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

At EST, she has directed the World Premiere of Lucas Hnath’s Isaac’s Eye, NY Premiere of Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51, and the World Premiere of Ziegler’s Boy in a co-production with Keen Company. She has also directed EST Marathon plays by Rachel Bonds, Garrett M. Brown, Darcy Fowler, Jose Rivera, and Lloyd Suh. Other NYC productions include Chairs and a Long Table by Han Ong (Ma-Yi Theatre), Perdita by Pierre Diennet (Lion Theater), and Apparition by Anne Washburn (chashama). Linsay began working in 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’ 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

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.  

JONATHAN SUÁREZ

FINANCE DIRECTOR  |  suarez@estnyc.org

Randee smith

FINANCE ASSOCIATE  |  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.

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

BRAND MARKETING MANAGER |  densmore@estnyc.org

Harrison is a director, writer, and visual artist. Originally from the Seattle area, he has been in New York for almost six years. Directing work at EST includes Asking for Trouble 2016, Stephen Brown's graduation brunch play Buttons, and working as assistant director on Frank Basloe’s Please Continue. Other recent directing work includes The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals, Faster than Bullets as part of Sanctuary at HERE, and assistant directing The Lightning Thief Musical. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and has been with EST since 2014.

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.

Nikomeh Anderson

LITERARY ASSOCIATE | nikomeh@estnyc.org

Nikomeh is an ensemble theatre artist: actor, director, choreographer, educator, activist, and producer. They graduated NYU with a major in drama, worked as an apprentice at The Lark, and have been self producing, educating, and working with ensembles around the city. Learn more at nikomeh.com

Rachel Colbert

DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT |