Faculty & Staff

William Carden
Lecturer, Acting & Playwrights Workshop

William Carden served as artistic director of the Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) for 15 years (2007 to 2022). In 2015, EST received a Special Drama Desk Award for its unwavering commitment to developing new American plays. In addition to producing over 40 new plays at EST, he directed world-premiere productions of Against the Hillside by Sylvia Khoury, The Good Muslim by Zakiyyah Alexander, Please Continue by Frank Basloe, Headstrong by Patrick Link, Lenin’s Embalmers by Vern Thiessen, Pidgeon, PTSD and Zero by Tommy Smith and Lucy by Damien Atkins. Prior to EST he was artistic director of the HB Playwrights Foundation for 11 years where he directed the Off-Broadway production and national tour of Mrs. Klein starring Uta Hagen as well as Collected Stories with Uta Hagen, Off-Broadway and at the Stratford Festival in Canada. His many other productions there include Horton Foote’s The Habitation of Dragons, Burnt Piano by Justin Fleming, Voir Dire by Joe Sutton and Another Vermeer by Bruce Robinson with Austin Pendleton. He directed The Dew Point at Summer Play Festival, The Young Girl and the Monsoon at Playwrights Horizons, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Stratford Festival in Canada. As an actor he played leading roles Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, Circle Rep, WPA, and EST and worked at numerous regional theaters including Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, Huntington, Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pittsburgh Public, and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in plays by among others: John Guare, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Peter Nichols, Brian Friel, Sean O’Casey, and Eugene O’Neill. On Broadway, he created the title role in the original, award-winning production of Short Eyes by Miguel Piñero. He attended St. Lawrence and Brandeis universities and studied acting with Uta Hagen and Wynn Handman.