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SF Festival shines light on new works, promising playwrights

Berkeley-based theater company PlayGround is devoted both to the development of new plays and the development of new playwrights. Its monthly series “Monday Night PlayGround” gives a topic to a pool of local writers and only a few days to write a 10-minute play, six of which are selected for a one-night staged reading. (Full disclosure: I was in this year’s writers pool.)
As the centerpiece of the annual PlayGround Festival of New Works, the top six short plays from the last six months of “Monday Night” get a full production at San Francisco’s Potrero Stage as “Best of PlayGround” (May 10-27).
The festival also features two full-length commissioned world premieres by PlayGround writers past and present. “Bright Shining Sea” by Los Angeles writer Julianne Jigour (through June 16) follows six characters who feel like their worlds are falling apart, on a world that is in fact falling apart through environmental degradation. Bay Area playwright William Bivins’ “Scapegoat” (Through June 17) looks at the continuous stream of black men killed by police through the eyes of a struggling comic book artist trying to translate his righteous fury into art.
Also on the bill are staged readings of four other full-length commissions in progress (May 26-27).
Details: Through June 17; Potrero Stage, San Francisco; $6-$41; 415-992-6677, www.playground-sf.org.

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