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PlayGround Presents The 4th Annual INNOVATORS SHOWCASE, Celebrating Works By The Newest Bay Area Theatre Companies!

The Innovator Incubator was launched in 2019 to foster new innovative theatre companies and productions with a strong commitment to BIPOC representation.

PlayGround Presents The 4th Annual INNOVATORS SHOWCASE, Celebrating Works By The Newest Bay Area Theatre Companies!

PlayGround has announced the programming lineup for the 4th annual INNOVATORS SHOWCASE, featuring new works by the 2022 Innovator Incubator Cohort: Analog Theatre, The Chikahan Company, City Street Artists, Juneteenth Theatre Justice Project, Latinx Mafia, Native Writers' Theater, Poltergeist Theatre Project, Oakland Public Theater and Theatre Cultura.

The Innovator Incubator was launched in 2019 to foster new innovative theatre companies and productions with a strong commitment to BIPOC representation. Every company in the 2022 Incubator Class was given the full opportunity to craft their own unique premiere experience ranging from developmental readings to full-fledged debuts.

The Showcase runs November 7-28 at Potrero Stage with all shows simulcast online and on-demand for one week. Advance reservations are required and all events are ADMISSION-FREE (donations can be made at the time of reservation, directly supporting the producing Incubator organization). For the complete schedule or to reserve tickets, visit

PlayGround, a leading playwright incubator, provides unique development opportunities for some of this country's best new playwrights. To date, PlayGround has supported over 300 early-career playwrights, developing and staging more than 1,000 of their original short plays through the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series and the PlayGround Festival of New Works. PlayGround has also commissioned 100 new full-length plays by 70 of these writers through its Commissioning Initiative and, through the innovative New Play Production Fund, has directly facilitated the premiere of 34 plays at theatres of every size, including three that have gone on to NYC and other major theater communities. In 2017, PlayGround renovated and relaunched the former Thick House Theater in San Francisco's Potrero Hill as Potrero Stage, a state-of-the-art center for new plays, home to PlayGround's expanding artistic programs, including the Innovator Incubator and Solo Performance Festival, and some of the Bay Area's most distinguished new play developers and producers. In 2020, PlayGround responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, shelter-in-place orders and theater closures by launching the nation's first fully-digital new play festival, the PlayGround Zoom Fest, which featured more than 30 play performances and staged readings over six weeks and engaged more than 250 local theatre artists and 14,000 viewers. Today, PlayGround produces more than 100 live and simulcast events per year through its admission-free playwright incubator programs in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and, new this year, Chicago.

Over the past twenty-eight years, PlayGround has served to identify some of the most important new local voices for the theatre. PlayGround's alumni have gone on to win local, national, and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition by the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Glickman Awards (4 of the last 5 award winners!), Bay Area Playwrights Festival, The Lark's Playwrights' Week, and New York International Fringe Festival, among others. PlayGround received the 2009 Paine Knickerbocker Award for outstanding contributions to Bay Area theatre, 3 BATCC Awards for Best Original Script for PlayGround commissions, a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing (founder of the Tony Awards), and a 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Visit for more information.


Mon, Nov 7 @ 7PM PT

Oakland Public Theater presents a staged reading from the BALDWIN CENTENNIAL PROJECT

Baldwin Centennial Project commemorates the works and impact of James Baldwin. Although he has been gone almost 40 years, on August 2nd, 2024 James Baldwin would have turned one hundred. His revolutionary mind lives on in Baldwin's writings and the movements towards equality which his seminal ideas both chronicled & continue to inspire.

Wed, Nov 9th @ 7PM PT / Wed, Nov 16th @ 7PM PT

Poltergeist Theatre Project presents a staged reading of SITCOM SEAGULL by Chris Steele

A modern queer/trans cynically comic retelling of Chekhov's original, SITCOM SEAGULL follows the cast and crew of a new streaming reboot adaptation of a classic play as they struggle through first read and subsequent filming of the series, clashing personalities, uncovering bigotries and biases, and questioning the true nature of art in a consumption based capitalist system.

Fri, Nov 11th @ 7PM PT / Sat, Nov 12th @ 7PM PT / Sun, Nov 13th @ 2PM PT

Juneteenth Theatre Justice Project presents the premiere of RACHEL by Angelina Weld Grimke

RACHEL is a three-act play depicting an educated, sensitive young woman who comes to an understanding of the realities of American racism.

