The Playwrights Foundation, the West Coast’s preeminent play development center, which is recognized as one of the country’s top sources of new play development, today announced the 34th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF) will take place July 22 through July 31, 2011. The Festival will be presented at the Thick House in San Francisco’s vibrant Potrero Hill neighborhood.

Selected from over 500 submissions, the 34th Annual BAPF will include full-length plays by Clarence Coo, Dan Dietz, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Lauren Gunderson and Amelia Roper; and commissioned one-act plays by Bay Area locals Kate E. Ryan and Chinaka Hodge. The playwrights will engage in an in-depth development process over three weeks this summer, collaborating with professional actors, directors and dramaturgs. The process culminates with two staged readings of each play, with a week in between for rehearsal and rewriting. In addition, the Festival includes classes with veteran master playwrights Bill Cain and Lee Blessing, panels, symposia and other festivities.

This year’s festival lineup is a testament to Playwrights Foundation’s mission to support fresh, vanguard playwrights without concern for box office pedigree or previous national acclaim. The festival is a place to celebrate the emergence of the next wave of contemporary playwrights and the Playwrights Foundation has an incredible track record of discovering writers early in their careers, often providing a critical milestone for writers who go on to reshape the landscape of American theatrical expression. “It’s a great time to focus on our incredible creativity as a country,” says Mueller. “Broadway, and in fact the entire country, is suddenly exploding with extraordinary new work by relatively young writers like Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) and Rajiv Josef (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo), both of which had their first developmental readings and workshops at Playwrights Foundation. It is vitally important to continue to discover the next generation.”

The selected works include a wide range of expression from challenges facing interracial families to genocide in Namibia to a young man’s struggle with his sexuality. The 2011 Festival remains committed both to fostering local artists (three of the seven plays selected come from Bay Area writers) and providing an international perspective (playwrights will join us from across the United States and as far away as Australia).

The 34th Bay Area Playwrights Festival lineup includes:

Beautiful Province (Belle Province) by Clarence Coo (New York)
We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… by Jackie Sibblies Drury (New York)
Rock Creek: Southern Gothic by Lauren Gunderson (San Francisco)
Hong Kong Dinosaur by Amelia Roper (Sydney via Yale University)
Home Below Zero by Dan Dietz (Tallahassee)
The festival also includes an afternoon performance slot dedicated to Bay Area Writers called Bay Area SHorts, more affectionately known as BASH!, commissioned from the following local playwrights:

Chinaka Hodge
Kate E. Ryan
The Playwrights Foundation New Play Institute is thrilled to offer two playwriting classes in conjunction with the Festival. For details on these classes visit the webpage for The New Play Institute.

Lee Blessing: Writing From Your Own Ridiculousness, July 21-24, 2011
Bill Cain: The Sacred Duty of Finding Your Own Voice, July 25 – 28, 2011

To learn more about the playwrights and plays, or to view a calendar of events and purchase tickets starting June 1, visit the Playwrights Foundation website.
About the Thick House
Art Space Development Corporation (ArtsDeco) presents contemporary new theater that reflects and engages the San Francisco Bay Area’s racially and culturally diverse audience community. We believe that when art is relevant and accessible it can transform the world, so our work rises naturally out of connecting to our local community, to popular culture, and to events of the day. To that end, we operate our venue, the Thick House, as a performing arts/community center — presenting world-class professional theater, hosting neighborhood events, collaborating on community projects, and partnering with local businesses.

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Written on May 26th, 2011 , Media
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