Playground Announces Inaugural Innovators Showcase

PlayGround announces the lineup for the inaugural INNOVATORS SHOWCASE, August 1-25, 2019 at Potrero Stage, featuring 25 performances and staged readings of innovative new theatre by the 2019 class of PlayGround's Innovator Incubator. Highlights of this year's Showcase include Theatre Cultura's premiere production of ¡CHEER! Story of a Dreamer (August 1-11), Poltergeist Theatre Project's THE JULIE CYCLE (August 5-7 & 19-21), and Queer Cat Productions' THE GAY DIVORCE PLAY (August 15-25), as well as work-in-progress public presentations of Same Boat Theater Collective's THE EMERYVILLE HORROR (August 11), Epic Party Theatre's ALL MY FRIENDS ARE DEPRESSED! WITH TINY BARUCH! (August 24), and The Moonrisers's DARLING MARJORIE'S ARBORETUM (August 25). Production tickets are $26.50-$41.50 and work-in-progress presentations are free/suggested donation (Potrero Stage members save 50% off all tickets). For more information or to purchase tickets, call (415) 992-6677 or visit http://playground-sf.org/incubator.

PlayGround launched the Innovator Incubator in January with the selection of six teams of artists and their plans for the creation of innovative new theatre companies. The new year-long initiative provides a comprehensive and integrated suite of more than $50,000 in tools and resources - including fiscal sponsorship, one-on-one mentoring, free and discounted performance and rehearsal space, and co-marketing - in support of the development of six new innovative theatre companies and the launch of their first productions.

Added PlayGround Board Member and successful entrepreneur David Steele, "As we mark our 25th anniversary and recognized role as an established incubator for new voices for the stage, we've created the Innovator Incubator to foster a new generation of innovative theatre companies and artists. In this way, PlayGround is paying it forward, ensuring the vitality and vibrancy of our field."

INNOVATORS SHOWCASE PRODUCTIONS

Theatre Cultura presents
¡CHEER! Story of a Dreamer
written and directed by Linda Amayo-Hassan
August 1-11, 2019 (Thu-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 7pm)
http://playground-sf.org/theatrecultura

¡CHEER! Story of a Dreamer tells the story of Erica Chavez, a high school senior who discovers she is undocumented while applying for college. With vivid characters, drama and humor, the play takes audiences into homes where the stress of being undocumented and living in the shadows is real and terrifying. Theatre Cultura is a new theater company started by theater artist, Linda Amayo-Hassan. An actor, director, playwright and educator, Linda has had a dream of developing a theater company that could give a platform for Latinx theater artists for many years. After completing her play CHEER and having it developed at Chabot College in Hayward where she teaches, she felt the time was right to take this next step. CHEER originated as a 15-minute piece as part of group of original plays at Chabot College. The inspiration for the play came from the story of one of Linda's students, who told her about having found out that she was undocumented while applying for college, and how this event completely changed how she viewed her life and her very identity.

Poltergeist Theatre Project presents
THE JULIE CYCLE
Adapted from Miss Julie by August Stringberg
August 5-7 & 19-21, 2019 (Mon-Wed at 8pm)
http://poltergeistproject.org

Poltergeist Theatre Project presents THE JULIE CYCLE, a three-person adaptation of Strindberg's original. Strindberg's Miss Julie has been performed every year since its inception, in spite of its actively misogynist preface in which Strindberg says "[women] will always be born stunted and can never catch up to [men] in the lead." The Julie Cycle reimagines the play as a cyclical purgatory nightmare, where Julie finds herself living multiple lives as multiple characters, and struggles to discover a way to escape the tragedy that awaits her at the end of the play. Three actors will share the roles of Kristin, Julie and Jean, exploring gender and identity through song, movement, and an updated version of the original text. The piece examens our ability to overcome the epigenetic and societal trauma that sculpts us- can we ever truly escape our past trauma? Can we find a way to challenge the systemic burn of sexism and class to see each other as equals? As a mobile piece, the production will enjoy performances in multiple venues. Other August dates and locations to be announced soon. 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 reframing 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, we're hoping to remind this city of its deep roots in queer art.

