BEST OF PLAYGROUND 22 Comes to Potrero Stage This Season

PlayGround caps off its twenty-fourth season with Best of PlayGround 22, running May 10-27, 2018 at Potrero Stage. This fully-produced showcase of the best new playwrights and short plays have been selected from more than 150 submissions and 36 works developed as part of the season's Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series. Noteworthy director/performers Margo Hall, Becca Wolff, Søren Oliver, Jim Kleinmann, Katja Rivera, and Jenny McAllister join in to direct the Best of PlayGround 22 short plays.

This year's Best of PlayGround performances features short works by returning alums Ruben Grijalva (2013, 2014) and Erin Marie Panttaja (2015), as well as first-timers Rob Dario, Lauren Gorski, Alanna McFall, and Nic Sommerfeld.

A launch pad for some of the Bay Area's most important new writers of the past two decades, Best of PlayGround has featured Lauren Yee, Aaron Loeb, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Geetha Reddy, Garret Jon Groenveld, and Katie May, among many others. PlayGround's alumni have gone on to win local, national and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, and Aurora Theatre Company's Global Age Project, among others.

Tickets for the May 10-27 performances are $26-$41 (Pay-What-You-Can Previews, 5/10 & 5/11, $6-$41) and are available through the Box Office at 415-992-6677 or online at PlayGround-sf.org/bestof.

Best of PlayGround 22

The six plays to be presented in this year's Best of PlayGround are:

Spiskammers by Rob Dario, directed by Jim Kleinmann

Anna Considers a Cocktail by Ruben Grijalva, directed by Margo Hall

Sh*t Farming for Fun and Profit by Alanna McFall, directed by Katja Rivera

Living Conditions by Lauren Gorski, directed by Becca Wolff

A Giant Story by Nic Sommerfeld, directed by Soren Oliver

Factory Girls by Erin Marie Panttaja, directed by Jenny McAllister

About the Plays

SPISKAMMERS by Rob Dario

A young married couple find the doubts and fears of their future come to bare while viewing an available apartment.

LIVING CONDITIONS by Lauren Gorski

A woman hires a psychic to connect to spirits on the other side, but can she face the

consequences of what waits for her?

ANNA CONSIDERS A COCKTAIL by Ruben Grijalva

Anna's new life begins with a long anticipated, better-be-transcendent sip of a tropical adult

beverage.

SH*T FARMING FOR FUN AND PROFIT by Alanna McFall

With a methane recapturing plant about to be built just down the road, an environmentally-minded farm couple have to decide whether their difficult decisions can match their good intentions.

FACTORY GIRLS by Erin Marie Panttaja

When enough is enough. #UsToo. Breaking the cycle.

A GIANT STORY by Nic Sommerfeld

A (totally plausible) story of baby giants, elves, a late-night journey across Dublin, and a woman with a bit of explaining to do.

About the Playwrights/Directors

Rob Dario (Playwright, Spiskammers) has been a theatre artist for over twenty-five years. His play Bagyó was produced by TheatreFirst, and received the Sui Generis Berkeley Award in 2016. A graduate of CSU Sacramento's Department of Theatre and Dance, his work as an artist and graphic designer has been seen internationally.

Lauren Gorski (Playwright, Living Conditions) is a writer and editor, with a Masters in Writing from USC. She is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Exposition Review, a multigenre journal. Her fiction and poetry have been published in print and online. Her play Emergency Operation, based on a short from PlayGround-LA, debuted at Hollywood Fringe 2017.

Ruben Grijalva (Playwright, Anna Considers a Cocktail) is a San Francisco-based playwright and filmmaker. Full-length plays include Foresight and Value Over Replacement, an O'Neill Finalist and Edgerton New Play Award Winner commissioned and premiered by PlayGround. Short films include Shadow Ball and Value Over Replacement, based on the 2013 Best of PlayGround short play. He is a writer in residence at PlayGround, developing a new full-length work, Anna Considers Mars, under a PlayGround/Planet Earth Arts co-commission.

Alanna McFall (Playwright, Sh*t Farming for Fun and Profit) is a playwright and short-story writer originally from Minnesota. She has published with Mad Scientist Journal, Escape Pod, Alliteration Ink, Atthis Arts and many more. In addition to writing, she works as Publicity Manager for Kinetic Arts Center, a circus theater in Oakland. Follow her work at alannamcfall.wordpress.com.

Erin Marie Panttaja (Playwright, Factory Girls) is a Theatre Bay Area 2017 Titan Award Recipient. Her PlayGround/Planet Earth Arts-commissioned Preapocalyptica, based on her 2015 Best of PlayGround ten-minute play, is currently in development with Custom Made's Undiscovered Works Series. She holds BS and MEng degrees from MIT. She has two six-year-olds, a three-year-old, and two cats.

