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Ensemble Studio Theatre Presents NY Premiere of 'Close Ties'

Ensemble Studio Theatre (William Carden, Artistic Director, Paul Alexander Slee, Executive Director) is proud to announce New York Premiere of Close Ties, by Elizabeth Diggs.  Performances will begin September 17th, with opening night set for September 25th. This limited engagement runs through October 12th.

Pamela Berlin directs a cast that features Jack Davidson, Julie Fitzpatrick, Fiona Gallagher, David Gelles Hurwitz, Polly Lee, Carole Monferdini, Judith Roberts, and Tommy Schrider. Close Ties will have set design by Michael Schweikardt, costume design by Suzanne Chesney, lighting design by Chris Dallos, and sound design by David Lawson.

Close Ties is a large and beautiful ensemble play.  It tells the story of three generations of the Frye family gathering at their vacation home in the Berkshires. The center for all of them has always been the willful matriarch, Josephine.  The play reveals what happens to the very fabric of a family as they have to face the realization that this once indomitable center can no longer hold.  It is a play that celebrates with humor and truth the mystery and very nature of family.  Artistic Director William Carden explains “one of our goals this season is to reinforce the 'ensemble' part of our name by presenting larger cast plays. Close Ties will allow our member actors, with their shared history, the rare opportunity to play three generations of the same family in this wonderful play.”

Elizabeth Diggs is the author of Nightingale, Goodbye Freddy, American Beef, Custer’s Luck, Mother/Daughter/Mother and one-acts Dumping Ground, Priceless, How To Plant A Rose, Algae and others.  Her plays have been produced off-Broadway in New York at EST and the Vineyard, and at many regional theatres including the Long Wharf, SouthCoast Rep, Victory Gardens, Capitol Rep, and the Alley Theatre as well as in the UK and Europe. Awards and honors include Guggenheim and NEA playwriting fellowships, the Los Angeles DramaLogue award for playwriting, the CBS / FDG prize, and a Kennedy Center - Fund for New American Plays grant. She wrote for the TV drama “St Elsewhere,” and the book for the musical Mirette (with Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt), developed at the Sundance Playwrights Lab and produced at the Goodspeed Opera House. Liz teaches in the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at Tisch/NYU.  She is a graduate of Brown and a member of E.S.T. 

Pamela Berlin's New York credits include Endpapers, Steel Magnolias, which ran Off-Broadway for three years, To Gillian on her 37th Birthday (Circle in the Square downtown), Crossing Delancey (Jewish Rep), The Cemetery Club (Broadway), Joined at the Head (Manhattan Theater Club), The Family of Mann and The Red Address (Second Stage), Three in the Back, Two in the Head (MCC), Black Ink and Elm Circle (Playwrights Horizons), Snowing at Delphi, Club Soda, 'Til the Rapture Comes (WPA), Wallflowering and Play by Ear at the HB Playwrights Foundation, and numerous one-acts at the Ensemble Studio Theater. Regionally, she has directed at the Seattle Rep, Pittsburgh Public, Huntington, Kennedy Center, Long Wharf, Pasadena Playhouse, Portland Stage, and Virginia Stage, to name a few. Opera credits include Carmen, Rigoletto, Lucia Di Lammermoor, Madama Butterfly, Hansel and Gretel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Of Mice and Men, and Cold Sassy Tree. She is a member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre

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 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.

Performances will be Wednesday through Saturday & Monday evenings at 7pm with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. All performances will be at E.S.T. (549 West 52nd Street/2nd Floor). Tickets will be $30, except September 17th – 21st, which are only $20; Students & Seniors tickets will be $15; tickets at may be purchased by calling 212/352-3101 or online at www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org .



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