Ms. Hess’ acclaimed solo trilogy LIVING OPENLY & NOTORIOUSLY has been performed around the globe: Berlin, Bath, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Toronto and Yerevan, as well as Off-Broadway in New York. Her subsequent solo piece, DUST TO DUST was performed in the LPTW New Play Festival and Stage Left Studio, both in New York and internationally in Bucharest, Kiel, Stockholm, and upcoming in, Prishtina.

Other New York credits include work with The New Group, Women’s Project, Irish Rep, MTC and NYTW. She has also worked extensively in regional theaters.TV credits include: 5 seasons starring on Clarissa Explains It All; Law & Order; Guiding Light; All My Children and Another World. Film credits include: Handsome Harry; A Bedtime Story; Italian Lessons; Buddy & Grace and Soldier’s Heart.

Elizabeth is currently developing several plays: NOMADS a full-length dramatic work; NO EVIL, a triptych of fabulist tales and A DECALOGUE, ten performative prose/poems. She is also writing a book, THE ACTOR’S INSTRUMENT, based on her methodology culled from teaching acting at NYU, NTI (The O’Neill) and Fordham.

Elizabeth is the recipient of a Madolin Cervantes Grant; ITI Armmono Festival Director’s Award; ITI Thespis Mono Festival Organizers and Audience Awards.

She was also an ACULSPEC (American Cultural Specialist) in Yerevan, Armenia where she taught master classes in playwriting and performance; she participated in the ITI / UNESCO Conference in Manila, The Philippines and she sat on the jury of the ITI Thespis Mono Festival in Germany. She will conduct a playwriting / acting workshop in Prishtina with ‘forum ZFD’ in addition to her performance at MonoAKT.


NY THEATRE INTENSIVES (www.nytheatreintensives.org) is delighted that Obie Winner CARIDAD SVICH will be with us for a writing seminar with participants in our summer intensive, June 15 -July 28, 2013.

In line with our summer theme of MAGIC AND WONDER, Caridad will work with writers to expand boundaries and access new pools of magic in writing new pieces for the theatre. Join us. For more info check out our website at www.nytheatreintensives.org. Or summerconservatory@gmail.com.

Caridad Svich

Caridad Svich (Playwright) received a 2012 OBIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based on the Isabel Allende novel. She has been short-listed for the PEN Award in Drama four times, including in the year 2012 for her play Magnificent Waste. In the 2012-13 season: 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award round two recipient GUAPA receives a rolling world premiere courtesy of NNPN at Borderlands Theater in Arizona, Miracle Theatre Group in Oregon and Phoenix Theater in Indiana; The Tropic of X premiered at Single Carrot Theatre in Baltimore.There will also be bilingual premieres of In the Time of the Butterflies (based on the Julia Alvarez novel) at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, The House of the Spirits at Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington D.C, and academic premiere of her fantasia on 1963, Pop culture and the Kennedy assassination The Archaeology of Dreams at University of Nebraska-Omaha.  Five of her plays radically re-imagining ancient Greek tragedies are published in the September 2012 collection Blasted Heavens (Eyecorner Press, University of Denmark).

She is alumna playwright of New Dramatists, founder of NoPassport theatre alliance & press (http://www.nopassport.org), Drama Editor of Asymptote journal of literary translation, associate editor of Routledge/UK’s Contemporary Theatre Review and contributing editor of TheatreForum. Website: http://www.caridadsvich.com


NY THEATRE INTENSIVES (www.nytheatreintensives.org) is pleased to announce that JULISSA CARDENAS from Fullerton, CA and LUCIE POHL from New York City are the recipients of full scholarships for this summers intensive to be held in NYC June 15-July 28.

New York Theatre Intensives, now in its fourth year, focuses on the skills involved in new play development and the collaborative process.  Students study acting, writing and the collaborative process, presenting and publishing their work in association with the artists of  the Ensemble Studio Theatre.

For more about the program, prospective participants should visit

www.nytheatreintensives.com and contact Susan Merson, Program Director at summerconservatory@gmail.com.


NEWSIES creators to join NYTI for seminar JUNE 15-JULY 28, 2013

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:meganmsavage:Documents:Susan:NYTI:Logos:tn-1-1.jpg



205 West 54th Street, 2d, NYC 10019

646 861 3902



              AT NEW YORK THEATRE INTENSIVES, JUNE 15- 30, 2013

NEW YORK- New York Theatre Intensives, in association with the artists of the Ensemble Studio Theatre, is pleased to announce that  Noni White & Bob Tzudiker, co-creators of Broadway hit NEWSIES,  have joined the roster of guests for the summer intensive to run June 15 through July 30 in New York City.

