EST One-Act Marathon Returns With Guare, Mamet, Foote and Leight

News   EST One-Act Marathon Returns With Guare, Mamet, Foote and Leight
After a two-year absence, the Ensemble Studio Theatre's festival of new one-act plays returns to the Manhattan nonprofit's stage May 25-June 26.
John Guare
John Guare Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The most recent festival was in May 2003. The following spring, EST failed to present a line-up—the first such instance in the festival's 26-year history. Since then, the company's output has been erratic, its most significant venture being the early 2004 production of Paul Weitz' Roulette. That show marked the first commercial venture in EST's long history.

For the marathon's return, the troupe has pulled out some big guns, including works by Horton Foote, Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, John Guare, Warren Leight, David Lindsay-Abaire, Romulus Linney, Craig Lucas and David Mamet. Some of the selections are also adorned with some attention-getting casting. Rosie Perez will to appear in Crazy Eights by Lindsay-Abaire and Amy Irving will act in The Great Pretenders by Leslie Lyles. Meanwhile, Warren Leight's Mr. Morton Waits for His Bus will have a celebrity director: Andrew McCarthy, who once appeared on Broadway in Leight's Side Man, and most recently acted in Fat Pig Off-Broadway.

The marathon will be presented in three series. The line-up is as follows:

SERIES A: May 25-June 12
Madagascar by John Guare, directed by Will Pomerantz
Mr. Morton Waits for His Bus by Warren Leight, directed by Andrew McCarthy
The Airport Play by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, directed by Shirley Kaplan
The Great Pretenders by Leslie Lyles, directed by Billy Hopkins, featuring Amy Irving

SERIES B: May 31-June 19
Home by David Mamet, directed by Curt Dempster
Crazy Eights by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by Brian Mertes, featuring Rosie Perez
Erros by Cherie Vogelstein, directed by Jamie Richards SERIES C: June 14-26
The One-Armed Man by Horton Foote, directed by Harris Yulin
Gryzk by Kate Long, directed by Evan Bergman
Your Call Is Important by Craig Lucas
The Unwritten Song by Romulus Linney, directed by Carlos Armesto

The Marathon, of which this is the 27th edition, is EST's best known attraction, a legendary spring event in the New York theatre world. Playwrights who have participated in past marathons include Christopher Durang, Herb Gardner, Frank Gilroy, Richard Greenberg, David Ives, Michael John LaChiusa, Steve Martin, Arthur Miller, Marsha Norman, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Rudnick, John Patrick Shanley, Shel Silverstein, Wendy Wasserstein and Tennessee Williams.

In past years, the Marathon consisted of three separate evenings of four plays. In 2003, however, it offered two series of five plays. With 2005, it returns to the three-series format.

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