Ensemble Studio/Youngblood Extend FIVE TIMES IN ONE NIGHT Through 3/21

Ensemble Studio Theatre/Youngblood world premiere Five Times In One Night by Chiara Atik, directed by R.J. Tolan, has been extended for another week at Ensemble Studio Theatre, 549 West 52nd Street, with a must close date of Saturday, March 21.


Five Times In One Night, a comic survey of sexual relations throughout human history, featuring actors Dylan Dawson and Darcy Fowler playing five different couples in five different time periods, began performances Thursday, February 12.


Playwright Chiara Atik, known for her handbook Modern Dating: A Field Guide (Harlequin, 2013), had a breakout hit last year with Women, her mash up play of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and HBO's Girls. The play was a New York Times Critics' Pick and was named "highbrow brilliant" in New York magazine's Approval Matrix en route to extended runs in New York and Los Angeles. Even given that background, she says the play surprised her.

"I actually kind of can't believe I wrote this play, because I'm definitely pretty uptight when it comes to talking about sex!" says Ms. Atik. "But sex has always been hard for people to discuss, and that, I guess, is what I thought could be fun to explore. If you really had to have sex with the last man on earth, how would you, like... bring it up? Sex is the most natural, fundamentally human act in the world, and yet... so terrible and awkward to talk about!"

"Sex carries so much importance in our lives," adds director R.J. Tolan. "It costs us so much psychic energy, but we only talk about it in these weird, limited, ways and we tie ourselves in such knots about it. And Chiara captures the comedy and the heartbreak of that so perfectly."

According to EST Artistic Director William Carden, the play fits as the next step in Atik's already wide-ranging body of work. "Over her time in Youngblood, we've seen Chiara rise from a promising talent to an accomplished writer with a world view unlike any I know. As an author, journalist, screenwriter, and playwright, she confronts modern problems of the heart in a fresh, funny, unconventional way. Five Times is the best use of those skills we've seen yet. When a writer that talented brings in a script this good, you jump on it. You don't wait."

Running EST's intimate 6th floor studio space, Five Time In One Night was fostered through the theatre's company-based aesthetic. Both cast members, Dylan Dawson and Darcy Fowler, are fellow playwright members of Youngblood with Ms. Atik, and Mr. Tolan has been co-Artistic Director of the group since 2003. All have been working with Atik on the piece since she first got the idea.

Mr. Carden points out this close collaboration is what EST does best.

"If you look at the work coming out of this theatre over the last five years, whether it's Hand to God or Year of the Rooster or (Drama Desk nominee) Finks, there's a shorthand and trust that comes from actors and writers and directors working together again and again and again," Mr. Carden says. "Chiara, R.J., Dylan and Darcy know each other so well, they can take chances and play to each other's strengths. It's exactly the right group for this play's sideways, irreverent brand of intimacy."
***
In addition to credits listed above, Chiara Atik's writing has also been featured in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, The Atlantic, The Hairpin, NYMag.com, and Elle.com. Ms. Atik's other plays include The Secret Catcher (Ensemble Studio Theater), Daisy: A Study of Americans Abroad (Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Superlab). Other writing credits include Paris is Lovely/Lonely When You're Alone (Amazon Kindle, Paperback 2014). Her website is www.chiaraatik.com.

R.J. Tolan (director) has been co-Artistic Director of EST's Youngblood since 2003 and is an Ensemble Artist at EST. EST Marathon: Hate the Loser Inside by Jon Kern, Two From the Line by Michael Wells, Christmas Present by Amy Herzog, Not All Korean Girls Can Fly by Lloyd Suh. Most recent EST/Youngblood credits: Christmas in Queens by Patrick Link & Eric March, Stiff by Ryan Dowler, Sweet Forgotten Flavor by Patrick Link, plus dozens of Brunch plays. Shows and workshops at The Brick, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Cherry Lane Alternative and Off-Broadway.

Dylan Dawson has performed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova, Naked Angels, The Women's Project, and various other theaters around New York. Also a playwright, Dylan is an alumni of both the Ars Nova Play Group and EST's Youngblood. He has a B.F.A. from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Darcy Fowler, a recent graduate of Youngblood, is a playwright, screenwriter and actress. Film/TV credits include Frank Whaley's Like Sunday, Like Rain starring Leighton Meester; The Deflowering of Ariel Von; Bad Parents starring Janeane Garofalo; FX's Louie, and many commercials. Theatre credits include productions, workshops and readings with EST, Labyrinth Theatre, The Lark, IRT, Ars Nova, 52nd Street Project, Management Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Caps Lock Theatre, Primary Stages. As a writer, her work has been developed and performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Primary Stages, Ars Nova, The Bushwick Starr, The Cochrane Theatre (London) and the Old Vic (London). She is a member of the comedy troupe The Story Pirates. Her website is www.darcyfowler.com.

Five Times In One Night performs Wednesday through Saturday nights through March 14, with two additional performances Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21, at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20. To order tickets call 866.811.4111 or click < www.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/134>.

EST/Youngblood (Graeme Gillis & R.J. Tolan, Artistic Directors) 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, providing artistic guidance, peer support, regular feedback and a fertile production environment which allows for the playwrights to hone their skills and explore their craft. Youngblood also provides exposure to the public and the press, professional outreach to the industry, and opportunities for production and publication.

The last two EST/Youngblood productions were Robert Askins' Hand to God and Eric Dufault's Year of the Rooster, both award winners and popular successes. Many celebrated writers of the past several years are Youngblood graduates, including:

Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Robert Askins (Hand to God)
Annie Baker (The Flick)
Clare Barron (You Got Older)
Nikole Beckwith (Everything Is Ours)
Eric Dufault (Year of the Rooster)
Amy Herzog (4000 Miles)
Jon Kern (Modern Terrorism)
Michael Lew (Bike America)
Elizabeth Meriwether (New Girl)
Qui Nguyen (Vampire Cowboys)
Christopher Shinn (Dying City)
Lucy Thurber (The Hill Town Plays)

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