White and Tzudiker are best known as co-authors of the screenplay of the 1992 Disney film, NEWSIES. The pair have also made their mark in animation screenwriting, receiving Annie Award nominations for 1998’s Anastasia and 1999’s Tarzan. Past NYTI guest artists have included Pulitzer Prize winners Donald Margulies and David Auburn and Broadway director Jerry Zaks.

New York Theatre Intensives, now in its fourth year, focuses on the skills involved in new play development.  Students study acting, writing and the collaborative process, presenting and publishing their work at the Ensemble Studio Theatre.

For more about the program, prospective participants should visit

www.nytheatreintensives.com and contact Susan Merson, Program Director at summerconservatory@gmail.com.







Faculty Profile: Jose Angel Santana

Jose is Head of Acting for the Tisch/NYU Graduate Film School. His 2009 world premier production of William Inge’s “The Killing" was hailed as "riveting, a fascinating rediscovery of the work of one of our most important American playwrights." 

He is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse where he was a student of Sanford Meisner. He can be seen in the documentary “Sanford Meisner: The Theater’s Best Kept Secret” directed by Sidney Pollack, as well as in the definitive 8-hour document of Meisner’s work: “Sanford Meisner Master Class.”  

As a young actor, José originated leading roles in works by some of our most important contemporary playwrights: three world premiers of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Mamet’s works, as well as Academy Award nominee Trevor Griffiths’ “Reds” opposite Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey and works by Eduardo Machado and Felipe Santander, among others.

In film, he garnered critical praise for his heartbreaking performance as José The Junkie in Sidney Lumet’s “Prince of the City” and is remembered as the “strange boutique owner” opposite Madonna in “Desperately Seeking Susan.” 

He is co-founder of City at Peace, Santa Barbara, where for years he led the creation of original works by young theatre artists. He is a lifetime member of New York’s Ensemble Studio Theatre and his aim is to make a vital contribution to the community in which he lives. 

 NYTI: What early theatre experience made a lasting impression? 

José: Our freshman high school class saw the original Broadway production of “Hair.” At the end of the play, the cast invited audience members to go up on stage. Without hesitation, I leaped to my feet, ran up the aisle and onto the stage. I thought my classmates would surely do the same, but they didn’t. A gorgeous young woman in the cast began dancing with me and I felt the distinct sensation of being totally at home. Being on stage felt like the most natural place in the world to me. In that moment, I knew someday I would become an actor.  

NYTI: What does your film The Secret have to say about listening?  

José: The Secret is about reaching and making a difference with young people by listening deeply to their thoughts and feelings instead of trying to fix them, or trying to figure out how things got the way they are. The mythological Greek god Dionysus is both the god of Theater, and also of all of the forces that teenagers feel from within themselves, and from the culture. By giving teenagers the same thing Dionysus asks for, which is simply recognition, and by honoring the Dionysian dimension of young people’s lives, adults can learn a great deal about our culture, and particularly about teenagers.   

NYTI: Best place to get a NY pizza slice?

José: Stromboli Pizzeria @ 83 St. Marks Place. (Corner of 1st Ave.)


Faculty Profile: Susan Merson

Susan, the Founding Artistic Director of the NY Theatre Intensives Summer Conservatory, is an award winning actress and writer who started her career in the Broadway cast of Franco Zeffirelli’s Saturday, Sunday, Monday. She went on to co-found the Lion Theatre with Garland Wright on 42nd Street and spent ten years creating new theatre there as a writer and actress. She originated the role of Mary in the Off-Broadway smash hit Vanities and played over 900 performances. She also has an extensive list of film & TV credits. 

Susan has written and performed several solo pieces and is the author of Your Name Here: An actor/writer’s guide to solo performance. Her solo play A Bounty of Lace, commissioned by the Jewish Women’s Project, won several awards including the ATHE Religion in Theatre Award. Hair: A Reminiscence was a Heineman Award Finalist. 

Her novel Dreaming in Daylight came out in 2009. Other fiction has been published in Nice Jewish Girls, edited by Marlene Marks, Penguin; Jews in America, edited by Hugh Levin; Lilith Magazine; and Democrats Soul. She teaches playwriting at California State University, Fullerton. 

 Before founding New York Theatre Intensives, Susan was Producing Director of the Jewish Women’s Project, Director of the Streisand Festival, Associate Producer of the Fountain Theatre and Moderator/Co-Founder of the LA Writers Bloc, established with Jane Anderson and Donald Margulies. The bloc as been meeting every week for twenty years.

NYTI: What experience made you recognize the importance of theatre in your life? 

SM: During High School I worked as an usher at the Hilberry Theatre in Detroit and I got to watch Shakespeare and the classics. I already had the theatre bug, but it was there I realized that theatre was a private time capsule that swept me away and yet, took me closer to my inner self than I had ever experienced. It was still, magnificent and larger than myself in the most profound way. I recognized a real truth about how we exist in time and space and that we are in charge of how large or small our souls can be. 

