PlayGround gave me my start in play writing, provided a lab and a support structure to cut my teeth on the ten minute form, then commissions and production grants to get my full lengths off the ground. I don't know of any other opportunities where a new playwright can work so extensively and consistently with theater artists of such high caliber--the directors and actors (and audiences) of PlayGround offer an amazing community of artists. I've met so many collaborators, friends, colleagues, and now even my wife through PlayGround. I spend my (non-literary) professional life supporting a wide variety of non-profit organizations in other sectors, so it is with great appreciation of the work and dedication that makes PlayGround possible that I receive the support of an organization that has worked so tirelessly on behalf of me and of my peers.
I have been participating in PlayGround's staged readings for twelve years. I have watched as they moved into bigger and better theaters, guided more playwrights and commissioned great new plays. Their audience base is dedicated and PlayGround helps knit together a large portion of the Bay Area acting community.
When was the last time you met a professional playwright? Go ahead, I'll give you a minute to think about it. Well there you go. You very likely never have. Why is that? Because they're rare? No. There are a hell of a lot of playwrights out there. Because they're ashamed? No. A professional playwright is more than delighted to admit her career. Because many are un-produced? Yup! That's pretty much the case. There's a strong absence of organizations whose main purpose is to develop and support the emerging playwright. PlayGround Inc is a rare gem that fits this need. This organization brings together actors, directors, stage technicians, theatre administration and audience to put new works on stage all in an effort to support emerging playwrights in their profession. Check them out, read about them, go see a Monday night performance. After one show you'll be able to brag, "Hey, I know a professional playwright."
There are plenty of theatrical organizations who claim to be committed to developing new plays and nurturing new playwrights, but few actually are. PlayGround doesn't do classics. They don't do the "the hot new play" that everybody else in town is doing. PlayGround ONLY does brand new plays that nobody has seen yet. But that's not all they do. Their commitment to playwrights means that they help writers get their brand new plays produced. Many PlayGround developed plays have gone on to become "hot new plays." Over time, some may even become classics.
Playground is a wonderful organization, and one of the most important ones for the theater community in San Francisco. Playground recognizes rising talent in the local theater world and offers burgeoning and more accomplished playwrights, actors, and directors an opportunity to be part of a thriving community and to showcase their talents. I can't imagine what theater would be like in San Francisco without this vital --and ever growing -- force in the community.
PlayGround is an extraordinary theatre company. I have worked as a director for this Bay Area jewel for the past six years. I have worked with scores of talented playwrights, excellent actors and the most loyal audience base imaginable. Playground's mission bonds and empowers playwrights (and the artists who work to reveal their voice and vision.) and builds community. New play commissions abound and company programming is ever changing and imaginative. As a company, we are respected, challenged and rewarded continually by leaps of faith and risk by all involved. You are hereby warned: The daring nature of Monday Night PlayGround is addictive for artists, donors and audiences members alike! Come see it and believe it!
PlayGround is an amazing organization that lies at the heart of the Bay Area theatre community. Through its Monday night series and many other programs offering opportunities to writers, actors, and directors, as well as audiences interested in seeing burgeoning professionals working on new plays in development. Nowhere else can you witness such a breadth of talent and such a massive collaborative effort between so many Bay Area artists. It is amongst the most important and vital non-profits in the Bay Area arts scene.