Playwrights Foundation Announces Details of Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2019

Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Playwrights Foundation, the West Coast's premiere launchpad for exceptional emerging playwrights has named the artistic teams, actors and daily schedule for the 2019 Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF). The 2019 Bay Area Playwrights Festival runs July 19-28, 2019 at Potrero Stage at the base of San Francisco's Potrero hill.

The Acting Company for the 2019 Bay Area Playwrights Festival is an array of 29 dynamic Bay Area actors who join the artistic teams to develop 6 new works that explore the Power of Truth this summer. Veteran actors Sean San Jose, Dan Hiatt, Halili Knox, VIVIS and Robert Parsons lead a company of 29 from the Bay Area's top tier acting talent. In addition to twelve staged readings, the Festival will offer a Theater Professionals weekend and engagement activities.Tickets at

This 2019 BAPF develops and showcases six newly written, unfinished works by an extraordinary group of culturally diverse, rising American Playwrights who were selected from nearly 700 submissions. Playwrights Terence Anthony, Jeesun Choi, Candrice Jones, Tori Keenan-Zelt, christopher oscar peña, and Jonathan Spector will each develop new works, to be performed twice over the two week festival, and are paired with special events to be announced. Each weekend's daily schedule follows at end. A vaunted, nationally renowned cohort of directors and dramaturgs support the process of developing these six stellar new works.

Confirmed directors for the festival are Evren Odcikin, Delicia Turner, Lauren English, Becca Wolff, Candis C. Jones, and Ken Savage. Claudia Alick, Kimberly Colburn, Nakissa Etemad, Duca Knezevic, Maddie Gaw, and Lisa Ramirez will serve as dramaturgs. Each are seasoned, acclaimed theater artists, deeply connected within the Bay Area community and beyond.

Single ticket prices for the Festival range from $10 - $20. Also available is the VIP pass, an all-access ticket to all 6 readings, and the 3-play Flex Pass. Early Bird pricing is in effect through July 6. For additional information on ticket offerings, please visit

The Teams;

  • FLEX by Candrice Jones, directed by Delicia Turner (from San Diego and founder of Moxie Theatre), dramaturg Claudia Alick (from Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Actors: Paige Mayes, Summer Brown*, Regina Monique and Halili Knox*.
  • How the Baby Died, by Tori Keenan-Zelt, directed by Lauren English, dramaturg, Maddie Gaw (PF Literary Manager) Actors: Ash Malloy*, Greg Ayers, Lucas Near-Verbugghe* and Robert Parsons*
  • Siesta Key by Jonathan Spector, directed by Becca Wolff, dramaturg, Kimberly Colburn (from South Coast Rep) Actors: Laura Espino*, Dan Hiatt*, VIVIS* and Max Forman-Mullin*.
  • The House of the Negro Insane by Terence Anthony, directed by Candis C. Jones (NY based), dramaturg, Nakissa Etemad Actors: Khary Moye, Scott Coopwood*, Santoya Fields* and Paige Mayes.
  • how to make An American Son by christopher oscar peña, directed by Ken Savage (ACT), dramaturg, Lisa Ramirez (PF Resident Playwright Alumnae) Actors: Sean San Jose*, Albert Rubio, Livia Demarchi*, Francisco Arcila*, James Wagner* and Max Carpenter*.
  • The Seekers, by Jeesun Choi, directed by Evren Odcikin, dramaturg, Duca Knezevic Actors: Kaiyla Watts, Leontyne Mbele-Mbong*, Leticia Duarte, Will Hoeschler*, Dane Troy* and Damien Seperi*.

Flex by CANDRICE JONES -- Sat, July 20th, 8 PM, Sun, July 28th, 1:00 PM

It's 1997 and Cynthia Cooper rules the WNBA. It's no wonder every player on Plainnole's Lady Train wants to "go pro," and none more than Point Guard Starra Jones.

