RISK IS THIS…

risk_rotator_2014is one of the only play festivals in America solely dedicated to experimental works for the stage.

Click here to submit your new risky plays to the Cutting Ball Theater

This year’s festival features five new works in staged readings that push the boundaries of what theater can be.

Feb. 28-March 29, 2014
Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM

Stegosaurus or, Our Golden Years
By Andrew Saito
Directed by Rob Melrose
February 28 – March 1, 2014Earth currently faces its fastest rate of extinction for all species since the death of the dinosaurs. In STEGOSAURUS (OR) OUR GOLDEN YEARS, Cutting Ball resident playwright Andrew Saito’s satirical meditation on the environmental crisis, a young couple earn their living by piecing together money from a taxidermy business, a yard sale, and dressing up as a lovable dinosaur who entertains children at birthday parties. When bald eagles begin falling from the sky their luck changes as they feed their community’s insatiable appetite for acquisition by commodifying sacred American icons.AndrewSaito_HeadshotAndrew Saito (Resident Playwright) saw his play Krispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night, directed by Rob Melrose, premiere at Cutting Ball in May 2013. His children's play Evolve!, commissioned by Handful Players, was performed at Yoshi's San Francisco in May 2009 under the direction of Myers Clark. He has twice had plays performed in the San Francisco One Minute Play Festival. He has studied, worked and lived in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and most recently in Papua New Guinea, where he was a Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing in 2012. Andrew holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where he received an Iowa Arts Fellowship, as well as a Stanley Award to conduct research for a play about the period Langston Hughes spent living in Mexico, a Kenneth J. Cmiel Human Rights grant to teach playwriting in Mayan communities Guatemala, and the Richard Maibaum Dramatic Writing Award for his script Dance of Pawns, about the internment of Japanese Peruvians in Texas during World War II. He has collaborated with the legendary Peruvian theatre collective Yuyachkani, and the Andean theatre company Kusiwasi. He has received grants from Bay Area, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and has developed work with Mu Performing Arts, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Asian American Theatre Company, Mixed Phoenix Theatre in New York, and at residence at Blue Mountain Center and Montalvo Arts Center, where he was a Teaching Artist Fellow. Andrew has taught in Cutting Ball's Performing Risk summer theater intensive, at the University of Iowa, and with Kearny Street Workshop, WritersCorps, Peforming Arts Workshop, and ArtCorps. Additionally, Andrew was a Core Apprentice at the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis. He is currently a member Playwrights Foundation’s Resident Playwrights Initiative, PlayGround's Writers Pool, and Just Theater's Writer-Director Lab.
Ondine
By Katherine Sherman
Directed by Rob Melrose
March 7 – 8, 2014What is the relationship between matter and form? Body and soul? Trapped together on a bare stage, two lovers, Ondine and Hildebrand, begin to tell themselves, and each other, a story. The narrative they frame comes to life until layers of reality and time collapse in on one another and dissolve. Subtle, lyrical, and daring, Ondine is a journey that is heartbreaking, haunting, and hypnotic.Katharine_Sherman HeadshotKatharine Sherman is a Minneapolis-based writer of performance works and plays. In 2009 she co-founded Lunar Energy Productions, which produced her plays like the night in 2009 and christopher marlowe’s chloroform dreams in 2012. Her play all saints all souls was a part of the 2012 Orlando Fringe Festival. She has been developed by WordBRIDGE playwrights laboratory and has had readings with the Amoralists Theater Company, Lunar Energy, Plays and Players and the Inkwell. Her shorter plays have been produced by the Full Moon Puppet Cabaret, the Eclectic Company Theater, Sticky/Blue Box Productions, the Isleford Theater Project and the American Globe 15-minute play festival. Her short play “grunge is dead” is published in The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2011 (Smith & Kraus). She has been a finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, National Playwrights Conference and the Heideman Award. She is a 2013-2014 Core Apprentice at the Playwrights’ Center. She holds a BA from Bowdoin College and is a 2013 graduate of the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa. She likes dream logic, fairy tales and haunted houses.
Mt. Misery
By Andrew Saito
Directed by Rob Melrose
March 14 at 8PM & March 15 at 2PM, 2014
