Tuesday, June 14, 2016
AMERICAN THEATRE -- Founded in 1994 by Jim Kleinmann, Brighde Mullins and Denise Shama, PlayGround initially consisted of simply the Monday Night series. At that time, there wasn’t a writers pool, which was established nine years later, once the initial open submission process became overloaded. “We had the first two years in partnership with San Francisco State, beginning to develop our programs and figure out what our purpose was,” Kleinmann says. “And then things really crystallized when we moved to Traveling Jewish Theatre. I was the managing director there, and we needed a more accessible home. Then that year, one of our supporters asked me, ‘What do you do with all those short plays? Have you ever thought of doing some kind of showcase?’” That question, Kleinmann notes, would lead to the first festival.