FIVE BOROUGHS/ONE CITY

Teams

Working Theater has commissioned five teams of artists to create new plays in collaboration with the communities surrounding venues in each of the five boroughs of New York City.

Staten Island

Playwright Chisa Hutchinson (She Like Girls) and Director Kristin Horton will explore the surprisingly diverse communities surrounding the gorgeous campus of Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island.

Chisa Hutchinson’s award-winning plays, which tend to probe social issues, include She Like Girls, Sex on Sunday, The Subject, Dirt Rich, and Somebody’s Daughter among others. She’s been a Lark Fellow, a Dramatist Guild Fellow, a resident at the William Inge Center for the Arts a New York NeoFuturist, and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group. She is a proud second-year member of New Dramatists. (www.chisahutchinson.com)

Kristin Horton is a director primarily interested in new plays and re-imaginings of classical work that directly engage community and cross-cultural dialogue. She is honored to participate in this project and collaborate with Chisa Hutchinson again; previous work with Hutchinson includes Dead & Breathing (Contemporary American Theater Festival), Tunde’s Trumpet (NYC Summerstage), Dirt Rich (NYC Summerstage), and She Like Girls (Lark Play Development Center Barebones). Horton has directed premieres and developed work by a diverse range of playwrights including Kirsten Greenidge, Jen Silverman, Chiori Miyagawa, Victoria Stewart, Saviana Stanescu, Mia Chung, Andrea Thome, Jeannine Coulombe, Jessica Litwak, Andrew Rosendorf, Dano Madden, and Christopher Cartmill to name a few. She has directed new work at HERE, Lark Play Development Center, Workhaus Collective, William Inge Playwrights Festival, Lied Center for the Performing Arts, The Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, Commonwealth Theatre, Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and Riverside Theatre. Her new play collaborations have also appeared in festivals including the NYC Park Summerstage, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and National Black Theatre Festival. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts/Theater Communications Group Career Development Program for Directors, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Sundance Theater Lab. She began her career as a member of the Living Stage Theatre Company, the groundbreaking social change theater of Arena Stage. She teaches at New York University’s Gallatin School.

Brooklyn

Experimental Director Ana Margineanu (Pop-up Theatrics) teams up with Playwright Ed Cardona, Jr. (La Ruta) in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Bushwick to discover what community means to the various populations.

Ana Margineanu is a theatre director based in NYC, co-founder of PopUP Theatrics. Credits include:Broken City (NYC), Long Distance Affair (Edinburgh, New York, Mexico, Buenos Aires) , Inside (Madrid, Bucharest), The Sunshine Play (Dublin /Bucharest). Her work has been presented in major cities in Europe and America and received several awards. She is a founding member of DramAcum (directors collective that supports young Romanian playwrights) and an alumms of Lincoln Centers Directors Lab. More: www.anamargineanu.com and www.popuptheatrics.com

Ed Cardona, Jr. I like to be here: Jackson Heights Revisited, or, This is a Mango –Theatre 167, a multi-disciplinary collaboration (Theater: Village Festival 2014, E Pluribus, New Ohio Theatre); Audrey Bound, Sir Quince, Super Moon – a collection of ten-minute plays, FOCUS Festival of the Arts, St. Andrew’s College, Aurora, Canada; La Ruta, a site-specific play which toured for a five-week run through the boroughs of New York City (commissioned/produced/Working Theater); American Jornalero, selected as a MetLife Nuestras Voces National Playwriting Competition award winner (produced/Intar Theater); Leveret’s Lesson (St. Andrew’s College, Aurora, Canada); Jackson Heights, 3am, an ensemble collaborative piece (Theater 167);Mongo, performed at the Local 3, I.B.E.W. Diversity Conference in part with membership diversity workshops (commissioned/produced/Working Theater); Super Moon, FOCUS Festival of the Arts, Aurora, Canada (commissioned/St. Andrews College); Bottle Rockets and La Perla(Puerto Rican Traveling Theater),With Love, Gabe (Intar Theatre). Ed has been an artistic associate with the Working Theater, a collaborator with Urban Arts Partnership/The New Group/Life Stories and a resident playwright with St. Andrews College, Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence Lab at Intar Theatre, The Professional Playwrights Unit at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, The Hall Farm Center for the Arts & Education in Townsend, VT, and is a member of NY Madness. Ed’s work has been published by NoPassport Press, Dramatic Publishing and Smith and Kraus Publishing. Ed received his M.F.A. in playwriting from Columbia University where he received the John Golden Award for his thesis play, PICK UP POTS!

Queens

Playwright Adam Kraar and Director Gaye Taylor UpChurch immerse themselves in the neighborhood of Electchester, a housing development built by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers after WWII for affordable housing for early career electricians.

