Arts & Events

New: PlayGround: Incubator for New Plays Monthly Mondays at Rep

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday October 16, 2012 - 10:39:00 AM

Something is going on at Berkeley Rep once a month on Monday Nights. 

Some new is being born. 

Sometimes terrifyingly beautiful, it only lives for 10 minutes then often grows into something much larger. 

It something that may move you to believe in dreams and the imagination more than ever. 

(Cue scream). 

It’s PlayGround! 

PlayGround is the place for new theatrical works to be inspired, nurtured and expand. 

In the last decade, PlayGround has supported more than 175 local playwrights in the development and staging of nearly 650 original short plays and 41 new full-length plays, with 7 more commissions currently in development. 

PlayGround takes over Berkeley Rep once a month to play a most intriguing game: 

On Friday, playwrights accepted into the program get emailed a word or phrase. 

(For instance, the phrase for October 15 was a very topical “PLAY BALL.") 

The playwrights then have till Tuesday afternoon to write a 10-minute play on “Play Ball” and the actors and director meet for a very short time to ready it for a staged reading on Monday evening. 

Six are selected for reading. 

Those attending can vote for their favorite by putting a donation in the jar with the name of their chosen play. 

Their votes help choose which plays are included in the Best of PlayGround Festival, produced each Spring in the City, usually at Thick House in the Potrero. 

The Monday night admission is $15, and if you don’t like what you’re watching, no problem—new play in ten minutes! 

Here is the schedule through March: 

• November 19, 2012 – Eugene O’Neill Night 

• December 17, 2012 

• January 21, 2013 – Musical Theatre Night 

• February 25, 2013 – Collaboration with Mathematical Sciences Research Institute 

• March 18, 2013 

Artistic Director Jim Kleinmann has been “living the dream” and putting full energy and effort into PlayGround since his departure from running the Berkeley Symphony which he put in the black for the first time in years, as well as overseeing the passing of the directorial baton from Kent Nagano to Joanna Carneiro. Kleinmann received his MFA from Yale Drama School, and theatre is his first love. 

Under Kleinmann’s guidance, PlayGround has recently expanded to include a film festival which shoots short scripts that were developed there and has begun a PlayGround Los Angeles. 

Check it out: you could be there on the night the next big one has its first reading! 

Learn more: 

Tickets at the door or in advance at