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Memberfest 2012/2013

The spirit of work in progress is what EST is all about. Memberfest is the heartbeat of our process. Our membership of over 500 artists come together to present projects in development. This is a unique opportunity to come into EST’s famous creative gymnasium, to experience our members’ work – new and raw and always surprising – and to share in the spirit of The Ensemble Studio Theatre.

All events are free.

Faye Drummond
by Tom Rowan*

directed by Rob Urbinati

Friday, June 14 - Sunday, June 16

Faye Drummond, the trophy wife of the fifth-richest man in America, lives in luxury in a penthouse overlooking Central Park. She's the woman who has everything, but she wants the one thing she can't have: her handsome stepson, Paul Letos. With apologies to Euripides and Racine, Faye Drummond updates the Greek myth of Phaedra and Hippolytus to contemporary New York, with uproarious results. With Tom Bozell, Jordan Coffey, Stephanie Dodd, LeeLee Heavenly, Maria Helan, Chesley Polk & Jim Thalman. Costume Consultant: Sharon Sobel

a comedy by Temi Brodkey Rose*

directed by Jason Daniel Siegel

Tuesday, May 21 @ 7pm 2013

A re-interpretation of Brecht's 'Mother Courage' with a decidedly modern feel, 'Courage' is a play about the sometimes staggering chasm between the intellect and the emotions, and one woman's quirky attempt to bridge it. With Rin Allen, Matt Decoster, Charles Hinshaw, Matthew L. Imparato, Peter Klein, Lorinne Lampert, Lucy McMichael, Nona Niedert, Jerry Rodgers, Andrew Rothkin & Joan Shepard

Stage Directions: Jason Daniel Siegel
Sign Man: Big Mike Logan
Music by Somers and Steel / Melodie Somers*

by Gabe McKinley 

directed by Mark Armstrong*

Tuesday, April 16 @ 7pm 2013

It's a big night atKarin's Comedy Club. With the chance at their own television show hanging in the balance, five stand-up comedians wrangle with their emotions and one another. This dark comedy exposes the hilarious and harrowing world of the most fearless performer around: the stand up comedian -- begging the ultimate question: what is FUNNY? With Andrew Garman*, Steven Boyer*, Danielle Slavick, Scott Sowers*, Helen Coxe*, Sean Geraghty & William Oliver Watkins

V-Day EST 2013 presents a Benefit Production of

I Dream Before I Take The Stand
by Arlene Hutton+*

directed by Margot Avery*
with Carla Cantrelle* & Mike Smith Rivera*+

The Vagina Monologues
by Eve Ensler 

with Shyko Amos+, Margot Avery+*, Stephanie Berry+*,Kelly Anne Burns+*, Molly Carden+*, Lucy DeVito+*, Abigail Gampel+*, Kelli Lynn Harrison+ &Susan Willerman+*

Tuesday, March 5 @ 8pm 2013 

Join us as we raise funds and awareness to end violence against women and girls.
All ticket sales go to V-Day Campaigns and Safe Horizon
V-Day ( is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler's award-winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works.  
I Dream Before I Take The Stand has been translated into multiple languages and presented at universities, high schools, and women's centers around the US for over fifteen years as a way to initiate dialogue on sexual violence.
Safe Horizon ( moves victims of violence from crisis to confidence.

The Last Showgirl
book and lyrics by Melodie Somers*; music by Rich Campbell

directed by Hal Corley

Sunday & Monday, March 3rd & 4th 2013

Follow one Woman’s Quirky Quest for Answers to some of Life’s Little, Big Questions with plenty of Wine, Chocolate, Sex and Music to guide her. 
“How do you start over when it’s almost done and the Book of Rules
You followed is now being sold on for $.17 plus shipping?”
With Melodie Somers*, Gary Nebiol* & Martha Braunfield. Rich Campbell on Piano.

Between Pretty Places
by Susan Merson*, music and lyrics by Shellen Lubin

directed by Shellen Lubin
musical direction by Matthew Gandolfo 

Tuesday, February 26th 2013

Fighting the ghosts of the land and their own daughter, an aging ranch couple must decide if rescuing their abandoned grand child will heal or destroy them. A musical play about the desperation, danger and drought of love in the harsh landscape of Central California. Based on a true story. With Tuck Milligan, Joyce Cohen, Heather Lupton, Lara Miller & Taysha Gonzalez

A Good Smoke
by Don Cummings 

directed by Austin Pendleton*

Tuesday, February 19th 2013

Joyce, the mother of three grown children, isn’t the center of attention any longer. Will she stop at nothing to regain that position?  Joyce drops her meds – cold-turkey – the day her daughter gives birth, resulting in severe drug withdrawal. As her daughter is wheeled into delivery, Joyce is hauled off to the psych ward.  Her husband and their two sons, David and Joe, are trying desperately to cope, but this family is functioning at its worst when it needs to be at its best, with generational repercussions that will not waft away. The painful comedy of life burns into this dark drama to make - A GOOD SMOKE. With Leslie Ayvazian*, Jared McGuire*, Peter McRobbie, Lance Rubin*, Diana Ruppe* & Barbara Marks.

Tonight at Noon
by Jeff Tabnick 

directed by Eric Nightengale

Tuesday, February 12th 2013

Tim and Emily can’t justify having children, given how little hope they have for the future. That night they are each overcome by a dream:  Tim must save a co-worker from a man in a black mask, and Emily dreams that she will save the world by convincing humanity to stop procreating. They wake up convinced that their dreams are reality. As they journey down the NJ Turnpike to pursue their new found goals, they find that all of America has succumbed to nighttime visions. Reality rends, government agents intervene, the future is foretold, lust is sated, and ideals are lost-- and somewhere in the rubble, Tim finally understands why he might want to start a family.  But in a world where everyone is consumed by his or her own delusions, is reuniting with his wife evenpossible? With Emily Hagburg, Jennifer O'Donnell, Jonathan Todd Ross, Scott Sowers*, Matty Stuart, with stage directions read by Margaret Fitzpatrick.

