Monday Feb. 14th at 12:30PM spend your lunch hour celebrating the unforgettable work of our 2022 finalists for the Alvin Epstein Memorial Prize for Solo Performance hosted by Roland and Gretchen Cryer.
Hi Darling,

Of all the actors I've had the pleasure of directing over the years, he's the only one who ever asked for more rehearsal. 

We were a low-budget indie film shooting for a week in Omaha and the script called for Alvin to drive around in a pickup truck. He'd never driven such a large vehicle before so he arranged an earlier call time so he could have an hour alone with the A.D. to practice his turns.

None of this should have surprised anyone. It was Alvin's unending curiosity that made him the remarkable artist he was. He was never done digging deeper.

Whether he was assuming the Artistic Directorship of a regional theatre, performing on a Broadway stage, or teaching MFA students at Harvard how to breathe Shakespeare, Alvin Epstein was always unwaveringly focused on getting the work right. 

To him that meant understanding a writer's intention and doing whatever it takes to support that intention in his own performance and those of his fellow company members. Anyone who ever worked with him longed to work with him again. Because it was impossible to work with Alvin without learning something essential about your craft. 

The six writer-performers who are our finalists are the best manifestation of all that he stood for. You'll not want to miss this opportunity to sample a short bit of work by each at Monday's lunchtime awards ceremony. Tickets are going fast and because it's Zoom and it's Hear Me Out where we love you to unmute, we won't be able to make room for many more. 

P.S. Click the image below to grab your seat. Happy Valentine's Day!



As an actor June has worked on Broadway, off-Broadway and in numerous regional theatres across the country as well as in television and film (T.V Hunters, The Blacklist, Law & Order.) Netflix’s Monster (mid 2021). She is a member of New York’s  Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Actors Center as well as  The National Alliance of Acting Teachers. June wrote,  performs and tours nationally her solo play Remembrance Day based on the life of her mother a British WWII Bletchley Park codebreaker.  June was the Producing Artistic Director of the Passage Theatre . . .



I am a playwright, psychologist, and oral historian, emeritus at the University of Michigan My play, REMNANTS, was originally produced for radio at WUOM-FM in 1991 and distributed to NPR and APR stations around the country. Since 1997, I've presented it as a one-person stage performance at more than 300 venues worldwide.  Recent plays include "Done is Done," "Death / Play, or the Mad Jester of the Warsaw Ghetto," "The Stall," "The Perfect Game," "East Angels," "Boxes," "AmericaNirvana," and "The Aquarium." I am a lifetime member of the Dramatists Guild. . . .


Christine Toy Johnson is an award-winning writer, actor, director, and advocate for inclusion based in New York City. Her written works for the theatre have been produced and/or developed by the Roundabout, Village Theatre, Barrow Group, Prospect Theatre, Weston Playhouse, the O’Neill, Women’s Theatre Festival, CAP 21, Ars Nova, Greater Boston Stage Company, Abingdon Theatre Company, Towne Street Theatre and more and are included in the Library of Congress’s Asian . . .


Jill Bess, an Alaskan for over 30 years, was born and raised in Southern California where she received her B.A. in Drama from the University of California, Irvine. Originally trained as an actress and director, Jill fell in love with playwriting when she began raising her family, and was inspired to write her first play, the Nationally Award Winning one-woman musical, THE MOMMY DANCE (State, Regional and National awards for writing, acting and tech at AACTFEST/ Upcoming production May 2022, Anchorage, AK). Jill’s other scripts include . . .


I've been a professional actor for over forty years, based in New York (LA for nine years, where I did lots of guest spots on TV). I’ve played leading roles at regional theatres all over, been on Broadway twice, Off- and Off-off Broadway many times, toured, and appeared in a few don’t-blink roles in films.  I graduated from Northwestern with a BS in Performance Studies, then studied in NYC with Uta Hagen, Shelley Winters, and Geraldine Page. I took a memoir- to-stage class with Luis Alfaro at UCLA, writing classes at HB, and am now Zooming classes with Primary Stages/ESPA and the Dramatists Guild. . . . 


Alec Silberblatt is playwright and actor originally from Pittsburgh, PA.  His plays include: A TELL-TALE HEART (Commissioned for Pittsburgh Public Theater’s Classics N’at Season), THE MON VALLEY MEDIUM (Pittsburgh Public Theater’s PlayTime Series, Emerging Artists Theater, Carnegie Stage), THE ANGEL OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY (New Wave Theater Collective), and others.  His work has been produced/developed by: The Studios of Key West, The Pittsburgh Public Theater, . . .

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