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Equity Library Theater of New York

(Formerly Piney Fork Press Theater)



Congratulations to Benjamin Weiner for his play "How to be Dead" as best play by a new writer and Minette Greenburg for her play "Swimming In" as best play by an established writer in the 2017 Winter Festival!


Equity Library Theater past productions have included: A concert by the Village Light Opera Guild, Short Plays by John Ladd, KK Gordon and Craig Schwab, ATANST (new plays by New York writers), Ferry Tales (plays set on the Staten Island Ferry), a new play by Pamela Robbins, Katherine and Petruchio; (rare David Garrick version from 1750), assorted plays by members of the Provincetown Playhouse, and our annual winter and summer play festival! Last month over 200 people attended!


Equity Library Theater future productions will include: A reading of, The Bermuda Curse, by Johnny Culver* (March 4 at the George Bruce branch), a reading of a new musical about Anne Sullivan (July right here!). And our 2017 summer play festival; 30 short plays over two weekends!   Look on Facebook for more info!

Woodside Players of Queens is now accepting submissions for their summer production of short one act comedies from the late 19th and early 20th century Broadway. The show will run over two weekends in June at the Langston Hughes Theater in Corona, Queens, and one other location in Manhattan. If interesting in acting, or directing a one act, please send your resume and headshot to: woodsideplayersofqueens@gmail.com.


Do you have a full length play (new or old) you’d like presented by Equity Library Theater, let us know!


We are always looking for new material to produce.


We are presenting a free creative writing class at the Queens Library Astoria branch.

Biweekly at noon - September 24th – May 27th. All genres welcome. Call 718 278 2220 for more info.


Submissions are now being accepted for the New York's Equity Library Theater Summer 2017 Play Festival, to take place over two weekends in August at the NYPL Alvin Ailey Theater and the George Bruce Theater in New York City.

Seeking short plays (no more than 10 pp), from playwrights from all over the USA. Also seeking monologues (no more than 4pp). Musicals welcome! Short screenplays too!

Basic set requirements.

One submission per playwright. No unpleasant profanity, as this is a family friendly festival! No submission fee. Please include name, address, telephone number and email address on your submission. We do not produce your work, we provide a venue for you to present actors performing your play. There are no costs involved for anyone. Seeking actors and directors, too!

Deadline: April 15, 2017


To learn more about Equity Library Theater, please visit: www.equitylibrarytheater.info. We’re also on Facebook! We appreciate your feedback on what you see this afternoon! Leave us a message (text or voice) at 631 898 4205, or email: festival2015@pineyforkpress.com.


*Current Managing Director of Equity Library Theater


Events from 2012


2013 Play Festival!


2014 Play Festival!


Events from 2015


2015 Play Festival!


Events from 2016


2016 Play Festival!


Equity Library Theater presented Three Hots and a Cot


Equity Library Theater presented Plays by my Father


Equity Library Theater presented Short plays by Johnny Culver (here)


Equity Library Theater presented an afternoon of short plays by John Ladd


Equity Library Theater presented Catherine and Petruchio in 2014


Equity Library Theater presented The Bermuda Curse in 2013!




February 11th 2017, 12pm


Equity Library Theater presents:


A reading of a screenplay by Tom Meade*



2017 NYPL Alvin Ailey Auditorium

115th Street Branch

203 W 115th St, New York, New York 10026

(212) 666-9393


With: Emily Meade, Phillip Ettinger, Jack Gwaltney, Martini Dave, Abra Segerson, Joe Lazenby, Alena Diaz, Giack Selloni, Dartel McRae, Nathan Wallace, Michael "Mike" Zegen, Padraig Carragher and Bobby Breiter


*Tom Meade has been telling stories his whole life.  He appreciates all the encouragement he's had to continue telling stories. He is extremely grateful to this cast of very talented people for taking time to perform this thing. Special thanks to Jack Condon and Johnny Culver. A very special thank you to Maureen Meade, for her labor, dedication and input that were essential to getting this story on paper. If you think it sucks, he'd like to give her all the credit. Tom would also like to thank his daughters, Emily and Louisa, for making the worse days’ worth getting out of bed for.



Manhattan, the 1990s.

Celebrity dog walker Jack Meehan is celebrating one year clean and sober. After a day that includes rejections, potential job loss, and a very strange encounter in a diner, Jack ends up taking a trip down the rabbit hole that got him there to begin with. Chance meetings with friends old and new, and a past love, Jack finds himself in a series of uncomfortable, bizarre and life-threatening situations. He spends the next 24 hours just trying to get back home.