Beautiful Boy
by Eric Conger*

directed by Andrew Grosso*

Tuesday, February 5th 2013

A fifty-year old adoptee from Missouri drives to Connecticut to search for his parents. What he finds surprises and shocks him. But is he disappointed? A funny and poignant look at the plight of grown children lost in the closed system. With Tim Cain*, Zach Grenier*, Kristin Griffith*, Lois Smith* & Megan Tusing*.

by Saviana Stanescu*

directed by Daniel Winerman

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

USELESS, a darkly humored new drama, investigates the relationship between a married couple of Eastern European immigrants involved in organ trafficking - Kora, formerly sex-trafficked and pimped by her now husband Chris - and a disabled boy from a poor country, brought to the U.S. for his kidney. The silent boy affects Chris and Kora in a profound way, triggering unexpected outbursts and changes. He becomes a sort of mirror for their unfulfilled dreams, hidden fears and desires, and ultimately makes them connect on a deeper level. Or so we hope. (Warning: Heightened Realism & Dark humor) With Ana Grosse, Jared McGuire* & Steven Rishard.

But for the Grace… written
by David Eliet 

performed by Bob Jaffe*

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

But for the Grace... dispels many of the false ideas the general public often has about the people who rely on food pantries to put food on their tables. Bob Jaffe, who portrays eleven different characters ranging from a 7 year old boy to an 75 year old Russian immigrant woman, was acclaimed for his fully realized and highly nuanced performance. But for the Grace... has been touring ever since its premiere in 2007, changing people’s perceptions about hunger in the United States.

Donations will be collected for Hunger Relief and will go to Share Our Strength, which strives to eliminate childhood hunger.

“Jaffe’s earnest dignity and subdued rage are engaging. Jaffe’s skill makes this a worthwhile, even inspiring, guilt trip.”

- Time Out NY

Margaret & Kit
by Shirley Lauro*

directed by Mary Fassino

Sunday & Monday, December 16th & 17th, 2012

A unique love story that only now can be told.  In the tumultuous sixties,  a world famous novelist and her student are drawn inexplicably together as they transcend age, time, place and heritage. With Diana LaMar* & Lucy DeVito* & voiceovers by Dennis Paton & Nelson Avidon.

The Angel In the Trees
by Dan O’Brien 

directed by Mark Armstrong*

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Not long after moving to Lowden, a small town below the Mason-Dixon line, native New Yorker Madeline Singer encounters an unexplained phenomenon while walking through the woods. The Angel in the Trees is an evocative one-woman show about ghosts, God, and the American South. With Jessica Dickey.

The Portable Dorothy Parker
by Annie Lux 

directed by Lee Costello*

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Dorothy Parker reminisces about her life, loves, work—and the Algonquin Round Table—while selecting stories and poems for her 1944collection, The Portable Dorothy Parker. Featuring Margot Avery*.

Grant and Twain
by Elizabeth Diggs* 

directed by Faith Catlin

Tuesday, November 13th 2012

In 1884, Ulysses Grant was the idolized four-star Union Commander who won the Civil War. Mark Twain was the most famous writer in America. The two men were superstars. They were also, improbably, good friends. Twain had just broken a seven-year writer’s block to finish Huckleberry Finn. Grant had just been swindled out of all his money in a Ponzi scheme. Grant’s only chance to save his honor and provide for his family was to write his memoirs. Twain persuaded Grant to entrust the publication of his book to his own new publishing house. Halfway through the book, Grant was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and threatened with betrayal close to home. Twain went into serious debt and put his own career on hold for a year in his determination to save Grant’s reputation before he died. Grant’s Personal Memoirs and Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn became masterpieces of American writing. Featuring Cecilia DeWolf*, Clayton Fox, Dion Graham, Zach Grenier*, John Griesemer, Celeste Makoff & Scott Sowers*

Fish Display
by Robert Askins* 

directed by 

Tuesday, October 23rd 2012

The world of New York fine dinning is madness. Egos flare, stars flame out, allegiances change and fortunes are made all before the pre-theatre rush is over.  In a Midtown Greek whole fish house a young man from Texas learns to serve, sell and eat the competition under the tutelage of 6 pound white snapper that doesn’t know he’s dead yet. Find out what can go wrong when you play with your food. Featuring Dennis Boutsikaris*Geneva Carr*Curran Connor*Frank Harts*Bobby Moreno*.


Filming O’Keefe
by Eric Lane 

directed by Martha Banta

Tuesday, October 16th 2012

This contemporary story is inspired by the time Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz spent at his family home on Lake George. In Lane’semotional, lyrical and funny play, the echoes of these two legendary artists are alive in a modern artistic family residing on the former Stieglitz property. This new play was commissioned by the Adirondack Theatre Festival and will premiere at A.T.F. in 2013. Featuring Anne-Marie Cusson, Eli Gelb, Megan Hill* & Bob Jaffe*, with stage directions read by Ean Kessler


Tonight at Noon
written & directed by Jeff Tabnick

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

A comedy featuring Emily Hagburg, Jennifer O’Donnell, Jonathan Todd Ross, Scott Sowers* and Matty Stuart, with Brian Edelman reading stage directions.

*denotes EST Member