jakub | May 3, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | PlayGround Announces 2023 Festival of New Works Lineup


ed Parsario, Livia Gomes Demarchi, and Caleb Cabrera in ‘La Vida Lobo' by Linda Amayo-Hassan at Best of PlayGround 2019. (Photo by mellophone.com.)

SAN FRANCISCO: PlayGround has announced the lineup for the PlayGround Festival of New Works. The 27th annual festival will be held May 8-28 at Potrero Stage and will be simulcast online. Following a kickoff panel on May 8, the festival will begin with the 15th edition of the Young Playwrights Festival on May 12. The evening will feature works from top high school playwrights on the theme of classic fairytale or myth adaptations.

The festival will continue with a new short play festival on May 13-14. The lineup includes Changing Inward by Danny Martinez Jr., directed by Tanvi Agrawal; Work/Shoot by Matthew Y. Morishige, directed by Jim Kleinmann; The Resolution of Us by Vicky Pham, directed by Karina Gutierrez; Gallows Humor by Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by Claire Ganem; Boogie Cousins and the 1.8 Seconds that Changed Everything by Michael Tuton, directed by Rondrell McCormick; and Two Kitchens and a Bowl by Alexis Standridge, directed by Tracy Ward.

The festival will continue with a staged reading series May 15-26. The lineup includes A Thousand Natural Shocks by Jacob Marx Rice, directed by Jeffrey Lo; Character Assassination by Akaina Ghosh, directed by Nikki Meñez; Apertures of Love in Times of War by Anne Yumi Kobori, directed by M. Graham Smith; and Seasonal Sweets by Jennifer Le Blanc, directed by Jennifer King.

The main lineup of the Festival of New Works includes new works by Christian Wilburn and Lauren Gorski. Wilburn’s Starlight (May 20-21) follows Sasha, whose rare autoimmune disorder has forced her to live much of her life in books when she stumbles upon one that brings her dreams to life. Ely Sonny Orquiza will direct.

Wilburn is a San Francisco-based writer who has been a member of the PlayGround Playwright Residency Program. PlayGround commissioned Starlight based on Wilburn’s short play Sasha and the Angelier, which won the People’s Choice Award for Best of PlayGround in 2021. Wilburn is a graduate of Santa Clara University and holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco.

Gorski’s The Bramford (May 27-28) recreates the horror story Rosemary’s Baby as the residents of the Bramford apartment bring the novel’s characters—including Satan—to life. Tessa Corrie will direct.

Gorski is a writer of fiction, poetry, screenplays, and stage plays. Her plays have been produced by Hollywood Fringe, PianoFight, and PlayGround, among others. She was formerly a playwright in residence at PlayGround and is currently the comics and film editor of the digital literary journal Exposition Review. Gorski holds a Master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

PlayGround is a leading Bay Area playwright incubator and theatre hub that uplifts and centers artists from historically underrepresented communities. Over the past 28 years, PlayGround has developed and staged over 1,000 short plays and commissioned 90 full-length plays.

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