San Francisco Playhouse Presents YOU MEAN TO DO ME HARM
San Francisco Playhouse kicks off its 2018/19 Mainstage series-the theater's 16th season presenting diverse and dynamic works-with Christopher Chen's You Mean to Do Me Harm, which was originally commissioned by the Playhouse and premiered in its Sandbox Series last season. Bill English will direct.
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, how our cultural traits affect our lives in ways we don't anticipate, and of the tenuous nature of the personal relations we hold most dear.
The cast features Cassidy Brown*, Charisse Loriaux*, Katie Rubin* and Jomar Tagatac*. Charisse Loriaux reprises the role she played in the Sandbox Series production with the rest of the cast new to this production.
"I am thrilled that You Mean to Do Me Harm is completing its development at the Playhouse by opening its '18/19 Season," said playwright Christopher Chen. "It's always been a dream to have a play on San Francisco Playhouse's Mainstage, and I'm particularly excited that this personal play about the Asian American experience can reach a wider audience."
San Francisco Playhouse's production of You Mean to Do Me Harm is made possible by Season Producer Andrew Teufel; Executive Producers Scott Walecka & Martha Seaver; Janet & William McAllister; Producers Gail & Arne Wagner; and Associate Producers Mary & Tom Foote; Elizabeth Groenewegen; and Betty & Cliff Nakamoto.
Christopher Chen (Playwright) is an Obie Award-winning playwright whose plays have been performed across the US and abroad. Works include Caught (Obie Award for Playwriting, New York Times Critics Pick, Barrymore Award, Drama League Award nomination), Home Invasion, The Hundred Flowers Project (Will Glickman Award, Rella Lossy Award, James Tait Black Memorial Prize shortlist), Into the Numbers (Belarus Free Theatre International Contest of Contemporary Drama, second place), The Late Wedding, Mutt, A Tale of Autumn, and Passage, which will receive its New York premiere at Soho Repertory Theatre this season. Other honors include the Lanford Wilson Award, a Sundance Institute and Time Warner Fellowship, the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, a MAP Fund grant, and serving as playwright-in-residence at Crowded Fire Theater. Christopher has been published in Theatre Bay Area, American Theater, Theater Magazine (Yale), The Drama Review, and by Dramatists Play Service. His current commissions include Aurora Theatre Company, LCT3, Manhattan Theatre Club, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizons (The Steinberg Commission), and The Royal Shakespeare Company. A San Francisco native, Chris is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned an MFA in playwriting from San Francisco State University.
Bill English (Director) is a co-founder and Artistic Director of San Francisco Playhouse, and in fifteen years with Susi Damilano, has guided its growth from a bare-bones storefront to the second-largest theatre in San Francisco. He designed the first theatre space at 536 Sutter Street and personally reconfigured a barn-like 700-seat hall to our currently gracious and intimate 200-seat venue. Along the way he has served as director, actor, set and sound designer, winning San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nominations or awards in all those categories. Bill is also an accomplished musician and builder. Milestone accomplishments include bringing Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Adly Guirgis to the Bay Area by directing three of his plays, commissioning twelve playwrights including Theresa Rebeck, Aaron Loeb, Lauren Gunderson, Lauren Yee, and Christopher Chen, and developing world premieres from workshops to Sandbox Series to our main stage to Off-Broadway (including the New York productions of Ideation and Bauer), and presenting the very first production of Grounded by George Brant which later played at The Public Theatre. He coined the phrase "the empathy gym" and it drives everything at the Playhouse.
The Sandbox Series is San Francisco Playhouse's new works program. 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.
San Francisco Playhouse
Founded in 2003 and boasting 2800 subscribers, San Francisco Playhouse is the only mid-sized professional venue in downtown San Francisco; 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." 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.
*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.