How to Get Your Work Produced Workshop: Sun, Oct 16

Join us for Play Cafe’s popular workshop panel How to Get Your Work Produced featuring panel discussions with prominent and successful writers, artistic directors, and composers. Participants are welcome to attend as many or as few sessions as they wish. For $10, we will offer an optional dinner item from a local eatery to be delivered during the meal break.

This event will include three sessions:

Session 1, 1:30-3:00 How to Get Your Play Produced
Panelists: Jon Tracy, Lauren Gunderson, Cleavon Smith,
Jeffrey Lo & Annette Roman
Moderator: Tracy Held Potter

Refreshment break from 3:00 to 3:30 included in price

Session 2, 3:30-5:00 How to Get Your Musical Produced
Panelists: Scott Guy, Patricia Milton, Min Kahng,
Sarah Rose Leonard, Elizabeth McKoy & Gretchen Feyer
Moderator: Jerome Joseph Gentes

Dinner Break 5:00-6:00
Optional dinner provided for an additional $10

Evening Networking Session, 6:00-8:00: Meet Your Colleagues and Potential Collaborators. Bring a quick pitch! Looking for a playwright? A composer? Lyrics? Incidental music for your play? Early registrants will have the opportunity to sign up for time to sing a song, play a tune on the piano, read from a play or lyric, or just introduce yourself and your current project to the community.

Tickets are Available Online

Play Cafe members use code cafe1016 for $5 discount. To join Play Cafe, visit

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Opening: Executive Director

Play Cafe is looking for a new Executive Director to succeed our outgoing director, Tracy Held Potter.

Tracy has served as Play Cafe’s Executive Director since June 2011 and, during her tenure, has retained its core programs while helping to convert it into a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. In addition to continuing our monthly Scene Nights program for playwrights, she collaborated with our Board of Directors and Steering Committee to implement a membership program, Annual Fund program, and advanced our popular Workshop panels. She will remain an active member of Play Cafe even after she formally steps down from this position at the end of the year.

We are now accepting applications for our new Executive Director. For details, please visit our job posting. Applications are due by Friday, September 23rd, but we will be reviewing applications as they are submitted and will continue the search until the position is filled.

Executive Director Posting

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Meet Our Board of Directors

Over the summer, Play Cafe’s Board of Directors expanded to six members with Tracy Held Potter continuing as President, Jamie Greenblatt continuing as Secretary, and Sandy Kasten, a non-board member, continuing to serve as our Treasurer. Our new members include Madeline Puccioni, Robert Fields, Christopher Walker, and Ann Thomas Seitz.

With this revitalization of our Board, we are making plans to grow Play Cafe, and we will begin with the generous support of a Civic Arts Grant from the City of Berkeley. This is our first grant since we gained nonprofit status, and we will be using these funds to expand current programs and introduce new programs.

This Fall, we will renew our workshop series with a three-session program called “How to Get Your Work Produced” on Sunday, October 16th at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. More details about this popular event will be posted in the coming weeks.


Robert Fields is a screenwriter and playwright, Fields has had productions or readings of a number of his works. He has been active with Play Cafe for many years. Fields enjoys creativity and has a wide-ranging interest in things of that nature.

Jamie Greenblatt (Secretary) comes to playwriting with a background in set and costume design. She has a BA in Theatre Arts from Oberlin College and is a member of Theatre Bay Area and The Dramatists Guild of America. Her full length play, My Recollect Time was staged by Inferno Theatre in Berkeley in 2013. Contradance, a full length movement piece with puppetry, trapeze, and music was performed at the Eighth Street Studio in Berkeley. Some of her other full length plays include: Elijah’s Hope (Honorable Mention in Stage 3 Theatre Company’s ninth annual Festival of New Plays) and Captain Nemo (a top finalist in Wily West Productions’ New Play Festival San Francisco 2011).

Sandy Kasten (Treasurer) is an East Bay bookwriter and lyricist. Her short musical, Frankie’s Laundry (with Bryon Richards and Jerry Ranger), was produced in Los Angeles. Her songs were featured in Round One Cabaret and Show Me Yours at the Alcove Theatre in San Francisco. She is a member of New Musicals, Inc. (formerly the Academy for New Musical Theatre). Sandy serves as Treasurer of Play Cafe and is a founder and producer of the Musical Cafe Showcase series.

