Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2020

Playwrights Foundation, July 2020

streaming producer, leanna keyes smiling inside a green bordered circle

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The BAPF that started Transcend Streaming! Jessica Bird Beza approached me during the early pandemic to see what we could accomplish digitally because we weren’t about to let COVID stop a 40+ year tradition. We knew we wanted to do ‘more than Zoom,’ but no one knew what that was yet. We invented the technology and systems and procedures as we went, it went amazingly, and Transcend Streaming was born.

Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2020

Five new plays, over twenty actors from Hong Kong to New York City, all going from the first read to the first performance in less than fifteen hours. All at the same time.

The 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival goes online as we innovate and find creative solutions to fulfill our mission to support and champion diverse contemporary playwrights. This year, we welcome a new cohort of five female playwrights who are telling stories of strength, love, family, self-discovery, and the fight for freedom. Be a Part of the Story at this year’s historical festival as we develop a community between you, the artists, and have a further reach than ever before.

Playwrights Foundation supports and empowers playwrights’ artistic growth and careers while championing their voices on a national level. They imagine a future where playwrights are radically centered as visionary leaders who transform the world through storytelling.

Playwrights Foundation’s Values

  • Playwright Centered: We center our decisions around the specific needs of the playwrights we serve and empower them to have artistic agency. 
  • Community: We strive to create a meaningful community amongst playwrights and cultivate a constellation of creative relationships between playwrights and artists, organizations, advocates, and audiences.
  • Equity: We seek to build flexible and adaptable systems in order to create equitable opportunities for people across differences to participate, contribute and succeed.
  • Inclusion:  We create a culture of access, well-being, and a sense of belonging across a diversity of intersectional identities and voices. 
  • Innovation:   We value artistic experimentation, risk-taking, and innovative systems that support playwrights through a mindset of creativity and abundance.
  • Transparency: We strive to practice clear, open, and honest communication at every level both internally and externally.
  • Local Commitment:  We invest in relationships with Bay Area playwrights, artists, organizations, and communities.

BAPF 2020 featured performers include: 

Emma Van Lare, Adrian Roberts, Sarita Ocón, Rosie Hallett, Eddie Ewell, Christopher Salazar, Sarah Nina Hayon, Alejandra Escalante, Rodney Gardiner, Francisco Arcilla, Regina Morones, Max Forman-Mullin, Afua Busia, Sarah Traisman, Summer Brown, Sarah Lo, Will Dao, Ya Han Chang, Terrence, Monica, Victor Talmadge, and Dean Koya.


BAPF 2020 Creative Team:

Michelle Bank – Public Engagement Manager

Kieran Beccia – Associate Literary Manager 

Jessica Bird Beza – Executive Artistic Director

Andrew Custer – Design Consultant

Lauren English – Casting Director

Nailah Harper-Malveaux – Community Relationships Manager

Heather Helinsky – Literary Manager

Tessa Saito King – Operations Manager

Den Legaspi – Graphic Designer



Tyler English-Beckwith – Playwright

Margo Hall – Director

Lindsay A Jenkins – Dramaturg

Tammy Hall – Content Expert


To Saints and Stars

Jordan Ramirez Puckett – Playwright

Jessica Bird Beza – Director

Divinia Shorter – Dramaturg

Kathy Roberts – Producer



Noelle Viñas – Playwright

Nicholas C. Avila – Director

Laura Brueckner – Dramaturg

Elizabeth Guzmán – Content Expert


Babes In Ho-Lland

Deneen Reynolds-Knott – Playwright

Dawn Monique Williams – Director

Leigh Rondon-Davis – Dramaturg

Sherrice Mojgani – Content Expert

Nikki Chery – Content Expert


Final Boarding Call

Stefani Kuo – Playwright

Desdemona Chiang – Director

Heather Heinksy – Dramaturg

Crystal Lee – Language Consultant