We Did It…With Lots of Help!

We did it–45 events in 26 days! I’ve always said it takes a village to produce this festival and this year that was more true than ever.

Heartfelt thanks to~

Our venues:
Cheryl King & Stage Left Studio
Orietta Crispino & Theaterlab
Haejin Han, our TD at Theaterlab

Our producers:
Deb Long, Margaret Stockton & Anne Carlino – Estro Short Plays
Vinnie Marano – Estro Xtended (Reading Series)
Cheryl King – Sola Voce
Andi Cohen – EstroTaneous Combustion
Heidi Russell – Estro Visual Art
Ashley Marinaccio – Girl Be Heard & Dancing at the Shame Prom
Kia Roger – The God Box

Our co-producing companies:
Malini Singh McDonald & Black Henna Productions for kicking things off with Runo Rimac
Alaina Hammond & Michael Bordwell – My Country Burns & Other Plays
Mary Matoula Web & John Doe Theater – Love at Home
Katie Braden, Gwen Sisco & Ivy Theatre – Mill Fire
Vivian & Eddie Neuwirth & Lagniappe Productions – NOLA Plays
Heidi Russell & the International Women Artists’ Salon – The Creative Lounge

& our Creative Lounge panelists, our actors, our directors, our designers, our SMs and board operators & YOU, our audience!

And a special personal thanks to Malini Singh McDonald for helming our marketing and social media presence and, even more so, for keeping me sane this year!

Can’t wait to see you all in 2014 for our 15th (gasp!) festival.

Jen Thatcher, Executive Producer


Special Thanks.

As we come upon our closing weekend, we want to thank Cheryl King & Orietta Crispina for all their support and their fabulous spaces. 
Here’s some info on Stage Left Studio:
stage-leftAnd on TheaterLab:
Theatre Lab

EstroGenius 2013 Xtended (Reading Series)


The Great Bellied Woman by Stacey Lane

Synopsis – Widow Agnes Moulsworth, a respected Elizabethan midwife, and her high-spirited daughter Margery return from a successful delivery to interview a prospective apprentice, Jane Cobbe.


Match by Lezlie Revelle


Grievances and Whirligigs by Donna Latham


When Mary Claire visits her parents after a lengthy absence, she lugs her ever-present Sack of Grievances. Attempted murder, stuffed emotions, and toxic chili roil to the surface when Mary Claire’s abusive father threatens her daughter, Knife.




It Happened. We’ve Estro-Taneously Combusted!

On Friday night, writers & actors gathered at Stage Left Studios. Writers picked actors’ names out of a hat (actually it was a shoe box, but “out of a hat” has a better ring to it) and our fearless facilitator, Andi Cohen, gave us all a first line and a cultural reference. Writers then scurried off–some to a local watering hole, some to their ateliers, some to other cliched places writers write–to write their scenes overnight. We’ll rehearse today and tomorrow and the results will be presented for your entertainment Sunday, Monday and Tuesday @ 8pm. Tickets only $15.

Writers: Sarah Chichester, Homer Frizzell, Stuart Green, TR Hayes, Maura Kelley, Bill Kozy, Vincent Marano, Jen Thatcher

Actors: Anthony Fuller, Helene Galek, Alaina Hammond, Sonja Kari, Autumn Kioti, Tim Licht, & Christopher Prince

Incredibly ably produced/facilitated/directed by Andi Cohen


Screening of Happening to Your Body

Based on a 2002 Estrogenius play by Mac Rogers, “Happening to Your Body” is a chilling, cinematic exploration of women’s lives in an imagined American theocracy, where the line between church & state has been destroyed.

Happening to Your Body

Running time: approx. 12 min

Screenplay by Mac Rogers, based on his 2002 EstroGenius Play

Directed by Jon Ecklund

Produced by Fiona Jones

Starring Jen Taher, Sophie Walker & Leigh Adel-Arnold

Art Direction by Jason Bolen

Music by Chris Black, from the album “Drunk at the Funeral”

Director of Photography: Benjamin Gooch

Sound Designer: Suz Dyer




Join us as we mount Estro-taneous Combustion (aka, Spontaneous Combustion with an Estro twist).

Spontaneous Combustion
20 actors and 10 writers will work together to create and produce a full evening of five-minute plays ready for audiences in 48 hours.

Playwrights: Face the heat of writing a play overnight! Collaborate with actors and watch your words fly from the page to the stage!

Actors: Brainstorm, rehearse, and perform a play in about the time it takes to say “improv”!

A longtime Source tradition, Spontaneous Combustion gives playwrights and actors a 48-hour workshop environment to play collaboratively as artists and feel the combined power of their talent and hard work. If you’ve Spontaneously Combusted before, you know it’s not for the fainthearted, but it is a fireball of fun. Whether you’re a veteran or are stepping on those coals for the first time, join us!

Fri Nov 1 @ 6pm – Writers & Actors Meet. Writers will be given a line to start the play and a special Estro-centric theme!
Sat Nov 2 – Writers deliver scripts by NOON, Actors rehearse til 6pm
Sun Nov 3 – Tech during the day, perform that night
Mon Nov 4 – Tue Nov 5 – Two more performances

Blog edited by Christine Siracusa


My Country Burns & Other Short Plays by Alaina Hammond

EstroGenius Festival 

(October 15th – November 30th)


Fertile Source for Stories
A dirty play within a dirty play.

Drawback to Benefits
Chances are your doctor’s not as sociopathic or sadistic as this one, depending on your coverage.
Directed by Alaina Hammond

My Country Burns
A widow receives a most unwelcome visit from her brother, a Nazi soldier
Directed by Michael Bordwell

Finally It Happens
A married man and an engaged woman enter his hotel room. This isn’t going where you think it is.
Between One and Zero
Melba must face the most important interview of her life.

