36th Marathon of One-Act Plays: Series A


The 36th Marathon of One-Act Plays: Series A

EST held its first Marathon in 1977 and launched an industry-wide revival of the short play form and broke new ground by putting new and established writers together on one stage. This year's 36th Marathon of One-Act Plays will be presented in three series. Series A includes new short plays by France-Luce Benson, Maggie Diaz Bofill, Cary Gitter, Emily Chadick Weiss, & David Zellnik.

There will be a special benefit performance of Series A on May 17th with honorary guest Lois Smith to support the artistic work of EST! Click here to learn more about this special night!


Showtime Blues, by France-Luce Benson*

directed by Steve H. Broadnax III
featuring Cecil Blutcher, Dylan Dawson*†, Josh Johnson, & Sharina Martin†

A potentially dangerous encounter, and major train delays force Ameira and Demetrius to confront their internalized prejudice attitudes, and the harsh realities of life as a moving target.

France-Luce Benson* Currently a Playwright in Residence at Djerassi, and a recent NEA Grant recipient; Sam French OOB Festival Winner 2016, Dramatist Guild Fellow 2015-16,  NNPN Award for Short Playwriting 2016, Alfred P. Sloan New Play Commission (The Devil’s Salt), and Princess Grace Award Runner-Up. Her plays have been produced by Crossroads Theatre, City Theatre of Miami, The Billy Holiday Theatre, Loyola Marymount University, New Perspectives Theatre, and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Publications include Samuel French and Routledge press.  She earned an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, and is an Associate Professor at St. John’s University.

El Grande, by Maggie Diaz Bofill*

directed by Pam Berlin*
featuring Christina Nieves†, Jamie Rezanour†, & Laura Riveros

When Adriana locks herself in the bathroom, declaring she will now be living there, her two sisters Yolanda and Antonia have to get her out. The whole event turns into a crazy adventure that reveals a shocking secret, and shows them for who they really are: Una familia, where no matter how volatile things might get - at the end of the day, love reigns supreme.

Maggie Diaz Bofill* Proud member of EST. Founding member of LAByrinth Theater Company. This is her third collaboration with Pam Berlin, the first two being Face Cream (One Act Marathon) and Winners (part of a Special Drama Desk Award-winning season at EST). Drawn and Quartered, directed by Lou Moreno at INTAR (NY Times Critic’s Pick). Published in Best Men’s Stage Monologues of 2015, Smith and Krauss, She has taken part in New York Madness, several One Minute Play Festivals. Maggie is also an actor, and feels honored to be in the Marathon, one of her favorite events ever!

How My Grandparents Fell in Love, by Cary Gitter

directed by Colette Robert*
featuring Lucy DeVito*† & Eli Gelb†

In 1933, Charlie, a Polish Jew who has immigrated to America, returns to the Old Country in search of a wife—and then he meets Chava in a hat shop.

Cary Gitter Cary Gitter is a member of EST/Youngblood.  His plays include After Dad, Menorah, Youth Group, and The Smelly Girl, and have been developed or produced at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Flea Theater, NYU, the Tank, and elsewhere. He is a Jewish Playwriting Contest finalist and a two-time O’Neill semifinalist and he received NYU’s John Golden Playwriting Prize and an honorable mention for the Kennedy Center’s Rosa Parks Playwriting Award.  He is a mentor in the PEN Prison Writing Program. BFA, MA: NYU. He dedicates this play to the memory of his father, Sidney Gitter.

The Fork, by Emily Chadick Weiss*

directed by Andrew Grosso*
featuring Marcia Jean Kurtz*†, Dawn McGee*†, & Keola Simpson†

Joyce, a proud grandma and leader in her field, is about to retire and feels she should use this time to assassinate the President. However, her children know this urge is about more than just politics.

Emily Chadick Weiss* is a member playwright at The Ensemble Studio Theatre and was a member of their playwriting group for emerging writers, Youngblood. An EST/Alfred P. Sloan Science and Technology Grant recipient, Emily is a winner of Stephen Sondheim’s Young Playwrights Inc. National Playwriting Contest. Her play The Last Party is published by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. Her piece on Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles is published in The Dramatist Magazine. Emily is a writer for the PBS Kids TV Show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and her independent sitcom pilot “The Share” is a winner of the WILDsound Film Festival www.TheShareSitcom.com

Blue Handed, by David Zellnik*

directed by John Giampietro*
featuring Pepper Binkley*† & Shawn Randall*†

A soldier testifies about an atrocity committed against an Arab civilian, while his interrogator wrestles with a deeply-buried memory of childhood shame. A short, sharp poetic meditation on guilt and how other people’s stories come to live in us.

David Zellnik*’s musicals with composer Joe Zellnik include Yank! (Off Broadway, 7 Drama Desk nominations; 2017 productions in Manchester, London, and Rio), City of Dreams, and the upcoming Ruth and the Panda. His plays include Serendib (EST), Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, The F**king Wright Brothers, Ariel Sharon Stands at the Temple Mount and Dreams of Theodor Herzl, and The Udmurts, as well as EST Marathon one-acts Killing Hand, Ideogram, and For Elise. With Ismail Khalidi, he has recently created www.breakthewallproject.org, a multi-artist project that works to change the discourse around Israel/Palestine. Blue Handed was written for this project using some of the testimony of the Israeli NGO “Breaking the Silence.” David is donating all proceeds to that organization.

*Denotes Ensemble Artist
†These actors are appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association