About the actors…


Emily Meade (Peri, Tourette’s Girl) is an American film and television actress. Films: Money Monster (2016), and Nerve (2016), TV: Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order: SVU, The Leftovers Fringe and Broad City. and the upcoming HBO series The Deuce. In theater, Emily appeared in the play Domesticated at Lincoln Center along with Jeff Golblum and Laurie Metcalf.


Philip Ettinger (Jack) is an actor and producer, known for Compliance (2012), Twelve (2010) and Indignation (2016). Phil’s upcoming films include November Criminals, One Percent More Humid and The Undiscovered Country.


Michael "Mike" Zegen (Clive) is best known for his role as probationary firefighter Damien Keefe on the FX series Rescue Me.  Zegen appeared in the HBO series, Boardwalk Empire. In 2011 Zegen, was cast in How to Make It in America. In mid-2011, he had a recurring guest role in the second season of the AMC series The Walking Dead. In 2014 he created the role of Liam off-Broadway in the dark comedy Bad Jews.


Nathan Wallace (Mike) A Midwestern boy born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, Nathan Wallace made his acting debut as Joseph in his 7th grade Christmas Concert at St Rita Elementary School. After a few years away, he decided to move to Brooklyn to work as an actor full time. Nathan has several films debuting in festivals this coming spring. www.nathanwallace.com


Dartel McRae (Stefan, Buddy) is very grateful to be part of the reading for "The Slip."  is last appearance on TV was on ABC's "Black Box" where he had a recurring role as a doctor. He's also been on "Boardwalk Empire" and was part of a film "Eliot King is Third, “that premiered at The TriBeCa Film Festival under the "Futurestates" program.  For more information, check out his website DartelRMcRae.com. 


Giack Selloni (Phil, Fred, Dr. Flemmer, Bob, Fiddler, Uncle, others) is the author of two plays that ran in NYC, "Car Seats" (that also ran in Pocatello, Idaho) and "Dress Down Day." In younger days, he appeared in the films "The Wanderers" and "The Warriors." Favorite stage roles include Dr. Einstein in "Arsenic and Old Lace" and Geno Silva in "Sonnets for an Old Century." TV: "Law and Order" and "Spin City."


Alena Diaz, (Claire) a Florida native, has been living and bartending in New York City for two years. She spends her free time creating art, eating junk food and laying around with her cat.


Joe Lazenby (Father, Johnny Moose, Nelson) currently hard at work promoting an independent feature film he wrote and directed called THRU.  As an actor, he last appeared on stage in PUB, which he also wrote, at Theater for The New City.  He has a BFA cum laude in Acting from UCONN.


Abra Segerson (Sadie, Gloria, Lisa, Mother, Tommy, Waitress, Goth Girl, AA lady) Abra studied acting at The Tom Todoroff Conservatory. She holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Music from Union College.  Film includes "American Thief"; and multiple shorts. In theater, she recently played Lady Macbeth with the Oxford Shakespeare Company. Her singing highlights include The Tuscia Opera Festival.


Martini Dave (Lucifer, Joey D, AA Guy) Dave started at the joining of two cells, like so many humans before him. After living parasitically for months, he chose to become an air breathing independent entity. A white privileged childhood lead to art school and substance abuse, like so many humans before him. The culmination of this life being to read at this event.


Padraig Carragher (Kevin) Born and raised in Monaghan Ireland.   Living and bartending  in New York - long enough to "almost" be considered a native. 

Bobby "Robert" Breiter (Bernie/Bernice) Born and bred in Brooklyn, NY, Bobby loves to write trite songs in strange tunings. He claims to have been on "Oz" a few times and in Avery LaRussa's seminal film "Live at Five". He also has a great kid named Jack. Go figure.


Jack Gwaltney (Stage Direction and Action) Jack has been fortunate to be working in theater, film, and television for a while now. From Virginia-based in New York, he recently thinks himself a musician and a sort of writer.





March 4, 2017 @2:00PM


Equity Library Theater of New York presents:

 “The Bermuda Curse”


Brady Blevin

Julie Kling

Susan Neuffer

Eugenia Rosen


A staged reading of a comedy by Johnny Culver.

