William Carden is Ensemble Studio Theater's New A.D.

Ensemble Studio Theatre has announced the appointment of William Carden as Producing Artistic Director, succeeding Founder Curt Dempster who died on January 19th.  Mr. Carden will begin his duties immediately.

William Carden was the Artistic Director of the HB Playwrights Foundation and Theatre from 1994 to 2006. At HB he directed Mrs. Klein by Nicholas Wright starring Uta Hagen.  It went onto a commercial run Off- Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre followed by a National tour, which included San Francisco, Chicago and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. After Mrs. Klein he directed Collected Stories by Donald Margulies with Uta Hagen, which also transferred to the Lortel for an extended Off-Broadway run after opening at HB.  It subsequently played at the Stratford Festival in Canada and the Bronfman Center for the Arts in Montreal.  

In the fall of 1995 he brought together a select group of established playwrights and formed the HB Playwrights Unit and in the spring of 1997 produced their first short play festival The Motel Plays.  That began what became for the next ten years an annual event, with a new location each year and publication of the plays by Smith & Kraus.  This series ended with the opening of The White House Plays in 2005.  During his tenure at HB he directed numerous productions which included The Habitation Of Dragons by Horton Foote, War In Paramus by Barbara Dana, New World Rhapsody by Adam Kraar, Burnt Piano by Justin Fleming, Voir Dire by Joe Sutton, Mall America by Peter Sagal, The Wax by Kathleen Tolan and the 25th Anniversary production of Miguel Piñero's Short Eyes.

In November of 1999, he directed the all-star reading of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf with Uta Hagen, Jonathan Pryce, Mia Farrow and Matthew Broderick at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway and the following spring at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles where Peter Gallagher replaced Matthew Broderick.  The following season he directed Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf at the Stratford Festival in Canada.  Off-Broadway, he directed James Ryan's The Young Girl And The Monsoon at Playwrights Horizons as well as The Dew Point by Neena Beber and one-act plays for the Marathon at the Ensemble Studio Theatre.  As an actor he has played leading roles Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Circle Rep, WPA, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Phoenix Theatre and he has also worked at numerous regional theatres.   On Broadway, he created the title role in the original, award-winning production of Short Eyes.   He has been seen in a variety of television shows, the most recent being "Law & Order."

"Billy is the perfect candidate to lead the theatre. He is a long-time member of EST- close to thirty years- where he acted in and directed numerous plays.  He served on the Board of Directors for many years as well as chairing the Members Council.  He resigned from the Board when he became Artistic Director of the HB Playwrights Foundation & Theatre. He ran that theatre very successfully for 11 years. He has vision, knowledge, and respect within the membership and the theatre community at large.  We are fortunate that he is willing to assume this responsibility at a time when it is so necessary to provide stability and a clear sense of direction for the theatre," said John McCormack, Acting President of EST.

Visit www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org for more information.

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