BEHIND THE SHEET Extends Again At Ensemble Studio Theatre
Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) (William Carden, Artistic Director, Sarah McLellan, Executive Director) and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (Doron Weber, Vice-President, Programs) announced today a second extension for the World Premiere of Behind the Sheet, written by Charly Evon Simpson (Jump) and directed by Colette Robert (Mary's Wedding). Part of the EST/Sloan Science & Technology Project (Graeme Gillis, Program Director; Linsay Firman, Associate Director), Behind the Sheet began previews at EST's Curt Dempster Theatre (549 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019) on January 9, 2019, and opened January 17. Originally set to close on February 3, the play will now run through February 17, 2019.
The cast of Behind the Sheet includes Stephen James Anthony (War Horse) as Edward/Samuel, Nia Calloway (All One Forest) as Betty, Naomi Lorrain ("Orange is the New Black") as Philomena, Cristina Pitter (BALLS) as Sally, Shawn Randall (Travisville) as Benjamin/Lewis, Joel Ripka (American Jornalero) as George, Megan Tusing (Mope) as Josephine, Amber Reauchean Williams (No King In Israel) as Mary, and Jehan O. Young (Think Before You Holla) as Dinah.
Charly Evon Simpson confronts the history of a great medical breakthrough by telling the forgotten story of a community of enslaved black women who involuntarily enabled the discovery. In 1840s Alabama, Philomena assists a doctor - her owner - as he performs experimental surgeries on her fellow slave women, trying to find a treatment for the painful post-childbirth complications known as fistulas. Reframing the origin story of modern gynecology, Behind the Sheet tells how these women supported each other, and questions who, and what, history remembers.
Tickets for Behind the Sheet are now on sale for $30, with tickets for students and seniors available for $25. Tickets can be purchased at www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org. The performance schedule for February 4-February 10 is as follows: Thursday - Saturday at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 5pm.
The performance schedule for February 11-February 17 is as follows: Monday at 7pm, Wednesday - Saturday at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 5pm.
The Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST), founded by Curt Dempster in 1968, has been under the artistic direction of William Carden since 2007. Now celebrating its 50th year, EST has developed thousands of new American plays and has grown into a company of over 600 actors, directors, playwrights, and designers.
EST's mission is to develop and produce original, provocative, and authentic new work. In doing so, they engage and challenge audiences in New York City and across the country. As a collaborative community committed to this process, EST discovers and nurtures new voices while supporting artists throughout their creative lives.
EST's primary programs include Youngblood, a collective of emerging professional playwrights under the age of 30; the EST/Sloan Project, a partnership that commissions, develops, and produces new works about science and technology; and the biennial Marathon of One-Act Plays, a landmark New York theatre festival since 1977.
EST was granted a special Drama Desk Award in 2015 for its "unwavering commitment to producing new works". After being developed at EST, Robert Askins' Hand to God went on to West End and Broadway runs, earned five Tony Award nominations, and became the most produced play in the country for the 2016-17 theatrical season. This year, Martyna Majok was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Cost of Living, a play which originated during her time in Youngblood, with a later version produced in the Marathon of One-Act Plays.
The EST/Sloan Project (Graeme Gillis, Program Director; Linsay Firman, Associate Director) is designed to stimulate artists to create credible and compelling new theatrical works that explore the worlds of science, technology, and economics in order to challenge existing stereotypes of scientists and engineers in popular culture. Since its inception in 1998, the EST/Sloan Project has commissioned, developed, and produced the work of more than 300 playwrights, choreographers, composers, and theatre companies. Recent notable plays include Isaac's Eye by Lucas Hnath, Please Continue by Frank Basloe, and Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler.
The New York based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, founded in 1934, makes grants for original research and education in science, technology, and economic performance. Sloan's program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience.
Over nearly two decades, the Foundation's pioneering theater program, begun with a 1997 grant to Ensemble Studio Theatre for Arthur Giron's play about the Wright Brothers, Flight, has helped usher in the science play as a regular part of the theater canon. Commissioning close to 20 new plays each year through its two flagship partners, EST and Manhattan Theatre Club-and working with the National Theater in London and Playwrights Horizons in New York, among others-the Foundation has made "a Sloan" a coveted commission for any playwright embarking on a new play with a science and technology theme or character. Beginning with such renowned science plays as Proof, Copenhagen and Alan Alda's QED, more recent grants have supported Lucy Kirkwood's Mosquitoes, which recently sold out at the National Theatre in London, Leigh Fondakowski's Spill, Nick Payne's Constellations, a Broadway hit staring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, Nell Benjamin's The Explorer's Club, Lucas Hnath's Isaac's Eye, and Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51, a 2015 prize-winner in London's West End starring Nicole Kidman.
The Foundation's nationwide film program has partnered with some of the top film schools in the country and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production, along with an annual best-of-the best Student Grand Jury Prize. The program has given early recognition to stand-out films such as Searching, The Martian, and Hidden Figures and helped develop such film projects as Shawn Snyder's To Dust, Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game, and Matthew Brown's The Man Who Knew Infinity. The Foundation has also supported theatrical documentaries such as Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.
The book program has supported over 100 authors, including Margot Lee Shetterly for Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, the best-selling book that became the highest grossing Oscar-nominated film of 2017 and continues to have a wide-ranging cultural impact. The television program includes series such as American Experience and NOVA. Podcasts like RadioLab and Planet Money are supported through the radio program. The new media program funds a variety of diverse projects, most recently "Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art" a new art and technology exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art .
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