EST/LA’s mission is to enable and empower our membership of theater artists to develop their unique, artistic voices and create new American plays that reflect and positively affect the greater community around us.
A Brief History
EST/LA is the West Coast offshoot of The Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York, the renowned membership company founded by Curt Dempster in 1968.Founded in 1979, EST/LA has grown from salons in people’s homes to full productions of critically acclaimed plays that have been recognized with Backstage Garland awards, Stage Raw awards, LA Weekly Awards, Ovation Recommendations, a GLAAD Media Award and other accolades.Formalized as a non-profit company in 2000, EST/LA has been helmed by several artistic directors including Risa Bramon Garcia and Debra Stricklin, Garrett M. Brown, James Eckhouse, Laura Jane Salvato and Michael C. Mahon, Tom Jacobson, Gates McFadden, Sheena Metal, Rod Menzies, Carole Real, Keith Szarabajka, Kevin Comartin, and Liz Ross. EST/LA’s membership includes over 150 accomplished theater professionals. Currently in residence at Atwater Village Theater, the company has a strong portfolio of developmental programs, produces multiple plays every season and presents lively off-night and late night programming.