Ensemble Studio Theatre's next production will be Smart by Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, making her Off-Broadway debut. The show will begin previews March 30 and open April 6 for a run through April 23. Co-produced with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the work was originally commissioned and developed through the EST/Sloan Project, a program organized by the Off-Broadway theatre and the foundation.
Matt Dickson will direct the play, which follows Elaine and her cranky and ill mother Ruth. Ruth doesn't want aides in the house and Elaine needs help caring for her mother so she can go to work. Enter "Jenny," a smart device Elaine buys to babysit and keep her mom company that gives Elaine a way to check on Ruth. Jenny becomes part of the family—but who else is listening? The cast will star Christine Farrell, Francesca Fernandez, and Kea Trevett.
“Mary's play is about new tech and privacy, about loneliness and connection in the city, about mothers and daughters—she ties those threads together with humor and warmth, and an ache that stays with you long after the play is over,” said EST's Co-Artistic Director Graeme Gillis in a statement. “We've been working on this play with Mary for nearly five years, but the story it tells is very much of this moment. It's very much a play about life right now."
The production will feature scenic design by Ant Ma, lighting design by Colleen Doherty, costume design by Megan Rutherford, props design by Caitlyn Murphy, and sound design by Josh Samuels.
The EST/Sloan Project fosters plays which explore science and technology, and the impact they have on our lives.