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. http://tracyheldpotter.com @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.