACT, Cal Shakes, SF Shakes, UC Riverside, Cal State Long Beach, South Coast Rep, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood. Josh holds a BFA in Theatre from Boston University, and an MFA in Directing from the University of Washington, Seattle. Josh is the Literary Manager at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley.

Founded by Bill English and Susi Damilano in 2003, San Francisco Playhouse has been described in the New York Times as "a company that stages some of the most consistently high-quality work around." Located right in the heart of the Union Square Theater District, San Francisco Playhouse is the city's Off-Broadway style company, an intimate alternative to the larger more traditional Union Square theater fare. The San Francisco Playhouse provides audiences the opportunity to experience professional theater with top-notch actors and world-class design in a setting where they are close to the action. The company has received multiple awards for overall productions, acting, and design including the SF Weekly Best Theatre Award and the Bay Guardian's Best Off-Broadway Theatre Award. Presenting a diverse range of plays and musicals, San Francisco Playhouse produces new works as well as re-imagining classics, "making the edgy accessible and the traditional edgy." The company's 2012-2013 season marked its 10th anniversary and as it moved to a newly renovated venue, The San Francisco Chronicle raved: "On the verge of opening its 10th season, the company that lived a hand-to-mouth existence for its first few years has become 'the little playhouse that could.' It quickly established a reputation for attracting some of the Bay Area's best acting and directing talent, as well as for its exciting play choices. And with its bold Sandbox Series, it's become a player in developing new works as well." San Francisco Playhouse is committed to providing a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers, and theater lovers converge to create works that celebrate the human spirit.

The Sandbox Series, where playwright Aaron Loeb, director Josh Costello, the actors and the creative team developed IDEATION, is an ongoing important aspect of the work San Francisco Playhouse does. The mission of The Sandbox Series is to promote new works utilizing top-notch directors and actors. The presentations have limited design elements thus reducing the costs and risk of each production. By reducing risk, the gap between "readings" and "main stage" productions is bridged, providing increased exposure to new voices in American Theater.

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