Ideation was a good idea from the start.
Berkeley-based playwright Aaron Loeb is the winner of the 2013 Will Glickman Playwright Award for the best new play to premiere in the San Francisco Bay Area. Loeb won for Ideation, which had its premiere last fall at San Francisco Playhouse as part of the company’s “Sandbox Series” for new work. Josh Costello directed.
The play, about a brainstorming business meeting with ever-deeper complications and paranoias, is a fascinating blend of comedy and thriller. In my original review of the show I called it “a thrillingly electric theatrical experience” and it ended up on my Top 10 list as my favorite play of the year.
The award includes a $4,000 check for the playwright and a plaque for the producing company. Now Loeb and Ideation join the ranks of previous Glickman winners including last year’s Christopher Chen, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Tony Kushner, Luis Alfaro, Anne Galjour, John Fisher, Octavio Solis, Brian Freeman, Rajiv Joseph and Philip Kan Gotanda among many others.
The award will be presented at the Theatre Bay Area conference on April 14, and Ideation will open the San Francisco Playhouse 2014-15 season on the main stage.
In the San Francisco Playhouse world premiere of Ideation, the cast included (from left) Carrie Paff, Mark Anderson Phillips and Michael Ray Wisely. Photo by Jordan Puckett
This year’s Glickman committee comprised yours truly, Robert Avila of the Bay Guardian, Karen D’Souza of the San Jose Mercury News and Bay Area News Group, Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle and Sam Hurwitt of Theatre Bay Area and the Idiolect.
Here’s a complete list of Glickman Award winners
2013 The Hundred Flowers Project, Christopher Chen (Crowded Fire/Playwrights Foundation)
2012 The North Pool, Rajiv Joseph (TheatreWorks)
2011 Oedipus el Rey, Luis Alfaro (Magic)
2010 In the Next Room, Sarah Ruhl (Berkeley Rep)
2009 Beowulf, Jason Craig (Shotgun Players)
2008 Tings Dey Happen, Dan Hoyle (Marsh)
2007 Hunter Gatherers, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb (Killing My Lobster)
2006 The People’s Temple, Leigh Fondakowski (Berkeley Rep)
2005 Dog Act, Liz Duffy Adams (Shotgun)
2004 Soul of a Whore, Denis Johnson (Campo Santo)
2003 Five Flights, Adam Bock (Encore)
2002 Dominant Looking Males, Brighde Mullins (Thick Description)
2001 Everything’s Ducky, Bill Russell & Jeffrey Hatcher (TheatreWorks)
2000 The Trail of Her Inner Thigh, Erin Cressida Wilson (Campo Santo)
1999 Combat!, John Fisher (Rhino)
1998 Civil Sex, Brian Freeman (Marsh)
1997 Hurricane/Mauvais Temps, Anne Galjour (Berkeley Rep)
1996 Medea, the Musical, John Fisher (Sassy Mouth)
1995 Rush Limbaugh in Night School, Charlie Varon (Marsh)
1994 Santos & Santos, Octavio Solis (Thick Description)
1993 Heroes and Saints, Cherrie Moraga (Brava)
1992 Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Tony Kushner (Eureka)
1991 Political Wife, Bill Talen (Life on the Water)
1990 Pick Up Ax, Anthony Clarvoe (Eureka)
1989 Yankee Dawg You Die, Philip Kan Gotanda (Berkeley Rep)
1988 Webster Street Blues, Warren Kubota (Asian American)
1987 Life of the Party, Doug Holsclaw (Rhino)
1986 Deer Rose, Tony Pelligrino (Theatre on the Square)
1985 The Couch, Lynne Kaufman (Magic)
1984 Private Scenes, Joel Homer (Magic)