Delicia Turner Sonnenburg, director FLEX: Founder and (former) Artistic Director of MOXIE Theatre in San Diego, she received the Des McAnuff New Visions Award for "Risk Taking Leadership and Body of Work" and the 2015 "Director of the Year" from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.

Claudia Alick, Dramaturg for FLEX: A performer, producer, writer, and inclusion expert, Alick is the founding Artistic Director of Smokin' Word Productions, a NY Neofuturist alum, and was the Community Producer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

How the Baby Died by Tori Keenan-Zelt -- Sat, July 20th, 12 PM, Sat, July 27th, 8 PM

When the hapless, unemployed actress Stace opts out of her marriage, she becomes (rather suddenly) a live-in nanny for her best friend, his husband, and their newborn baby.

Lauren English, director for How the Baby Died has worked extensively on the development and premiere of new works. She is a founding member and artistic associate at San Francisco Playhouse and is the casting director for Playwrights Foundation.

Maddie Gaw, dramaturg for How the Baby Died, is a dramaturg specializing in new work. She leads the literary department at Playwrights Foundation and 3Girls Theatre, and has worked at Marin Theatre Company, Crowded Fire, Custom Made, and foolsFURY.

Siesta Key by JONATHAN SPECTOR -- Fri July 19th 8:00 PM, Sat, July 27th, 12 PM

It's Florida...sometime in the future. Violent militia rule is followed by violent resistance.

Becca Wolff, director for Siesta Key, is a sought after director of new work, with productions at A.C.T., NY Public Theatre and Z Space, among others. Locally she will be directing new work at San Francisco Playhouse, New Conservatory Theatre and Aurora Theatre this season.

Kimberly Colburn, dramaturg for Siesta Key, has enjoyed a dramaturgy career at the most prestigious American theaters, including Actors' Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Rep and the O'Neill, is now a freelance dramaturg and producer based in Toronto.

The House of The Negro Insane by TERENCE ANTHONY -- Sat, July 20th, 4 PM, Sun, July 28th, 6:00 PM

It's 1935. The Taft State Hospital, created during the Jim Crow era for 'insane and idiotic negroes', is overcrowded and understaffed - a toxic mix of the downtrodden and the mentally ill.

Candice C. Jones, Director House of the Negro Insane, A New York based director and rising artistic leader. She has directed and developed work nationally and internationally at The Public Theater, The National Black Theater, Detroit Public Theater, The Kennedy Center among others. Nakissa Etemad, dramaturg House of the Negro Insane is a dramaturg, producer, director, and French translator, Bay Area VP for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and a Resident Artist with Golden Thread Productions. She is currently working on Marcus Gardley's Play on! Translation of King Lear.

how to make An American Son by CHRISTOPHER OSCAR PEÑA --Sun, July 21, 1:00 PM, Fri, July 26th, 8:00 PM

A play about the complexities of privilege, status, sexual identity and legal status within a newly wealthy immigrant family.

Ken Savage, director for how to make An American Son is the Associate Producer at A.C.T. and is a director who specializes in the development and production of new work having worked with Dipika Guha, Chris Chen and Marisela Orta, among others.

Lisa Ramirez , dramaturg for how to make An American Son, is a playwright and artistic associate at Ubuntu Theater who has been working with playwrights in the development of new work for her entire career.

The Seekers by JEESUN CHOI -- Sun, July 21, 6:00 PM, Sat, July 27th, 4 PM

Ilhan is a Somali high school student living in Minneapolis on the verge of deportation when she is visited by figures from far flung places.

Evren Odcikin, director for The Seekers, has distinguished himself as one of the foremost directors of new work in America, having worked at New York Theater Workshop Geva Theatre, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep, and the O'Neill, among many others. He is the former director of new plays at Golden Thread Productions.

Duca Knezevic, dramaturg for The Seekers, has had a lifelong career as a dramaturg and professor, with a doctorate from her home country, the former Yugoslavia. Duca has worked locally at Playwrights Foundation, Alter Theater and Theatre Rhinoceros.

Photo Credit: Lorenz Angelo


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