New York Public Library – George Bruce Branch Auditorium

518 West 125th Street (at Amsterdam Ave.)
New York, NY 10027-3407

(A B C D 1 to 125th Street)
(212) 662-9727


Peyton Place, horses wearing blankets, the Flushing train, Chicklets gum, John Wayne and more in this one hour 1970’s comedy for the entire family! Free admission.


You just missed…

The Equity Library Theater Playwriting Festival – Winter 2017


Saturday January 28th

NYPL 53rd street Branch Auditorium at 1pm

18 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

(212) 714-8400

Free Admission




Martha’s King – Linda Ziering

Directed by Cynthia White w/Eleanor Boddie, Susanna Miller

Rosemary – Charles Lupia

Directed by Charles Lupia w/ Susan Palmer Everly, Charles Lupia

Swimming Out – Minette Greenberg

Directed by Minette Greenberg w/ Cam Kornman, Eve Sorel, Julie Torres

Tea with the Tin Man – Charles Leipart

Directed by Hall Hunsinger w/ Penny Lynn White

Free Association - Julie Weinberg

Directed by Norma Medina w/ Colin Chapin, Carole Monferdini, Anthony Scavone

Expecting Hamilton – Chip Bolcik
Directed by Betsy True w/Nick Webster, Kirsty Sadler


Hookup – Burton Crane

Directed by Burton Crane w/Burton Schwartz

Shock – Meny Beriro

Directed by Meny Beriro w/Kitty Hendrix, Jo Anna Perrin

Teresa’s Journey – Nancy Palmento Schuler

Directed and performed by Nancy Palmento Schuler

The Reflective Lie – Christina Gluck

Directed by Christina Gluck w/ Laura Hesse

Zero to Hero – Mary Teitelbaum

Directed by Yvonne (Bonnie) Cole w/ Nancy Ann Finn, Kyle McIlhone

How to be Dead – Benjamin Weiner

Directed by Keith Paul Medelis w/ Kurt Hellerich, Eric Weiner

We the People – John Cappelletti

Directed by John Cappelletti w/ Doug Rossi, Barry Sacker

Mountain Dew – J. Lois Diamond

Directed by J. Lois Diamond w/ Minette Greenberg, Carol London, Julia Torres

OMG – Pete Mergel


Best play today (chosen by the audience texting their choice to 631 898 4205),

 will receive a fancy Android Tablet!


Use of library space by Equity Library Theater for this program today does not indicate endorsement by The New York Public Library. Some actors appear courtesy of Equity. The recording/photographing of any of these pieces is permitted, only with prior approval. The order of the plays presented may vary from the above listing. Thanks John Flood!





Equity Library Theater Gives Itself a Party
Published: February 7, 1988


''AT Equity Library Theater, the actor is our focus,'' declared George Wojtasik, the theater's producing director.


Similar sentiments might be voiced by the director of almost any theater company, but none could say so with more conviction than Mr. Wojtasik. His Upper West Side Theater - the country's oldest actors' showcase -will celebrate its 45th season tomorrow at Town Hall with a benefit called ''My Funny Valentine,'' a program of Richard Rodgers love songs.


The theater, which is on the ground floor of an apartment building at Riverside Drive and 103d Street, has been something of an anomaly among New York performing-arts institutions since it was established in November 1943. The founders were Sam Jaffe of Actors' Equity Association and George Freedley, the theater curator for the New York Public Library.


''It was founded to showcase artists to people in casting positions and provide free theater'' to people who couldn't afford Broadway prices, said Mr. Wojtasik. ''At that time, if actors weren't working on Broadway, they had no other place to work. The showcase was born with E.L.T., and it even predated the Off Broadway movement by a few years.'' Over the years, more than 11,500 actors, directors and stage technicians have displayed their talents to producers, casting directors and agents in at least 600 productions at the theater, and Mr. Wojtasik said about 60 percent had gotten paid acting jobs as a result of those appearances.


With only about 5 percent of the city's 20,000 Equity members acting for a living at any one time, the theater has not only served as a remarkably successful theatrical employment agency, but it has also been a launching pad for hundreds of performers. Jason Robards was a little-known actor when he appeared in ''The Petrified Forest'' in 1955. James Earl Jones got his start in a 1959 production of ''Dark of the Moon.''


