Playwrights Foundation 36th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival



July 19-21, 26-28

Thick House Theater
1695 18th Street, SF

The Playwrights Foundation’s 36th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF) will take place July 19-28, 2013 at the Thick House Theater in San Francisco. BAPF 2013 is a diverse and eclectic cycle of work that builds on the past three plus decades of new plays at BAPF, highlighting a range of voices that span cultures and generations, from emerging playwrights to honored veterans. The six selected plays are by playwrights Laura Schellhardt, Prince Gomolvilas, Jiehae Park, Erin Bregman, Kimber Lee, and Joan Holden. The plays range from the mysterious to the metaphysical; from wittily deconstructing the current political crisis on the Korean Peninsula to a play celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Free Speech Movement.

”The creative capacity and artistic range of this group of writers is extraordinary. And, they are asking very important questions about our world – abandoning conventions of time and space, utilizing language, rhythm and theatrical device in excitingly innovative ways.” remarks Amy Mueller, Playwrights Foundation’s Artistic Director. “These writers span decades – from exceptional young voices, just breaking into the field, to proven veterans exploring new territory – this year is a choose-your-own-experience kind of festival.”

BAPF 2013′s six full-length works, chosen from over 500 submissions explore the American experience both historically and today. Laura Schellhardt’s The Comparables is a ballsy satire between three women at the top of their game; The Brothers Paranormal by Prince Gomolvilas real and imagined Ghosts, in a Thai style sci-fi mystery; Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by emerging playwright Jiehae Park – North vs South Korea can’t stop the wild beasts of the DMZ; Erin Bregman’s play Before & After grapples with memory, afterlife, a metaphysical journey; brownsville song (b-side for tray) by recent PONY Award winner Kimber Lee- Poetic, dreamlike, tragic – the cost of inner city violence; FSM by legendary, Bay Area playwright Joan Holden, is a musical about the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. A producing partnership with Oakland’s Stagebridge Theatre.

All 2013 Bay Area Playwrights Festival performances take place at the Thick House Theater,1695 18th Street. .In addition to readings BAPF includes the New Play Institute playwriting classes, interactive dialogue with playwrights and directors, a Playwrights Panel, and the annual Symposium.
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Bay Area Playwrights Festival – Recent Plays Go National & International
Playwrights Foundation’s Summer 2012 BAPF featured The Hundred Flowers Project by Christopher Chen, recent winner of the 2012 Glickman Award. Grounded by George Brandt, (2012 BAP) is a recipient of a NNPN 3-City Rolling World Premiere beginning at the SF Playhouse in September 2013, to play 5 additional cities in the US and UK. In May of 2012 Playwrights Foundation in partnership with the French Consulate General of San Francisco launched the wildly successful Des Voix… Found in Translation Festival which celebrated and translated the work of three contemporary French playwrights. As well as a collaborative French and American playwriting/dance event, a “Bal Littéraire” at Z Space, which has resulted in multiple production commitments in the US. Residencies and co-productions are bearing fruit as in our collaboration with Resident Playwright Chris Chen on the Glickman award-winning The Hundred Flowers Project with San Francisco’s risk taking Crowded Fire Theater Company, and the most recent with StageBridge on The FSM Project (Free Speech Movement) by treasured playwright Joan Holden.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival was founded by legendary director Robert Woodruff and for more than three decades has identified young playwrights who have gone on to shape the landscape of American theater and win every award in the theater world. Based in San Francisco, BAPF is a program of Playwrights Foundation, now recognized as one of the top tier of new play development centers in the country, the only one of its size and scope on the West Coast. Among the most recent of the hundreds of writers and plays that BAPF has supported over the last 37 years are: Katori Hall (The Mountaintop BAPF 08’); Marcus Gardley (…and Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi ’04; every tongue confess BAPF 08’ among others); Sheila Callaghan (Port Out, Starboard Home BAPF ’10), Lascivious Something, BAPF ‘06); Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, ‘05); Sam Hunter (I Am Montana ’06; A Bright New Boise ‘07); Annie Baker (Body Awareness BAPF ‘07). Clarence Coo ‘s play Beautiful Province, which was worked on BAPF 2011, was picked out of a 1000 plays to win 2012 Yale Drama Series Award, in large part, because of the work he did on it at the BAPF, according to the playwright. Lauren Yee’s Samsara, which was worked on at the most recent BAPF 2012, was just selected for the Eugene O’Neil Theater Center’s 2013 National Playwrights Conference; Aaron Loeb’s Ideation (BAPF 2012) will premiere at SF Playhouse next season; and Aditi Brennan Kapil’s Brahman/I (BAPF 2012) opens next month in Minneapolis at Mixed Blood Theater. The annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival is the place to experience exceptional plays as they are being created. PF has won two Horty Glickman Producer Awards for Best New Play (2005 & 2012).

