The University of Colorado led Extreme-ultraviolet Stellar Characterization for Atmospheric Physics and Evolution (ESCAPE) small explorer mission concept is designed to measure the extreme-and far-ultraviolet (EUV; 80-560 A, 600-825 A, FUV; 1280-1650 A) irradiance and are activity of exoplanet host stars; essential measurements for assessing the stability of rocky planet atmospheres in the liquid-water habitable zone. The ESCAPE design consists of a fixed optical configuration with a grazing incidence Gregorian, or "Hetterick-Bowyer", telescope feeding grazing and normal incidence spectroscopic channels. The telescope is provided by a joint NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory team. The grazing incidence gratings have a radial profile and are ruled into single-crystal silicon using electron-beam lithography in the nanofabrication laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. Normal incidence gratings have aberration correcting holographic solutions and are supplied by Horiba Jobin Yvon. Spectra are imaged onto a curved microchannel plate detector supplied by the University of California, Berkeley. ESCAPE utilizes the Ball Aerospace BCP spacecraft. The simple, fixed configuration design of ESCAPE is projected to exceed the effective area of the last major EUV astrophysics spectrograph, EUV E-DS/S, by more than a factor of 50, providing unprecedented sensitivity in this essential bandpass for exoplanet host-star characterization. We report on the ESCAPE design, projected performance and mission implementation plan, as well as the trade studies carried out over Phase A to scope the first NASA EUV astrophysics mission in nearly 30 years. If selected, ESCAPE will launch in Fall 2025.