Ensemble Studio Theatre

Todays Date: 12/06/19
Last Update: 05/01/12 03:00:06 PM
 
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The Ensemble Studio Theatre is a not-for-profit developmental theatre founded by Curt Dempster and a loose-knit group of fellow theater artists during a fertile period Off Broadway between 1968 and 1972. EST’s founders had two primary goals in creating the company: to nurture individual theatre artists and to develop new American plays.

EST nurtures individual artists through its free membership program, which offers lifetime membership in the company to diverse theater artists selected via a competitive application process. Demonstrated talent and keen interest in collaboration and contributing to EST’s community are the criteria for admission. The emphasis is on talent. EST currently lists more than 500 theatre artists on its membership roster. Collectively the group has won every major prize or award in theater, film and television, including Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars, Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Obie Awards and Susan Smith Blackburn Awards.

EST’s goal to develop new American plays has resulted in a record of achievement that rivals any theater in the U.S. in terms of quantity and quality of output, with a total of more than 6,000 plays developed and produced since 1972 featuring many of the finest playwrights, directors and performers working in the theater. Each year, EST produces over 150 projects, including readings and workshops of new works-in-progress and fully produced Mainstage productions, including many U.S. and world premieres.

Plays that originated at EST have been produced at more than 360 theatres across the United States. The company has been recognized with Village Voice Obie Awards, NY Outer Critic Circle Awards and numerous American Theater Wing Awards for excellence in theater.


Schedule of Upcoming Productions

No New Productions Scheduled

Production History

Headstrong  | Open: 04/22/12 Close: 05/13/12
  The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Project for New Plays on Science and Technology will tackle Post-Concussion Syndrome when it presents the world premiere of 27-year-old playwright Patrick Link's Headstrong.  The play, directed by Ensemble Studio Theatre Artistic Director William Carden, begins previews April 18 for an opening April 29 at The Ensemble Studio Theatre.

                  Headstrong is the story of a long-retired NFL linebacker who played with the greats and tackled them to the ground.  When his son-in-law, a Pro Bowler himself, dies under strange circumstances, he and his widowed daughter struggle with their own culpability, and whether the brain trauma he suffered in life was the price of football greatness.

                  Headstrong features Ron Canada, Tim Cain, Alexander Gemignani and Nedra McClyde. Sets are by Jason Simms, lighting by Chris Dallos, sound by Jannie Bullard, video by David Tennent and costumes by Suzanne Chesney.

                 Mr. Link's play is inspired by the ongoing struggles of professional athletes with head-related injuries, including, among others, Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster, who suffered from amnesia, dementia and depression before his death at the age of 50; and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters, who sustained numerous concussions as a player before committing suicide at age 44.

                 "If you’re an NFL player," Mr. Link says, "what do you do when the one thing you’re qualified to do­that can generate income for your family, the thing you’ve loved your whole life, that you feel you are designed to do­might destroy your brain?"

                 "Science tells us these men put their lives at risk when they go out on that field," says Mr. Carden. "But there is a deep need in our culture for heroes, and these men answer that need. So this play is asking, 'do we lose our heroes if we heed our science?' It's a conflict."
 
                 The research linking the brain damage suffered by Webster and Waters, and the injuries sustained during their playing days has been led by the former pro wrestler Chris Nowinski www.chrisnowinski.com (a.k.a. Chris Harvard www.chrisharvard.net), and neuropathologist Bennet Omalu www.braininjuryresearchinstitute.org/about-us.
 
                 Both have been involved in the study of post-concussion syndrome, especially through the study of retired or deceased pro football players that continues to generate front page headlines around the country < www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/sports/football/nfl-delivers-harsh-punishment-to-saints-over - bounty-program.html>. Two characters in Headstrong are loosely based on Nowinski and Omalu.
 
                 Playwright Patrick Link has been a football fan his whole life.  e read Mr. Nowinski's book Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisisand says it speaks to the conflict at the center of the sport he loves.

                 "In the interest of player safety, football has to change drastically, and that's a change that no true fan of the sport wants to see," Mr. Link says.  "When science tells us that our traditions, our passions are flawed, how do we change?  What consequence is severe enough to bring about change? If brain damage isn't enough…what is?"


About the Company: Ensemble Studio Theatre

The Ensemble Studio Theatre is a not-for-profit developmental theatre founded by Curt Dempster and a loose-knit group of fellow theater artists during a fertile period Off Broadway between 1968 and 1972. EST’s founders had two primary goals in creating the company: to nurture individual theatre artists and to develop new American plays.

EST nurtures individual artists through its free membership program, which offers lifetime membership in the company to diverse theater artists selected via a competitive application process. Demonstrated talent and keen interest in collaboration and contributing to EST’s community are the criteria for admission. The emphasis is on talent. EST currently lists more than 500 theatre artists on its membership roster. Collectively the group has won every major prize or award in theater, film and television, including Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars, Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Obie Awards and Susan Smith Blackburn Awards.

