Ensemble Studio Theatre and Youngblood's UNFILTERED Plays Now thru 1/11


Unfiltered 2012, the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Youngblood's under-30, 2012 Obie Award-winning playwright incubator that has produced talents such as Annie Baker, Amy Herzog, Jon Kern, Lucy Alibar, and Robert Askins, has new dates. Unfiltered 2012 opens tonight, November 16, at 7:00pm and now runs through January 11 at Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST), 549 West 52nd Street. (Original dates were November 9 through December 7.)

The EST/Youngblood playwrights with plays in Unfiltered 2012 are Darcy Fowler, Chiara Atik, Angela Hanks, Alexander Borinsky and Ryan Dowler.

The festival features five brand new full-length plays from these playwrights in Studio Productions, with a new play opening each week and rotating in rep. Unfiltered productions frequently mark each playwright’s professional debut.

“The Unfiltered festival is where plays like last season’s Hand to God by Rob Askins can really get their first shot,” says William Carden, EST Artistic Director. “That’s often the most valuable thing you can give to a playwright – that first shot. You've never heard of these playwrights, but you will! People forget that EST debuted John Patrick Shanley, Richard Greenberg, Chris Durang, José Rivera and Albert Innaurato, among others. More recently, writers like Annie Baker, Amy Herzog, Lucy Alibar and Rob Askins saw their early plays produced in this program after they left college but before they established careers. Unfiltered is creative risk-taking at its purest. And the audience is key: the public response helps these new plays get going."

The Secret Catcher

First up in the festival is The Secret Catcher by Chiara Atik, directed by Tom Wojtunik, in which a young woman negotiates her first romance while trying to determine the truth of a family curse.

DATES -- The play opens tonight, November 16, at 7:00pm and continues Saturday, November 17, at 7:00pm; Sunday, November 18, at 3:00pm; Tuesday, November 27, at 7:00pm; and concludes Wednesday, November 28, at 7:00pm.

The Bird and The Two-Ton Weight

Next is The Bird and The Two-Ton Weight by Darcy Fowler, directed by John Giampietro. Faced with an unhappy present, a woman discovers her late mother's journal and escapes into the wild times of a young actress in a bygone decade, in London and on her own for the first time.

DATES -- The play opens on Thursday, November 29, and continues on Friday, November 30; Saturday, December 1, at 2:00pm; Thursday, December 6; and concludes Saturday, December 8, at 7:00pm.

Myrna In Transit

The third show is Myrna In Transit by Angela Hanks, directed by Chuck Patterson. After her sister passes, Myrna is haunted by the sorrows of everyone in her Texas hometown. Wherever she goes, everyone feels a little bit better, except her.

DATES -- Performances are on Wednesday, December 5, at 7:00pm; Friday, December 7, at 7:00pm; and conclude on Saturday, December 8, at 2:00pm.

Going Out and Coming Back

Going Out and Coming Back by Alexander Borinsky, directed by Colleen Sullivan, is the tale of a young girl who spends two summers coming of age as a member of an all-women trombone ensemble.

DATES -- The play opens on Wednesday, December 12, at 7:00pm and continues on Thursday, December 13, at 7:00pm; Friday, December, 14, at 7:00pm; Saturday, December 15, at 2:00pm; and concludes Saturday, December 15, at 7:00pm.


Stiff by Ryan Dowler, directed by RJ Tolan, is the fifth and final play in the Festival. Terrence is ready to build a new life with his new girlfriend, but his grief-stricken, mortality-obsessed best friend Omar is mourning his dead wife in a unique and disturbing way.

DATES -- Performances begin Wednesday, January 9, at 7:00pm; Thursday, January 10, at 7:00pm; and conclude Friday, January 11, at 7:00pm.

All seats for individual Unfiltered 2012 shows are $20; $15 for students/seniors and EST members. Multiple show packages start at $30 for two shows and $50 for three. To order tickets call 866.811.4111 or click www.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/134.

The Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) was founded in the belief that extraordinary support yields extraordinary work. We are a dynamic and expanding company of artists committed to the discovery and nurturing of new voices and the continued support and growth of artists throughout their creative lives. Through our unique collaborative process we develop and produce original, provocative, and authentic new plays that engage and challenge our audience and audiences across the country.

EST/Youngblood (Graeme Gillis & R.J. Tolan, Artistic Directors) is the theatre’s company of emerging professional playwrights under 30. For nineteen years EST/Youngblood has nurtured the best new playwriting talent through regular meetings, readings, retreats, workshops and mainstage productions.

In the last few years there have been dozens of high-profile New York productions and other achievements by Youngblood members and recent alums – including, among many others:

Jon Kern’s Modern Terrorism received its world premiere at 2nd Stage Theatre in New York City in the autumn of 2012.

Lucy Alibar’s Beasts of the Southern Wild screenplay, adapted from a stage play, has contributed to the independent film’s widespread acclaim in 2012.

Amy Herzog's 4000 Miles returned to Lincoln Center after a run at LCT 3 and garnered a 2012 Village Voice Obie Award. Her After the Revolution, staged to acclaim at the Williamstown Theater Festival in summer 2010, had an extended run at Playwrights Horizons garnered raves from the New York critics.

Annie Baker won the Obie for Best Playwriting of 2010 for her plays The Aliens and Circle Mirror Transformation, which began in Youngblood's weekly Wednesday night meetings. Her adaptation of Uncle Vanya enjoyed an extended run at Soho Rep in spring 2012.

Qui Nguyen was recognized in 2010 with an Obie Award for his Vampire Cowboys Theatre company, also named in The Village Voice's "Best of NYC." His play The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G, the conclusion of his Vietnamese Boat Trilogy, ran off-Broadway at Theatre Row in 2012.

Elizabeth Meriwether is the creator of New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel, now in its 2nd season on FOX, and is the screenwriter of No Strings Attached, with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, which opened #1 at the box office in January 2011.

Christopher Shinn, Obie Award and Lortel Award winner and Guggenheim Fellow, is the author of Dying City, which moved from London's West End to Lincoln Center and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His recent play Picked ran at the Vineyard Theatre last spring.

Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap was produced on both coasts through a unique co-production between Ma-Yi Theatre in New York and the Magic Theatre in San Francisco. He had two premieres in 2012: Great Wall Story at the Denver Center and Jesus in India at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco.

Robert Askins moved to New York in 2005. He has received two EST/Sloan grants, and an Arch and Bruce Davis Award for Playwriting. His Princes of Waco in 2010 was produced and developed by Youngblood. His one-act play Matthew and the Pastor’s Wife was a part of Marathon 2010 at the Ensemble Studio Theatre. His Hand to God became one of the most acclaimed plays of the 2011-2012 season.

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