Ensemble Studio Theatre's PRINCESS OF WACO Opens Jan. 11
Princes of Waco, Youngblood playwright Robert Askins's deeply personal, viciously funny Texas tale of a fatherless boy learning to drink, fight and steal in a bloody, forgotten West, will be given its world premiere on the mainstage of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 West 52nd Street, when it begins previews Friday, January 8, at 7:00pm for an opening Monday, January 11, at 7:00pm. Princes of Waco is directed by Dylan McCullough and features Evan Enderle, Christine Farrell, Scott Sowers and Megan Tusing.
Developed in the Ensemble Studio Theatre's 16-year-old Youngblood program of emerging playwrights, Mr. Askins's Princes of Waco is actually the first play in a series entitled Waco Trilogy. The last play in the trilogy was presented severAl Weeks ago as part of the Horton Foote Festival in Waco.
Robert Askins is a writer and actor from Texas who knows he is writing about himself. He has blogged, "When I wrote Princes of Waco, it started with a story about my friend Polar Bear. He fell in love with a girl we called NASCAR Jamie. All these names are true. I was worried then like I am now. By the time it got to the stage, nothing of that story remained, but when my mother watched the play and saw the dead father's Rolex being bandied about she leaned over to my aunt and said, 'that's not the real one is it?'"
Mr. Askins, Texas-born (1980), has had his plays seen in Belfast, Prague, L.A. and Waco. Princes of Waco was featured last year in Youngblood's Unfiltered Festival. His play Everything is Ruthless. Everything is Cruel was read recently at the Horton Foote American Playwriting Festival. Mr. Askins has a degree in Performance from Baylor University and he has received an E.S.T./Sloan grant, and an Arch and Bruce Davis Award for Playwriting.
"I saw the play in Youngblood's Unfiltered Festival and I knew that Robert Askins has a voice that needed to be heard on our mainstage," said Ensemble Studio Theatre Artistic Director William Carden. "That voice is visceral and his characters are deep and complex, remarkable for a writer only 29-years old."
Youngblood is Ensemble Studio Theatre's collective of emerging playwrights under the age of 30. Founded in 1993, Youngblood serves as a creative home for the next generation of theatre artists. Youngblood, which has its own artistic directors not much older than the playwrights, R.J. Tolan and Graeme Gillis, provides artistic guidance, peer support, regular feedback and a fertile production environment that allows member playwrights to hone skills, explore craft, and hopefully make it to the main stage, as has Princes of Waco.
Director Dylan McCullough has directed, produced, and acted for such theatres as Rattlestick, Cherry Lane, HERE, Epic Repertory Company, Prospect Theater Company, Youngblood, Red Bull Theater @ NYTW, The Culture Project, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Chautauqua Theatre Company, and The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. He is the artistic director of The Committee, where he most recently directed Ken Urban's The Private Lives of Eskimos and I Kant. He directed, produced, and acted in his own adaptation of David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men entitled Hideous Men when presented in FringeNYC.