Over the past two decades, New York's Ensemble Studio Theatre has fostered the creation of more than 5,000 new plays. Twelve more have been on view at EST's annual festival of one-acts, "Marathon `97," which began May 6 and closes June 15.
Among the noted writers contributing works are Frank D. Gilroy, John Ford Noonan, Romulus Linney, Michael Weller and Craig Lucas, whose God's Heart closed May 25 at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theatre.
Horton Foote, author of A Trip To Bountiful and the Pulitzer winning The Young Man From Atlanta, has called EST, "a constant creative force in the American theatre where one is sympathetically encouraged to develop his talent and craft. Among those developing both at EST were Howard Korder, Steve Martin, Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle) and Oyamo.
Here's the rundown for the final evening (Series C) of Ensemble Studio Theatre's Marathon `97:
Series C (June 4-June 15)
Getting In by Frank D. Gilroy, dir. by Christopher A. Smith.
Stars Polly Adams, Bill Cwikowski, Melinda Hamilton, Pirie MacDonald, Thomas McHugh, Paul Whitthorn. A crapshooter from the Bronx tries to get into the Ivy League.
What I Meant Was by Craig Lucas, dir. by Peg Denithorne. Cast includes Scotty Bloch, Tom Bozell, Elaine Bromka, John Giacalone. Considered Lucas' semi-auto-biographical `short days journey into night,' covering his upbringing as a gay man in a suburban household.
When It Comes Early by John Ford Noonan; dir. by Daniel Selznick. Harris Yulin and Kathleen Chalfant star. Successful middle-aged couple returns to CT to deal with a debilitating disease.
Sparrow by Vicki Mooney, dir. by Curt Dempster. An Oklahoma woman (Socorro Santiago) copes with a terrified bird on the day of the bombing.
For tickets ($15 per series, $40 for all three evenings) and information on Marathon `97 at Ensemble Studio Theatre call (212) 247 3405. --By David Lefkowitz