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39th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival to Kick Off in July at Custom Made Theatre

Playwrights Foundation have announced the lineup for 39th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF), which will run July 15-24, 2016 at Custom Made Theatre in the heart of San Francisco's Theater District. The 2016 BAPF playwrights and plays feature all emerging writers: Hansol Jung's Wild Goose Dreams, Walt McGough's Non-Player Character, Philana Omorotionmwan's Before Evening Comes, Andrew Saito's Whisper Fish, Jonathan Spector's Good, Better, Best, Bested, and Sarah Sander's Sycamore.

It's not very often that you can predict future success at such a high level, but Playwrights Foundation - through its developmental workshops of Bay Area Playwrights Festival (nearing its 40th anniversary), has managed to deliver an astonishing record of achievement. Last year's festival launched Lauren Gunderson's The Revolutionists at Cleveland Playhouse, and Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm's Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies, to premiere at DC's heralded Mosaic Theatre next season. This season Aaron Loeb's Ideation premiered at 59E59 off-Broadway to great acclaim, last season saw George Brant's Grounded at the Public Theater; and in 2011 Katori Hall's The Mountaintop enjoyed its Broadway premiere. These are just a few examples of the successful outcomes playwrights enjoy as a result of the developmental process afforded them by the annual BAPF.

"This year's selected plays - from over 500 submissions - was led by up-and-coming local director, Logan Ellis (formerly of Magic Theatre), who has a sharp eye for edgy contemporary voices." remarks Playwrights Foundation Artistic Director Amy Mueller. "Every one of these emergent writers are grasping live theater by the throat and shaking it open - making it a relevant, transcendent experience for today's young audiences. It's no wonder that young and vibrant theater companies seeking new work look to the Bay Area Playwrights Festival for their next season."


Wild Goose Dreams by Hansol Jung: A darkly humorous story of survival in the Korean North/South divide that includes a social media/internet noise choir composed by Paul Castles.

Non-Player Character by Walt McGough: Based loosely on the GamerGate controversy, this play delves into a timely and theatrical exploration of the misogyny in the games we play and who's winning.

Before Evening Comes by Philana Omorotionmwan: A dystopian futuristic parable in which the state enacts laws that render all but a few black men disabled upon reaching manhood.

Whisper Fish by Andrew P. Saito: An epic tale of magical realism stitched together by a highly theatrical and poetic tapestry, while Glenn Miller and his all-fish orchestra, praying nuns, and a dancing chorus of masked Devils are its colorful threads.

Sycamore by Sarah Sander: A poignant, sexy and darkly funny play about a midwestern family on the brink of disintegration when their son and daughter compete for the sexual interest of a young, quiet stranger.

Good, Better, Best, Bested by Jonathan Spector: During a night of debauchery on the Vegas Strip, partiers and pros are flummoxed that a global crisis may disrupt their fun. A hilarious and disturbing play about cultural consumption.

Hansol Jung is a playwright and director from South Korea. Her play Cardboard Piano premiered at the 40th Annual Humana Festival of New Plays. She has commissions from Playwrights Horizons, Ma-Yi Theatre, and a Shakespeare translation for Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In addition to her own work she has translated over 30 English musicals into Korean, holds a Playwriting MFA from Yale School of Drama.

Walt McGough is a Boston-based playwright. His plays have been produced in Chicago and Boston and he was a finalist for the Dramatists Guild's 2016 Lanford Wilson Award. He holds an MFA in playwriting from Boston University. His work can be found on the New Play Exchange, and at

Philana Omorotionmwan (O-mor-o-tion-wan) is a published poet, and the daughter of a Louisiana mother and a Nigerian father. She is a graduate of Stanford University where she studied under the mentorship of Cherríe Moraga Her short plays have premiered in New York at Ensemble Studio Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Source. She was a Playground SF company playwright during the 2010-2011 season. ?Philana is currently pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at Ohio University and is a member of Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.

Andrew P. Saito's (Sa - i - toe) plays include Krispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night and Mount Misery: A Comedy of Enhanced Interrogations, both produced at The Cutting Ball Theater while he was Andrew W. Mellon Resident Playwright. His play Stegosaurus (or) Three Cheers for Climate Change was produced at Faultline Theater. Saito was a Fulbright Scholar in Papua New Guinea, and holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop. He has collaborated with the Andean theatre company Kusiwasi, and the Peruvian Yuyachkani. Saito is an alumnus member of Playwrights Foundation's Resident Playwrights Initiative.

Sarah Sander is a Brooklyn-based emerging playwright. She's a New Georges Affiliated Artist and graduate of the Public Theater's 2015 Emerging Writers Group and has had her worked developed and produced in New York, Dramatist Guild Fellowship and P73's Interstate 73. She was nominated for a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, NTC's Stavis Award and Williamstown's Weissberger Award. She received her MFA from University of Iowa.

Jonathan Spector's plays have won 'Best of Theater' in SF Weekly and SF Bay Guardian. As a two-time winner of th Global Age Prize, he is now under commission at the Aurora Theater. He is winner of PlayGround's Emerging Playwright Award and Theatre Bay Area's TITAN award. He holds an MFA in playwriting from San Francisco State, is a member of the current class of Resident Playwrights Initiative at Playwrights Foundation.

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