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PlayGround Announces Updated Showtimes for Zoom Premiere of THE RENDERING CYCLE

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PlayGround Announces Updated Showtimes for Zoom Premiere of THE RENDERING CYCLE

In light of curfew orders throughout the Bay Area PlayGround has moved the showtime of its Saturday, June 6 opening night performance of Genevieve Jessee's The Rendering Cycle to 5pm PT. The change in time will allow the artists and crew participating in the show from out-of-home locations to comply with local curfews currently in place. Presented in association with producing partners Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Museum of the African Diaspora, African American Art & Culture Complex, and Potrero Hill Neighborhood House as well as Associate Producer Aldo Billingslea, and directed by PlayGround company member Margo Hall, The Rendering Cycle will now receive its Zoom Premiere (a full-length, fully-designed digital presentation) at 5pm PT on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7 in PlayGround Zoom Fest, the nation's largest livestreamed new works festival. For streaming access ($15) and more information, the public may visit playground-sf.org/zoomfest or call (415) 992-6677.

"During this moment-sparked by the recent and tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, and fueled by collective resistance against the ongoing violence Black people have faced for centuries-we are honored and moved to share The Rendering Cycle with audiences," says Leigh Rondon-Davis, Dramaturg and Assistant Director of The Rendering Cycle. "This piece, written by the astounding Genevieve Jessee and directed by the indomitable Margo Hall, centers the experiences of Black people throughout history as we continue to persevere in the face of brutality, apathy, and disenfranchisement, and serves as a much-needed reminder of Black resistance through existence, action, compassion, and love."

The Rendering Cycle by Genevieve Jessee is a theatrical journey through 400 years of the African Diaspora, featuring performances by Cathleen Riddley, Armando McClain, Champagne Hughes, and Caitlin Evenson, and original development by Lauren Spencer. In the spirit of August Wilson's The Pittsburgh Cycle, The Rendering Cycle explores the African American experience through ten interwoven short plays depicting a saga of inextricable tradition, trauma and joy across continents and characters ranging from present-day United States to West Africa of a millennium past. Inspired by one of Jessee's short plays written to commemorate the opening of PlayGround's Potrero Stage in 2017 ("Walls Come Tumbling Down"), The Rendering Cycle is the fruition of a June Anne Baker prize and full-length play commission, an award celebrating top new female playwrights, particularly those tackling politically necessary and galvanizing topics (alumni include Lauren Yee, Geetha Reddy, Patricia Cotter, and Rachel Bublitz, among others).

Genevieve Jessee (Playwright) is based jointly in the Bay Area and Puerto Rico. She received her MFA in Playwriting from Boston University. Her work has been staged at PlayGround, The Source Festival, Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, SF Fringe, Those Women Productions, and the Festival de Marseille, France. She is a semi-finalist for the 2019 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. She has received commissions from PlayGround and Planet Earth Arts and is the recipient of a California Arts Council Artists-in-Communities grant for her work on The Rendering Cycle.

The Rendering Cycle is presented as part of PlayGround Zoom Fest, which is streaming new works through June 14, 2020. This five-week online event gathers leading voices in American Theatre including Lauren Yee, Jonathan Spector, Aaron Loeb, Geetha Reddy, Kent Nicholson, acclaimed actors, theatre journalists, designers, and more from across the country, to present and discuss a panoply of new works and celebrate PlayGround's quarter-century anniversary. Coordinated under a groundbreaking agreement with SAG-AFTRA, this livestreamed festival will provide paid #FairWage employment for more than 140 actors, all suffering work lost due to the COVID-19 crisis. While many performers have seen their stage and film careers evaporate in recent weeks, and playwrights and designers have lost their income sources while stage productions are put on hold, PlayGround has forged ahead to commission new works and gainfully employ actors and designers from across the country to create content for this unprecedented event.

PlayGround Zoom Fest transformed PlayGround's popular Festival of New Works into an online program of more than 30 real-time livestreamed performances, including three fully-produced Zoom Premiere Presentations, as well as readings of new works, films, and roundtables, for more than 50 distinct offerings. Other upcoming events include the Zoom Premiere Presentation of Best of PlayGround 24 (June 13 & 14), a collection of 10-minute plays developed in the 2019-20 reading series by Tom Bruett, Melissa Keith, Martha Soukup, Addie Ulrey, Leela Velautham, and Christian Wilburn; PlayGround's 12th annual Howard & Lenore Klein Young Playwrights Project (June 12); and a Zoom Town Hall panel (June 8) discussing theatre's past, present, and future, featuring leading voices of the American Theatre including Lauren Yee, Lily Janiak, Aaron Loeb, Geetha Reddy, Ruben Grijalva, Rinabeth Apostol, Christian Wilburn, Jeunee Simon, and Diana Burbano. Advance reservations are required for live-stream and on-demand options (on-demand is available for up to one week after the scheduled performance for pre-registered viewers). For tickets and more information, visit https://playground-sf.org/zoomfest.

In tandem with the PlayGround Zoom Fest and the 25th Anniversary Celebration, PlayGround has also launched a special 25th Anniversary Campaign with a goal of raising $250,000 in support of three key priorities, more critical than ever before in light of the current crisis: artist compensation, artistic innovation, and performance facilities (including digital broadcast capabilities and a new pop-up Second Stage). This multi-year fundraising campaign will enable PlayGround to increase its investments in artists and art-making at this key moment when many organizations are pulling back and many artists are unemployed. To date, PlayGround has already received pledges and/or gifts towards this initiative totaling more than $100,000. For more information about the 25th Anniversary Campaign, contact PlayGround Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann at jim@playground-sf.org or call (415) 992-667.


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