Also on the theater's roster of illustrious alumni are Martin Balsam, Ossie Davis, Danny DeVito, Jack Klugman, Harvey Korman, Anne Meara, Sidney Poitier, Jerry Stiller, Rod Steiger and Treat Williams. And the theater's couples include Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach, who met in a 1945 production of ''This Property Is Condemned.''


Jean Stapleton remembers being ''an aspiring, very young actress'' when she interviewed for a role in a 1947 production of ''The Corn Is Green,'' which also featured a young actor named Richard Kiley. ''I was assigned a very small part,'' Miss Stapleton said, but she was asked to step in with only 10 days' notice when the leading actress slipped on the ice. ''An agent who saw the show called me and said I'd be right for the road company of 'Harvey,' '' Miss Stapleton said. ''I got the job and that was my first big break in theater.''


Tony Randall's appearances in ''The Second Mrs. Tanqueray'' and ''The Millionairess'' - with Charlton Heston - during the 1948-49 season did not leadd to immediate stardom, but he said the theater had been ''absolutely crucial for many actors' careers.''


''Today, there are all sorts of showcases, but this is the only one with a real budget and full productions,'' said Mr. Randall, who is a member of the theater's board.


Equity Library Theater began its life as a sort of New York City road show, with performances rotating among 11 theaters built during the Depression in branches of the New York Public Library. After the library withdrew its support in 1948, the theater spent a season roaming the city before settling in the Lenox Hill Playhouse on East 70th Street. It stayed there until 1961, when it moved to the Master Theater on Riverside Drive.


''It was a residential hotel for artists, with a theater, studios and a museum, known as the Master Institute of United Arts,'' Mr. Wojtasik explained. This little artists' colony eventually withered, and the family that owned 310 Riverside Drive sold the building in the 1970's, but the theater remained.


In its early years, the theater presented as many as 56 productions annually, but during Mr. Wojtasik's 21-year tenure, its season has been reduced to a more manageable chaotic schedule of four musicals, each of which is performed for four weeks, and four plays, each with three-week runs. ''When E.L.T. was formed, the League of New York Theaters said we couldn't do original works,'' Mr. Wojtasik explained, ''so we only present revivals or public-domain works.''


The theater also agreed with Actors' Equity that - since actors would not be paid - it would try to use Equity members and not charge admission. Tickets now cost $10 ($5 for the elderly) to help support a $750,000 budget, and the theater continues to provide opportunities for about 200 actors during each 40-week season.


''We try to do the full range of theater over four or five seasons,'' Mr. Wojtasik said. ''Our library concept is to try to do one classic and one or two American comedies or dramas a season. And of the musicals, we try to do one contemporary work, one golden oldie and one piece of fluff.'' A successful revival of ''Side by Side by Sondheim'' just closed; Thursday, Bernard Pomerance's ''Elephant Man'' opens.


Actors receive only a subway-and-sandwich stipend of $5 a day, yet 400 to 700 people audition for each production, and about 100 directors vie for eight chances to direct each season. Stars may be made at the theater, but name performers almost never appear. ''I don't want lead roles taken from young actors,'' said Mr. Wojtasik. ''And I don't cotton to the theory of having a star so that actors can have the experience of working with a star.''


In 1986, the theater signed a 15-year lease that will keep it ensconced on Riverside Drive into the 21st century. Its financial health was also helped by the addition last year of a balcony with 116 revenue-producing seats, expanding the theater's capacity to 384 seats.


Given the many constituencies the theater serves, Mr. Wojtasik is sanguine about the theater's future. ''E.L.T. will be alive,'' he said, ''as long as actors want to be seen, casting directors need actors and audiences want to see good, inexpensive theater.''


Johnny Culver, current director of ELT, agrees.



A few reviews:


“An Afternoon with the Piney Fork Press Theater” - January 7, 2012


David Garrick’s “Katherine and Petrucio” at Equity Library Theater




The information transmitted from this site is for review only and is intended for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material, and/or written works owned by a third party. Please do not forward anything from this site without the permission of the sender or the owner of above written works.


The name and web site of Equity Library/Piney Fork Press Theater is managed by Johnny Culver.