NYTI: What is the most memorable production you have seen so far in 2011? 

SM: My students at Cal State Fullerton are developing some terrific new plays. LeShawn Holcomb’s Rock Bottom, with a dynamite performance by alum Melissa David—a play written at the conservatory in NY last summer, and performed for the Mai Hayakawa Benefit—has developed and gotten even richer in text and performance. I mean… I did see Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones in Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway but… I think I was more moved by LeShawn and Melissa than the famous pair. Go figure.

NYTI: Moma, or the Met? 

SM: Oh, the Met… The Metropolitan Museum Costume Collection… and the Temple of Dendur with a good book on a quiet afternoon. Definitely.

2011 Conservatory Announced on Broadwayworld.com

By Sophie Schulman 

New York Theatre Intensives/New Play Summer Conservatory in association with the artists of the Ensemble Studio Theatre is offering its second summer conservatory in New York City. The six-week play development program is an intensive and immersive process for student actors, writers and directors. 

Students will present their work throughout the six weeks and attend performances around the city and have optional visits to such places as the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, and the Southampton Writer’s Conference at which EST is the resident theater company.  

Ensemble Studio Theatre is the premier developmental theatre in this country. It was founded 39 years ago by a small group of artists dedicated to developing new plays for the American theatre. There are currently more than 500 members. EST is home to many of our best playwrights, directors and actors including, John Patrick Shanley, Christopher Durang, Cassandra Medley, Jose Rivera, Danny DeVito, Richard Dreyfuss and Christine Lahti.

Read full article: 


Faculty Profile:  Janet Zarish

I am delighted to introduce our acting teacher, Janet Zarish. She is a truly inspiring teaching artist and we are thrilled she will be join us again in 2011.

Janet Zarish

Janet is Head of Acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Program. She has performed On and Off-Broadway, starring in such productions as Other People’s Money at Minetta Lane, The Square at the Public and Miss Julieat the Roundabout

With Circle Rep and Ensemble Studio Theatre she has originated roles in new plays with such writers as Terrence McNally, Wendy Wasserstein and David Mamet. Regional credits include leading roles at the Longwharf, the McCarter, Seattle Rep, the Old Globe and the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Film credits include The Next Big ThingMystic Pizza and Without A TraceShe has guest starred on over twenty television shows, including Law & OrderSeinfeld and Mad About You(read full bio here)

NYTI: What early theatre going experience made a lasting impression on you?

JZ: Quo Vadis starring Richard Gere. I was 14 years old and I actually think it was because of the title: what did it mean and wasn’t it amazing I was seeing such a sophisticated play! It’s also where I began to fall in love with words. 

NYTI: What is the most memorable production you saw in 2010?

JZ: Circle, Mirror, Transformation. It was such a deceptively deep and graceful play. The most exciting thing to me was the use of silence. It was a language all it’s own and was so evocative.  

NYTI: What is your favorite Sunday morning breakfast?

JZ: Eggs (the great comfort food), bacon, rye toast, coffee and the New York Times followed by Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me on Public Radio. 

Faculty Profile: Rod Menzies

Over the coming weeks we will post profiles of each of the instructors who make the New Play Summer Conservatory a unique and special experience. Because he is hosting this little Tumblr shindig, it feels right to start off with Rod Menzies, our Program Producer, and Repertory Director of the Summer Conservatory. 

A sought after LA coach, Rod also serves as Associate Artistic Director for Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA (EST/LA) where he directs workshops and productions of new plays including a recent Studio 6 Production of Susan Merson's The Marriage Suite, and a Fuel Workshop of Andrew Dolan’s That Good Night. He also directs in NYC, and is a frequent guest director for the Academy for Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theatre, in Washington DC. He has held several university faculty positions including, most recently, at the University of Southern California. (Read Rod’s full bio here.) 

NYTI: What piece of wisdom has stayed with you from your early experiences in theatre? 

RM: My acting teacher at the Bristol Old Vic, Rudy Shelly, would always say: You can all talk about it, but can you do it?” I have found that to be undeniably true. No amount of theorizing or conceptualizing can supplant the understanding you acquire by doing it. 

NYTI: Why are new plays important now? 

RM: We’ll always want new voices to shed light on the evolving story of the human condition. New play collaboration stimulates growth and learning for everyone on the creative team. The skills acquired are directly translatable to any workplace where team work comes into play including, of course, film and TV. Best of all, you might create a play people want to see, or develop a set of skills that leads to work in the theatre. 

NYTI: Favorite place on the planet? 

RM: Above 6,000 feet things start to get interesting. Above 12,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada is very special. Some day I hope to get above 14,000 feet, maybe even do some trekking in the Himalayas with my wonderful wife who also loves high altitudes.

Photo by Bill Leyden http://www.billleyden.com