Celebrate Sixth Season at Best of PlayGround-LA Gala!
PlayGround-LA, Los Angeles’s incubator for a new generation of playwrights, caps off its sixth season on Monday evening, May 14 at the Zephyr Theatre with the Best of PlayGround-LA, a one-night gala celebration of the best playwrights and short plays selected from more than 150 submissions and 36 works developed as part of the season’s Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series. The Gala will feature an all-star performance of the six Best of PlayGround winners. Tickets are $25-$50 and are available through the Box Office at 323-992-6766 or online at PlayGround-LA.org/bestof. All proceeds support PlayGround-LA’s playwright incubator programs
Best of PlayGround-LA
The six plays to be presented in this year’s Best of PlayGround are:
Home for the Holidays, with the Lord by Vincent Terrell Durham
Three Women in a Wildfire by Julianne Jigour
Dave’s Epic 40th Birthday Party by Jonathan Josephson
Measured Reality by Arthur Keng
Solution Number Six by Mercedes Segesvary
Merry Christmas, Ruth by Nicki Spencer
About the Playwrights
Vincent Terrell Durham (Home for the Holidays, with the Lord) has written over 30 short plays with productions from Hollywood to the Catskills. He is currently working on a new full-length play, Polar Bears, Black Boys, and Prairie Fringed Orchids, commissioned by Planet Earth Arts and PlayGround-LA. He’s a member of the Dramatist Guild of America and Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. Learn more at vtdisme.com.
Julianne Jigour (Three Women in a Wildfire) earned her MFA in dramatic writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is in her third year with PlayGround-LA. In spring 2018, her Planet Earth Arts / PlayGround-LA commission, Bright Shining Sea, will have its world premiere with PlayGround in San Francisco.
Jonathan Josephson (Dave’s Epic 40th Birthday Party) has had 33 plays produced around the world including Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), Milwaukee Rep (RepLab), and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Theatre Festival (Festival Winner). He is also Executive Director of Unbound Productions and a creator of Wicked Lit, History Lit and Mystery Lit. BA – UCSD. ALAP, DGA. jonathanjosephson.com
Arthur Keng (Measured Reality) is a Los Angeles-based playwright and actor. Monday Night PlayGround selections include Antic Resolutions (Best of PlayGround-LA 2016), A Settled Matter, Dream Enforcement, Infiltrated Learning, Over the Falls, Forced Position, Bluster Bound, The Dream Scenario, Flooded Intake, and this year’s Best of PlayGround-LA selection, Measured Reality. Arthur received his MFA in Acting from University of Southern California.
Mercedes Segesvary (Solution Number Six) is a Playwright, Screenwriter and Fine Art Illustrator. Her plays have been on stage in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Waco TX, Madison WI and Wolfsville Nova Scotia. In October 2018, her play: Companions LLC., will be part of the Women Playwrights International Festival in Santiago, Chile. www.hugithegreat.com
Nicki Spencer (Merry Christmas, Ruth) is a screenwriter and playwright from Glendale, California who graduated from USC’s Masters in Professional Writing Program. She has worked as a writer’s assistant on History Channels Knightfall and FOX’s The Gifted and is continuing a career in writing for television and the stage.
The mission of PlayGround-LA is to support the development of significant new local voices for the theatre. PlayGround-LA has developed a unique model for identifying and nurturing the best new writers, helping them to build a significant body of original work, and strongly weaving these artists into the family of local theatre professionals. PlayGround pairs early development playwrights with established, professional actors and directors and fosters the artistic relationships that develop.
Ten days before the designated Monday, October-March, a topic is announced and emerging playwrights in the Greater Los Angeles Area have until 2pm the following Tuesday to submit a short script. A panel of judges selects six winners, whose entries are cast over the weekend and then rehearsed with the area’s best professional actors and directors in a whirlwind ninety minutes each before being performed as script-in-hand staged readings. Previous topics include “We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident,” “Zero-Sum Game,” and “A Cautionary Tale.”
PlayGround-LA is the first regional expansion of the celebrated Bay Area playwright incubator and theatre community hub, PlayGround(SF). PlayGround was launched in San Francisco in 1994 by co-founders Jim Kleinmann, Brighde Mullins and Denise Shama. In 1996, Kleinmann became PlayGround’s first Artistic Director. Since its founding, PlayGround has developed and staged over 850 original ten-minute plays by 220 Bay Area and Los Angeles early-career writers and has commissioned/developed 75 full-length plays by distinguished PlayGround alumni. In the process of staging those works, PlayGround has helped to identify some of the leading emerging writers and, at the same time, has engendered the creation of a true community of theatre artists, bringing together hundreds of local actors, directors and playwrights. For most if not all of the participating writers, PlayGround is the first professional staging their work has received and serves as their introduction into the professional theatre community.
PlayGround’s alumni have gone on to win local, national and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the Humana Festival, Sundance Festival, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, and Aurora Theatre Company’s Global Age Project, among others. Directors and actors participating in PlayGround are among some of the most distinguished theatre professionals, regularly working on leading local stages.