EST STAFF

William Carden

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR  |  carden@estnyc.org

William Carden has been the Artistic Director of the Ensemble Studio Theatre since 2007, where he has directed the RoughCut production of Please Continue by Frank Basloe as well as Headstrong by Patrick Link, Lenin’s Embalmers by Vern Thiessen, Pidgeon, PTSD and Zero by Tommy Smith and Lucy by Damien Atkins.  Prior to that he was artistic director of the HB Playwrights Foundation for eleven years where he directed the Off-Broadway productions of Mrs. Klein and Collected Stories starring Uta Hagen.  His many other productions there include Horton Foote’s The Habitation of Dragons and Voir Dire by Joe Sutton.  He directed The Dew Point by Neena Beber for the Summer Play Festival, The Young Girl and the Monsoon at Playwrights Horizons and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Stratford Festival in Canada. He teaches in the acting and playwriting programs at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. 

PAUL A. SLEE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  |  slee@estnyc.org

Paul Slee previously served as Executive Director of New Dramatists, where he helped create grant, award and exchange programs for American playwrights and supported the development of hundreds of new plays, and as Executive Director of International Arts Relations (INTAR), the center for Hispanic American playwrights. He is an alumnus of McGill University and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

GRAEME GILLIS

ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF YOUNGBLOOD, PROGRAM DIRECTOR OF EST/SLOAN  |  gillis@estnyc.org

Graeme Gillis also serves as the Program Director of the EST/Sloan Project and is Co-Artistic Director of EST/Youngblood (2012 Obie Award). His plays have been produced at EST by Youngblood and in the Marathon. He has worked as a playwright with theatres throughout the US and Canada, including Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Cherry Lane, Vampire Cowboys, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Source Theatre (DC), Mulgrave Road Theatre (Nova Scotia), Summerworks, and Theatre Smash at the Tarragon Theatre (Toronto). Published by Dramatists Play Service and Applause Books. Guest faculty at Sarah Lawrence College. As a Canadian he proudly bears a US visa for playwriting, sponsored by the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Member of the Actors Studio and EST.

RJ TOLAN

CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, YOUNGBLOOD  | youngblood@estnyc.org

RJ Tolan has been the Co-Artistic Director of Youngblood since 2003 and a member of EST. Recent: Hate the Loser Inside by Jon Kern (EST Marathon), Stiff by Ryan Dowler, Sweet Forgotten Flavor by Patrick Link, plus dozens of Brunches, shorts, workshops and readings. Shows and workshops at the Brick, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Cherry Lane Alternative and Off-Broadway.  RJ lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Lisa, and their sons, Max and Charlie.

LINSAY FIRMAN

DIRECTOR OF PLAY DEVELOPMENT, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF EST/SLOAN PROJECT  | firman@estnyc.org

Linsay Firman is Director of Play Development at EST, and Associate Director of the EST/Sloan Project. At EST she has directed the World Premiere of Lucas Hnath’s Isaac’s Eye and the NY Premiere of Anna Ziegler's Photograph 51, as well as EST Marathon plays by Rachel Bonds, Garrett M. Brown, Darcy Fowler and and Jose Rivera. Other NYC productions include Chairs and a Long Table by Han Ong (Ma-Yi Theatre), Perdita by Pierre Diennet (Lion Theater), Anne Washburn’s Apparition (chashama), Joy Tomasko’s Unfold Me, Catherine Trieschmann’s Crooked and Heather Lynn MacDonald’s Pink (all at Ariel Tepper’s Summer Play Festival). Linsay began working in new play development as the Associate Director of Soho Rep, where she was a founder and chair of Soho Rep's Writer/Director Lab. Alumna of the Women's Project Director's Lab, the New Dramatists’s Resident Director Program and multiple programs at the Lark. M.F.A. from CalArts.

NICK WARD

GENERAL MANAGER  |  ward@estnyc.org

Nicholas Ward has served as the General Manager of the Ensemble Studio Theatre for over three seasons.  He previously worked as a management associate at the Second Stage Theatre, and worked with the Mirror Repertory company, at which he served as director of the Young Mirror, and was a teaching artist in their Arts in Ed program.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Jack plowe

ASSISTANT PRODUCTION MANAGER|  jackplowe@estnyc.org

Jack Plowe began as a Technical Intern at EST in beginning of 2014, and after working with the theater on several shows and cleaning the space whenever he had a free moment, he eventually worked up the ranks to become the Assistant Production Manager at the beginning of the 2015/2016 season.  He trained as an actor at Sarah Lawrence College, and still loves to be on stage whenever he can, but is excited to be a part of the behind-the-scenes work that keeps EST moving ever onwards and upwards.  

JOE LANKHEET

PRODUCTION MANAGER  |  joe@estnyc.org

Hailing from the city of Rochester, NY, Joe has worked throughout NYC as a sound designer, lighting designer, stage manager, and technical director. Oh, and he used to mix sound for children’s musicals - the highlight of this career thus far. Joe also performs throughout New York as a stand up comedian. He owns a cat.

Randee smith

FINANCE DIRECTOR  |  finance@estnyc.org

Randee Smith has been a member of EST since 1987. She is a playwright and educational director; she has been produced at EST, 59 E 59 and the Garde Arts Center. She was the founder and Educational Director of the Playwrights Horizons Professional Program, which later became the 42nd Street Collective where she was Artistic Director. She created the rap musical adaptation of Warriors Don’t Cry for 125 at risk high school students and for which she received multi awards. She continues working with teens in a summer arts program at the Garde Arts Center.

JONATHAN SUÁREZ

BUSINESS MANAGER  |  suarez@estnyc.org

Aaron Hock

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER  |  ahock@estnyc.org

Originally from York, Pennsylvania, Aaron recently joined EST as Development Manager. Most recently he worked as Development Assistant for the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and is thrilled to join another organization committed to new play development. He is a passionate supporter of the arts, and couldn't be more excited to live in New York. Aaron is a proud graduate of Dickinson College, where he majored in American Studies

HARRISON DENSMORE

CREATIVE DIRECTOR |  densmore@estnyc.org

Harrison Densmore is a director, writer, and visual artist. Originally hailing from the Seattle area, he has been in New York for the last five years. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied theatre. Harrison has worked on marketing and design with EST since 2014. 

Katie Rosin (KAMPFIRE PR)

MARKETING DIRECTOR |  katie@kampfirefilmspr.com  

SAMANATHA SEMBLER

BOX OFFICE MANAGER  |  sembler@estnyc.org

Samantha Sembler is an actor, singer, and producer in New York.  She’s worked at EST for 5 seasons and been involved in the One-Act Marathon, Asking for Trouble, Unfiltered, the Brunches, and the EST/Sloan Project.  Theatre credits: Kentucky (EST/Unfiltered), You Ain’t Gangsta (The Oneness Project), as well as plays by Alex Borinsky, Eric Dufault, Lucy Gillespie, Brendan Hill, Patrick Link, Catya McMullen, Donaldo Prescod, Charly Simpson, Leah Nanako Winkler, & Lauren Yee.  She is also a member artist and Artistic Associate for |the claque|, in charge of the casting and literary departments.

Rachel Colbert

DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT |