Theatrical Innovator Incubator Launches With Six Teams

PlayGround announced this evening the six teams of Bay Area artists selected as finalists for the inaugural PlayGround Innovator Incubator. The new year-long initiative will provide 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 season.

PlayGround will share the initial results of its incubator at the first annual Innovators Showcase, taking place August 1-25, 2019 at Potrero Stage, PlayGround's state-of-the-art center for new plays. The showcase will feature two back-to-back world premieres as well as developmental staged readings and other public offerings by the Innovator Incubator teams over the course of the four-week program.

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."

The complete lineup and plans for additional Incubator public programming will be announced in May. PlayGround will open up applications for 2020 participants in September. For more information, visit http://playground-sf.org/incubator.

2019 THEATRE COMPANIES AND TEAMS

Moonrisers Theater Company (Christopher Magee, Michael Magee, Angel Hertslet)

Poltergeist Theatre Project (Brit Lauer, Chris Steele)

Queer Cat Productions (Carson Beker, Nara Dahlbacka, Nicole Jost)

Same Boat Theatre Collective (Lisa Kang, Ellen Koivisto, Bridgette Dutta Portman; additional collective members: Linda Amayo-Hassan, Lynn Aylward, Jerome Joseph Gentes, Scott Munson)

Theatre Cultura (Linda Amayo-Hassan, Janelle Aguirre, Dov Hassan)

The Epic Party Theatre (Richard A. Mosqueda, Nikki Meñez, Alejandro Emmanuel Torres)

Jessica Holt NAMED PLAYGROUND'S 1ST ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

In tandem with the Innovator Incubator kick-off, PlayGround also announced the hiring of Jessica Holt as PlayGround's first Associate Producer. The new part-time position was created to support PlayGround's Incubator and other artistic programs, including Monday Night PlayGround, the PlayGround Festival of New Works, and the New Play Production Fund. Ms. Holt is a director and artistic producer with 15 years of experience directing new and contemporary work at nationally renowned theaters, championing new work and nurturing the development of emerging, diverse and exciting new voices in the American Theater. Her directing credits include Fun Home (Virginia Stage Company), The Resting Place by Ashlin Halfnight (Magic Theatre) and Ugly Lies the Bone (Alliance Theatre), among others. She has developed new work at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival, among others. She is a 2016-17 National Directing Fellow, 2015-16 Yale Directing Fellow (Alliance Theatre) and was co-Artistic Director of the Yale Summer Cabaret (2014) and Artistic Director of Bay One Acts Festival (2009-2012). Ms. Holt received her MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama.

THE INNOVATOR INCUBATOR FINALISTS, TEAMS AND COMPANY STATEMENTS:

Moonrisers Theater Company (Christopher Magee, Michael Magee, Angel Hertslet)

Moonrisers is dedicated to creating new works featuring the bizarre, the magical, and the surreal, that joyously celebrate escapism and embrace comedy of the absurd. To never linger overlong on a success but hurtle forward with new, exciting projects. To plant a seed of levity in our audience that can be carried and shared with others, in abundance.

Poltergeist Theatre Project (Brit Lauer, Chris Steele)

Poltergeist is a company dedicated to creating art that is visceral. Art that trusts its audience enough not to pander to them or didactically explain what they should be feeling and how they should be thinking. Art that asks more questions than it answers. Theater that follows you home: like a summoned apparition that haunts you even after leaving the theatre, that forces you to exorcise it with personal introspection, interpersonal debate, and societal action.

Queer Cat Productions (Carson Beker, Nara Dahlbacka, Nicole Jost)

Queer Cat Productions creates playful, perspective-queering, boundary-pushing theater and immersive experiences at the intersection of theater, games, and storytelling. We are committed to 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.

Same Boat Theatre Collective (Lisa Kang, Ellen Koivisto, Bridgette Dutta Portman; additional collective members: Linda Amayo-Hassan, Lynn Aylward, Jerome Joseph Gentes, Scott Munson)

Same Boat Collective's purpose is to raise awareness about and inspire action against the pervasive environmental degradation that threatens our quality of life and community welfare. The collective aims to embody the diversity of our region's voices, telling stories about, for, and with minority and lower-income communities who are the first affected by toxins and worsening environmental conditions, but who have the least say in what is done in their neighborhoods. We want to educate and to connect: to help people find their places in a complex and fragile ecosystem, to link communities with one another, and to show individuals their ability to take responsibility and to take action.

Theatre Cultura (Linda Amayo-Hassan, Janelle Aguirre, Dov Hassan)

The mission of Theatre Cultura is, first and foremost, to provide the opportunity for local and national Latina theater artists to have a place for their voices to be heard in high quality, deeply invested productions. TC's intention is create theater 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.

The Epic Party Theatre (Richard A. Mosqueda, Nikki Meñez, Alejandro Emmanuel Torres)

The 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.

PlayGround, the Bay Area's leading playwright incubator, provides unique development opportunities for the Bay Area's best new playwrights, including the monthly Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series, annual PlayGround Festival of New Works, full-length play commissions and support for the production of new plays by local playwrights through the New Play Production Fund. To date, PlayGround has supported over 200 local playwrights in the development and staging of more than 850 original short plays and 75 new full-length plays, with 6 more commissions currently in development. PlayGround also operates Potrero Stage (formerly Thick House), a state-of-the-art 99-seat black box theatre in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood, home to some of the Bay Area's leading new play developers and producers, including PlayGround, Crowded Fire, Golden Thread, and Playwrights Foundation.

For more information, visit http://playground-sf.org.



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