Ensemble Studio's "Youngblood" Playwrights Debut New Plays; Robert Askins Grants Announced

News   Ensemble Studio's "Youngblood" Playwrights Debut New Plays; Robert Askins Grants Announced Ensemble Studio Theatre has kicked off its Unfiltered festival series of brand-new, full-length plays from emerging playwrights under 30, dubbed the "Youngbloods." This year's graduating writers, who exit the program at 30, are also the beneficiaries of the new commission grants donated by Tony-nominated playwright Robert Askins.

Performances of Unfiltered began Nov. 12 and will continue through April 23, 2016, at EST’s Mainstage Theatre. This year's festival playwrights are Brendan Hill, Abby Rosebrock, Ana Nogueira, Paul Cameron Hardy, Mariah MacCarthy, Patrick Link and Eric March.

The series launched with Hill's Las Vegas-set play Shitloads of Money, directed by Matt Dickson, which ran through Nov. 14. Unfiltered continues Nov. 19 with Rosebrock's Dido of Idaho, directed by Mikhaela Mahony. According to press notes, the new play "explores what happens when an alcoholic musicologist competes with a former Miss Idaho for the love of a married English professor." Performances will run though Nov. 22.

The final Unfiltered production of the year will be Nogueira's Empathitrax, about a young couple who opt for a pill that offers a solution to all their romantic woes – but at what cost? Performances will run Dec. 9-12.

Nogueira, who graduates from the Youngblood program this year, is also one of the recipients of Askins' exit commission grant. Askins, a Youngblood alumnus himself, donated the funds to EST last spring. Exit commissions are also being awarded to Cameron Hardy, Lucy Gillespie, Patrick Link, Martyna Majok, Anna Moench, Jen Silverman and Emily Chadick Weiss.

Tickets to see plays in the Unfiltered series range from $15-20 and can be purchased by calling (866) 811-4111 or visiting ESTnyc.org. EST’s Mainstage Theatre is located at 549 W. 52nd St., New York.

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