Primary Stages
ESPA Drills




ESPA Drills is an annual new play development program providing staged readings to ESPA playwrights. Each June, four plays are selected from dozens of submissions for development at Primary Stages. They are then cast and presented before an audience of industry peers on an Off-Broadway stage later that summer. ESPA Drills provides an exclusive opportunity for students to receive professional attention through the resources and support of Primary Stages. 


This year’s four Drills writers attended a 4-day retreat led by Tessa LaNeve in Dorset, Vermont, where they stayed at the home of Theresa Rebeck. With generous support by Ms. Rebeck and the Dorset Theater Festival, the retreat ran from July 31 – August 3, 2014.



Applications for ESPA Drills 2015 will be available during the Spring 2015 semester. All writing students of ESPA, past and present, are invited to apply.




The 2014 ESPA Drills Plays:




 by Rachael Jenison

Monday, August 18 at 5:00pm


directed by Jerry Ruiz

with David Anzuelo, Elizabeth Belonzi, Stephen Dexter, Jessica Luck, and John Wernke

When one man can’t eat, and the other can’t stop, there’s sure to be an epic food fight.





A Small History of Amal by Amal, Age 7

 by Lindsay Joelle

Monday, August 18 at 8:00pm


directed by Lisa Peterson

with Meetu Chilana, Sanjit De Silva, Mahira Kakkar, Deepa Purohit, Debargo Sanyal, Vishal Vaidya, and Stephen Alan Wilson

It'll take a precocious seven-year-old and a little Bollywood magic for an atheist to make peace with the god of death.





 The Amelia Episodes

by Kat Ramsburg

Tuesday, August 19 at 5:00pm


directed by GT Upchurch

with Philip Guerette, Joel Haberli, Kathryn Kates, Brittany Lee McDonald, and Molly Ward

If you’ve been raised by Rachel, Monica, Lucy, and Roseanne, and your estranged mother reenters the picture, it’s time to put down the remote.





 Any Day Now

 by Nat Cassidy

Tuesday, August 19 at 8:00pm


directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel

with Heidi Armbruster, Mike Callahan, Chris Henry Coffey, Lynn Cohen, Johanna Day, Hannah Ginsberg, Michael Laurence, Kelley Rae O’Donnell, Colin Ryan, and Amie Tedesco

Family secrets never stay buried. Some even have teeth.






All readings were held at The Duke on 42nd Street,

located at 229 West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.








The 2013 ESPA Drills Plays:


Keep Calm and Carry On

by Melisa Annis


Unknowing Grace

by Alyssa Biber Colman



by David Hilder


Do Not Leave Unattended

by Jan Rosenberg




The 2012 ESPA Drills Plays:



by Heidi Armbruster



by Siobhan Antonioli


The Horse and Carriage

by Karin Shook


Welcome Home

by Stephen Brown


Click here to read our exclusive interviews with these playwrights. 



2011 ESPA Drills Plays

The Feminism of a Soft Merlot (Or How the Donkey Got Punched)

by Micheline Auger


23.5 Hours by Carey Crim 

Verano Place
by Katie Atcheson


Next Time on Spring Valley by Louise Schwarz


Click here to read our exclusive interviews with these playwrights. 



2010 ESPA Drills Plays


The Green by Kate Tarker


American Drum Circle by Vanessa Shealy


Jersey Intersections by Tina Kolomatsky


In Ways Both Frivolous and Deep by Marin Gazzaniga






Jam Sessions





For more information or with questions, please call 212.840.9705 or email


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Featured Class: LIBRETTO 1 with KAIT KERRIGAN
A musical is only as good as its libretto, the piece that marries the plot and character development with musical composition. This 10-week class tackles the techniques of plot structure, story development, and adaptation, as well as how to write for various musical genres such as pop, rock, and musical theater.



All classes take place at
Primary Stages Studios
307 W 38th St, NYC



Buy Tickets

Now - March 27, 2015:


At The Duke on 42nd Street

Click here to purchase tickets!