Lily Houghton and More Among Ensemble Studio Theatre's 2017-18 EST/Youngblood Members
EST celebrates the 2017/18 season's new members of Youngblood, the OBIE-winning collective of emerging professional playwrights under the age of 30.
Founded in 1993, Youngblood serves as a creative home for the next generation of theater artists. Youngblood provides artistic guidance, peer support, regular feedback and a fertile production environment, which allows our member playwrights to hone their skills and explore their craft. We also provide exposure to the public and the press, professional outreach to the industry, and opportunities for production and publication.
As artists graduate, the Youngblood program welcomes new playwrights into their midst. This year's new members are Harron Atkins, Jukia Doolittle, Gracie Gardner, Lily Houghton, Daniel K. Isaac, Peter Kim, Anchuli Felicia King, Julia Specht, Ryann Weir, and Sofya Levitsky-Weitz.
Plays by current and former Youngblood playwrights have been performed on Broadway and in London's West End (Robert Askins' TONY-nominated Hand to God, which premiered at EST/Youngblood), at The Royal Court Theatre, Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Mark Taper Forum, the Vineyard Theater, the Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and many others, including award winners such as Annie Baker's John, The Flick and The Aliens and Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles, and have been adapted by film and television companies, including alumni Lucy Alibar's Juicy and Delicious which was adapted into the Cannes Caméra d'Or-winning film Beasts of The Southern Wild.
Youngblood will continue to offer their monthly brunch series, where artists have the opportunity to perform new work over food, mimosas, and bloody marys. These brunches take place on the first Sunday of every month, and tickets range from $18-20.
Ensemble Studio Theatre - commonly known as EST- was founded in 1968 by Curt Dempster on the belief that extraordinary support yields extraordinary work. They are a dynamic and expanding family of member artists committed to the discovery and nurturing of new voices and the continued support and growth of artists throughout their creative lives. Through their unique collaborative process, they develop and produce original, provocative, and authentic new plays that engage and challenge their audience and audiences across the country.
Now with over 600 ensemble artists, EST has been under the artistic direction of William Carden since 2007. The company received two 2017 Drama Desk Award nominations for Where Did We Sit on the Bus? by Brian Quijada and one 2014 Drama Desk nomination for Bobby Moreno in Year of the Rooster by Eric Dufault, who won the 2014 NY Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for a new playwright debut. Hand To God, which originated at EST, was nominated for five Tony Awards for its Broadway run. EST received a special Drama Desk Award for its "unwavering commitment to producing new works" in May of 2015.
Youngblood is Ensemble Studio Theatre's OBIE-winning collective of emerging professional playwrights under the age of 30. Founded in 1993, Youngblood serves as a creative home for the next generation of theater artists. Youngblood provides artistic guidance, peer support, regular feedback and a fertile production environment, which allows our member playwrights to hone their skills and explore their craft. We also provide exposure to the public and the press, professional outreach to the industry, and opportunities for production and publication.
Plays by current and former Youngblood playwrights have been performed on Broadway and in London's West End (Robert Askins' TONY-nominated Hand to God, which premiered at EST/Youngblood), at The Royal Court Theatre, Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Mark Taper Forum, the Vineyard Theater, the Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and many others, including award winners such as Annie Baker's John, The Flick and The Aliens and Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles, and have been adapted by film and television companies, including alumna Lucy Alibar's Juicy and Delicious which was adapted into the Cannes Caméra d'Or-winning film Beasts of The Southern Wild.
ABOUT THE EST/ YOUNGBLOOD ARTISTS:
HARRON ATKINS is an NYC based writer/actor who graduated in 2015 from Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama. He is the co-founder of BMA Detroit, an entertainment and arts platform dedicated to the discovery and nurturing of authentic artists in his hometown, Detroit, MI. Harron's plays have been produced in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Indiana and at Dixon Place theatre in New York. Harron is honored to join the Youngblood ranks and plans to continue to use the arts to entertain, to uplift, to heal, and to inspire change in the world.
JULIA DOOLITTLE was born in Los Angeles to two actors, John Doolittle and the fair Kimberly Farr (voted most likely to be a MILF her senior year of High School). The second of two children, Julia realized that people rarely enjoy the sequel as much as the original, and that often has to do with the sequel being much worse. But despite the harrowing odds, Julia aspired for her family to resemble more of a "Godfather" or "Star Wars" than a "Robocop", and thus attempted to be both originally entertaining and faithful to the source material. Julia attended Catholic High School, where she learned that she probably shouldn't have attended Catholic High School. Afterwards, Julia enrolled at Sarah Lawrence College, rated by the Princeton Review as "The Exact Opposite of Catholic School in Every Way". Julia was very happy there. Her writing has been seen at Victory Gardens Theatre, the Sam French Off-Off Broadway Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre, The Tank, Tiny Rhino, The Women's Project, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Urban Stages, and Rogue Machine Theatre. She is a 2016 recipient of the Elizabeth George Commission from South Coast Rep, a semi-finalist for the O'Neill Summer Conference, and a finalist for the 2017 Heideman Award at the Human Festival. Julia is also a proud member of EST's Youngblood.