EST’s goal to develop new American plays has resulted in a record of achievement that rivals any theater in the U.S. in terms of quantity and quality of output, with a total of more than 6,000 plays developed and produced since 1972 featuring many of the finest playwrights, directors and performers working in the theater. Each year, EST produces over 150 projects, including readings and workshops of new works-in-progress and fully produced Mainstage productions, including many U.S. and world premieres.

Plays that originated at EST have been produced at more than 360 theatres across the United States. The company has been recognized with Village Voice Obie Awards, NY Outer Critic Circle Awards and numerous American Theater Wing Awards for excellence in theater.

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Lenin's Embalmers  | Open: 03/03/10 Close: 03/28/10
Inspired by the book Lenin's Embalmers by Ilya Zbarsky and Samuel Hutchinson, translated by Barbara Bray (Harvill Press, 1999), Lenin's Embalmers spins the tale of Boris Zbarsky and Vladimir Vorobiov, two scientists who were chosen by The Committee for Immortalization to embalm Vladimir Lenin after his death in 1924. 

Inspired by the book Lenin's Embalmers by Ilya Zbarsky and Samuel Hutchinson. Sets are by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, lights by Chris Dallos, sound by Shane Rettig and costumes by Suzanne Chesney.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up
The embalming of the leader of the World Proletariat - which took almost four months - was a scientific "miracle" at the time and was hailed by scientists around the world.  A miracle indeed because the work began two months after Lenin's death.  Lenin's embalmers developed a process which restored the body to a lifelike appearance and is still used for preventive maintenance today.  Yet, as so many had during the Great Terror, Lenin's embalmers reached levels of power and influence that ultimately led to their death by a paranoid Stalinist regime.

The institute responsible for Lenin's upkeep later embalmed the leaders of several other Socialist countries, among them Ho Chi Minh.  Today the mausoleum laboratory provides mortuary services to all paying customers, including members of the Russian nouveau riches and the Russian mafia.

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Luminescence Dating  | Open: 04/21/05 Close: 05/15/05
Archeologist Angela Hart has spent her career chasing her own holy grail - a lost statue of the goddess Aphrodite. An unexpected turn in her pursuit forces her to confront another, more personal quest - true love and romance. The spirits of inquiry, eros and mythology propel this fiercely intelligent and poignant new play.
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Marathon 2009 Series A  | Open: 05/22/09 Close: 06/19/09
MARATHON 2009 is Ensemble Studio Theatre's 31st annual festival of one-act plays. This year's Marathon offers ten World and Off-Broadway Premieres in two separate evenings. The two series will run in rotating repertory.

Ensemble Studio Theatre's Series A has the following shows:

 

TRICKLE by Kia Corthron; directed by William Pomerantz* and starring Geneva Carr*, Shirine Babb, Tatiana Suarez-Pico, Nikki Walker and Jackie Chung.

 

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ST. TERESA by Christine Farrell*; directed by Deborah Hedwall* and starring Christine Farrell* and Lucy DeVito.

AMERICANA by Garrett M. Brown*; directed by Linsay Firman and starring Miles Bergner, Ann Talman*, Michael Cullen and Chris Ceraso*.

PTSD by Tommy Smith; directed by William Carden* and starring Jay Patterson*, Stephanie Janssen, Haskell King* and Julie Fitzpatrick*.

FACE CREAM by Maggie Bofill; directed by Pamela Berlin* and starring Paula Pizzi and Bruce MacVittie*.

 

 

* indicates EST member

An Equity Approved Showcase. All actors appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

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Marathon 2009 Series B  | Open: 06/05/09 Close: 06/27/09
Marathon 2009 is Ensemble Studio Theatre's 31st-annual festival of one-act plays. This year's Marathon offers ten World and Off-Broadway Premieres in two separate evenings. The two series will run in rotating repertory.

Ensemble Studio Theatre's Series B has the following shows:

LITTLE DUCK by Billy Aronson*; directed by Jamie Richards* and starring Paul Bartholomew*, Jane Pfitsch, Julie Leedes*, Steven Boyer and Geneva Carr*.

CAROL & JILL by Leslie Ayvazian*; directed by Daniella Topol and starring Leslie Ayvazian* and Janet Ann Zarish*.

BLOOD FROM A STONER by Jeanne Dorsey*; directed by Maria Mileaf and starring David Margulies*, Patricia Randell* and Tommy Lyons*.

DAUGHTER by Cassandra Medley*; directed by Petronia Paley* and starring Kaliswa Brewster, Gayle Samuels, Lynne Matthew and Natalie Carter.

SUNDANCE by M. Z. Ribalow*; directed by Matthew Penn and starring Richmond Hoxie*, David Deblinger, Ean Sheehy, Rob Sedgwick and JJ Kandel*.

