Friday, January 20, 2017

Get Involved - 2017 Internships Announced!

With the challenges facing art this year, turn your passion into work and help us create more inclusive narratives and access for playwrights. Check out our current opportunities!

Jake the Intern
Playwrights Foundation is dedicated to professional development and mentorship for aspiring nonprofit administrators, artists, and arts managers. We offer creative, ambitious, and savvy individuals the opportunity to receive instruction and on-the-job training working as either interns or fellows within the organization, working directly with the Foundation’s small, but mighty leadership team.
Spend your spring and/or summer as part of the Playwrights Foundation team! We generally operate on a 3-semester calendar: Fall (September through December), Spring (January through May) and Summer (June through August).
Applications are now open for our Spring and Summer 2017 cohorts. We’re recruiting for several different positions, and a total of 10 spots. Six will be dedicated production interns for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival July 14-24, 2017.
Our interns are an integral part of our close-knit team. Internships are for currently enrolled students in a degree program; fellowships are higher-level placements for candidates who have completed a degree, or seeking practical experience as a bridge to a career.
All positions are designed for early career theater artists with an interest in the inner workings of a nonprofit playwright accelerator. Summer interns assist with all aspects of Festival production, including event planning, scheduling, development, social media, front of house, and production assistance, as well as some daily office tasks. Other roles work with year-round initiatives and projects. All require creative, thoughtful and extremely proactive individuals for whom no task is too small or too large, and who are willing to learn and stretch.
A background and/or education in theater is mandatory; a passion for new plays and playwrights is preferred. Candidates must be available for a minimum 2-month term, with 3 months preferred, and will require a commitment of at least 10-15 hours per week. Some nights and weekends may be required.
All positions, while unpaid, provide active training, resume-building, and on-the-job experience. Most work takes place at our offices in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, with Production Interns/Fellows deploying to rehearsal spaces, theaters, and other venues during the Festival.
In addition to adding practical experience to your resume, interns enjoy these benefits:
  • Admission to all Playwrights Foundation events
  • Recommendation letters (upon request)
  • Academic credit
  • Modest travel stipend
  • Participation in the lively Bay Area theater community
We’re accepting applications now and will be reviewing them on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.
If you’re not able to commit to a full internship, but still want to get involved, explore one of our volunteer opportunities below.

Passionate and enthusiastic volunteers are always welcome and deeply appreciated.  Contact us to find out about upcoming volunteer projects.
Current Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Sponsorship Associate: We’re looking for an outgoing, friendly individual who will work closely with the General Manager willing to cold-call to solicit in-kind goods and services for Spring and Summer events as well as for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.  This role can be mostly fulfilled remotely.
  • 40th Anniversary Archive Associate: Is organization your thing? Is your sock drawer color-coded?  We want to talk to you.  We’re currently gathering 40 years of archives in preparation for our 40th Anniversary Celebration.  We’re looking for a research-minded individual to help us select the most wonderful images and content from four decades of archives and turn them into beautiful displays and materials.
Volunteers will also be needed in a variety of roles for our July Bay Area Playwrights Festival:
  • Front of house:
    • Box office
    • Ushers
    • Concessions
  • Community Outreach
  • Artist concierge
  • Event support
    • Food and beverage running
    • Hosts and greeters
    • The always glamorous set up, clean up and load out
Interested?  Give Lorenz a call at 415.626.2176 or email him to sign up.

What We Fight For

Our Resident Playwrights Are On Fire!

Here's a sampling of some of their latest projects!

This weekend

E. Hunter Spreen
  “What if I told you the future is off the table? Would that effect your choices? What you do with your life?”
University High School's production of six/eleven, written by PF Resident Playwright E. Hunter Spreen and directed by UHS Theater Instructor Susannah Martin (Shotgun Players, Mugwumpin), will open on the UHS stage in San Francisco tonight Friday, January 20, and play again on the 21st. Tickets are available HERE.

Next Week

Jon Bernson
We continue our 2017 Rough Reading Series with 
Written by Jon Bernson
Directed by Jon Tracy
With Rhodessa Jones, Annemaria Rajala*, John R. Lewis*, Sarita Ocon*, Indiia Wilmott, Krista DeNio, Anthony Frederick Aranda *AEA
    Jan 23 at 7:30pm Roble Hall, Stanford campus
Jan 24 at 2:00pm Custom Made Theatre, San Francisco
FREE/pay as you can  RVSP HERE 
                                                           (stay for treats and post-reading reception with the artists)

Coming Up

Dipika Guha
IN BRAUNAU: will be read at SF Playhouse on Feb 20th at 7.30PM. It's directed by Susannah Martin. Tickets aren't online yet, but will be announced HERE.
YOGA PLAY opens at South Coast Rep April 19th for the Pacific Playwrights Festival, directed by Crispin Whittel. Learn more HERE.

Dipika has just been named a Hodder Fellow at Princeton Arts! Congratulations! be sure to check out Dipika's website.

Min Kahng
Min's enjoying several premieres of his plays this spring. Bad Kitty has its New York Premiere at TYKEs, JCC Rochester, January 14-22. Tickets at

Story Explorers is a new musical for children living with autism and other special needs. World Premiere, Bay Area Children's Theatre, The Osher Studio in Berkeley.  February 18-March 5.  Tickets HERE.  