Sun, Nov 13th @ 7PM PT / Mon, Nov 13th @ 7PM PT / Tues, Nov 14th @ 7PM PT

The Chikahan Company presents the premiere of FOR MY LOLO (Working Title) by Ely Sonny Orquiza

FOR MY LOLO is pseudo-documentary with music that pays homage to the queer Filipinx manongs (elders) from the Philippine diaspora who have not had a chance to fully come out due to cultural, religious, psychological, and sociopolitical constraints of their time that haunts their memory and lived experiences.

Fri, Nov 18th @ 7PM PT / Sat, Nov 19th @ 7PM PT / Sun, Nov 20th @ 2PM PT

Latinx Mafia presents the premiere of CHARLES DARWIN, HER TRUE STORY by J. Lynn Jackson

CHARLES DARWIN, HER TRUE STORY is a celebration of Latin American revolutionaries and the revolutionary potential in all of us. It's January 1, 2001 in southern Chile. On the verge of exacting revenge on a ship full of US philanthropists, a wealthy sponsor of Latin American revolutions appears shipwrecked on a shrinking patch of thin ice along with a ghost, a gun, a knife and a secret admirer. Memories of sketchy relations with Pablo Neruda, Frida Kahlo, Fidel Castro, and others guide the castaways to an escape route, yet the ghost helps only one to survive.

Sat, Nov 19th @ 2PM PT / Sun, Nov 20th @ 7PM PT

City Street Artists presents a staged reading of LIMÃO Y SAL / lemon and salt, a new play by Linda Maria Girón

From rags to riches. From gentrified to gentrifiers. A young Latin-American couple catapults into a life of sudden wealth -and its subsequent temptations. Limão y Sal gives modern twists to classic Maya folk tales warning us of the consequences in taking multiple lovers, romancing sinful spirits and eating human flesh.

Tues, Nov 22nd @ 7PM PT / Wed, Nov 23rd @ 7PM PT / Fri, Nov 25 @ 7PM PT

Native Writers' Theater presents "An Evening of New Native Works"

"An Evening of New Native Works" will take place over three nights and feature staged readings of three short new works written by local Native American Playwrights, directed by Los Medanos College theater director and professor NICK GARCIA. UC Berkeley professor and Beadwork author Beth Piatote's Tricksters Unite! What happens when a room full of self-absorbed Tricksters get together? Can they put their differences and their egos aside to combat an issue that affects the world? Chabot College professor Linda Amayo-Hassan wrote a piece called Tornado. Set on the edge of a tornado in Kansas. Linda is also going to sing a couple songs from her solo show The Missing Songs a collection of songs from stories of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in the United States. Matt Kizer & Dr Greg Johnson have re-imagined a Washoe Hand Game song for piano, drums. Carlos Aguirre will add soundscape to songs, plays and monologues. A few more artists TBA. There will be a panel discussion after the Nov. 25th show (Native American Heritage Day).

Sat, Nov 26th @ 2PM PT, 7PM PT / Sun, Nov 27th @ 2PM PT, 7PM PT

Theatre Cultura presents the premiere of LA VIDA LOBO by Linda Amayo-Hassan

LA VIDA LOBO takes place at the border between the U.S. and Mexico, where the infamous wall is being built. Three male wolves, living on the Mexican side of the border, compete for the affection of Lola, the lone female Gray Wolf, who lives on the U.S. side. As the story unfolds, the mating rituals of the wolves are interrupted and corrupted by the disastrous construction of the human wall.

Mon, Nov 28th @ 7PM PT

Analog Theatre presents selections from the workshop of UNDER MY UMBRELLA devised by Nikki Meñez, Jed Parsario, Rebecca Pingree and Elissa Beth Stebbins.

UNDER MY UMBRELLA features a flurry of half-mask characters created by deviser-performers Parsario, Pingree and Stebbins, and previously featured in Analog's Mask Monday performance series. Adding veteran devising-director-artist Meñez to the mix, the four explore dreams deferred and fulfilled with whimsy, humor, pathos and imagination.


Analog Theatre's mission is to create collaborative, out-of-the-box, multidisciplinary, multi-sensory storytelling, devising performances that rely on performing skills and collective acts of actor-audience imagination, rather than literal representations of reality onstage. Rather than competing with film to faithfully reproduce realism, Analog seeks to create rich settings, stories, and characters from an empty stage and bring alive objects that are inanimate. They believe that simpler styles of storytelling can provide catalysts for increased hope and imagination that are gravely needed in the world today.

