BEST OF PLAYGROUND To Kick Off 25th PlayGround Festival Of New Works

By: Apr. 15, 2019

PlayGround has announced the lineup for its twenty-third annual ten-minute play showcase, BEST OF PLAYGROUND 23. The fully-produced evening-length program of short plays by Linda Amayo-Hassan, Tom Bruett, Lauren Gorski, Sam Hurwitt, Molly Olis Krost, Alanna McFall, and Nic A. Sommerfeld were drawn from more than 170 submissions and 36 ten-minute plays developed at this season's Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series at Berkeley Rep and will kick off the 25th Season's PlayGround Festival of New Works, May 9-26, 2019, at Potrero Stage. For more information and tickets, visit

This year's lineup includes:

La Vida Lobo by Linda Amayo-Hassan

Just As It Is Today by Tom Bruett

A Feminist Revisionist History of Rosemary's Baby by Lauren Gorski

Well, Actually by Sam Hurwitt

After Hubris by Molly Olis Krost

Third Date by Alanna McFall

Dear Santa by Nic A. Sommerfeld

This year's Best of PlayGround directors are: Tessa Corrie, Britney Frazier, Jim Kleinmann, May Liang, Rondrell McCormick, Ely Sonny Orquiza, and Katja Rivera. The acting ensemble is: Angel Adedokun, Caleb Cabrera, Livia Gomes Demarchi*, Jed Parsario*, Cathleen Riddley*, and David O. Stein. Designers include: Brittany Mellerson, Sarah Phykitt, Jessica McGovern, and Lana Palmer. * Member, Actors' Equity Association.

And winner of the 2019 June Anne Baker Prize is Alanna McFall, a two-time Best of PlayGround finalist and recipient of a 2018 PlayGround-Planet Earth Arts co-commission. The prize, which includes a full-length play commission, is awarded annually to a female playwright representing a gifted new comedic or political voice. Past prize winners include Lauren Yee, Geetha Reddy, and Erin Bregman. The 18th annual awards presentation and reception with the winner will take place immediately following the Saturday, May 18 performance of Best of PlayGround.

The PlayGround Festival and Best of PlayGround are one of PlayGround's longest standing programs (now on its twenty-third year) and the Bay Area's largest showcase of new plays, with more than a dozen new short and full-length plays, from developmental staged readings to world premiere productions, featured over forty performances over six weeks. The festival has become one of the most important launching pads for early-career Bay Area (and, more recently, Los Angeles) playwrights and their work, leading to collaborations, commissions and productions both in continuing relationship to and often well beyond PlayGround. Alumni include Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Aaron Loeb, Geetha Reddy, Lauren Yee, Garret Jon Groenveld, Cleavon Smith, and Patricia Cotter, among others. Ruben Grijalva and Katie May have participated in a number of past festivals and were last paired up in the 2016 PlayGround Festival, where PlayGround premiered May's Abominable and Grijalva's Value Over Replacement.


Linda Amayo-Hassan (Playwright, La Vida Lobo) is an actor, director and playwright, and is completing her first year in the PlayGround Writers Company. She is currently launching a new theatre company, Theatre Cultura, which was selected to participate in PlayGround's inaugural Innovator Incubator program. Linda attended the Kennedy Center Summer Playwriting Intensive and holds an MFA in acting/directing from UMKC. She is in the faculty of Chabot College.

Tom Bruett (Playwright, Just As It Is Today) is a playwright and director. His plays have been seen at PianoFight, PCSF, ReGroup Theatre(LA), Lakeshore Players and Players' Theatre (NYC). This season he directed the TBA recommended production of Hansol Jung's Cardboard Piano at NCTC.

Lauren Gorski (Playwright, A Feminist Revisionist History of Rosemary's Baby) is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Exposition Review, a multi-genre literary journal. She has a Master's in Writing from USC. Her fiction and poetry have been featured in apt, Jersey Devil Press, Underground Voices, and elsewhere. She has written for both Playground-LA and Playground-SF. In 2017, her full-length play Emergency Operation debuted at the Hollywood Fringe Festival (based on a PG-LA play!). In 2018, her short play Living Conditions was featured in Best of PlayGround 22.

Sam Hurwitt (Playwright, Well, Actually) is a Bay Area arts journalist who currently writes for Bay Area News Group and the Marin Independent Journal. This is his second season in the PlayGround Writers Pool. His trilogy of full-length plays about Helen of Troy, Penelope and Medea, Ellen's Undone, The Weavers and Kill Your Darlings, had staged readings in the San Francisco Olympians Festival, and he's had several 10-minute comedies produced in PianoFight's ShortLived and Pint Sized Plays.

Molly Olis Krost (Playwright, After Hubris) is a Bay Area playwright currently pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at SFSU. Molly's plays have been performed or are forthcoming at Z Space, PlayGround, Clutch Productions, Ain't I A Woman Playfest, MaArte Theatre Collective, SOMArts Cultural Center, SFSU Fringe, Zellerbach Hall and Durham Studio Theater. She was awarded the Gita Specker First Place Award for Best Dramatic Monologue by the San Francisco Browning Society. Her writing has been published in {m}aganda magazine.

Alanna McFall (Playwright, Third Date) is a playwright and novelist. Her play Sh*t Farming for Fun and Profit was performed in the 22nd Best of PlayGround, for which she received a PlayGround/Planet Earth Arts commission to develop a full-length play. She was awarded the 2019 June Anne Baker Prize, which will be presented at Best of PlayGround on May 18. Her debut novel, The Traveling Triple-C Incorporeal Circus, comes out in June 2019 with publisher Atthis Arts. When she's not writing, she works at Kinetic Arts Center, a circus school in Oakland.

Nic Sommerfeld (Playwright, Dear Santa) is an Oakland based actor and playwright. Nic, who is originally from Montana, received their degree from Santa Clara University. They are thrilled to be back at Best Of PlayGround 2019 after being part of the Festival last year. They have also written for UCSF, Killing My Lobster, and The Olympians Festival. Recently they have been writing for events like The Cliterary Salon, Greeting From Queer Mountain, and an event at the Contemporary Jewish Museum.



A pair of blue-footed boobies struggle with rising sea levels, the loss of their natural habitat, and growing urges that even they don't fully understand.


Two women reimagine Rosemary's Baby from a feminist perspective and discover a roadmap for their own self-determination.

WELL, ACTUALLY by Sam Hurwitt

Why did Timoclea of Thebes throw a conquering soldier down a well? Alexander the Great investigates.

AFTER HUBRIS by Molly Olis Krost

What would happen if Icarus had survived his tragic fall and he and Daedalus were, once again, stuck in the labyrinth?

THIRD DAY by Alanna McFall

After three dates, it's true love when this terrible person finds their perfect, terrible match.

DEAR SANTA by Nic Sommerfeld

A letter full of hopes and dreams can lead to unexpected things, especially when discovered by an unintended reader.

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