Since 2007 when I began my work with EST I had the frequent, grand pleasure of running into Morty on his way to and from rehearsals, and seeing him on stage at EST. He often worked with our Youngblood group of writers in their 20s and their many 20-something colleagues, performing in monthly Brunch plays, in "Asking for Trouble," their instant play fest, and just about any other project. The fact is that Morty was always the youngest, happiest person in the room: his energy, his spirit, his joyful presence, his ageless wisdom and wry humor, all in an agile and limber package of indeterminate age, usually wrapped and capped in a big smile, led the charge into the work at hand. My job naturally instills a form of grumpy cynicism into my daily presence at the theatre, but that always evaporated with Morty around. He was just too happy, ever-engaged in the intimate, profound humanity of bringing new plays to life, for me to remain cynical in his presence. His spirit motivated me instead, to do better, to be better for him and those very special people like him who make theatre happen. As stunned and saddened as I am by his sudden passing, I will always be proud, and happy, and thankful, to have known Mordecai Lawner for these seven plus years of being together - because what else can you be, around such a man? - at EST. His life and memory should and will always be cause for smiles, and joy, and celebration. Love and much respect to you, Morty, always.