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World Premiere Of WHAT YOU ARE NOW Will Now Begin Previews March 9 at Ensemble Studio Theatre

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This will be the first live production in EST's theatre since the shutdown in March 2020. 

World Premiere Of WHAT YOU ARE NOW Will Now Begin Previews March 9 at Ensemble Studio Theatre

Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today that the World Premiere of what you are now by Sam Chanse (Fruiting Bodies), directed by Steve Cosson (Whisper House), and co-presented by The Civilians (Steve Cosson, Artistic Director), will now begin previews on Wednesday March 9, 2022, out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of both the production and audiences.

Part of the EST/Sloan Science & Technology Project (Graeme Gillis, Program Director; Linsay Firman, Associate Director), what you are now will now open on March 17, 2022, at EST's Curt Dempster Theatre (545 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019) for a limited run through April 3, 2022.

Chanse was awarded a New Play Commission grant by the EST/Sloan Project to begin writing what you are now in 2015 and presented a reading of the play as part of the 2017 First Light Festival. In 2018, The Civilians were awarded an EST/Sloan Project seed grant in order to develop the play with Chanse. Both companies have continued to support the development of this play, including a public reading hosted at New Dramatists as part of the 2020 First Light Festival and Chanse's participation in The Civilians' R&D Group lab for new work. This will be the first live production in EST's theatre since the shutdown in March 2020.

Pia is a passionate young researcher investigating cutting-edge new ideas about how to heal the mind from traumatic memories. But her interest is also personal, deeply intertwined with her family's history. When a figure from the past unexpectedly shows up, urging Pia's mother to testify about her experiences during the violence of 1970s Cambodia, unresolved histories are brought to the surface. Pia must navigate through a latticework of interconnected memories: her relationship, her brother Darany and, centrally, her mother Chantrea-making discoveries that will radically alter everyone's lives in the present.

what you are now asks what if our memories aren't fixed, but change each time we recall the past? This world premiere by Sam Chanse is a thrillingly insightful new play that asks the audience to move through the shifting dance between the past and present, and to consider how with new understanding we might change "who you were then" to "what you are now."

The cast of what you are now will include Sonnie Brown ("Pose"), Curran Connor (Dido of Idaho), Emma Kikue (God Said This), Robert Lee Leng ("Awkwafina is Nora from Queens") and Pisay Pao ("Z Nation").

what you are now will feature scenic design by Riw Rakkulchon, costume design by An-lin Dauber, lighting design by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, sound design by Leah Gelpe, original music by Sophy Him and props design by Caitlyn Murphy. Soriya Chum serves as dramaturg and Fran Acuña-Almiron is the production stage manager.

Tickets for what you are now will go on sale to the public on February 7, 2022. For more information, visit ESTnyc.org.


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