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'1 2 3' Launches San Francisco Playhouse's 7th Annual Sandbox Series Tonight


San Francisco Playhouse opens the seventh season of its Award-Winning Sandbox Series with the dynamic world premiere of Lila Rose Kaplan's 1 2 3.

Lauren English will direct a company of Playhouse favorites including Jessica Bates* (in a word), Tristan Cunningham* (Tree), Jeremy Kahn* (Tigers Be Still, The Fantasticks) and Devin Shacket.

When their radical parents are imprisoned for domestic terrorism, sisters 1, 2, and 3 are sent to live with different foster families. 1 loses herself in history, 2 dances, and 3 captures all of it-and more-on video. But will they be able to hold together when Mom is released from prison? 1 2 3 is a dark, funny drama about a rift between sisters and what it takes to grow up.

1 2 3 is a fictional story inspired by the children of the United Freedom Front, a small American Marxist organization that was captured by the FBI in the early 1980s after a decade of political actions. The organization's members, who came to be known as the "Ohio 7," were convicted of conspiracy in 1987, receiving sentences ranging from 15 to 53 years. Prior to being imprisoned, they were forced to live underground while attempting to raise their children with as "normal" lives as possible. 1 2 3 imagines what it must have been like to grow up as the children of these activists on the run.

The mission of The Sandbox Series is to promote new works utilizing top-notch directors and actors. Sandbox Series shows, with limited design elements and reduced finanacial risk, bridge the gap between "readings" and "main stage" productions offering increased exposure to the new voices in American Theater.

Lila Rose Kaplan (Playwright) writes heartfelt comedies, bittersweet dramas, and musicals for young people. Her plays include Home of the Brave, Wildflower, The Magician's Daughter, 1 2 3, The Light Princess, We All Fall Down, Bureau of Missing Persons, and Tink. Productions include: A.R.T., New Victory Theatre, Perishable Theatre, Know Theatre, Chalk Rep, Fresh Ink, Launch Pad, Second Stage, and La Jolla Playhouse/Moving Arts. Development includes: Huntington Theatre, Arena Stage, Kennedy Center, EST, Center Theatre Group, Theatreworks, PlayPenn, and The Lark. Honors include: National Science Award in Playwriting, International Women's Playwriting Award, Old Vic/New Voices Exchange, and Playwrights' Realm Writing Fellows. Playwright Residencies include: Cornerstone Theatre Company, Harvard Business School, and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. BA: Brown University. MFA: UC San Diego. Upcoming productions in 2015-16 at A.R.T, Merrimack Rep, and South Coast Rep. Lila Rose lives in Cambridge with her marine biologist, her two cats and her brand new daughter.

Lauren English (Director) last directed the Sandbox Series World Premiere of Inevitable, by Jordan Puckett. She is a founding member and Artistic Associate at the San Francisco Playhouse where she also directed The Mystery Plays for the Main stage. Some of her favorite Playhouse onstage roles are: Kate in Seminar, Pilot in Grounded, Steph In reasons to be pretty, Sally in Cabaret, Emily in Our Town and Lisa in The Glory of Living. Most recently she was seen at the Aurora Theatre playing Sally in Talley's Folly directed by Joy Carlin. New York Theater: TACT's Off Broadway Production of The Cocktail Party, Hamlet at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and The Idealist at The New York Times Theatre. She has also worked at the Public Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Lark Theatre and Playwrights Realm among others. Locally she has also worked for California Shakespeare Festival, Word for Word, Marin Theatre Company, Marin Shakespeare Company, PlayGround and The Magic Theatre among others. She is a two-time BATCC award winner and three-time Dean Goodman award recipient. Training: Foothill Theatre Conservatory, MFA from NYU's Graduate Acting Program.

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 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.

1 2 3 schedule: Previews: August 12, 13, 14 at 8pm; Opens August 15th at 8pm through September 5th; Regular Run: Thursday 7pm, Friday & Saturday 8pm, Saturday 3pm. At the Tides Theater, 533 Sutter St. 2nd Floor. Between Powell & Mason. For tickets ($20) or more information, the public may contact the San Francisco Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or

*Actor appears courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

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