Week Three of Winterfest!

Week Three of Winterfest is coming up, with readings of entertaining and provocative new plays this Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday!  Don’t miss the chance to see exciting new work before it’s produced, including Keith Szarabajka’s play Duet, which we will bring to our stage in April.

All readings are at our home, the Speakeasy, in the Atwater Village Theater complex, 3269 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, CA.

Friday, March 6th

7:30     Tempted, a one-act play by Jennifer Maisel, with Patty Cornell. Swimming laps becomes a haze of fantasy when Lisa goes to the pool.

8:00     Sweet Pea’s Mama, a full-length play by Robert Nelson, with Denise Crosby. What happens when a housekeeper’s love for her white employer’s developmentally challenged son exceeds the mother’s own?

Saturday, March 7th

5:00     The Dark of This World, a full-length play by Eric Rudnick, with Elin Hampton, Will McFadden, Sophie Ullett, Tamika Katon-Donegal, Kareem Ferguson and Gary Patent. A government scientist has her beliefs tested when she invents a device that has applications she never dreamed of.

7:30     Posterity, by J. Holtham, directed by Sharon Lennon, with Heather Robinson.

8:00     Men & Boxes, a full-length play by Jennie Webb, directed by Chuma Gault. With Lauren Campedilli, Melinda Page Hamilton, Cece Tio and Michael Shutt. A dark comedy about a big, messy basement and the siblings in it.

Sunday, March 8th

2:00     Duet, a full-length play by Keith Szarabajka. A young African American actress and an older white actor debate, argue and eventually come to an uneasy truce backstage during the run of a play. With John Heard and Zuri Alexander. Initiated by Keith Szarabajka; 90 minutes. An audience talk-back will follow the reading.

5:00     Underage Overachiever, a one-act play by Dean Donofrio, directed by Dean Donofrio, with Sophie Ullett, Sheena Metal and Warren Davis.

6:00     Best Hope, a full-length play by Don Ponturo, with Donald Berman. A team of medical researchers struggle with bureaucracy and their own jittery moral compasses.

Monday, March 9th

8:00     The Quality of Mercy, a full-length play by Alyson Mead, with Carla Mosley, April Grace and Sarah McCarron. When an unarmed black teenager is shot, two families react in very different ways. An audience talk-back will follow the reading.


EST/LA’s Artistic Directors are pleased to announce auditions for DUET,
by Keith Szarabajka.
Directed by Roderick Menzies
Produced by Eric Rudnick.

An older Caucasian actor—the only Caucasian actor in a cast that is otherwise African American—and a much younger African-American actress discuss, debate, dance, clash and ultimately come to an uneasy understanding of each other during the course of rehearsal and performance of a play set during the Civil Rights era.

ACTOR, White, Male, 60, A seasoned professional actor.
ACTRESS, African American, Female, 25, A novice professional actor.

Go to the Member’s Section pull down menu for Current Productions and Casting information.


This Week: Winterfest 2015 and Late Night Fun with In Search of doG!

Saturday, February 28th:

6:00 pm:  Read to Me: Excerpts, by Garrett M. Brown, with Garrett M. Brown. Garrett will read aloud from several writing projects, some finished, some in progress. Initiated by Garrett M. Brown.

8:00 pm:  Bottoms Up, a full-length play by Edith Freni, with Sharon Freedman. Initiated by David Starzyk.

10:30 pm: In Search of doG… a Space Soap Opera, conceived and staged by Keith Szarabajka in collaboration with Tom Baum, Stephen Dierkes, Marek Glinski, Tony Pasqualini, and Deborah Pearl and the EST/LA Playwrights Unit

Sunday, March 1st:

7:30 pm:  Replay, a one-act play by Halle Charlton, directed by William Charlton, with Kevin Comartin. A young woman is challenged to reconcile a past that might have been. Initiated by William Charlton.

9:00 pm:  Hideous Deformity (a comedy), a full-length play by Stephen Dierkes, directed by Joshua Wolf Coleman, with Caitlin Gallogly, Kevin Comartin, Matt Little and Patricia Scanlon. An ancient myth becomes a meta-romp and a satire explaining exactly what’s wrong with theatre, and America, and people in general. Initiated by Stephen Dierkes.

Monday, March 2nd:

8:00 pm:  Spoiled Pricks, a full-length play by Graham Sibley, directed by Kevin Comartin. Six characters in their thirties; the time is the present. Initiated by Kevin Comartin.

Winterfest runs through Monday, March 16th, with a total of 28 readings. And this year there’s a Theater for Young Audiences matinee on Saturday, March 14th.

All performances are at the Speakeasy, in the Atwater Village Theater complex, 3269 Casitas, Los Angeles, CA. $15 suggested donation. (We’re not taking reservations, but come 15 minutes early and you’ll be sure to get in.)



In Search of goD…

…a space soap opera

Congratulations to all who took part in our new late-night series and looking forward to even more!

Keep checking back for more info on …In Search of doG!

conceived and staged by Keith Szarabajka
in collaboration with
Tom Baum, Stephen Dierkes, Marek Glinski, Tony Pasqualini,
and Deborah Pearl and the EST/LA Playwrights Unit


Winterfest is coming!


Friday, February 20 – Monday, February 23
Friday, February 27 – Monday, March 2
Friday, March 6 – Monday, March 9
Friday, March 13 – Monday, March 16

EST/LA’s annual festival of member-initiated projects offers readings of dozens of entertaining and provocative new plays in development at the Speakeasy in Atwater Village. A schedule of performances will be posted in early February. Option A and B members can submit via the form found on the Members section of this website. The deadline is February 5th.  Interested in volunteering to help make Winterfest happen? Questions? Contact us at estlawinterfest2015@gmail.com.


EST/LA is tremendously grateful to Gates McFadden and Tracey A. Leigh
for their work as Co-Artistic Directors and welcomes our new leadership team:

Roderick Menzies, Co-Producing Artistic Director
Sheena Metal, Co-Development Artistic Director
Carole Real, Co-Producing Artistic Director
Michael Ruff, Managing Director
Keith Szarabajka, Co-Development Artistic Director



Congratulations to all who took part in Launchpad! Well done!

Shannon Art_WEB



We at EST/LA are deeply saddened by the passing of Meshach Taylor. 
Meshach was an exquisitely talented and diverse actor, and he quickly became
a mentor and friend to so many of us. He served on our board and starred in 
The Year of the Rabbit. He was a steady force of positivity and love and he
championed many new plays and playwrights.

For those that were blessed enough to know him, 
he will forever shine on in our minds and hearts.



Congratulations to the cast and crew of Wendy Graf’s GLAAD Award Winning play



 Congratulations to the cast and crew of Stephen Dierkes’ LAND LINE!


Starring Peter James Smith, Peter Larney,  Katherine Cortez and John Dennis Johnston




MMMLK   BoB SarahWinterfest13