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Joined in March 2021

About Us

PlayGround is a leading playwright incubator and theatre community hub, with a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. PlayGround’s mission is to support the development of significant new local voices for the theatre, helping to launch these writers onto the national scene.

PlayGround was launched in 1994 by co-founders James Kleinmann, Brighde Mullins and Denise Shama. In 1996, Kleinmann assumed the position of Artistic Director. Since its founding, PlayGround has supported more than 250 early-career playwrights, developing and staging nearly 950 of their original short plays through the Monday Night PlayGround staged reading series and PlayGround Festival of New Works. PlayGround has also commissioned 80 new full-length plays by 49 of these writers through its Commissioning Initiative and has directly facilitated the premiere of 30 of those works through its innovative New Play Production Fund. Over the past 20 years, PlayGround has developed a unique model for identifying and nurturing the Bay Area’s best new writers, while helping them to build a significant body of original work and lasting connections with the artistic collaborators they need to know to ensure their success.

PlayGround’s alumni have gone on to win local, national, and international honors for their short and full-length work, including recognition at the Steinberg Awards, Humana Festival, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, New York International Fringe Festival, and others. PlayGround received the 2009 Paine Knickerbocker Award for outstanding contributions to Bay Area theatre, 3 BATCC Awards for Best Original Script for PlayGround commissions, a 2014 National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing (founder of the Tony Awards®) and a 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

PlayGround is a leading playwright incubator and theatre community hub, with a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. PlayGround’s mission is to support the development of significant new local voices for the theatre, helping…

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