PlayFest 2017

Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29, 2017 marks our fifth play festival! Congratulations to PlayFest 2017 Honoree playwright, Diane Grant, author of The Last of the Daytons. For more information, visit the PlayFest 2017 page.

PlayFest Santa Barbara presents its 5th annual festival of new plays, joining forces with DramaDogs, Dramatic Women, and Speaking of Stories. The festival is a celebration of new plays, including readings of plays by playwrights from Santa Barbara and beyond. Festival passes are available for admission to all events, or individual tickets can be purchased for each event in advance or at the door. Pre-sale tickets for all events are available through the Center Stage Theater box office. Tickets also available at the door for all events except the closing reception.

Saturday, January  28, 2017 at 1:30 P.M. 
DramaDogs Workshop: Physicalizing the Text
Led by E. Bonnie Lewis & Ken Gilbert 
Tickets: $10 Participant, $7 Student, $7 Observer at Center Stage Theater

Saturday, January  28, 2017 at 7:30 P.M. 
The Last of the Daytons
by Diane Grant
Tickets: $20 general, $15 students and military at Center Stage Theater

Sunday, January 29, 2017  at 10:30AM – 
Playwrights Panel
Tickets: $10 general, Students with ID free at Center Stage Theater

Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 12:30 P.M. PLAYFEST SANTA BARBARA PRESENTS:
Artist and Donors Reception at Center Stage Theater
Tickets to the reception and all PlayFest events.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Five Sassy plays by five sassy female writers

TIMES: Saturday, January 28, at 10:00 A.M.
TICKETS: $20 general, $15 students and military.
Box Office: (805) 963-0408 and Ticket Page

Dramatic Women and Speaking of Stories join forces to present readings of five sassy new plays by Ellen Anderson, Tania Israel, Brooke Mackenzie, Shannon Noel and Chelsea Sutton. The readings will be performed by an ensemble of Laurel Lyle, Rick Mokler, Tania Israel, Brooke Mackenzie and Shannon Noel. Following the readings enjoy breakfast goodies, a mimosa and a chat with the playwrights and artistic team. Part of the 5th annual Santa Barbara PlayFest New Play Festival.

The Human Library by Ellen Anderson
For Agnes by Tania Israel
Run by Brooke Mackenzie
3-Year Bitch by Shannon Noel
The Grocery Story by Chelsea Sutton

TIMES: Saturday, January 28, at 10:00 A.M.
TICKETS: $20 general, $15 students and military. 
Box Office: (805) 963-0408 and Ticket Page

By Diane Grant
A staged reading directed by R. Michael Gros
The Last of the Daytons is about the universal human longing for family. It’s also about how one incident can define and change a person’s life forever.
At first glance, Melina and Bob, Jodie and Devon might not be seen as “normal.” Not that many people talk to invisible friends, escape from hospitals in their pajamas, or collect epitaphs. Not too many seventeen year old boys wear their Mother’s bustiers. However, what these characters have found are various ways to cope with the past.
All, except Devon, have put it into storage. Devon posts a message on; Bastard son searching for George Remington Dayton, and finds his uncle Matthew, who has been looking for him.
Matthew, the seemingly normal one, brings everything into the open, and changes everybody. The family needs him, but in the end, he needs it more.
TIMES: Saturday, January 28 at 7:30 P.M. 
TICKETS: $20 general, $15 students and military
All seating is general admission. All ticket sales are final at the time of purchase. There are no refunds or exchanges. For all performances late seating is on a limited basis, or is not allowed at all once the performance begins. Please plan your arrival time accordingly.

Playfest 2017 Honoree Playwright, Diane Grant is an award winning playwright and screenwriter, whose film Too Much Oregano, won the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize.

She was a co-founder of Redlight Theatre, the first professional women’s theatre in Canada. Her plays, which have been produced and published in the US, Canada, Italy, Iran and the British Virgin Islands, include Sunday Dinner, (now translated into Farsi, and Italian), What Glorious Times They Had, Sex and Violence, Has Anybody Here Seen Roy? Rondo a la Condo, A Dog’s Life, The Last Of The Daytons, and The Piaggi Suite.

Her musical adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows was produced by Theatre Palisades Youth in 2010 and is published by YouthPlays. To see excerpts, google YouTube – The Wind In The Willows (A New World) and YouTube –The Grey and Chilly Days Of Fall from Wind In The Willows. A non musical version is also published by YouthPlays.

Will To Win, a documentary on the Southern California Shakespeare Festival, written by Ms. Grant, and produced by filmmaker Kerry Feltham, previewed in Los Angeles and the Folger Shakespeare Library in 2007 and is recommended by the Royal Shakespeare Company of London.

Ms. Grant has performed at the Stratford Festival and the National Arts Centre of Canada. She was Literary Manager of the Los Angeles Write Act Repertory Company, a mentor for the young playwrights’ group HOLA, and a member of Los Angeles Wordsmiths. She’s a member of the Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights Guild of Canada, the International Center for Women Playwrights, blogs for The Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative, and is Vice-Chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.

