Kelli O'Hara, Alexander Dinelaris, Judy Gold, Josh Harmon and More Set for ESPAFest Workshops

Kelli O'Hara, Alexander Dinelaris, Judy Gold, Josh Harmon and More Set for ESPAFest WorkshopsGet your master class on!

Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA) just announced a week-long celebration of exciting collaborations and networking opportunities with artists, including Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara (The King & I, Bridges of Madison County), Emmy Award-winning actor and comedienne Judy Gold (HBO, Comedy Central, Clinton the Musical, 25 Questions..., The Judy Show), playwright Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews, Significant Other), Academy Award-winning writer Alexander Dinelaris (Co-writer, Birdman, Broadway's On Your Feet; Co-producer, The Revenant), and writer Cusi Cram (A Lifetime Burning, "The Big C", "Arthur").

Whether you're interested in attending a Master Class or just stopping by for a free drink, come to ESPAfest, and bring your friends. To RSVP or for more information, visit

The ESPAfest schedule:

FREE MASTER CLASS with Alexander Dinelaris

Friday, February 5 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm

at Primary Stages Studio A, 307 West 38th Street, Suite 1510


Alexander Dinelaris, Academy Award and Golden Globe winner for the screenplay of Birdman and book writer for the Broadway musical On Your Feet!, joins us to discuss the challenges of writing for stage and screen today.


Sunday, February 7 from 3:00pm - 5:00pm

at Primary Stages Studio A, 307 West 38th Street, Suite 1510


Observe ESPA's collaborative community in action as we rehearse the plays for our next Detention - all written, directed, and acted by ESPA students. Jackson Gay, director of These Paper Bullets at the Atlantic, will join us and give students constructive feedback in preparation for their performance at Jimmy's No. 43 on February 10!

SOLO TRAIN, hosted by Judy Gold

Monday, February 8

Doors open at 5:00PM; Performance begins at 6:30PM

Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd Street

Free, with a $20 food & beverage minimum


What's more exciting in the theater than a performer baring it all? Solo Train is an evening of new work by ESPA Solo Performance students who've been guided by renowned actress and Emmy Award-winning writer Judy Gold. Inspired by stories from his or her own life, each writer/performer has honed their performance to its most essential elements. Some stories are hilarious. Some stories are moving. Each story is bracingly fresh. Hosted by Judy Gold, 'Solo Trai'n features Jill Durso, Nancy Finn, Nan Hoffman, Catya McMullen, John Mudd, JJ Pyle, Adina Taubman, Debra Wassum


Tuesday, February 9

at Primary Stages Studio A, 307 West 38th Street, Suite 1510

5:00pm - 6:00pm: Free Alexander Technique Workshop with Karen Braga


Learn how to release tension, warm up your instrument, and overcome your nerves in those tense moments before an audition! Karen Braga, ESPA's Alexander Technique expert, will guide you through a few quintessential exercises to give you the freedom to take bigger risks and make stronger choices.

6:00pm - 8:00pm: ESPA Mixer!


As part of a week of exciting collaborative opportunities and networking events, ESPA is opening its doors to newcomers and ESPAtriots alike. Join us for an evening of food, fun, and artistic inspiration, and meet some of the many people who call ESPA home! Have a drink, meet our faculty, and join us for a couple of free workshops to get a real taste of some of the classes ESPA has to offer.

8:00pm - 9:00pm: Free Writing Workshop - Getting It Written with Joshua Harmon


Hang out after the Mixer with Joshua Harmon, writer of Significant Other and Bad Jews at Roundabout! Get your creative juices flowing with a series of writing exercises designed to push you outside your comfort zone, banish writer's block, and break all the rules.

DETENTION #32: What's Eating Millard Fillmore?

Wednesday, February 10 at 7:00pm & 9:00pm

Jimmy's No. 43, 43 East 7th Street

Free Performance



Every month, we hook up our writers, directors, and actors to perform in a one-night only show at Jimmy's No. 43! Each show has a theme and a guest advisor. This month, we're celebrating Detention #32: What's Eating Millard Fillmore, stories inspired by political frenzies, absurdities, and incorrectness-either historical or present-day-with guest advisor Jackson Gay (Director, These Paper Bullets at The Atlantic). Come on down!


Thursday, February 11 from 3:00pm - 4:30pm

at Primary Stages Studio A, 307 West 38th Street, Suite 1510


Tony winner for Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Anna, The King and I) and one of the great leading ladies of Broadway musical theater Kelli O'Hara shares her experiences about the ins and outs of the acting industry.


