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Christopher Chen Brings YOU MEAN TO DO ME HARM to The Rueff at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater

San Francisco Playhouse (Bill English, Artistic Director; Susi Damilano, Producing Director) continues its 2016-2017 Sandbox Series for new works with the World Premiere of You Mean to Do Me Harm, written by acclaimed playwright and winner of the 2017 Lanford Wilson Award Christopher Chen. Bill English directs this new play, originally commissioned by San Francisco Playhouse. Performances will be held at The Rueff at A.C.T'.s Strand Theater.

An innocuous comment at a dinner of two interracial couples leads to a surreal escalation of Cold War-style paranoia. You Mean to Do Me Harm is a psychological exploration of Chinese and American foreign relations, and of the personal relations we hold most dear.

The cast features Lauren English*, Charisse Loriaux*, James Asher* and Don Castro*.

San Francisco Playhouse's production of You Mean to Do Me Harm is made possible by Executive Producer Rowland Weinstein; and Producers David & Cynthia Bogolub and Tom & Mary Foote.

The Sandbox Series is San Francisco Playhouse's new works program.. Their commitment to new works in the Sandbox Series has been honored by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Theatre Wing. Designed to bridge the gap between staged readings and Mainstage productions, the program combines top-notch directors and actors with limited design elements, allowing new voices in American Theater to be heard while reducing the theatre's financial risk for full production at this stage of a play's development. Sandbox Series plays have won two Will Glickman Awards in the past three years, and the Sandbox smash hit Ideation recently completed a successful Off-Broadway engagement in New York City.

Christopher Chen (Playwright) is an international award-winning playwright whose full-length works have been produced and developed across the United States and abroad-at companies such as the American Conservatory Theater, Arcola Theatre (London), Asian American Theater Company, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Beijing Fringe, Berkeley Rep/Ground Floor, Central Works, Crowded Fire, Cutting Ball Theater, Edinburgh Fringe, Fluid Motion, hotINK Festival, Impact Theatre, InterAct Theatre, Just Theatre, Lark Play Development Center, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco Playhouse, Silk Road Rising, Sundance Theatre Lab, Theatre Mu, U.C. Berkeley/Zellerbach Playhouse and The Vineyard. Honors include: the 2017 Lanford Wilson Award; the 2015-2016 Sundance Institute/Time Warner Foundation Fellowship for theater; the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, through which he was the 2013-2014 playwright-in-residence at The Vineyard Theatre in New York; the Barrymore Award; PHINDIE Critics Award; the Glickman Award; the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award; shortlist for the James Tait Black Award; nomination for the Steinberg Award; 2nd Place in the Belarus Free Theater International Competition of Modern Dramaturgy; a MAP Fund Grant; a Ford Foundation Emerging Writer of Color Grant; finalist for the PONY and Jerome Fellowships. Current commissions include American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Playhouse, Crowded Fire and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Publications include American Theatre Magazine, Theatre Bay Area and Theater Magazine (Yale). Chris' plays examine the hidden patterns beneath complex systems: socio-political systems, psychological systems, systems of power. He combines naturalism with the absurd within maximalist kaleidoscopic structures. A Bay Area native, Chris is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from S.F. State.

Bill English (Director) is co-founder and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Playhouse. An accomplished singer, pianist and composer, Bill has spent his life producing works of art. He co-founded San Francisco Playhouse, and in 14 years, has overseen its growth from a storefront to a major regional theater company, with a 6-play main stage series, a 2-play World Premiere series, an education program and a New Works program that has commissioned 10 playwrights. Bill's vision propels San Francisco Playhouse to stand out among its peers for making bold choices and taking artistic risks. Bill's work in the theater has been recognized with numerous awards for acting, directing, sound and set design. Under Bill's leadership The San Francisco Playhouse, has earned multiple nominations and awards.

San Francisco Playhouse
Founded in 2003, San Francisco Playhouse has been described by the New York Times as "a company that stages some of the most consistently high-quality work around." Located right in the heart of the Union Square Theater District, San Francisco Playhouse is the city's premier Off-Broadway company, an intimate alternative to the larger more traditional Union Square theater fare. Presenting a diverse range of plays and musicals, San Francisco Playhouse produces new works as well as re-imagined classics, "making the edgy accessible and the traditional edgy." San Francisco Playhouse provides audiences the opportunity to experience professional theater with top-notch actors and world-class design in a setting where they are close to the action. And with its bold Sandbox Series, dedicated to nurturing World Premieres, The Playhouse has become a significant player in developing new works as well. San Francisco Playhouse is committed to providing a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers, and theater lovers converge to create and experience dramatic works that celebrate the human spirit.

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association. FOR CALENDAR EDITORS:

WHAT:
The World Premiere of You Mean to Do Me Harm begins when an innocuous comment at a dinner of two interracial couples leads to a surreal escalation of Cold War-style paranoia. You Mean to Do Me Harm is a psychological exploration of Chinese and American foreign relations, and of the personal relations we hold most dear.

SHOWS:
June 6 through July 2nd
Wednesday & Thursday at 7pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
Preview Performances: Preview Performances: June 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 at 8pm, June 14th at 7pm

WHERE:
The Rueff at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater, 1127 Market Street.

TICKETS:
For tickets ($20 and up) or more information, the public may contact the San Francisco Playhouse box office at 415-677-9596, or http://sfplayhouse.org/sfph/2016-2017-season/you-mean-to-do-me-harm/.



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