Exploring Filipinx history, politics, psychology, and diaspora through the craft of theatre and the performing arts, ChikaCo strives to develop the unique voices of and uplift the robust Filipinx narratives and artistries, and advocate its influence to the American theatre. They aim to reclaim and to reveal the multifaceted experiences of the Filipinx community in the San Francisco Bay Area. The vision is to amplify the complex and dynamic narratives that have long been pushed to the margins and to actively challenge the stereotypes about our kababayan (people), our kuwento (story), and our kasaysayan (history).

City Street Artists' mission is to promote representation and perform in underserved communities to showcase that representation matters. They will utilize city store fronts, recreational parks, and community venues to bring the art to the people. They strive to give BIPOC/Latinx/queer storytellers voices and help bring an audience to hear the minority experience. Their vision is to bring live theatre to underserved locations and to help educate minority communities that are not exposed to the arts.

The Juneteenth Theatre Justice Project was launched by Aldo Billingslea to center Black theatre artists and new voices, address systemic racism in the theatre industry, and help raise much needed funds in support of Black Theatres around the country. The inaugural project featured more than half a dozen online staged readings of Vincent Terrell Durham's play, Polar Bears, Black Boys & Prairie Fringed Orchids, on Juneteenth 2020, involving over sixty theatre companies from around the country and in support of a national GoFundMe campaign for Black Theater.

The Latinx Mafia was founded to empower and support Latinx teatristas by reclaiming, demystifying and recreating Latinx representation in theatre/media. They aim to ensure that Latinx representation in theatre and media radically and accurately embraces historically marginalized communities including but not limited to: the LGBTQ+ community, indigenous and Afro-Latinx people, differently-able folx, migrants regardless of immigration status, and the many linguistic backgrounds in Latin America. For more about Latinx Mafia please see

Native Writers' Theater is dedicated to: Creating opportunity by making space for the playwriting process and producing the resulting works onstage; Fostering dialogue to tell Native American stories to inspire open, decolonized communication between all people; Amplifying stories of a forgotten people to preserve our heritage that has been all but erased. They aim to bring Native American stories to the theatre through creating new works and producing existing or evolving works.

Oakland Public Theater creates a 'different kind of Black Theater', expanding notions of culture to encompass often the invisible roles of African-Americans & others. OPT gives old stories a multicultural face: a Strindberg ancestral fantasy shifted to Africa; a Filipina immigrant trapped in the secretive world of Ibsen; actual people of color in Shakespeare's foreign lands (& referencing the long history of Africans in England). OPT also features new works, celebrating things like complex families, intellectual love affairs, heroism, tragedy, engaging histories -from OUR perspective, and yet often surprisingly familiar. The goal is to make established theater more accessible to a wider range of community, while sharing with traditional audiences some insight into both the nuance and universality of our diverse community members.

Poltergeist's mission is to reclaim Queer narratives through performance processes that dismantle toxic cultural norms, viscerally immerse audiences, and celebrate the innovation and liberation of Queer folx. Honoring San Francisco's strong tradition of revolutionary art that ignites the flame of cultural and societal progress, Poltergeist creates radically queer, feminist, intrinsically participatory theatre. Whether highlighting work by new artists or subverting and re-framing a problematic public domain play to create a brand new adaptation, Poltergeist seeks to normalize and centralize Other narratives. Focusing on the tenets of inclusivity, representation, and accessibility, Poltergeist seeks to remind this city of its deep roots in queer art.

The mission of Theatre Cultura is, first and foremost, to provide the opportunity for local and national Latina theatre artists to have a place for their voices to be heard in high quality, deeply invested productions. TC's intention is to create theatre that will inspire, inform, challenge, empower, embrace and reflect the lives and communities of Latinas of the SF Bay Area and around the country. Themes of immigration, Latinx and women's issues will provide the main focus for content. Plays will mostly be original and selected from active, working Latina playwrights from around the country in order to build a community of professional Latina playwrights who wish to tell the stories borne of the Latina experience and create a dynamic connection between those artists and the communities they serve.

For more information on the Innovator Incubator program and cohort, visit®id=18& or call (415) 992-6677.

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