Ensemble Studio Theatre (William Carden, Artistic Director; Paul A. Slee, Executive Director) -- commonly known as EST -- was founded by Curt Dempster in 1968 on the belief that extraordinary support yields extraordinary work. It is a dynamic and expanding family of theatre people committed to the discovery and nurturing of new voices, and the continued support and growth of artists throughout their creative lives. Its ensemble works together repeatedly over time to develop and produce original, provocative, and authentic new plays. With 591 ensemble artists concentrated mainly in New York City, EST has been under the artistic direction of William Carden since 2007. EST was honored with 2012 Obie Awards for its under-30 playwrights program, Youngblood, and for Ensemble artist Steven Boyer for his outstanding performance in 2011's breakout success, Hand To God, developed and originally produced by EST. Hand To God opened to rave reviews at the Booth Theater on Broadway in March 2015, and is now nominated for five Tony Awards. EST received two 2013 Drama Desk Award Nominations for its sold-out production of Finks by Joe Gilford. In 2014 its original production Year of the Rooster, by Eric Dufault, garnered a 2014 Drama Desk Award best featured actor nomination for Bobby Moreno and a NY Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for Eric Dufault for an outstanding Off Broadway debut by a playwright.
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