Canada Council Grant – 1976
Jury Prize for Too Much Oregano – Cannes Film Festival – 1983
Drama-logue for Best Actress – Sunday Dinner, Los Angeles, CA – 1995
Jack Oakie Award for Comedy – Sunday Dinner, Los Angeles, CA – 1995
Long Beach Playhouse Best Works Award for The Piaggi Suite – Long Beach, CA 2006

The Last of the Daytons Cast

Deborah Bertling is honored to be part of PlayFest Santa Barbara. She has appeared on many stages throughout central and southern California in operas, plays, concerts, and staged readings. Highlights include Next To Normal (Indie Award), Spring Awakening, Carrie, The Musical, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi and The Magic Flute, to name a few. She has appeared in central coast commercials and has done voiceover work for film and TV ads. Deborah will appear in Mirror Of My Soul, a film premiering in spring or summer of 2017. She is president of Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation in Santa Barbara.

Basil Augustine acted in Penn State University’s M.A. Arts Company; Directed shows for the U.S Army for two years at Fort Ord, CA. Acted at Lakes Region Playhouse, Laconia, NH; Penn State’s Summer Festival Theater-(roles included Norfolk in “A Man for All Seasons” Ben in “‘Look Homeward Angel” and Ashton in “The Care Taker” ; Houston’s Alley Theater-Resident Company in “Galileo” and “Saint Joan”; Pennsylvania’s Green Hills Equity Summer Theater roles- “Rattle of Simple Man” and Jonathan in “Arsenic and Old Lace”; The Pennsylvania Theater of the Performing Arts as Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol: The Musical”; Acted and stage managed in NYC’s Theater in The Streets (Teatro en Calle).; Monterey Peninsula College- Marley in” A Christmas Carol, Ventura College-Lycus in “A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Forum”, and at Oxnard College Alvaro in”The Rose Tattoo ” and Fagin in “Oliver”. Shots-“Teen Kong” Film: “Millenium” (Never released) and” The Bust” by Turkish Director Timucin Esen. He taught theater and directed at Santa Paula High School for 20 years and is an occasional performer with Ventura’s Improv Company (VIC), sings favorites from The Great American Song Book and once was a Happy Macy’s Santa for a joyous season in their window. Basil has been seen the last two years as “The Ghost of Christmas Present” at The Rubicon-Ventura’s Professional Theater.

Meredith McMinn has been a professional actress for over 30 years, performing at such theatres as Actors Theatre of Louisville, Houston’s Alley Theatre, PCPA, the Old Globe, and San Diego Rep. Most recently she has appeared at the Lobero in The Santa Barbara Revels: A Scottish Celebration of the Winter Solstice (Meredith; her 3 rd principal role with Revels); on the Garvin Stage in Other Desert Cities (Polly); and at Center Stage as Aunt Edna in the premiere production of The Boondawgle Estate, which was first featured as a reading at Playfest last year. The previous year’s most notable role, among several, was archaeologist Mary Leaky in the world premiere of Footprints at Laetoli for On The Verge Festival. Local audiences may also remember her as Betty in Defying Gravity, Ella in Curse of the Starving Class, Olga in The Sisters, Hannah in Hannah and Martin, Alice/Mrs. Plant in Blue Heart, Gingy in Love, Loss and What I Wore, Josephina in Ambition Facing West, as Grandma Rose in the film, The Secret Ingredient, which premiered at the SBIFF several years ago or from one of her appearances with Speaking of Stories. Other favorite roles here and elsewhere include The Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi; Irene Molloy in The Matchmaker; Paulina in A Winter’s Tale; Aldonza (Dulcinea) in Man of LaMancha; Juliet’s Nurse; Kitty in Taking Steps; Grandma in The American Dream, Claire Zachanasian in The Visit; Kate in Dancing at Lughnasa (Indy Award); Regan in King Lear; Aunt Dan in Aunt Dan and Lemon; Bernarda in House of Bernarda Alba; Hesione Hushabye in Heartbreak House; Queen Margaret in Richard III; Margaret Sanger and Emily Dickinson in two stage editions of Meeting of Minds; and the dual role of Paulina/Josephina in I Married Wyatt Earp for the Los Angeles Festival of New American Musicals, co-produced by ASCAP. Meredith is also a singer, voice-over performer, director and dialect coach, and has taught at SBCC and UCSB in film and theatre departments. 

Justin Stark has been involved in theatre since the age of 14 and studied at The University of Colorado as well as Santa Barbara City College, and more recently with The Peter Frisch Studio. In the last few years he has been working with On The Verge Theatre Festival and was last seen as Trip in Dwight in Dead Man’s Cellphone here at SBCC and one of the Venticelli in Amadeus at Ensemble Theatre Company. He has worked with Elements Theatre Collective as Doug in Gruesome Playground Injuries. In addition, he played the dramatic role of Joe Clay in the classic The Days of Wine and Roses, the impeccable David Frost in Frost/Nixon at the Center Stage Theater and C.S. Lewis in Freud’s Last Session. He has an extensive history of performing with The Theatre Group at SBCC, in such roles as Little Charles in August: Osage County, Brian in Laughter on the 23rd Floor and Froggie in The Foreigner. 

