FGP PlayGround began as an end-of-the-year play reading marathon in December 2009, presenting eight new plays in two days. Since then, PlayGround has evolved into a habitat for emerging theater creators to develop more fully realized experiments.
The PlayGround PlayGroup is a year-long, collaborative workshop culminating in the PlayGround Festival, enforcing Fresh Ground Pepper’s mission to bring artists together and present work mid-process to supportive audiences. We are so excited to introduce you to this year’s PlayGroup.
The 2014 PlayGround Festival
December 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th
The Great Room at South Oxford Space
138 S Oxford Street
Thursday December 11th:
by Sam Corbin
directed by John Kurzynowski
by Jay Stull
directed by Lee Sunday Evans
Friday December 12th
Ana and Marie
by Mikey Barringer
by Antu Yacob
directed by David Mendizabal
Thursday December 18th
The Michael Show
by Amy Virginia Buchanan
directed by Jenny Beth Snyder
by Taylor Adamson
directed by Andrew Neisler
Friday December 19th
by Noah Mease
directed by Danny Sharron
The World Egg
by Ellie and Drew Vanderburg
directed by Julia Sears
2014 FGP PLAYGROUND PLAYGROUP
T. Adamson is a playwright and general theater-person living in New York City. His works have been performed in NYC at the Brick, Roulette, Irondale Arts Ensemble, Bowery Arts + Science, Walker Space, Goodbye Blue Monday and in San Francisco at the Exit Theater and in some apartments and also in the woods once. He creates and performs some subversive seratas sometimes with a swell squad of Shaker Secessionists otherwise known as I Nuovi Consumerati. He loves FGP and his family and God. BFA: NYU.
Michael is an actor, writer, and filmmaker living in Brooklyn. His play Ana & Marie was developed at Caborca Theatre’s inaugural playwriting group and workshopped as part of (not just) 3 New Plays. He has made a number of low-budget short films, is part of the DIY filmmaking collective Starts with Dad, and has produced and directed music videos for the bands Golem and sullivann. As a member of Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, Rady&Bloom, and Caborca Theatre, he has developed and performed work at Walkerspace, HERE, Incubator, Dixon Place, and others. TV/Film credits include the web series Drunk Talk Show and Me+U, short films The Elevator and English, and the upcoming feature-length The Sound of Ill Days. Next up, he is writing a full-length screenplay about anti-globalization activism in the early 2000′s. It’s a comedy.
Sam is a wordsmith, playmaker and arts pioneer. Canadian-born and Brooklyn-based, her creative work focuses on deepening our human relationship to infinity, nonsense and the dreaming brain. Her songs, plays and comedic ceremonies have been curated on stages as prolific as Walkerspace and as clandestine as the Silent Barn. Directing credits: Anthony Wiener Presents…I’m a Wiener! (Kraine Theater/FABnyc); Brechtfast at Tiffany’s (NYU/ETW); And You Were There! And You! And You! And You! (TNT). Recent acting credits: Jack the Bird (TNC); Red Wednesday (New Ohio); TOO MANY LENAS (Dixon Place). Sam is a founding member of The Intensive Care Unit (the theatre collective, not the hospital wing). She is a member of Space Camp (the performance duo, not the place children go) and the Theatre Reconstruction Ensemble (TRE). BFA: NYU, Experimental Theatre Wing.
Noah’s plays include Republic (JACK; Manbites Dog/Duke Performances; commissioned by Hoi Polloi and developed with Alec Duffy), Brakeman’s Light (Theatre 4the People; (not just) 3 new plays), and Green Eden (Teatro IATI). This summer he’s developing an interactive science fiction choose your own adventure play called The Silo. He also designs props for new plays, including Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino), Charlatan and Eager to Lose (Ars Nova), The Debate Society’s Blood Play (The Bushwick Starr, The Public/UTR, Williamstown) as well as their upcoming play Jacuzzi (also Ars Nova), An Octoroon (Soho Rep), Women or Nothing (Atlantic Theater Company), and shows with Tugboat Collective. He went to Middlebury College where he studied Spanish and Theater.
