April 10: Special Guest Playwright Lauren Gunderson at Scene Night

Once a month, Play Cafe hosts a Scene Night for playwrights to bring in their works in progress to be cold-read by skilled actors and to provide an opportunity for feedback in a moderated and supportive environment.

This month, we will meet on Thursday, April 10 from 6:45pm–10pm with our special guest, popular and prolific playwright Lauren Gunderson at Berkeley Rep’s rehearsal space at 2055 Center Street, Berkeley, CA (see below for directions).

Please arrive before 7pm to make sure the doors will be open when you arrive.

This meeting will be moderated by Patrick Brennan and will begin with a 30-minute discussion with Lauren Gunderson about her work. At 7:30pm, we will proceed with reading scenes that attending playwrights have brought in, and Ms. Gunderson has offered to stay to listen to and provide feedback for the first one or two scenes read at the meeting.

We welcome three actors to read scenes for us: Steven Menasche, Juliana Lustenader, and Caitlin Evenson (two women and one man). We will formally introduce attending playwrights who would like to volunteer to read parts during the meeting as well. If you are an actor, aspiring actor, or just a person who likes to read out loud, please volunteer your voice talents at the beginning of the meeting.

Lauren is a playwright, screenwriter and short story author from Atlanta, GA. She received her BA in English/Creative Writing at Emory University, and her MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU Tisch.
Her new play, I and You(Blackburn and Steinberg/ATCA finalist), is a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere that started at Marin Theatre Company and heads to three cities in 2014. Bauer, commissioned by San Francisco Playhouse, will premiere there and in NYC at 59E59 in 2014. Her play Silent Sky (Jane Chambers Award finalist) premiered at South Coast Rep in 2011 and was further developed and rewritten for TheatreWorks, which opened to raves calling it “sheer magic”. Her 2011 3-city rolling world premiere of Exit, Pursued By A Bear, was featured in American Theatre Magazine and The Week, and has reached 20 communities across the US winning “Best Comedy” accolades. Bear is now published by Playscripts, as is her comedy, Toil And Trouble, after premiering in Berkeley to raves.

Her work has received national praise and awards including recognition as a Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award finalist, a Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, a Jane Chambers Award finalist, and winner of the Berrilla Kerr Award for American Theatre, Global Age Project, Young Playwright’s Award, Eric Bentley New Play Award and Essential Theatre Prize. She has been commissioned by South Coast Rep, Crowded Fire, The Alliance Theatre’s Collision Project, Marin Theatre Company, Actors Express Theatre, Dad’s Garage Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, City University of New York and Synchronicity Performance Group.

She has spoken nationally and internationally on the intersection of science and theatre and Arts Activism, and teaches playwriting in San Francisco. She is a Playwright in Resident at The Playwrights Foundation, a Dramatists Guild member, and was a member of Just Theatre’s New Play Lab. She writes for The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal, tweets @LalaTellsAStory, and curates HowToPlaywright.com. For more about Lauren, visit http://laurengunderson.com.

PROCEDURES The cost is $10 (Play Cafe members are just $5! Register for membership before or at the meeting to receive your discount.). Please bring scenes to read, ten pages or fewer, with enough copies for all the characters and someone to read stage directions. We will have a sign-in sheet beginning at 6:45pm to choose the order that scenes will be read. First priority goes to scenes delayed from the previous month; next priority goes to people who arrived first to the meeting. We do not have people on the waitlist from last month’s meeting. Please arrive by 7pm as the hallway doors will lock and we will not be able to hear you.

LOCATION We are located near Downtown Berkeley BART at Berkeley Rep’s rehearsal spaces on 2055 Center Street, Studio B. Some tips for finding the entrance: 2055 is a large building with two entrances, stay on the east side of the building and look for a large metal gate with a sign that reads “Arts Passage” and a circular design on the sidewalk in front of the door. The building number is on the west entrance with a glass door and a sign reading “Residences” above the door … this is the wrong entrance. We will meet in the studio on the left side of the hallway, called Studio B. This will be our home for the next year.

HEARING QUALITY To accommodate those with difficulty hearing, we will reserve seats directly in front of the actors to people who have limited hearing. If you need one of these seats, please say so at the beginning of the meeting. With the new baffling, hearing quality has improved for all.

Tracy Potter
Executive Director, Play Cafe

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