Playwrights Foundation Announces the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Producing Partnerships and Rough Readings

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The 41st Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the premiere festival for new works on the west coast, runs July 20th - 29th returning to the recently renovated Potrero Stage, 1695 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107. Over 700 scripts were submitted for this year's festival. The final Six talented emerging playwrights from across the country will each have two readings of a new work presented by the Bay Area's top acting talent. Final playwrights will be announced in April and tickets for the festival will go on sale in May.

The Producing Partnership Initiative (PPI) is a core program of Playwrights Foundation (PF) that allows producing companies to utilize the skills and talents of the PF staff to support scripts that have been created through the PF programs the Bay Area Playwrights Festival or the Resident Playwrights Initiative. Theater companies may not always have the ability to bring the playwright into the development process of a staged production. PF's deep connection to the work allows the theater to develop a deep connection to the playwright's intent. Additionally, through foundation support, PF is able bring the playwright into the rehearsal process.

"I'm so very excited about our partnership with Custom Made Theatre, where we have been in residence for the past few years. We're thrilled to help them bring these stories to life." remarks PF Artistic Director, Amy Mueller ,

On Hooded, Mueller states, "Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies is one of those fabulous, chance discoveries, and an example of PF's commitment to supporting writers we identify early in their careers and provide ongoing support as they reach for national prominence. This was one of over 500 submissions in 2015; Tearrance was a writer none of us had yet heard about, but I literally couldn't put this script down. When I closed the script and finished weeping, I picked up the phone to talk to this young man. I was floored by the utter originality of Tearrance's voice, the way in which he exploded dramaturgical conventions within an almost mythic structure, using repetition, erudition and rhythm to tell this story -- which at its core is about friendship, loyalty, and the extent to which the inner landscape of young Black men growing up in America is shaped by the critical and glaring gaze of the white outer world. His irony is fierce, his story is tender-hearted and deeply funny, and finally, as in the world, tragic beyond comprehension."

Through this Producing Partnership Initiative, Playwrights Foundation has introduced a significant number of new voices to Bay Area audiences, who have gone on to have many multiple productions in the area and beyond. From the mythic sensibilities of Marcus Gardley, to the biting humor of Liz Duffy Adams, to the intellectually confounding Chris Chen (and so many more), we see time and again that the artists we champion, especially through the producing partnership initiative, are among the most cogent artists writing today. Tearrance Chisholm and Jonathan Spector are no exception.

Tickets for both productions are available at or by calling (415) 798-2682.

About Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies

Marquis and Tru are both fourteen-year old black boys, but they exist in two totally different worlds. Marquis is a book smart prep-schooler living in the affluent suburb of Achievement Heights; while Tru is a street savvy kid from deep within the inner city of Baltimore. Their worlds overlap one day in a holding cell. Tru decides that Marquis has lost his "blackness" and pens a how-to manual entitled "Being Black for Dummies." He assumes the role of professor, but Marquis proves to be a reluctant pup

About Good, Better, Best, Bested

GOOD. BETTER. BEST. BESTED. is a one-night journey down the Las Vegas strip, an interwoven story of bachelorettes, magicians, street performers, addicts, tourists and historical soldiers. As the nighttime festivities get under way, a nuclear war erupts between India and Pakistan. In the midst of this unprecedented tragedy and the chaos it unleashes, the characters must reckon with how much they will let it disturb the vacation weekend they had planned.

The 2018 Spring Rough Reading Series, now in its twelfth year, is an opportunity for local, regional, and national artists to take works in progress and set them on an audience. Like the festival, the works are presented by Bay Area professional actors and directors. Two readings are held for each script. Monday nights are performed at Stanford University at Roble Hall and Tuesdays are held at Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco. The Rough Readings are produced in partnership with National Center for New Plays at Stanford University. All readings are Pay What You Can.

2018 Spring Rough Readings Schedule

Cadillac Crew by Tori Sampson, February 12 & 13

The Daughters by Patricia Cotter, March 12 & 13

TBD, April 9 & 10

Red Bike by Caridad Svich, May 14 & 15


Playwrights Foundation (PF) was founded in 1976, and is today widely recognized as one of the top play development labs in the U.S. Our artistic purpose is to support and champion contemporary playwrights in the creation of new works to sustain theater as a vital, dynamic art form. PF seeks to identify exceptional emerging artists and give them space and time to explore new theatrical ideas and forms in an environment free from the pressures of the marketplace.

By providing a creative home for largely unknown, exceptional local and national playwrights, and committing to accelerating their careers, PF fulfills an essential need in the cultural ecology of the Bay Area. In so doing, we have earned a national reputation for introducing a truly diverse range of singular, boundary-breaking new voices to the American stage, challenging assumptions about subject matter and artistic complexity. The only development lab of its size and scope on the West Coast, PF is widely recognized for its programmatic excellence. Our programs include the Bay Area Playwrights Festival; the Resident Playwrights Initiative; and the Producing Partnership Initiative, which includes our monthly Rough Readings Series.

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