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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  LATEST NEW YORK NEWS

at Ensemble Studio Theater (off-Broadway)

By David Lefkowitz
Published April 20 2008

  Curt Dempster

Arguably the best-known one-act play festival in New York, Ensemble Studio Theater's annual marathon has chosen its dates - May 8-June 28 - and its plays. For the 30th anniversary of this off-Broadway institution, the playwrights range from veterans like Frank D. Gilroy and Jose Rivera to hot properties like Neil LaBute to left-fielders like comedian Lewis Black.


As ever, the E.S.T Marathon will be held in three consecutive series at the company's home on West 52nd Street. Series A (May 8-May 31) features David Auburn's An Upset, Amy Herzog's Christmas Present, Willie Reale and Patrick Barnes' musical, A Little Soul Searching, Michael John Garces' Tostitos, and Quincy Long's Wedding Pictures. Series B (May 23-June 20) offers LaBute's The Great War, Taylor Mac's Okay, Lloyd Suh's Happy Birthday William Abernathy, David Zellnik's Ideogram and Anne Washburn's October/November. Completing the festival, Series C (June 6-June 28) contains Black's In Between Songs, Village Voice critic Michael Feingold's Japanoir, Frank D. Gilroy's Piscary, Jose Rivera's Flowers, and Jacquelyn Reingold's A Very Very Short Play.


Founded in 1972 by the late Curt Dempster, E.S.T. tends to be more of a developmental space than a production house, though a grant from the Sloan Foundation has led to a number of fully staged productions of works dealing with modern science. And although in the current theatrical climate, one-acts are unlikely to have much of a life outside their initial productions, one former E.S.T. Marathon offering, Mr. Charles, Currently of Palm Beach (1998), is now part of the quartet of short Paul Rudnick comedies making up New Century at off-Broadway's Mitzi Newhouse.


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