The Ensemble Studio Theatre Presents OCTOBERFEST 10/8-11/14
Long before New York had a Fringe Festival, New York had the Ensemble Studio Theatre's OCTOBERFEST, a marathon of new, old and developing plays crammed together on two floors of the theatre company's home at 549 West 52nd Street. The first OCTOBERFEST was in 1981.
Not for the theatrically faint of art or those lacking in dramatic stamina, OCTOBERFEST 2009 brings together 86 plays over 38 days, October 8 thru November 14, selected by its members and presented in varying states of readiness with a schedule so large and complicated (and organized like a military operation), no single month or press release can contain it. For those with broadband, the complete performance schedule is at www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org/schedule_by_date.html.
"This is an opportunity for theatre aficionados to come into the Ensemble Studio Theatre's famous creative gymnasium, a place of invention, discovery and risk, and experience the spirit of work in progress," said Ensemble Studio Theatre Artistic Director William Carden of OCTOBERFEST, the five-week celebration of the work by the Ensemble Studio Theatre's member artists. "We want people to get close to the heartbeat of what we do and become a part of that energy. OCTOBERFEST audiences will be entertained by the unexpected, surprised by the spontaneous, challenged by a new voice on stage for the first time or a familiar voice staged in a new way."
For those actually reading this release, developing, established and deceased playwrights include Arlene Hutton, Yvonne Adrian, Leslie Ayvazian, Ellen Barber, Gina Barnett, Eliza Beckwith, Bill Bozzone, Laura Maria Censabella, Chris Ceraso, Bill Cwikowski, Jeanne Dorsey, Joan Rosenfells, Adam Kraar, Steven Fechter, Megg Farrell, Anna Ziegler, Kim Merrill, Lynn Rosen, Maria Gabriele, Abigail Gampel, J. Holtham, Horton Foote, Ben Henderson, Steve Kronovet, Holli Harms, Neil Koenigsberg, Nick Norman, Kent Alexander, Peter Maloney, Ken Mandel, Anthony McKay, Julie McKee, Keith Alan Benjamin, Peter Mattei, Carole Real, Jacquelyn Reingold, Michele Remsen, Clay McLeod Chapman, Alethea Black, M. Z. Ribalow, Thornton Wilder, Kira Obolinsky, Betsy Robinson, Erik Brogger, George F. Walker, Tom Rowan, David Perry, Jane Condon, Frederick Feirstein, Edith Freni, Alice Kenner, Amy Staats, Ben Rosenthal, Jeffrey Sweet, Mary F. Unser, Susan J. Vitucci, Jane Wheeler, Susan Haar, Eugene O'Neill, Laura Jacqmin, Glen Hirshberg, Kristen Lowman and, and Grace Woodard.
Titles of the plays include Vacuum; FAMOUS, A Hollywood Musical; Phil in a Box; Murph; Interviewing Miss Davis; Regarding Hearts; Heaven Knows; Empire of the Trees; Marla; Progress in Flying; Ghost Party: A Cabaret; The Carpetbagger's Children; Dirty Nails; Backswing; Household Name; Guts; Fit; Death of an Engineer; Endless Lawns; The Rare White Alligators; Doesn't Anyone Know What a Pancreas Is?; A Story About a Girl; The Skin of Our Teeth; The Lion; I Apologize, Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline; Faye Drummond; Raw and Unchained; Bottoms Up!; Tea & Tennis; Asking for Trouble; Bruncha Sutra: The Erotic Brunch; Time Will Tell; Look We Are Breathing; Through the Window; St. Helena; Flight; Graceful Living; The Whole Story; Fallers - a Family Cantata; The Fiend; Will Sacrifice; Opportunity; Trade; Eulogy; River Road; The Peter Maloney Project: Kolossal Hero! and Eating and Drinking.
Actors in this year's OCTOBERFEST include in no particular order Steven Boyer, Lucy DeVito, Julie Fitzpatrick, Thomas Lyons, Patricia Randell, David Margulies, Nancy Franklin, Zach Grenier, Bruce MacVittie, Natalie Carter, Scott Guthrie, Peter Maloney, Griffith Maloney, Anne O'Sullivan, Barbara Andres, Holt McCallany, Ann Talman, Geneva Carr, Peter Frechett, Michele Remsen, Judith Roberts, Geneva Carr, Phillip Clark, Jane Condon, Timothy Jerome, David Rasche, and Gates McFadden.
If you want to match titles to playwrights, directors, actors, dates and times, go to www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org/schedule_by_date.html.
Performances begin Thursday, October 8, at 7:00pm and conclude Saturday, November 14, when the curtain comes down on the 8:00pm performance. Performance times vary widely over the 38 days.
Tickets are free, but someone will ask you for a $10 donation. Tickets are best ordered in advance by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212. 247.4982, but don't expect anyone to read you the schedule.
Ensemble Studio Theatre is a not-for-profit developmental theatre founded in 1972 with two primary goals: to nurture individual theatre artists and to develop new American plays. Under the guidance of the late founder Curt Dempster, the theatre's membership grew from a core of 20 artists to a flourishing community of over 500 theatre artists of the highest caliber. Among them are winners of accolades and higher awards including Pulitzer Prizes, Oscars, Tonys, Emmys, and Obies. E.S.T. is a lifelong artistic home for its member playwrights, directors, actors, designers, technical personnel and administrators. Each year, the Ensemble produces over 300 projects, including readings, staged readings, and fully produced mainstage full-lengths.