The performance on March 15 has been moved to 2PM due to our Fundraiser and 15th Anniversary Party taking place that same day from 7-10PM in the theater. Cutting Ball’s resident playwright Andrew Saito examines the United States’ inconsistent progress on issues of power and race through the colliding histories of two prominent American figures on a shared tract of land. On a plantation in a small Maryland town, a teenaged slave named Frederick Douglass once fought and triumphed against an overseer named Edward Covey. The moment would permanently alter the course of Douglass’s life, freeing him from fear and building a new sense of agency. In 2003 Covey’s home, “Mount Misery,” was purchased by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for $1.5 million. In Mt. Misery, Saito imagines Rumsfeld and Douglass’s interactions across time.AndrewSaito_HeadshotAndrew Saito (Resident Playwright) saw his play Krispy Kritters in the Scarlett Night, directed by Rob Melrose, premiere at Cutting Ball in May 2013. His children's play Evolve!, commissioned by Handful Players, was performed at Yoshi's San Francisco in May 2009 under the direction of Myers Clark. He has twice had plays performed in the San Francisco One Minute Play Festival. He has studied, worked and lived in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and most recently in Papua New Guinea, where he was a Fulbright Scholar in Creative Writing in 2012. Andrew holds an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, where he received an Iowa Arts Fellowship, as well as a Stanley Award to conduct research for a play about the period Langston Hughes spent living in Mexico, a Kenneth J. Cmiel Human Rights grant to teach playwriting in Mayan communities Guatemala, and the Richard Maibaum Dramatic Writing Award for his script Dance of Pawns, about the internment of Japanese Peruvians in Texas during World War II. He has collaborated with the legendary Peruvian theatre collective Yuyachkani, and the Andean theatre company Kusiwasi. He has received grants from Bay Area, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and has developed work with Mu Performing Arts, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Asian American Theatre Company, Mixed Phoenix Theatre in New York, and at residence at Blue Mountain Center and Montalvo Arts Center, where he was a Teaching Artist Fellow. Andrew has taught in Cutting Ball's Performing Risk summer theater intensive, at the University of Iowa, and with Kearny Street Workshop, WritersCorps, Peforming Arts Workshop, and ArtCorps. Additionally, Andrew was a Core Apprentice at the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis. He is currently a member Playwrights Foundation’s Resident Playwrights Initiative, PlayGround's Writers Pool, and Just Theater's Writer-Director Lab.
WINK
By Jen Silverman
March 21 – 22, 2014Sofie is distressed about her missing cat, Wink. When Wink returns inexorably changed, Sofie and her husband, Gregory, also undergo a strange series of transformations. Hilarious and unsettling, WINK is a dark comedy about metamorphosis, marriage, revenge, therapy, and the thin line between savagery and civilization.Silverman_HeadshotJen Silverman was raised in Asia, Europe, and Scandinavia and the US. Her work has been produced off-Broadway by the Playwrights Realm (CRANE STORY), off-off Broadway by Clubbed Thumb (PHOEBE IN WINTER), regionally at Cleveland Public Theatre (AKARUI), and commissioned and produced by the Gallatin School/NYU (BONES AT THE GATE).She is an inaugural Audrey Resident with New Georges, a Workspace resident with the LMCC, the recipient of a 2013 NYFA Playwriting Grant, and an affiliated artist with Ars Nova, The Playwrights Realm, The Lark, and Youngblood/EST. She is a two-time MacDowell Fellow and has developed work with Playwrights Horizons, InterAct Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, NY Stage & Film/ Powerhouse, Seven Devils, Williamstown, and the O’Neill. She was selected for the 2014 Cherry Lane Mentor Project (mentor Lynn Nottage). Her play STILL won the Jane Chambers Award and the 2013 Yale Drama Series Award, and received a reading at Lincoln Center. BA: Brown. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop. She currently holds a Lila Acheson Wallace fellowship at Juilliard. More information: www.jensilverman.com

Ex Machina
By David Jacobi
March 28 – 29, 2014Set in a super-phone factory on the edge of a trash-filled ravine, two assembly workers, a disheartened veteran and a plucky newcomer, struggle to endure the workday, each other, and the temptations of a mysterious woman with supernatural abilities. Frightening, subversive, and irreverent, Ex Machina explores the search for a shared humanity in a mechanized world.David Jacobi HeadshotDavid Jacobi’s plays have been produced and developed throughout the U.S. and in Beijing, China including the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Portland Center Stage, Great Plains Theatre Conference, WordBRIDGE, Penghao Theater, and 798 Dashanzi Art District. His plays include Widower, Mai Dang Lao, The Monster Below, Ex Machina, Battlecruiser Aristotle, and Charles Atlas’ Miracle System. He received a BFA in Dramatic Writing from Purchase College and is currently enrolled in UC San Diego’s MFA Playwriting program under the tutelage of Naomi Iizuka. David is co-founder of Monster Down! Theatre Company, a collaborative theatre group in Beijing, China.