The annual Ensemble Studio Theatre’s First Light Festival, in partnership with the Sloan Foundation, runs now through February, 2016. The festival showcases new plays which cover topics including cybernetics, marine biology, geology, and more.
Anna Ziegler, the playwright who wrote PHOTOGRAPH 51 which was recently revived in London, has a new commission featured in the festival. BOY is inspired by the true story of a boy raised as a girl who undergoes gender reassignment surgery in his teens, and focuses on the complex relationship and strong bond between him and his psychologist. The play will be co-produced by the Keen Company.
PLEASE CONTINUE by playwright Frank Basloe, also having its stage premiere at the festival, tells the story of Stanley Milgram’s experiments conducted at Yale in 1960 about obedience to authority, with particular sensitivity to the experience of the experiment’s test subjects. This is the same true story that inspired the award-winning film now in theatres, Michael Almereyda’s EXPERIMENTER which stars Peter Sarsgaard as Stanley Milgram.
France-Luce Benson’s new play THE DEVIL’S SALT will have a staged reading during First Light. The play is set in the 1960’s in Haiti and centers on two agronomists. Benson won a Sloan award in 2007 from Carnegie Mellon University for her screenplay HEALING ROOTS which takes place in Haiti a decade later.
The entire lineup of the festival, which concludes with a convivial astronomy-themed brunch in February, is online.