Central Works Announces 30th Season Featuring Four World Premieres

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Central Works Announces 30th Season Featuring Four World Premieres

Central Works 2020 Celebratory 30th Season begins February 15 and runs through November 15, 2020 featuring 4 new world premieres plays.

The Central Works 30th Season begins with a new play about art and scandal The Human Ounce by Nicole Parizeau Feb 15-Mar 15, followed by Queen Mair by Matthew Wells a new play inspired by King Lear running May 9-Jun 7. A new Central Works Method musical about the Gilded Age entitled The Scandalous Confessions of the Infamous Boss McGreedy by Gary Graves kicks off the summer. The production is directed by John Patrick Moore with musical direction by Clive Worsley and runs Jul 11-Aug 9. The 2020 season concludes with Bystanders by Patricia Milton Oct 17-Nov 15, a world-premiere by the author of last season's hit The Victorian Ladies Detective Collective.

Gary Graves has been a resident playwright and company co-director at Works since 1998. He has helped develop 62 world premiere productions with the company, many of which he has written and/or directed. Some of the other plays he has written for the company include Wonderland, Chekhov's WARD 6, Palace Wreckers, Edward King, Machiavelli's The Prince, Project Ahab, Lola Montez, Enemy Combatant, The Mysterious Mr. Looney, Misanthrope, Mata Hari, and Pyrate Story. He directed the company's first collaboratively developed script, Roux, at the City Club in 1997. He also leads the Central Works Playwriting Program, and teaches playwriting regularly at the Berkeley Rep School of Theater.

Patricia Milton is a Resident Playwright for Central Works and a long-term member of the Central Works Writers Workshop. Plays written for Central Works include: Bamboozled (2018), Hearts of Palm (2016), Enemies: Foreign and Domestic (2015), and Reduction in Force (2011). She was a finalist in 2018 for Outstanding World Premiere Play by Theatre Bay Area for Bamboozled and in 2015 for Enemies: Foreign and Domestic, and her play Reduction in Force was voted 2011 "Best Local Play" in Broadway World's annual poll. Her comedy Believers has enjoyed productions in Monterey and San Francisco, and has played for the past two years in Istanbul, Turkey. Her drama about the death penalty, Without Mercy, was presented at the Newfoundland Women's Work Festival and was produced by Off Broadway West Theatre Company in San Francisco in 2017. Ms. Milton has had more than 100 productions and readings of her plays internationally, including at the 3Girls Theatre, San Francisco Exploratorium, PlayGround SF, Woman's Will, Women's Theatre Project, Bay Area One Acts, and City Lights Theatre.

Nicole Parizeau is a freelance editor and writer in the Bay Area. Her poems and prose have appeared in Written River, Folio, Emrys Journal, Poecology, The Fourth River, and other publications. She was a finalist for the Sky Cooper New Play Prize, runner-up for San Francisco Playground and the Disquiet Literary Award, and winner of the Bill Holm Witness Poetry Prize from Writers Rising Up. She was a senior editor at Whole Earth magazine, and principal editor in the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) program at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science. A longtime member of the Central Works Writers Workshop, The Human Ounce is her first fully produced play.

Matthew Wells is a native of the Boston area and currently lives in Thailand. He is an award-winning playwright whose works have been produced Off Broadway, as well as across the country and in Canada. His comedy about subatomic physics, Schrödinger's Girlfriend, was produced locally at the Magic Theater. Matthew is also responsible for the script of the children's movie Starlight; and partially responsible for the book of the 1985 Off-Broadway musical Hamelin. Published works include the short-story version of The Auschwitz Circus, which was the cover story of the June 1996 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; and a book of poetry, Out Of Sequence.

Company co-directors Jan Zvaifler and Gary Graves remain steadfast in their mission to develop and produce new works. "New plays are the lifeblood of the theater," says Ms. Zvaifler. "We look at current events, politics, classic literature and traditional storytelling to bring our audience face to face with the challenges of our lives everyday, juxtaposed against the reflections of history, both recent and far-reaching. Given our current harrowing times, we all need an opportunity to pause, feel, think and act." The special intimacy of the Central Works theater offers this in a truly unique package. For three decades now Central Works has filled a special niche for theater artists in the San Francisco Bay Area, producing more new plays by local playwrights than any other company in the region. "The New Play Theater" utilizes three basic strategies: some are products of the Central Works Method, some are developed in the Central Works Writers Workshop, and some come to the company fully developed.

Central Works Method plays bring together writer, actors and director at the very outset of the playwriting process. In a supportive workshop environment, group research and collective brainstorming contribute to the entire development of the script.

The Central Works Writers Workshop is an ongoing commissioning program established in 2012. Twice a year, in 12-week sessions, 8 local playwrights are selected to develop projects through informal readings and carefully directed discussions. Last season, both Cristina García's The Lady Matador's Hotel and Patricia Milton's The Victorian Ladies Detective Collective emerged from this program, and two more Writers Workshop scripts are being produced this season. For more information, visit our website: www.centralworks.org

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