Crystal Skillman and Steve DiUbaldo Receive The Clifford Odets Ensemble Play Commission for The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute®

Shaun Peknic, of Once the Musical, and David Mendizabal receive The Lee Strasberg Directing Fellowship.

New York, NY, August 29, 2015 --( The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute (LSTFI) with The Lee Strasberg Creative Center in collaboration with NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Undergraduate Department of Drama will present two new works by playwrights, Crystal Skillman and Steve DiUbaldo, this year’s recipients of The Clifford Odets Ensemble Play Commission, December 3-5 and 10-12 at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre in New York City. A gala will follow the December 5 and 12 performances.

The Clifford Odets Ensemble Play Commission is an annual playwriting commission that encourages emerging playwrights to write original works for large ensembles of emerging actors. Through this commission, LSTFI and The Lee Strasberg Creative Center partners emerging playwrights, directors and The Lee Strasberg Method™ trained actors and encourages "the synergy of great acting with the development of new works. This commission will provide an incubating space for the development of true ensemble plays in New York City and develop the next generation of collaborating artists."

Skillman (Rain and Zoe Saves the World, Wild) writes Pulp Vérité. A graduate filmmaker returns to the states from Syria to reunite with her fellow classmates gathered in Martha's Vineyard with the goal of finishing their documentary film. But what once began as a story about creating art to survive in a war torn country becomes personal as the classmates record themselves attempting the impossible: bringing the last member of their filmmaking crew home. Full of theatrical imagination, Pulp Vérité, plunges head first into the joy and terror of sharing stories about those monsters under our beds that never seem to go away… and the price that comes with the art of telling the truth. Shaun Peknic (associate director, Once) directs, featuring LSTFI students, Terrease Aiken, Maddie Atchue, John DiMino, Maddie Dix, Chapman Hyatt, Cullen Kuch, Ale Mesa, Anamari Mesa, Eleanor Watson, and Rachel Whiteman.

DiUbaldo (Boomer's Millennial Hero Story, Exposure) writes a currently untitled piece exploring the troubled teen industry. While authority dynamics rule their lives, these youths must sojourn the landscape of tough love and the constant threat of being fixed. David Mendizabal (Producing Artistic Leader, The Movement Theatre Company) directs, featuring LSTFI students, Michelle Davis, Sydney Eberwein, Jess Kaliban, Zack Kozlow, Alex Mutti, Emily Oliveira, Hudson Oznowicz, Vienna Slack, Jacob Voigt, and Hannah Williams.

The Marilyn Monroe Theatre is located at 115 Lee Strasberg Way (East 15th Street). For more information, visit or call 212.533.5500.
The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
Heather Harvey
212.533.5500 ex. 128