Johnny Culver

917 691 6884/631 898 4205 johnnyculver@pineyforkpress.com www.equitylibrarytheater.info

Managing Director: Equity Library Theater of New York

Acting (New York)




“And Then There Were None”



2016 Gingerbread Players




2016 Boys and Girls Harbor, Heckscher Theatre

“All in the Timing”                         



2016 First String Players

“The Father (staged reading)”

The Pastor                   


2015 Equity Library Theater

“Timothy and Mary”                    



2015 Columbia University, Manhattan Repertory Theater

“Keeping Up Appearances” 



2015 FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase (US Premiere)

 “Our Town”                                    

Howie Newsome      


2014 St. Barts Players

”The Shabbos List”                       

Mike Green                 


2014 Thespis Theater Festival (Full Prod.), the Drama League (Staged Reading)

“Nude with Violin”                       

Clinton Preminger


2014 FAPC Theater Fellowship

“Kiss or Make Up”                        

Hanley Swope            


2014 First String Players

“Bye Bye Birdie”                            

Harry MacAfee          


2013 Gingerbread Players

“Black Ice”                                        

Mr. Burton                   


2012 Manhattan Rep

“Anything Goes”                           

Rev. Dobson               


2012 Maggie’s Theater

“Eben on the Dark Side”            

Eben Scrooge             


2011 2013 Manhattan Rep

“To Kill A Mockingbird”               

Heck Tate                     


2011 St Jeans Players

“Talking Pictures”                          

Mr. Jackson                 


2011 St Jeans Players


Wayne Seabury         


2011 Parkside Players




2010 Gingerbread Players

“The Comedy of Errors”             

Angelo, the Goldsmith


2009 Gingerbread Players

“The Man Who Came to Dinner”




2008 FAPC Theater Fellowship

Playwriting/Directing/Producing (New York)

“All in the Timing (Death of Trotsky)”      Director                        


Working Actors Studio, New York, 2016

“Diary of Anne Frank”                                    Director                        


FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase, 2016

“Asylum”                                                             Director                        


The Secret Theater One Act Festival, New York (Kirby Wright, playwright), 2016

“The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde”              Producer                      


Jefferson Market Players, NYPL, 2016

“Edward’s Closet”                                            Director                        


MITF Short Play Lab /13th Street Rep/Between Us Productions, New York (Jenn Dlugos, playwright), 2016

“Trout Day”                                                        Playwright/Director


Equity Library Theater, 2016

“College Without Walls”                                Director/Producer


Manhattan Repertory Theater, 2016 (M. Sanders, playwright)

“Plays by Alice Gerstenberg”                      Director                        


Equity Library Theater, 2015

“Angel on a Yellow Couch”                           Director                        


Strawberry One Act Festival, 2015 (KK Gordon, playwright)

“Potpie Lake”                                                    Playwright/Director


Langston Hughes Cultural Center, 2015

 “Keeping Up Appearances” (US Premiere) Director                 


FAPC Theater Fellowship/Equity Showcase, 2015

 “Across The Lake”                                           Playwright/Director


Students from HB Studios, 2012, Thespian Productions, 2013, Manhattan Repertory Theater, 2014

“A Dolls Life”                                                      Director                        


Thespian Productions, 2014 (Martha Patterson, playwright)

“Fred and Shirley” “Potpie Lake”               Playwright/Director


St. Jeans Players One Act Festival, 2014

“Cowboy Nocturne”                                       Director                        


The Secret Theater One Act Festival, New York (Evan Blake, playwright), 2014

“The Bermuda Curse”                                    Playwright/Director


Students from HB Studios, Cap21 Theater, New York, 2013

Hangin’ with Satan”                                      Director                        


Teatro LATEA, New York, 2013 (Reynaldo Rivera, playwright), 2013

“Something Good to Eat”                             Director                        


Between Us Productions, New York (John Glass, playwright), 2013

“ “The House on the Hill”                              Playwright/Director


New York Public Library/ Lenox Hill Auditorium, 2013

 “The Bionic Woman Scrapbook”               Playwright/Director


Love Creek Productions, the Producers Club, 2012

“In Swirly Letters”                                            Playwright/Director

55th and Bleecker” at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 2012

“You Don’t Have To Go To Kansas…”        Director                        


Love Creek Productions, 2012 (Le Wilhelm, playwright)

 “Another Life”                                                  Director                        


Strawberry One Act Festival, 2012 (A. Esposito, playwright)

 “The Value of Empty Boxes”                      Director/Producer


Manhattan Repertory Theater, 2011 (A. Leventman, playwright)

“A Bite to Eat with Edwina”                          Playwright                    


The Puzzle, Marble Collegiate Church, New York, 2011

“Equity Library Theater Playwriting Festival” Director/Producer


New York, 2012 -