* indicates EST Member

An Equity Approved Showcase. All actors appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

 

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Marathon 2010 Series A  | Open: 05/21/10 Close: 06/19/10
The Ensemble Studio Theatre's 32nd annual award-winning Marathon of One-Act Plays. This year's festival includes ten World Premiere plays from the country's finest established and emerging playwrights.

The festival will run in two series. Series A runs from May 21 - June 19. Click here for the detailed performance schedule.

 

Series A features five World Premiere One-Acts:

Matthew and the Pastor's Wife
by Robert Askins
directed by John Giampietro

Safe
by Ben Rosenthal
directed by Carolyn Cantor

Turnabout
by Daniel Reitz
directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel

Where the Children Are
by Amy Fox
Based on an original story by Caitlin Shetterly and Amy Fox.
directed by Abigail Zealey Bess

Wild Terrain
by Adam Kraar
directed by Richmond Hoxie
 

For more information about the Marathon, including play synopses and casting information, please visit www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org/marathon2010.


 

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Marathon 2010 Series B  | Open: 06/05/10 Close: 06/26/10
The Ensemble Studio Theatre's 32nd annual award-winning Marathon of One-Act Plays. This year's festival includes ten World Premiere plays from the country's finest established and emerging playwrights.

The festival will run in two series. Series b runs from June 5 - 26. Click here for the detailed performance schedule.

 

Series B features five World Premiere One-Acts:

Airborne
by Laura Jacqmin

Amateurs
by David Auburn
directed by Harris Yulin

Anniversary
by Rachel Bonds
directed by Linsay Firman

Interviewing Miss Davis
by Laura Maria Censabella
directed by Kel Haney

They Float Up
by Jacquelyn Reingold

For more information about the Marathon, including play synopses and casting information, please visit www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org/marathon2010.


 

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Octoberfest 2005  | Open: 10/05/05 Close: 10/30/05
This year's OCTOBERFEST will feature more than 600 artists, including...
A spectacular ensemble led by Amy Irving (Crossing Delancy, Deconstructing Harry), Andrew McCarthy (Pretty in Pink, Mulholland Falls), Paul Ben-Victor (Drowning Mona), Leslie Lyles (Ladder 49, Mona Lisa Smile) New works by: Arthur Giron (Flight, Moving,Bodies), Amy Fox (Heights, Summer Cyclone), Rob Ackerman (Airborn), Bill Bozzone, Conrad Bromberg (Silent Witness), Leah Kornfeld Freidman, Peter Maloney and Jeffrey Sweet (Solving Your Script, The Dramatist's Toolkit) And works directed by: Billy Hopkins (d. I Love You I Love You Not/cd. Alexander, Chocolat), David Margulies (a. Angels in America, Sopranos, Celebrity)

Started a quarter century ago, this in-house festival, performed on our two stages, is sponsored by ENSEMBLE STUDIO THEATRE's over 500 artist members and has become a spawning ground for new American plays, music, poetry, stand-up and performance art. All of this directly serves E.S.T.'s mission to nurture artists and develop new plays for the American stage.

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The River Crosses Rivers: Series A  | Open: 09/09/09 Close: 09/26/09
The River Crosses Rivers, presented by the Ensemble Studio Theatre's Going to the River program, is a festival of new short plays by women playwrights of color, including Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and renowned playwright, actor and activist Ruby Dee.

Series A:

RISEN FROM THE DOUGH by France-Luce Benson, directed by EST Member Holli Harms
THE KITCHEN or 9½ Minutes of Subcontinental Absurdity by Naveen Bahar Choudhury, directed by EST Member Jamie Richards
LADYBUG GONNA GETCHA by Kara Lee Corthron, directed by Pat Golden
THE STEP-MOTHER by Ruby Dee, directed by Chuck Patterson
ANGELS IN THE PARKING LOT by N.N. Ewing, directed by Seret Scott
BANANA BEER BATH by Lynn Nottage, directed by EST Member Talvin Wilks
RALLY by Bridgette Wimberly, directed by Clinton Turner Davis

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The River Crosses Rivers: Series B  | Open: 09/12/09 Close: 09/27/09
The River Crosses Rivers, presented by the Ensemble Studio Theatre's Going to the River program, is a festival of new short plays by women playwrights of color, including Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and renowned playwright, actor and activist Ruby Dee.

Series B:

TRUTH BE TOLD by Melody Cooper, directed by EST Member Petronia Paley
DIALECTIC by Kia Corthron, directed by Chuck Patterson
HOT METHUSELAH by J.e. Franklin, directed by Imani Douglas
JESSE by P.J. Gibson, directed by Lydia Fort
SLOPPY SECOND CHANCES by Mrinalini Kamath, directed by EST Director in Residence Kel Haney
SPIRIT SEX: A PARANORMAL ROMANCE by Desi Moreno-Penson, directed by Adam Immerwahr

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