Cal Shakes has been making inroads into the world of new plays for some time now, with our New Works/New Communities program. Last year, John Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven, written by Octavio Solis, directed by Jonathan Moscone, and developed in conjunction with Word for Word Performing Arts Company, became the first-ever work to have its world premiere on the Bruns stage. This summer, The Verona Project—Amanda Dehnert's music filled romp inspired by The Two Gentlemen of Verona—will make its debut at Cal Shakes, as well.
So Artistic Director Moscone knows a thing or two about new plays; PlayGround, a new-play development organization dedicated to local playwrights, knows even more (just don't tell Jon I said that). PlayGround has been holding monthly Monday night readings at Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage for some time now; gives grants to local theater companies in order to produce world premieres by PlayGround playwrights; and offers master classes and workshops to a variety of experience levels.
While we at Cal Shakes love our Shakespeare, Shaw, Wilde, Chekhov—even Marivaux!—there's nothing quite like a new work to reveal the dizzying possibilities of theater. So we're pleased to be able to invite you to PlayGround's 15th annual Benefit & Awards Night, coming up Monday, April 11 at the Claremont Hotel. The evening features a fireside chat with Moscone, Berkeley Rep Artistic Director Tony Taccone, and local playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb—creator of BOB, T.I.C. (Trenchcoat In Common), boom, and Hunter Gatherers, to name a few. The party also includes reception, silent auction, and dinner; and the presentation of the 2011 PlayGround Emerging Playwright Awards, the June Anne Baker Prize, and PlayGround Fellowship.