Over some four decades, the Ensemble Studio Theater has produced a steady stream of original American plays – more than 6,000! – and launched the careers of an amazing number of writers and actors who have gone on to win Pulitzers, Oscars, Tony’s, Emmy’s, Obies. Best-known for its annual marathon of one-act plays, E.S.T. is presenting its 31st time festival from May 22 to June 7th.
Ten plays were chosen for E.S.T. Marathon 2009 from 350 submitted. Here are brief descriptions of the plays of the Ensemble Studio Theater Marathon 2009:

by Garrett M. Brown*
directed by Linsay Firman
10-year-old Gary has sent out coupons from magazines in hopes of getting mail. But, on this night in November 1958, it’s a real person who arrives instead – the Americana Encyclopedia salesman. He brings knowledge not only of Norman Rockwell and even perhaps Hugh Hefner, but there’s something in the air of things bygone and things to come.

“Face Cream”
by Maggie Bofill
directed by Pamela Berlin*
When a woman runs out of her very expensive face cream all hell breaks loose. Because “Face Cream” isn’t ever really about just face cream.

“For the Love of God, St. Teresa”
by Christine Farrell*
directed by Deborah Hedwall*
A girls’ lavatory in a Catholic School in 1962 becomes the battleground for a nun and her smartest, wildest eighth grader. They find each other and their favorite Mystic in the process.

by Tommy Smith
directed by William Carden*
A soldier re-encounters his family members one-by-one on the night of his return from war.

by Kia Corthron
directed by Will Pomerantz
It takes high-speed recklessness for a crash. In the stock market. And the vehicles behind piling up…

“Blood from a Stoner”
by Jeanne Dorsey
directed by Maria Mileaf
An elderly and, as it turns out, stoned father and his fed up daughter share a fraught lunch served by an efficient ironical waiter who adds a dash of empathy to the meal.

“Carol and Jill”
by Leslie Ayvazian
On the eve of turning 60, two long time friends visit in the lobby of a Bed and Breakfast while their husbands are out buying charcoal.

by Cassandra Medley
directed by Petronia Paley
A daughter returns from the Iraq war.

“Little Duck”
by Billy Aronson
directed by Jamie Richards
In Little Duck, five impure people attempt to make one pure television show.

by M. Z. Ribalow
directed by Matthew Penn
Hickock shoots down men to protect right and justice; Jesse because he enjoys it; The Kid for revolutionary purposes. At least that’s what each of them claims. But when they are faced with a monolithic, purposeless killer called Sundance, they and the groveling Barkeep must find a way to survive, and a reason for doing so.

Culture Ensemble Studio Theater Marathon 2009 of One-Act Plays