Jay is a Brooklyn-based playwright, director, and dramaturg. Recent New York directing credits include Emily Schwend’s Take Me Back, Mark Robert’s Rantoul and Die at The Cherry Lane with The Amoralists, Fever! Three Plays by Tennessee Williams, and Michael Rabe’s The Future Is Not What It Was. His plays include The Capables (The GYM at Judson, 2013; semi-finalist for the O’Neill) and Strange Heart (IMPACT 2012 Festival at The Culture Project). His writing has also been seen at or developed by the Lark Play Development Center, Ugly Rhino, and Joe’s Pub with The Civilians. He is the Literary Manager of The Amoralists Theatre Company, curates the AmoraLAB and AmoralFEST, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Literary Wing at the Lark Play Development Center. He is also a member of the performance collective Bastard Playground. Look for his play STREEPSHOW: EPISODE ONE this June in ANT Fest at Ars Nova.
Elinor and Drew met in playwrighting class at New York University in 2005. They are thrilled to return to their roots and collaborate on their script as a part of Playground this year! Elinor, also known as Ellie Evelyn, has performance art-ed at the Scope Art Fair, Grace Exhibition Space, Lumen, Scandinavia House, and Exit Art. A former flight attendant, teacher, and wand saleswoman, Elinor works at a design showroom called Aesthetic Movement. She draws from her varied experience when developing her work. Drew has presented street performances at The HOWL! Festival, The Figment Festival, The Hudson River Pageant and Occupy Wall Street. He is the video camera operator at the Guggenheim Museum, and will start a master’s degree in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons in the fall. Drew and Elinor are also getting married this summer. Huzzah!
Amy is an actor, writer, and musician. She also serves as the artistic director of the Spring Street Social Society. She’s been writing songs and stories for a while now and last year she produced and performed in her first play, titled On Fonts. She’s been itching to make something new and is thrilled to have a chance to do so with guidance from the folks at Fresh Ground Pepper. Websites? Sure! www.amyvirginia.com and www.ssssociety.com
Antu was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and raised from the steep hills of San Francisco to the translucent lakes of Minnesota. She received her MFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and her BA in Communication from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She was last seen on stage in her two-woman show The Firsts which she wrote & premiered in the New York New Playwrights Festival with Project Y Theatre Company at Access Theater in NYC. Her play Mourning Sun, a story that explores the challenges of young love faced with irreversible fistula, was featured in reading form May 2013 in the Common Ground Festival at the Crossroads Theater Company in New Brunswick, NJ. Her latest play Love in Submission, a Muslim love story delving into the lines between faith and polygamy, held its first reading at Alchemical Theatre Lab in July 2013. Her acting regional theatre credits include Primary Stages national tour of In the Continuum, Pillsbury House Theatre’s The House That Crack Built, A Jew on Ethiopia Street at Mixed Blood Theatre, The Theater Project’s Crowns, Pangae World Theatre’s No Longer At Ease and The Guilded Six-Bits with Word-for-Word Theater Company. Film & television credits include Law & Order: SVU and Inspiration. Offstage she’s spent her summers teaching Voice to aspiring high school performers at Rutgers Summer Acting Conservatory in New Brunswick, NJ. She is Founder and Artistic Director of Shaggae’s Song Performing Arts Collective, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and producing new works focused on international women’s issues as well as providing performing arts training to students grades 4-12. Currently, she teaches Acting at Rutgers University in New Brunswick as well as instructs in the performing arts department at Somerset County Vocational & Technical High School in Bridgewater, NJ.
Previous PlayGroup Members
Down The Toilet by Aaron Schroeder
The Dark Reality of Horace and Millie by Brooke Bundy
The Infinite Bigness of the Universe by Chris Chan
Masters of the Universe by Jais Brohinsky
Prep by Lorelei Ignas
Alligator Summer by Dylan Lamb
Lust Trust by Alexandra Bassett
The Friedman-Vargases by Andrew Farmer and Emma Koenig
What It’s Like When Two Geeks Love Each Other by Jaclyn Backhaus
Treeplay by Alyssa Yackley
Sheeple by Mara Wilson
Hobbes by Matthew Robert Gehring
There Is No Isabelle by Dylan Lamb
Companion Piece by Kevin Armento
Companions by Ali Mendes
Puppetonia by Sarah Todes
Fat Fat Fatty by Alex Kveton
SER by Dylan Lamb
Folk Wandering by Jaclyn Backhaus, Mike Brun, Blake Allen, and Joel Esher
PlayGround PlayGroup 2012
Preston Martin and Jaclyn Backhaus
PlayGround PlayGroup 2013
Max Freedman and Hugh Trimble