Ensemble Studio Theatre's marathon 2009 Features 10 One Act Plays 5/22-6/27
Among the world premieres in Ensemble Studio Theatre's upcoming 31st annual Marathon of one-act plays are works by three members of The Ensemble's Playwrights Unit. Opening on May 22, Marathon 2009 will feature world premieres of 10 one act plays and will run through June 27. Playwrights Unit members' works are For the Love of God, Saint Teresa by Christine Farrell, Daughter by Cassandra Medley, and Blood from a Stoner by Jeanne Dorsey."Ensemble Studio Theatre's mission is to nurture individual theatre artists and to develop new American plays and the Playwrights Unit is at the core of our mission," says Artistic Director William Carden.
Established in 1991 by Unit Director Laura Maria Censabella, the Playwrights Unit is Ensemble Studio Theatre's community of established playwrights who meet weekly to read and critique their new work, which includes plays as well as fiction and writing for film and television. Playwrights Unit members have been frequent contributors to past Marathons, most recently, in 2008, Jacquelyn Reingold and David Zellnick were represented. Their plays were drawn from "March Madness," the Playwrights Unit 2008 festival of 10-minute plays. Elizabeth Digg's full-length Close Ties opened The Ensemble's 2008-09 season."The Playwrights Unit is one of the best kept secrets in the American theatre. Our long, fruitful association with Ensemble Studio Theatre has enabled many fine writers to develop new work and send it out into the world," Ms. Censabella says. Among the critically acclaimed works developed in the Unit and produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre are String Fever, Flight, Klonsky and Schwartz, and Serendib. Works developed in the Unit that have been produced elsewhere include Beggars in the House of Plenty, Four Dogs and a Bone, and Psychopathia Sexualis (all at Manhattan Theatre Club), The Joy Luck Club (Long Wharf Theatre), Julie Johnson (Actors Theater of Louisville), The Adventures of Amy Bock (Yale Repertory Theatre), Love's Fowl (New York Theatre Workshop), Cellini (Second Stage), Honour (Broadway), Baby Anger (Playwrights Horizons), An Ocean in Iowa (Scribner Books), and The Basketball Diaries (Island Pictures/New Line Cinema).Current Playwrights Unit members and representative recent works are: Gina Barnett (Donna Morelli, NY Stage and Film), Jonathan Bernstein (To The Sweet Step), Suzanne Bradbeer (Max and the Truffle Pig, 2008 NYMF Festival), Jennifer Camp (The Lake Effect, Abingdon Theatre, reading), Laura Maria Censabella (Stones Fall, Birds Fly, "Poems & Plays," Vol. 16), Elizabeth Diggs (Close Ties, Ensemble Studio Theatre 2008), Jeanne Dorsey (Blood from a Stoner, Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon 2009), Bruce Ellman, Annie Evans (writer, Sesame Street, PBS), Christine Farrell (For the Love of God, Saint Teresa, Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon 2009), James Farrell (Transplant, Proctor's Theatre), Steven Fechter (The Woodsman, Old Red Lion Theatre, London), Kevin Fisher (Monkey Room, Magic Theatre), Adam Forgash (The Last New Yorker, independent film) Joe Gilford (Finks, NY Stage and Film), Arthur Giron (Emilie's Voltaire, Samuel Beckett Theater), Bryan Goluboff (writer, In Treatment, HBO), Jeremy Kareken (Sweet Sweet Motherhood, Guthrie Theater/Playwrights' Center), Susan Kim (Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, St. Martin's Griffin, 2009), Shirley Lauro (editor, Front Lines: Political Plays by American Women, New Press, 2009), Romulus Linney (Love Drunk, Abingdon Theatre Company), Leslie Lyles (The Great Pretenders, Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon 2006) Julie McKee (The Sleeper Awakens, HB Playwrights Foundation), Cassandra Medley (Daughter, Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon 2009), Kim Merrill (Exposure Time, New Jersey Rep, 2010), David Lefort Nugent (Ugo's Last Dance, God Machine/Foundry Theatre), Tim Pinckney (Ever So Humble, Hangar Theatre), Jeff Reich (Area Under the Curve, Spyglass), Jacquelyn Reingold (writer, In Treatment, HBO), Randee Smith, Susan J. Vitucci (Small Fish, NY Theatre Workshop, reading), Garth Wingfield (Flight, Lucille Lortel Theatre), and David Zellnik (YANK!, York Theatre, winter 2010). The Playwrights Unit web page, including biographical information on its members, can be found at www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org/playwrights_unit.html.