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Ensemble Studio Reveals Season With Comedies By Lloyd Suh and Michael Walek

EST’s 56th season will open in October with the New York premiere of FRANKLINLAND.

By: Jun. 21, 2024
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Ensemble Studio Theatre has announced its season, which will include two new comedies by alumni of the theatre’s Youngblood Playwrights Program, commissioned and developed through the EST/Sloan Project. This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the partnership between EST and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. 

EST’s 56th season will open in October with the New York premiere of FRANKLINLAND, a new comedy written by EST Member and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lloyd Suh, and directed by Chika Ike. FRANKLINLAND will run October 9 to November 3 at EST’s long-time home on West 52nd Street. Tickets will be on sale in August.

Franklinland is a story of growing up as the only son of Benjamin Franklin: the greatest scientific mind in the world, inventor of the lightning rod and the urinary catheter and the glass harmonica and bifocal glasses and, oh yeah, in his spare time the United States of America.

In March 2025, the Spring Mainstage production will be the world premiere of the comedy HAVE YOU MET JANE GOODALL AND HER MOTHER? written by Michael Walek and directed by the Program Director of the EST/Sloan Project and EST Member Linsay Firman

The Tanzanian government allowed Jane Goodall to study chimpanzees in the wild under one condition - she must bring a chaperone. So, Jane invited her mother.

“We are delighted to celebrate 25 years of this landmark partnership with Ensemble Studio Theatre,

which has helped make the science play an integral part of the theater canon,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Sloan Foundation. “This pioneering collaboration has resulted in the commissioning, development and production of over 300 plays, including two brilliant and witty plays in the 2024-2025 season. We are grateful to EST’s tremendous and dedicated pool of talent, its resourcefulness and indefatigable energy, and its willingness to experiment and take risks as one of America’s leading developmental theater companies.”

Now in its 56th year, EST has developed thousands of new American plays and has grown into a company of over 600 actors, directors, playwrights, designers, and stage managers. The 2024-2025 season will include an abundance of new play development through ongoing programs, including EST’s award-winning emerging playwrights collective Youngblood.  The EST/Sloan Project will continue to support the development of plays about science and technology with its annual First Light Festival presented throughout the whole season and will award a new round of Sloan Commissions this season. In addition, EST supports its Member Artists through internal developmental programs, offering space for creative exploration. 

Tickets for upcoming EST productions are $30 for general admission, $40 for reserved seating, and $25 for students/seniors. $20 early bird pricing is available through October 8. Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) is located at 545 West 52nd Street. For more information, visit


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