The BAPF 2013 Plays-
Laura Schellhardt – The Comparables, Three women vie for power in the cutthroat world of high-end real estate Who, if anyone, will survive the ordeal, and to what lengths will they go to ensure success? A neo-feminist satire that begs the question: for women in the competitive world, is there more than one way to do business?

Prince Gomolvilas – The Brothers Paranormal, Two Thai-American brothers launch a ghost-hunting business in order to capitalize on the nationwide increase in sightings of Asian-looking ghosts. When the siblings end up investigating the home of a couple that claims to be haunted by one very terrifying spirit, everyone’s notions of reality, fantasy, and sanity clash against the shocking truth.

Jiehae Park – Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, Inside the FedEx box are two things: a 100% bona-fide-heart’s-desire-level wish and a suicide note. Hannah tracks the package back to Seoul, where her grandmother recently jumped from the roof of her retirement home onto the wrong side of the Demilitarized Zone. They’ll need North Korea’s permission to retrieve the body, but Kim Jong Il just kicked the bucket, and things in the DMZ are even stranger than they seem.

Erin Bregman – Before & After, An experiment in form, the play follows the journey of a single soul who grapples with a metaphysical dilemma: shift forward to a new phase of life and forget what was before or, remember, and remain in the ever-after. Without memory, what remains of your life after you’ve lived?

Kimber Lee – brownsville song (b-side for tray), In a Brooklyn neighborhood housing project, time moves in scattered rhythms, pivoting unpredictably between before and after. As members of Tray’s family struggle with his untimely death, they stumble through loss, find each other, and fight their way toward hope.

Joan Holden – FSM, Half a century ago, thousands of the best and brightest students in California rose up in a mass nonviolent protest that put Berkeley on the world map. They resisted weeks of divide-and-conquer tactics, performed miracles of self-organization, closed down the campus with a strike, and won. Formally, they demanded freedom for political speech; just under the surface, they were demanding it for themselves, from the grey-flannel life that was being prepared for them by authority, parents’ expectations, the hypocrisy and rigidity of the 1950’s.

Laura Schellhardt’s original works include THE COMPARABLES, UPRIGHT GRAND, AIR GUITAR HIGH, AUCTIONING THE AINSLEYS, HOW TO REMOVE BLOOD FROM A CARPET, THE K OF D, COURTING VAMPIRES, and SHAPESHIFTER. Adaptations include THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, THE MYSTERIES OF HARRIS BURDICK and THE OUTFIT. She is also the author of Screenwriting for Dummies. Laura is a recipient of the TCG National Playwriting Residency, the Jerome Fellowship, ACT’s New Play Award, an AATE Distinguished Play Award, and a Dramatist Guild Playwriting Fellowship. She has participated in the SoHo Rep. Writer/Director Lab, the Women Playwrights Festival at SRT, The Kennedy Center New Voices/New Vision Festival, The Bonderman Symposium, and the O’Neill National Playwrights Festival. Laura received her MFA in playwriting from Brown under the direction of Paula Vogel. She currently directs the undergraduate playwriting program at Northwestern University.

Prince Gomolvilas’ plays include Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love, The Theory of Everything, and the stage adaptation of the Scott Heim novel, Mysterious Skin, which have been produced around United States, in the U.K., and in Singapore. He received the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama; Julie Harris/Janet and Maxwell Salter Playwright Award; International Herald Tribune/SRT Playwriting Award; East West Players’ Made in America Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for the Asian Pacific Islander Community; and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. He is the Associate Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he also teaches writing for stage and screen. He received his MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University.