Welcome None and All
Peter and Shelby, two people who don’t exist, meet at a bar that caters exclusively to them.

Producers: Alaina Hammond & Michael Bordwell

10/29 & 10/30 at 7:30pm




Women in Motion (WiM) presents the WOMEN IN DANCE Panel

EstroGenius Festival

(October 15th – November 30th)

Women in Motion (WiM) presents the WOMEN IN DANCE Panel, with women who continue to push the assumptions of what it takes to succeed in the New York City dance world, and a celebratory salon performance to close the evening. WiM producers, Melissa Riker, Amber Sloan and Anne Zuerner have crafted a conversation topic for the WOMEN IN DANCE Panel, inviting dance makers Wendy Blum, Maura Donahue and Adrienne Westwood to respond to the question “How has motherhood affected your relationship to your art.

After what is sure to be a thought provoking and inspiring discussion, choreographers Deborah Lohse, Alison Manning, Kristin Swait, and Zoe Rabinowitz, will present short works in surprising spaces in WiM SALON #4.  Choreographers such as these and past salon participants are integral to Women in Motion’s mission to give female choreographers more visibility, flexibility in how their work is witnessed and space to play and discuss their work immediately with a happy audience. To see information about past WiM Salon’s, go to our Facebook Page.

Women in Motion celebrates and supports the work of female choreographers by commissioning new work from a select group of artists each year and supporting them in every step of the process of creation and performance. In addition to our fully produced season, our salons provide more opportunities for women choreographers to show work in any stage of development at unexpected venues, and to generate financial and community support for our annual fully produced season.

Women in Motion is Melissa Riker, Amber Sloan and Anne Zuerner.

Deborah Lohse will present Camille’s Nuts, a work set to interviews with Camille Paglia.

Performer:  Emily Sears

Sound: Brandon Wolcott

Alison Manning of DanceTheYard will present Out (excerpt), a set of 3 duets that speak to the inner turmoil and tumultuous relationships between two women, a man and a woman, and a woman and herself.  Each scene informs the next, leading to a breaking out from constructed molds we as humans often confine ourselves to.

Performers:  Holly Jones, Benjamin Cheney, Alison Manning

Music: “Biting Down” Lorde, String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”: ‘IV 1962:Body Building’ & ‘VI Mishima/Closing’, Phillip Glass performed by Brooklyn Rider

Mixed by Benjamin Cheney

Kristin Swiat’s 2 Cast a Spell has grown out of her investigations of the concept and experience of fear and the observations of the cycles in which one can become entrapped and inhibited in our development. More specifically, the piece observes how fear can affect the breath, and in turn the breathing can affect the body and its ability to express. Other themes play with finding and losing balance, taking a movement or posture and displacing it in space, the idea of getting stuck in loops or repetitive cycles, and the possibility of resolution and overcoming fear.

Performers: Jessica Myers, Maya Orchin, Kristin Swiat

Zoe Rabinowitz presents k(not), depicting the unraveling of a relationship despite every effort to compromise. Performers: Zoe Rabinowitz and special guest.

Music:  Nate Young, 3 Cast a Circle


Estro’s Alums in Short Plays & EstroGenius 2013 Xtended (Reading Series)

For many, the Estrogenius Festival is known best as a Short Play Festival. This year, the producers of the festival decided to put a fresh spin on the festival as a whole. The Estro Short Play Week for 2013, which is one of three short play programs featured, is no exception. With performances at Theater Lab (357 West 36th Street) on Friday, October 18th and Saturday, October 19th at 8 p.m., and a final show on Sunday, October, 20th at 7 p.m. the slate of five original plays selected will not disappoint.

This year, it was decided that Estro’s Short Play Week would focus on honoring Estogenius alumni. If you had been part of any previous year or Estro in any capacity, you were eligible to submit a script. And, to make things all the more interesting, there was a twist: the play had to be set in an art gallery or an art museum, so that the visual art for this year’s festival would become a part of the set itself.

Almost 60 top-notch playwrights submitted scripts and from this treasure trove, only five gems could be selected. Directors from within the Estro alumni pool were selected, and each chose her own cast. Audiences will be treated to:


Hidden Beauty in which a mother and daughter visit an art exhibit and are exposed to a beauty they didn’t expect to find. Their reaction is both comical and touching.

Hidden Beauty
written by Celeste Koehler
directed by Sharon Hunter
featuring Gloria Rosen*, Alison Saltz*, Adrienne*, & Helene Galek*


The Painting What a mature art lover teaches a  young student is sure to have everyone look at art a little differently in the future.


written by Maura Kelly
directed by Mary Hodges
featuring Patricia Floyd & Alden Truesdale

Human Earrings is playwright and director Cheryl King’s exploration of a controversial art exhibit. She blends historical fact with artistic license, and the result is sure to have sparks flying onstage and off.

Human Earrings
written and directed by Cheryl King

Traveler from Utopia a young art lover has fallen in love with a painting. When the gallery’s owner leaves her alone with the work, something truly remarkable happens.

written by Eve Butler
directed by Andi Cohen
featruing Trevor Wade, Autumn Kioti & Helene Galek*

Imagine you are the superstar artist of The Acquisition Your manager is pressuring you for new works, but you’re in a bit of a dry spell. How far will you go to get the record-breaking fee she’s dangling in front of you?

written by Char Nelson
directed by Deborah Long
featuring David Bakamjian, Gretchen Schmoker

Producer: Deborah Long

Assistant Producers: Anne Carlino & Margaret Stockton​