Tracy Held Potter is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has served as Play Cafe’s Executive Director for over five years, is the Artistic Director of All Terrain Theater, co-founded the 31 Plays in 31 Days Project, and is a company member of PlayGround LA. Her stage plays and operas have been performed around the country. She has an AA in Theater Arts from Laney College, a BS in Conservation and Resource Studies from UC, Berkeley, and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. @tracyheldpotter

Madeline Puccioni is a “re-entry” playwright, who’s delighted to be back at her desk writing plays, after grading English 1A papers for 30 years. Recently, she’s had a number of short plays produced in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles, and now she is working on a full length play and a screenplay. She is now a member of PlayGround SF, Towne Street Theatre L.A., Playwrights Center SF, Dramatists Guild and the International Centre for Women Playwrights. Recently, she’s become an Associate Artist with Those Women Productions. She’ll see her first full length, Cyclone Dancing, staged at Paper Wing Theatre this September, her Backseat Betsy staged by ReproRights at PianoFight SF in November, and her Cooley’s Reel produced in Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre’s 8×2 Festival in January. You can read some of her new work on the New Play Exchange.

Ann Thomas Seitz holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Mills College in Oakland and lives in the East Bay with her classical musician husband and is currently on the Play Cafe Board. She is the recipient of the 2014 Joeray Madrid Memorial Award for Excellence in Dramaturgy from Chabot College. Her play productions include the ensemble and devised work Deportee directed by Jon Tracy, the Inferno Theater One-Minute Play winner Hiroshima Awaits Below and the short play winner Nick’s Diner. Other productions include Life In Order and Poet’s Cafe.

Christopher Walker has been involved in all aspects of theatre and film, including writing, directing, acting, design, lights, sound, stage management, stage craft, marketing, ticket sales, security, and janitorial, in no particular order. He’s had a number of stage plays professionally produced, most notably Locking Horns, which won two awards, the Beck’s Elect Best of the Fest, and the Universal Arts Award for Best Play, at the 2001 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. His screenplay Rocketland was a top ten finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope Third Annual Screenplay competition. He has a BA in English and in Theatre from Indiana University; studied film for a year in Australia; studied at the Master’s level in Theatre for two years in South Africa; and studied Improvisation at the Second City Training Center in Chicago. If his back is against the wall, he can dance for money.

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Musical Cafe 2016 Spring Showcase Lineup

Musical Cafe

We are thrilled to announce the selections for the Musical Cafe 2016 Spring Showcase. Come see and hear them June 5 & 6 at The Flight Deck! Watch this space for tickets and more information!

Book by Brian Allan Hobbs
Music and lyrics by Michael John Boynton

Book, lyrics and music by Miranda Ferris Jones

Book, lyrics and music by Alan Coyne

Book, lyrics and music by Jeffrey Scharf


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Musical Cafe Showcase accepting submissions

Play Cafe is currently accepting submissions for the Spring 2016 Musical Cafe Showcase. The submission deadline is February 15. For details and submission guidelines see

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One Minute Play Contest

One Minute Play Contest for Play Cafe Members Only
Selected plays will be performed at Inferno Theatre’s Third Annual Contemporary Performance Diasporas Festival May 6-8, 2016 in Berkeley.

Must be a current dues paying member of Play Cafe (see the “Membership” tab to join or renew your membership).

Inferno Theatre staff who are also Play Cafe members may not participate.

Two submission limit per playwright.

Topic: diaspora(s) – do not limit your play to a specific diaspora. Keep in mind the root of the word, from the ancient Greek “to scatter about.”

One minute long, 2 page limit, standard play format, size 12 font

No more than 6 characters in play

Entries due March 1, 2016.

No fee

Playwright must attend with an entourage!

Selections announced March 10, 2016

One or two plays will be selected.

Send entries to:
In subject line: Diasporas Play Contest
One attachment: Script in PDF format with playwright’s contact information on the script.

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Musical Cafe now has its own web site!  Check it out at

Our Winter and Spring Musical Cafe Showcases were so successful (both sold out) that we’re having two performances of the fall show!  Our venue will be the Flight Deck in Oakland (just one block from Oakland City Center BART).  Tickets go on sale September 9. All tickets $20.

For details about the featured shows see the Musical Cafe page.

The Fall Musical Cafe needs volunteers!  Help with concessions or box office at one performance and receive two comp tickets to the other.  We also need a bartender to serve wine at the Sunday show. Bartender must have a TIPS (alcohol safety training) certificate. If you’d like to help out, please contact Sandy at

Submissions for the January, 2016 Musical Cafe Showcase will be accepted from October 1 to October 25. For details, please see

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July 9 Scene Night is at Language Studies International

Due to renovations at our previous location, Play Cafe’s July 9 Scene Night will be relocated to Language Studies International.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
7pm-10pm (scene sign-up starts at 6:45pm)

We will be meeting at the close-by Language Studies International Building at 2015 Center Street, between Milvia and Shattuck in Berkeley (one block from the Downtown Berkeley BART Station and right next to the parking garage).