Jiehae Park is a playwright and actor in NYC. Her second full-length, HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO, won the 2013 Leah Ryan Prize for Emerging Women Writers and will be developed at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and Ojai Playwrights Conference this summer. The script was also a finalist for the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Abingdon’s Chris Wolk Award, as well as a semifinalist for the Premiere Stages Festival. She is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and served two years as co-artistic director of title3(LA). As an actor: NYTW, La Jolla Playhouse, Collection of Shiny Objects, Studio Theatre(DC), REDCAT(LA), STEP UP, AMATEURS(2013). MFA (acting), UCSD/LJP; BA (general theater shenanigans), Amherst College.

Erin Bregman has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Award, the Jerome Fellowship, Aurora’s Global Age Project, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Erin has had work produced or developed with Just Theatre, The Lark, the Playwrights Foundation, FuryFactory, Actors Theatre of Santa Cruz, UCSB New Plays Festival, and PlayGround, and has received commissions from the Magic Theatre/Sloan Foundation (2006), Just Theater (2008), and PlayGround (2009, 2010). Her short work has been published in Best of Playground 2009 & 2010, Spectrum Literary Journal, and Muse(d) Magazine. During the day she works as a teaching artist for the San Francisco Opera, and runs Little Opera, an all-kids opera company.

Kimber Lee’s plays include fight, different words for the same thing, and brownsville song (b-side for tray), and her work has been produced and developed by Page 73 Productions (Page 2 Workshop), Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Dramatists Guild Fellows Program, Represent Playwrights Festival at ACT/Seattle, Playwrights’ Center Core Apprentice Program, Theatre of the 1st Amendment/1st Light Program, Great Plains Theatre Conference (Mainstage), Southern Rep, and Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company. Her play fight received the 2010 Holland New Voices Award, and she has been a Finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, the Ruby Prize, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and Premiere Stages Play Festival. Kimber is currently a 2012-2013 Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center, a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and she is honored to be the 2013-2014 recipient of the PoNY Fellowship. MFA: UT Austin.

Joan Holden As playwright for the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe, l970-2000, Joan wrote or co-wrote many of the company’s best-remembered plays, including THE INDEPENDENT FEMALE, THE DRAGON LADY’S REVENGE; FALSE PROMISES; THE HOTEL UNIVERSE; FACTWINO; RIPPED VAN WINKLE; STEELTOWN, SEEING DOUBLE, OFFSHORE and CITY FOR SALE. She has translated and adapted works of Beaumarchais, Fo, Jonson and Moliere for ACT, Berkeley Rep and others, and participated in many international collaborations. Holden is best-known nationally as for the widely produced stage adaptation of Barbara Ehrenreich’s NICKEL AND DIMED. She will with composers/lyricists Bruce Barthol and Daniel Savio on the final version of FSM to be co-produced by Stagebridge and Playwrights Foundation in the fall of 2014.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival – The Play Development Process at BAPF
The annual BAPF brings together a select group of playwrights and professional directors, dramaturgs, the Bay Area’s top actors, and new this year, designers, to engage in an in-depth development process of six new plays over three weeks, including a three-day artists retreat outside the city, and two weeks of rehearsals during which artistic teams support the playwright’s dramaturgical investigations. The work leads to two public staged readings of each play, with a week for rehearsal and rewriting in between the readings. We value the studio work as much as we value the public presentations. Audiences provide playwrights with important feedback as these works develop into finished scripts, while gaining an insider’s experience of new work as it is created.

Playwrights Foundation is dedicated to discovering and supporting local and national American playwrights across a broad spectrum of artistic and career positions, in the inception and development of new plays that speak to and from an increasingly diverse society. Founded on a deeply held belief that the relevance and vitality of American theater depends upon a continual infusion of new work, Playwrights Foundation sustains a commitment to the playwright, who we regard as the creative wellspring of theater.

Thick House – Art Space Development Corporation (ArtsDeco) presents contemporary new theater that reflects and engages the San Francisco Bay Area’s racially and culturally diverse audience community. We believe that when art is relevant and accessible it can transform the world, so our work rises naturally out of connecting to our local community, to popular culture, and to events of the day. To that end, we operate our venue, the Thick House, as a performing arts/community center ‐‐ presenting world‐class professional theater, hosting neighborhood events, collaborating on community projects, and partnering with local businesses.

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