Thursday, February 11 from 4:30pm - 5:30pm

at Primary Stages Studio A, 307 West 38th Street, Suite 1510


Speech is deeply linked to our identity- which makes it an amazing entryway into character transformation. This short workshop with jumpstart the way you approach character through their voice and speech. Come learn five active ways to acquire an accent with Jane Guyer Fujita.


Thursday, February 11, 6:00pm

at ABC Carpet & Home (888 Broadway, at 19th Street)

$20 admission


Two-Part Workshop:

Reconnecting Body and Mind with Karen Braga

In the space of 45 minutes, Karen Braga-beloved instructor of the Alexander Technique at ESPA-will lead you in exercises designed to awaken a greater sense of mindfulness. With attention on experiential anatomy, you will learn how to energize your body with more poise, less tension, and ultimately, complete stress reduction. You will leave with a greater understanding of how your body is designed to breathe, sound, and emote with movement based lessons. This is the class to conquer the physical results of slumping at a computer, rushing, and being generally stressed out.

Writing a Rant with Cusi Cram

Playwright, Television/Film writer, and perennial favorite in the ESPA writing department Cusi Cram will lead you through exercises that exorcise your demons onto the page. You'll investigate the dynamics and tensions that create compelling long-form monologues as well as the linguistic rhythms and beats that push your language to an almost symphonic level. You'll write out of your comfort zone and craft a monologue that is active, bold, and a little terrifying.

FREE WORKSHOPS at The Drama Book Shop

Friday, February 12

The Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street

3:00pm - 4:00pm: Refocusing Your Writing with Tanya Barfield


Whether you need to combat writer's block, work through a problematic scene, or just raise your writing to the next level, Tanya Barfield (Writer, Bright Half Life, The Call, "The Americans") will challenge you with her tried and true writing exercises in an hour of hardcore scribbling. You'll leave this workshop with an arsenal of exercises to use whenever you need a kick in the pants. Attendees should bring a notebook and pen or a laptop. (Please charge your laptop as you will not be able to plug it in.)

6:00pm - 8:00pm: Refining Your Monologue with Michelle Bossy


Starting class with an in-depth discussion on how to approach finding monologues, Michelle Bossy (Associate Artistic Director, Primary Stages) will then coach a handful of participants on what's currently in their book. With feedback that's universally applicable, all attendees will leave with a stronger sense of what to look for in choosing a new monologue, how to break up the piece into physical beats, and ultimately, how to refine your repertoire and self-coach your monologue prior to any big audition. Please prepare an audition-ready monologue if you would like to participate. Participants will be chosen at random.

Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA)'s multidisciplinary classes have trained playwrights, actors, and directors in all stages of their development and from all corners of the globe. Our focus is on nurturing, advocating, and honoring emerging artists by providing them countless developmental opportunities, space to write and rehearse, and a family of collaborators. Students benefit from a kaleidoscope of perspectives and methods from our award-winning family of instructors-all working theater artists in NYC and around the country. Through building these connections and a body of work at ESPA, our playwrights have received workshops and productions, won awards, and garnered professional attention among artistic leaders across the country. Our actors and directors have built relationships that now extend far beyond our walls. Having provided a home for over 2,500 artists, ESPA has become a trailblazer in performing arts education, new play development, and collaboration within the Primary Stages and greater New York theater community. ESPA is open to all artists, in all stages of their careers.

Primary Stages is an Off-Broadway not-for-profit theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting. We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 125 new plays, including Donald Margulies' The Model Apartment (1995 premiere and 2013 revival); David Ives' Lives of the Saints and All in the Timing (original 1993 production and 2013 revival); Billy Porter's While I Yet Live; Kate Fodor's Rx; Charles Busch's The Tribute Artist and Olive and the Bitter Herbs; A.R. Gurney's Black Tie; Horton Foote's Harrison, TX andDividing the Estate (Two 2009 Tony Award®nominations); Theresa Rebeck's Poor Behavior;Deborah Zoe Laufer's Informed Consent; Terrence McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams and The Stendhal Syndrome; Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter's In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); and Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright's U.S. debut). Our productions and artists have received critical acclaim, including Tony, Obie, Lortel, AUDELCO, Outer Critics' Circle, Drama League, and Drama Desk awards and nominations. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our education and training programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), the Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting, and the newly launched Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project. Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important-and often transformative-connections within the theater community.

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