The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga will have its world premiere at TheatreWorks Jul 15-Aug 6. For more info visit Min's website.

Lisa Ramirez

Stay tuned for the West Coast premiere of TO THE BONE, Lisa's searing play, at Ubuntu Theater Project in March/April Tickets HERE.

Patricia Cotter
Patricia's short play The Crossing will premiere in PlayGround's The Potrero Nuevo Project at PlayGround At Thick House  Feb 2 – 12 
On Feb 20th, Patricia's new play The Surrogate (2016 O'Neill Theater Playwrights Conference finalist) opens at the Centenary Stage Company in New Jersey. 

Michael Gene Sullivan
Michael's play, 1984 will open at the Williamston Theatre, Williamston, Michigan March 23rd. A ferocious and provocative adaptation of one of the most prescient works of literature of the last century, 1984 asks: “What does it mean to be an individual?” ”What does it mean to be human?”

Michael will be profiled with Velina Brown in the February issue of AmericanTheatre Magazine.  Check it out!

Noelle ViƱas
APOCALYPSE, PLEASE, co-written and co-directed by Kevin Vincenti, will be read with the cast on February 1st on the Second Stage of PianoFight beginning at 7pm, for FREE. Donations are welcome to pay actors. A fundraiser for the production, an Intersection for the Arts Project, is HERE

The play tells the story of Remy, a computer programmer at the MIT's corporate lab, who is framed for the death of millions of U.S. citizens because of her work with futuristic cell phones. Amongst its key themes are questions of responsibility, systemic bias, and of the invisible structures around us – be they race, technology, or magic.

Victoria Chong Der
Shape-shifters, time-travelers, and rebellious take the stage in ESCAPE VELOCITY, a collection of fantastical new short plays by Victoria Chong Der, Genevieve Jessee, Carol S. Lashof, and Madeline Puccioni.  February 17-25 at Temescal Art Center.  Choose your own price for all performances:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Never Doubt

Great advice from Resident Playwright Min Kahng:

Artmakers and storytellers - write books, draw comics, paint paintings, do stand-up, code video games, make movies, become a YouTube sensation, craft poetry, animate short-films, make documentaries, design fashion, sing original songs, choreograph a number, create theatre!

Make us laugh. Help us grieve, heal, and breathe.
Challenge our notions. Engage us in social dialogue.
Teach us to be kind and empathetic. Remind us who we are.
Show us who we can be.

Let's keep inundating our culture with our varying narratives and perspectives. We're playing a cultural long-game here - centuries in the making. We can be influencing tomorrow's voters in profound ways today. There are short-term horrors to be concerned and grappled with to be sure, but never doubt the power of your craft to shape the country in the long-run.

(Oh, and do drag! Lots and lots of drag!)

Interview with a Playwright: Jon Bernson

We caught up with Resident Playwright Jon Bernson to ask some questions about his latest play, Third Eye Moonwalk.  
It's the third play in our Rough Readings Series, which is always PAY WHAT YOU CAN!
Eventbrite - Playwrights Foundation ROUGH READINGS Series
What sparked the idea for Third Eye Moonwalk? 
This piece brings together some threads that I've been knocking around for awhile, but the catalyst was an invitation to write and record a guided meditation for Crash Symbols (a label that I released an album with in 2013). We discussed whether they wanted a traditional situation -  to help people quit smoking or lose weight - or if it could be more of a creative prompt. Thankfully, the latter.

Tell us a little more about your play. What is the "Order of the Moonwalk?"
Along the lines of horoscopes and weather reports, I understand that we want to know what we are getting into before we get into it, but as with several of my plays, figuring out exactly what is going on is a significant part of this journey. I've already said more than I should. My safety has been compromised.

In addition to be playwright, you're also a musician and an interdisciplinary artist. How does having experience in multiple fields influence the work that you do?

My mind is a three-party system. Language, music and video all vie for influence. One party might gain dominance for a period of time, but never for long. Unlike most political situations, they do their best to cut deals with one another. Even work together at times.          

Since most of your work tends to be interactive and site-specific, how do you approach playwriting? Does it differ at all from a more traditional two/three-act structure?
What I love most are compelling stories. I've written some plays with traditional structures, but what I'm drawn to as a storyteller is the multi-party approach I alluded to above. Even before I had the skills to work in an interdisciplinary manner, I felt that I was wired to create and communicate that way. I think that the physical space is a major voice in any performance. In theater, the director and the set designer are usually the main artists to address this, but when given the opportunity, I love incorporating a space directly into the story.

What are you looking for or hoping to develop further with this reading?
Hearing the play in real time and space. By design, Third Eye Moonwalk is open to interpretation. I'm looking forward to seeing what Director Jon Tracy and this talented cast decide to explore and emphasize. The reading will allow us to focus on the story, intention, language and the potential for physicality.   

What are the future plans for Third Eye Moonwalk? You mentioned that there is a commissioned audio recording of the piece. Would it be possible to get a snippet of it to share?
I have thoughts about future rewrites and sound / video to integrate, but I am keeping an open mind and waiting to see how the readings go. A recorded version will definitely be released on Crash Symbols later this year. I won't begin recording until I have a final draft. The performance and installation components are also very much in development, which is great. I love the process and look forward to seeing how it all unfolds.