Nic Sommerfeld (Playwright, A Giant Story) is thrilled to be in their first Best of PlayGround! Though originally from Montana, Nic is a graduate of Santa Clara University. To see more of their writing check out Queering My Lobster at PianoFight in June, or the SF Olympians Festival in October. Nic is also an actor, haberdasher, and Segway tour guide.

Margo Hall (Director, Anna Considers Cocktails) has performed and directed in theaters throughout the Bay Area. She is a founding member of Campo Santo, where she directed, and collaborated on several new plays Other directing credits include Thurgood for LHT, BARBECUE, Red Velvet and The Story for SF Playhouse, and brownsville, b-side for tray for Shotgun Players.

Jim Kleinmann (Director, Spiskammers) co-founded PlayGround in 1994, along with playwright Brighde Mullins and director Denise Shama, and has served as Artistic Director since 1996. For PlayGround, he has provided artistic and administrative leadership for the past twenty-two seasons, developing PlayGround's unique array of new playwright and new play incubator programs, including Monday Night PlayGround, the PlayGround Festival of New Works, the full-length play Commissioning Initiative, the New Play Production Fund, and most recently the launch of Potrero Stage: PlayGround Center for New Plays. For PlayGround, he has directed more than one hundred short and full-length plays, including works by Garret Jon Groenveld, Aaron Loeb, Geetha Reddy, Lauren Yee, Katie May, and many others. Recent directing and dramaturgy credits include David Steele's Vignettes on Love and Ruben Grijalva's Value Over Replacement. He is a veteran arts administrator with more than twenty-five years of experience, including stints leading Traveling Jewish Theatre, Smuin Ballet and Berkeley Symphony, and received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

Jenny McAllister (Director, Factory Girls) is an SF-based movement artist, actor, director and writer, continually exploring the intersection of theater, dance and circus. She is Artistic Director of 13th Floor, a movement-based theater ensemble in SF, and theater director/scriptwriter for Take 3 Productions, an immersive theater event company in Oakland.

Søren Oliver (Director, A Giant Story) has directed for the Aurora Theater, Theatre First, Company Rep in L.A., Central Works Theatre, and the Town Hall Theater, as well as directing a number of plays for the California Shakespeare Theatre educational department. Some of Søren's more notable directorial credits include Shakespeare's King John, self-produced in Los Angeles, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek at the Aurora Theatre, Nathan the Wise with Theatre First, Twelfth Night, The Sly Fox and Play it Again Sam with Town Hall Theater the latter of which was nominated for best directing in 2016 by TBA.

Katja Rivera (Director, Sh*t Farming for Fun and Profit) is an actor/director/writer originally from Los Angeles. She is an artistic associate with Shotgun Players and PlayGround, and a proud member of AEA. Directing credits include Custom Made Theatre, PlayGround, Shotgun Players, and Douglas Morrison Theatre. Acting credits include Magic Theatre, Shotgun Players, and Boxcar Theater.

Becca Wolff (Director, Living Conditions) has created, directed and developed new works at venues including ACT, Getty Villa, NY Stage & Film, Public Theater, SF Playhouse, Theatreworks and Z Space. MFA, Yale School of Drama. Co-founder of SCOTUS Theater and Tilted Field Productions. Member SDC. www.beccawolff.net

About PlayGround

PlayGround, the Bay Area's leading playwright incubator, provides unique development opportunities for the Bay Area's best new playwrights, including the monthly Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series, annual PlayGround Festival, full-length play commissions and support for the production of new plays by local playwrights through the New Play Production Fund, among others. To date, PlayGround has supported more than 200 local playwrights in the development and staging of 850 original short plays and 75 new full-length plays, including 22 that have since premiered in the Bay Area. PlayGround alumni - including some of the most distinguished new writers coming out of the Bay Area, such as Aaron Loeb, Lauren Yee, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Geetha Reddy, among others - have gone on to win local, national, and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, The Lark, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and New York International Fringe Festival, among others. PlayGround recently completed renovated on its San Francisco home, Potrero Stage: PlayGround Center for New Plays, a 99-seat state of the art performance venue and home to some of the Bay Area's leading new play developers and producers, including PlayGround, Crowded Fire, Golden Thread, and Playwrights Foundation, among others. For more information on PlayGround and Potrero Stage, visit http://playground-sf.org.

PlayGround's alumni have gone on to win local, national and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, and Aurora Theatre Company's Global Age Project, among others. Directors and actors participating in PlayGround are among some of the most distinguished theatre professionals, regularly working on leading local stages.

For more information, visit http://PlayGround.org or follow PlayGround on Facebook (http://facebook.com/playgroundsf) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/playgroundsf).

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