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World Premiere of Behind the Sheet to Run at Ensemble Studio Theatre

The new play by Charly Evon Simpson will be presented as part of the EST/Sloan Science & Technology Project.

Charly Evon Simpson's play Behind the Sheet will make its world premiere as part of the EST/Sloan Science & Technology Project.
(© Crystal Arnette)

Ensemble Studio Theatre in collaboration with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will present the world premiere of Behind the Sheet, written by Charly Evon Simpson (Jump) and directed by Colette Robert (Mary's Wedding) as part of the EST/Sloan Science & Technology Project. Performances will begin January 9, 2019, ahead of a January 17 opening and will run through February 3 at EST's Curt Dempster Theatre.

Behind the Sheet is inspired by the story of Dr. J. Marion Sims, who is widely known as the controversial "father of modern gynecology." Inventor of the speculum and creator of a technique to cure severe gynecological ailments, he was a champion for women's health when medical schools taught nothing about female reproductive anatomy. However, he made his discoveries by repeatedly performing experimental surgery on his female slaves, including three, Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, about whom no more is known than their names. Simpson imagines the experiences of these women lost to history.

EST has additionally announced dates for its upcoming world premiere of Georgia Mertching Is Dead, written by Catya McMullen (Locked Up Bitches). Presented by EST Youngblood, Georgia Mertching Is Dead will begin previews March 6, 2019, in advance of a March 14 opening, and will run through March 31.

The story is described as follows: "Gretchen, Emma and Whitney are 30. They've been friends since they were teenagers. They've been sober since they were teenagers. As they set off on a road trip south — with homemade female urination devices, too much pie, ill-advised sexual escapades — to celebrate and mourn a figure from their past, Georgia Mertching Is Dead reveals what it's like to face adulthood and death after growing up weird and possibly broken."

Tickets for both productions will go on sale at a later date.