We will meet in a room on the first floor.

Anthony Clarvoe will moderate.

Stay tuned for the location for August and future dates.

Hope you can make it!

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Announcing the 2015 Fall Musical Cafe Showcase, with TWO performances!

We’re returning to the East Bay, and putting on two performances this time!

Play Cafe’s third Musical Cafe Showcase of 2015 will be presented on Sunday September 27 at 3:00 p.m. and Monday September 28 at 7:00 p.m. at The Flight Deck in Oakland. Our selection committee is busy evaluating the submissions received this round, and we’ll ultimately choose four new musicals from Bay Area writers and composers. Actors, directors and our musical director will then bring 20 minutes’ worth of songs and scenes from each of them to the stage.

We will announce our selected musicals by the end of June, so watch this space! And stay tuned for information about tickets for the September showcase, as well as information about our 2016 calendar and the submission window for the January 2016 showcase.

Actors interested in performing in the September showcase:

The general auditions for the September showcase will be held Saturday August 1, 2015, exact time and location TBD. If you are interested in auditioning, send an email to with “MC Auditions” in the subject line.

About the Musical Cafe Showcase:

The Musical Cafe Showcase is an afternoon of songs and scenes from new musicals by Northern California writers and composers. A maximum of 20 minutes of material will be presented from each show. Our first two showcases from January 2015 and May 2015 were enormously successful.

Details about the shows that were presented on May 3 can be found at the Musical Cafe tab.

Details about submissions for the Musical Cafe showcases can be found here.

It takes many hands to make the Musical Cafe Showcases happen. If you’d like to help in any way, please get in touch with Sandy at  We’re particularly looking for a House Manager, and help with box office, social media, and traditional marketing/publicity. Want to participate in some other way? Maybe direct a 20 minute musical theatre piece?  Are you interested in performing?  Making a donation?  Let us know!





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Submissions are now open for the September Musical Cafe Showcase!

The May Musical Cafe Showcase was a huge success!

Play Cafe’s second 2015 Musical Cafe Showcase, presented on May 3 at Stage Werx Theatre in San Francisco, was a huge success!  Songs and scenes from four new musicals by Bay Area writers and composers were performed by a cast of 16 talented actor/singers to a sold-out audience. The show featured work in a variety of styles and settings, from classic to contemporary, with music direction by Phil Surtees.

About the Musical Cafe Showcase:

The Musical Cafe Showcase is an afternoon of songs and scenes from new musicals by Northern California writers and composers. A maximum of 20 minutes of material will be presented from each show.

Details about the shows that were presented on May 3 can be found at the Musical Cafe tab.

It takes many hands to make the Musical Cafe Showcases happen. If you’d like to help in any way, please get in touch with Sandy at  We’re particularly looking for a House Manager, and help with box office, social media, and traditional marketing/publicity. Want to participate  in some other way? Maybe direct a 20 minute musical theatre piece?  Are you interested in performing?  Making a donation?  Let us know!

Call for Submissions for September 2015 Musical Cafe Showcase

Submissions will be accepted from April 1 to May 31, 2015

Performance date September, 2015 (exact date and location tbd).

About the Musical Cafe Showcase:

We will provide a pianist. Participating writers and composers must provide their own performers (maximum 6) and arrange for their own rehearsal time and space. There will be a limited number of rehearsal times available with our pianist. Writers and composers will be expected to participate in planning and promoting the Showcase. The pianist’s fee and the costs of venue rental, insurance and limited publicity will be paid by Play Cafe, but there is no additional funding available. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to offer feedback on submissions at this time.


1.  At least one member of writing team must live in Northern California.
2.  The show must be unproduced (other than a workshop production).
3.  The show may be a work in progress, or have been completed within the last five  years.
4.  If the show is an adaptation of another work, you must own the rights to underlying material, unless it is in the public domain.
5.  The music must be original.
6.  Unless book, lyrics and music were all written by the same person, you must have a written collaboration agreement.
7.  Shows of any length are eligible, but the material presented may not exceed 20 minutes.

The submission deadline is midnight Sunday night, May 31, 2015.

Send (1) a short synopsis of the show (maximum 500 words), (2) 10 pages of the libretto in pdf format with a cover sheet giving your contact information, (3) 3 songs in mp3 format, and (4) the written piano/vocal score of one of the three songs in pdf format.  (Formatting guidelines for a musical script and/or score are available at

Send the above materials to  Incomplete submissions will not be considered.




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