Brayden Myrick is a second year student at Santa Barbara City College pursuing an Associates in Theatre Arts and planning to transfer to UCLA next fall. His hope is to act at the professional level and obtain his teaching credential for acting in order to teach at the college level. 


BreakFast with Smartassess Playwrights

The Human Library by Ellen Anderson

Ellen K. Anderson is a Santa Barbara playwright whose 18 plays have also been produced in San Francisco, New York City, Portland, and Washington, D.C. She is the artistic director of Dramatic Women and a grateful member of the Dramatists Guild of America. Her days are spent directing Isla Vista Arts at UCSB and her nights teaching playwriting at SBCC. Still and all, she loves new plays as much as she loves newborn babies. Link for Tickets.

For Agnes by Tania Israel: For Agnes is a true story that reveals the author’s relationships to real and imaginary friends.

Tania Israel is an occasional playwright, as well as a lyricist, activist, and professor. For Agnes was born of an Esalen writing workshop prompt: “write about a habit you don’t want to share.” She periodically plays characters other than herself, but mostly she has written and performed as Tania in Conversations with Contraception (Speaking of Stories and Dramatic Women – Breakfast with Smartasses), Always the Bride (Speaking of Stories), Santa Barbara Dreaming (Speaking of Stories), and TED Talk, Bisexuality and Beyond. She is incredibly grateful to have another opportunity to collaborate with sister smartasses. As she has frequent opportunity to point out, “better a smartass than a dumbass.” Link for Tickets.

Run by Brooke Mackenzie

Brooke Mackenzie has been acting professionally for fourteen years. Her credits include the feature film Fragments alongside Dakota Fanning, Sinkhole and guest star roles on TV shows Traffic Light, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Medium, Free Agents, and Everybody Hates Chris. She left Los Angeles last year to broaden her horizons, and is currently at the University of California Santa Barbara doing just that. Brooke is part of the university’s improvised comedy team, Improvability. When she is not studying, Brooke enjoys both teaching and practicing yoga. Brooke wants to continue performing in all aspects, from dramatic acting to comedy, from dancing to writing! Link for Tickets.

3-Year Bitch by Shannon Noel: Being a mom is harder than Sally ever imagined, and with her marriage losing its spark, Sally’s friends decide to spice up her 40th birthday with a well hung surprise.

Shannon Noel is thrilled to return to Center Stage and honored to be a part of this year’s Breakfast with Smartasses. Originally from KY, Shannon thinks of Santa Barbara as her second home. She met her dear friend and mentor, Ellen Anderson here at Center Stage 19 years ago when, while in town visiting a friend, she auditioned for Dramatic Women’s, Holes in Their Soles. She has not left California since. It is here that her love of playwrighting began. She went on to study with Ellen at UCSB and her first one act, Chance in a Million, was produced at Center Stage as well as in NY and Los Angeles. She eventually moved to LA to study Meisner, sketch comedy, stand up and improv while working at the Geffen Playhouse as assistant to founder and producing director, Gil Cates, may he rest in peace. A Second City alum, Shannon is one half of the musical comedy duo MOMMY TONK: 2 Moms. 1 Guitar. Cursing in Perfect Harmony with her comedy soul mate Stacie Burrows. Last year, Mommy Tonk had the great honor of performing here at Center Stage three times. Once while creating original music for Ellen’s play, In The Forest of Detroit, then again for Expressing Motherhood-Santa Barbara and finally with their full comedy show; Mommy Tonk and The Assless Chaps. Shannon has performed at Second City LA, IO West, The Moth, M.I.’s Westside Comedy Theater, Flappers, Rant & Rave, The Comedy Store, Zanies Nashville, the New Movement Austin, Laugh Boston and is a frequent writer/performer with Expressing Motherhood. Shannon lives with her husband and two sons in Silverlake. Link for Tickets.

The Grocery Story by Chelsea Sutton: Grocery store clerks grapple with their complicated relationships with customers, tomatoes, and canned goods.

Chelsea Sutton is a fiction writer, playwright, and a 2016 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. Her fiction has appeared in The Rattling Wall, Spectrum, Bourbon Penn, The Texas Observer, and others. Her plays have been finalists for the O’Neill Playwrights, PlayPenn, and Seven Devils Conferences, the Ingram New Works Lab, and the Stanley Drama, Woodward/Newman Drama, and Reva Shiner Comedy awards. She is currently working on a short story collection entitled Curious Monsters and developing new plays with Skylight Theatre’s Playlab and Humanitas PlayLA. She is a graduate of the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Link for Tickets.