Queer Cat Productions presents
THE GAY DIVORCE PLAY
Co-written by Carson Beker & Nicole Jost, with Genevieve Jessee.
August 15-25, 2019 (Thu-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 7pm)
https://www.queercatproductions.com/

The Gay Divorce Play is an interactive theater ritual of a queer marriage dissolution party. TJ (the rational one) and Luz (the woo one) have invited you, their friends, to celebrate their divorce. And you said you would come. The Gay Divorce Play is an interactive immersive play in which audience members play the friends, lovers, and community of the divorcing couple, TJ and Luz. The play has four actors: TJ, Luz, The Officiant, and The Bitchy Inner Monologue, who is played by a puppet. As they arrive at the theater, which is now TJ and Luz's Living Room, audience members will be sorted into different characters according to how they answer particular questions (coffee or Kombucha?; Do you like to dance?). Each character has at least one chance to interact with the play or not, triggering different scenes - moments in the couple's life or in the present - making the play different each night. At the end of the evening, the audience as a whole will have a chance to vote on whether or not the couple should stay together, triggering one of two final scenes. The Gay Divorce Play is the inaugural production of Queer Cat Productions. Queer Cat Productions is the brainchild of Carson Beker, Nara Dahlbacka, and Nicole Jost, who met as MFA students at San Francisco State University. All three are award-winning playwrights who wanted to break the mold of the traditional theatre company. QCP does just that, by creating playful, perspective-queering, boundary-pushing theater and immersive experiences at the intersection of theater, games, and storytelling. We are committed to curiosity about evolving forms; haunting: memory, resilience, genre-fluidity; and to the spirit of play, as interactive and consensual, as a space for risk and spectacular failure, as stories that we co-create, storytellers and audience, and that create us in return.

INNOVATORS SHOWCASE WORK-IN-PROGRESS PRESENTATIONS

Same Boat Theater Collective presents
THE EMERYVILLE HORROR
Co-written by Linda Amayo Hassan, Lynn Aylward, Lisa Kang, Ellen Koivisto, & Bridgette Dutta Portman
August 11, 2019 at 2pm
https://www.sameboattheater.org/

Same Boat Theater Collective presents THE EMERYVILLE HORROR, a workshop presentation of a production in progress. Emeryville is disappearing, piece by piece, and thousands of people with it. No one knows what is happening, but Rahel Al-Noury, an Emeryville Police officer, is determined to find out. As Emeryville continues to vanish, Officer Al-Noury encounters many of those in Emeryville affected by this horror: a female Mariachi singer, a pregnant homeless woman, a cancer patient, a genderqueer teen, a son of Vietnamese farmers, an Ohlone woman. Their lives have one thing in common: the suffering dealt to them by the monstrous abuse of the environment. Will they vanish along with the ground they stand on? Why is Emeryville disappearing and what can be done to stop the Emeryville Horror? Same Boat Theater Collective's mission is to bring innovative, meaningful theatrical experiences about environmental issues to as diverse a local audience as possible, with the goal of generating a critical mass of individuals to act against environmental degradation. We aim to change the current narrative by telling stories about our bioregion, the Bay Area, for all species who live here.

Epic Party Theatre presents
SLAY/WERK/STRUT
Conceived and directed by Richard A. Mosqueda
August 24, 2019 at 3pm
https://www.epicpartytheatre.org/

Epic Party Theatre presents a public presentation of a new work-in-progress, slay/werk/strut. Conceived and directed by Richard A Mosqueda, slay/werk/strut is an immersive ball experience that replicates the queer ball culture made famous by the popular 1990 documentary 'Paris is Burning'. Get ready to form your own legendary house, snatch trophies, and dance the night away, children! Will you get 10's across the board? Or will you strut away empty-handed? Slay the game and serve femme realness in this one of a kind theatrical experience, honey! Epic Party Theatre is committed to producing new, wildly ambitious theatrical explorations of varying genres created by and for communities of color. We strive to showcase, celebrate, and support uniquely gifted local and nationally recognized artists of color.

The Moonrisers present
DARLING MARJORIE'S ARBORETUM
Written by Christopher Magee
August 25, 2019 at 2pm
https://themoonrisers.com/

The Moonrisers present a staged reading of DARLING MARJORIE'S ARBORETUM, a new play by Christopher Magee. Darling Marjorie reared and groomed the hardiest daughters: Jacaranda, Olive, Cassia, and Magnolia. Tempering them through bizarre abuse, mistreatment and neglect, she has honed them to survive the apocalypse. Now that they have survived, they just have to live with one another. Darling Marjorie's Arboretum is a series of comedic moments about one family forced to live with one another as they are, unfortunately, the only people left alive. Founded in 2014 and originally hailing from Missoula, Montana, the Moonrisers are pleased to present the World Premiere of Darling Marjorie's Arboretum. Relocated to the Bay Area in 2017, the play is their eighth original production and the fourth in San Francisco. The Moonrisers work to create new, exciting, accessible, original theatre, rarely producing the same play twice. Founder Christopher Magee says, "No matter how much we love them, there is always a new, more exciting idea that just can't seem to wait." The Moonrisers are Christopher Magee, Michael Magee, Angel Hertslet, Christian Haines, Melissa Ortiz, Robyn Grahn, Puja Tolten, Jayme Catalano, Megan Toth, Emily Goodburn, Zoe Linton and an ever-growing collection of misfits.



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