Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) has announced that their current home on West 52nd Street in Manhattan will undergo major renovations for the first time in almost 50 years.
The nearly $3 million in City funding will allow EST to build a new 99-seat mainstage theatre; renovate their offices and rehearsal space, as well as overhaul their current performance space, the 60-seat Curt Dempster Theatre. The renovations will also include the addition of a new lobby, dressing rooms and restrooms.
The theatre, which provides support to a large network of playwrights in New York City, helped develop Robert Askins’ dark comedy Hand to God, which went on to Broadway to play a Tony-nominated engagement.
The renovations are made possible through funding awarded to EST from the New York City Council, as well as the Office of the Mayor of New York City, including the Department of Cultural Affairs. The City funding is further increased by a private funding commitment from the Radio Drama Network, which co-produced Leah Nanako Winkler’s Kentucky at EST earlier this year.
“The Ensemble Studio Theatre is joyously, eternally grateful to Mayor Bill DeBlasio,Tom Finkelpearl, Cultural Affairs Commissioner, and Andy Burmeister, to the visionary New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, to our wonderful local Council Member Corey Johnson, and to Jimmy Van Bremer, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Daniel Garodnick and the entire New York City Council for its extraordinarily generous capital funding allocation in support of our theatre’s planned first complete renovation in nearly 50 years on West 52nd Street in Manhattan,” commented EST’s artistic director William Carden in a press statement. “[Their] joint action will extend the life of our City-owned facility and improve the safety and comfort for the theatergoing public and New York City theatre artists from all five Boroughs for decades to come. We also are profoundly grateful to Melina Brown, President of the Radio Drama Network, for their extremely generous private commitment that served to catalyze the City’s funding allocation. It’s a public/private partnership to benefit the New York City theatre.”
EST's 2016-17 season will be announced soon. For more information on the theatre visit ensemblestudiotheatre.org/