Gracie Gardner is a Brooklyn-based writer. Her work as a playwright has been developed and seen at Naked Angels, the Queens Theater, the Hearth, the Bridge Residency, Vital Joint, SubCulture, the Kraine, Mason Holdings, the Flea, Hearth Gods, Adaptive Arts, Tiny Rhino, the Secret Theater, 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, Tripeg Lobo, Yes Noise, Collaborative Arts Mobility Project, and Core Artist Ensemble. Her credits include Pussy Sludge (HERE Arts Center, Sanctuary, Less Than Rent), Primary (Project Playwright Award, Sanguine Theater Company, IRT Theater), IndianapolisAlyssa1985 Is Getting Married (Dixon Place, WorkShop Theater, MITF), Very Dumb Kids (Cincinnati Conservatory), Human Resources (James E. Michael Award), and Manning Manning Manning (Horn Gallery Grant). She is an alum of the Tank's TV Pilot Development Group and Project Y's Playwright Group.
Lily Houghton is a twenty-two-year-old playwright born and raised in Manhattan. She wrote her first play at age seventeen before completing her B.A. in theater and clinical psychology with a minor in literature at Bennington College. Her plays have been developed at MCC Theater Company, NYU, 20% Theater Company Chicago, Yale University's Writers' Conference, Bennington College, University of Michigan Theater Conservatory, and the Jermyn Street Theatre in London. She has worked for Signature Theatre Company, The National Playwrights Conference, and The Public Theater. She is also an active advocate for individuals with autism and has worked closely with The Miracle Project, Autism Speaks, and the NYU Drama Therapy Graduate Department developing a show on relationships between people with autism and their loved ones. Lily's play, DEAR, will receive a PlayLab with MCC Theater this fall.
Daniel K. Isaac is a Korean American actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can see him on the small screen as 'Ben Kim' in Showtime's "Billions." Daniel co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, "According To My Mother." The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). "According To My Mother" is currently in development to become a digital series on First Look Media's new platform, TOPIC. Daniel is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre's Youngblood and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA. www.DanielKIsaac.com
Peter Kim is a member of Youngblood and holds a PhD in Literature from Brown University. He is a writer and playwright based in New York.
ANCHULI FELICIA KING is a multidisciplinary artist of Thai-Australian descent who works primarily in live theater. Her areas of interest include emerging technologies, VFX and projection design, music production and writing for performance. As a playwright, Felicia is interested in linguistic hybrids, digital cultures and issues of global urgency. She is a member of EST's Youngblood Group and Roundabout's Space Jam Program. Currently based in New York, Felicia has worked with a wide range of companies, including Punchdrunk, The Builders Association, 3LD Arts & Technology Center, Roundabout Theater, 59E59, Ars Nova, the Obie Awards, and Red Bull Theater. She continues to work globally, with companies such as Playwriting Australia (Sydney), Yellow Earth Theatre (London), House of North (Berlin) and SHIFT Festival (Shanghai). In 2017, Felicia is working as the Associate Artistic Director at 3LD Arts & Technology Center.
JULIA SPECHT is a Brooklyn based playwright and writer. Her plays include Down Cleghorn (EST Marathon 2017), Allston Rat City (Warner International Playwriting Competition, semi-finalist), and Patty. She's originally from Fitchburg, MA.
RYANN WEIR is a Brooklyn-based actor and writer. Recent acting/writing credits include I Heard Sex Noises (Ars Nova Project Residency), DEBUTANTE. (Ars Nova ANT Fest), Golden Baby: Good Point! (Chicago Sketchfest), The First Ladies Project (NYTW E. 4th St. theater), Camp Over There (Bonnaroo) and her annual adaptation of A Christmas Carol with co-conspirators Andrew Neisler and Andrew Farmer (now in its 5th year of 30). Short plays include Dinosaur Play (HERE) and The Sycophants (The Flea, Serials). Web series: "Basic Witch" (basicwitchseries.com) written with Claire Rothrock, dir. Annie Tippe and "I Heard Sex Noises" (currently in development). Residencies: FGP BRB, Barn Arts Collective and Ars Nova Williams College. BFA NYU. More at ryannweir.com.
SOFYA LEVITSKY-WEITZ is a theatre and film artist originally from Los Angeles. She's developed work at the Brick, Williamstown, JACK, BAC, Hi-Arts, Steep Theatre, Dixon Place, The Araca Group, The Tank, The Flea, the PIT, Hearth Gods, Chicago Dramatists, and Teatro Vista. Commissions from The Motor Company, Steep Theatre, and Chinatown Soup. Residencies through Barn Arts Collective and Chinatown Soup. Semi-finalist for The Playwrights' Realm Writing Fellowship and The Princess Grace Award. Finalist for the Actor's Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award and published (twice) in The Dionysian. Nominee for the PoNY Fellowship. She's a member of EST/Youngblood and serves as the official judge for Hendrix College's playwriting competition. She got her MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage from Northwestern University and teaches writing at St. John's University. www.sofyaweitz.com