Adam Kraar’s work includes a quartet of plays about American families living in Asia, and a play inspired by the Civil Rights Movement’s “Freedom Summer.” His plays have been produced and developed at Primary Stages, The Public Theatre, Theatreworks U.S.A., Cherry Lane, The New Group, LaMama, Geva, Performance Network, Alliance Repertory and many others. Fellowships from: Manhattan Theatre Club, Millay Colony, New River Dramatists and Sewanee Writers’ Conference. His plays are published by: Dramatic Publishing, Smith & Kraus, and Applause Books (including five BEST AMERICAN SHORT PLAYS anthologies). Recent work includes: EMPIRE OF THE TREES (Wizard Oil Productions at Abingdon Theatre; NY Innovative Theatre Awards’ Outstanding Script Nominee); NEW WORLD RHAPSODY (Manhattan Theatre Club commission); THE SPIRIT HOUSE (Performance Network); THE ABANDONED EL (Illinois Theatre Center); FREEDOM HIGH (Queens Theatre in the Park) and WILD TERRAIN (EST Marathon of One-Act Plays). Adam is a Core Alumnus of The Playwrights’ Center and a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre. He was previously a Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center, and was twice a resident playwright at the Inge Center for the Arts. Adam grew up in India, Thailand, Singapore and the U.S. He earned an M.F.A. at Columbia University and has been teaching playwriting and acting at Adelphi University, University of Rochester and N.Y. Institute of Technology. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Karen.

Gaye Taylor Upchurch Off-Broadway: Nancy Harris’s Our New Girl (Atlantic); Laura Marks’s Bethany with America Ferrera (Women’s Project, Lortel nomination for Best New Play and Best Actress); Lucy Thurber’s Stay (Rattlestick, Obie Award for Hilltown Play Cycle); Simon Stephens’s Harper Regan with Mary McCann (Atlantic, NY Times Top Ten Production 2012); Simon Stephens’s Bluebird with Simon Russell Beale (Atlantic). Regional: Bethany (Old Globe); She Loves Me (UNCSA). She has developed new work at New Dramatists, Playwrights Realm, NY Stage & Film, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She was Sam Mendes’s Associate Director for Cherry Orchard, Winter’s Tale, Tempest, and As You Like It (BAM/ Old Vic). She is an alumna of Women’s Project Directors Lab, Drama League and North Carolina School of the Arts.

The Bronx

Director Maureen Towey (Three Sisters) teams up with Actor/Playwright Dan Hoyle (Tings Dey Happen) to explore the New Settlement Community Campus

in the Concourse/Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx.

Maureen Towey directs live performance events. She works as a creative director for musicians such as Arcade Fire, Ray LaMontagne, and tUnE-yArDs. She has been recognized as a AOL/PBS MAKER, a Princess Grace fellow, a TCG Leadership U fellow, and a Fulbright scholar in South Africa. She is an ensemble member of Sojourn Theatre where she has directed Throwing Bones and Finding Penelope. Other theater highlights include The Saints Tour (River to River Festival), Three Sisters (Working Theater), Emergence (Foundry Theatre), Swallow What You Steal (ubom, South Africa), Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document… (Boise Contemporary Theatre). In 2014, she is premiering The Islands of Milwaukee with Sojourn and Black Mountain Songs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival.

Dan Hoyle is an actor and playwright based in New York City, where performances of his new solo showEach and Every Thing will begin at Joe’s Pub and Columbia University in October 2014.  His previous solo shows The Real Americans and Tings Dey Happen had critically acclaimed runs Off-Broadway (Culture Project, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater) toured the country and overseas (The Marsh, Berkeley Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Painted Bride in Philadelphia, The Lensic in Santa Fe, The Park Hotel in Calcutta, India and five cities in Nigeria on an official U.S. State Department tour), and received numerous awards (Will Glickman, Prize of Hope, Lucille Lortel nominee, Bay Area Theater Critics Circle). His multi-actor play Game On, written with Tony Taccone, was an Edgerton Award grantee and had its World Premiere at San Jose Rep in April 2014. Hoyle has been commissioned by The Aurora Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, First Person Arts, has had readings of his plays at The Public, Ashland Shakespeare Festival, and The Magic Theater, and has been awarded grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the Pew Theater Initiative, the Fleishhacker Foundation, the Zellerbach Foundation, and the Circumnavigator’s Club, among others. He has served as an artist-in-residence teacher and has taught workshops at colleges and theaters around the country. His essays have been featured in Salon, Mother Jones, and Sports Illustrated, among other publications. He holds a double degree in Performance Studies and History from Northwestern University. He lives in the South Bronx with his wife Lyra, a visual artist and art teacher in Bronx and Manhattan schools.

Manhattan

Playwright Caridad Svitch (OBIE Lifetime Achievement Award) teams up with artists Michael Premo and Rachel Falcone (Housing is a Human Right, Sandy Storyline) to uncover what “sanctuary” means to the various populations who use the services of the world famous Cathedral of St. John The Divine.

Caridad Svich received a 2012 OBIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in the theatre, a 2012 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award for Guapa, and the 2011 American Theatre Critics Association Primus Prize for her play The House of the Spirits, based on the Isabel Allende novel. She has won the National Latino Playwriting Award (sponsored by Arizona Theatre Company) twice including in the year 2013 for her play Spark. She has been short-listed for the PEN Award in Drama four times, including in the year 2012 for her play Magnificent Waste. In January 2014 In the Time of the Butterflies(based on the Julia Alvarez novel) will receive its English language premiere at San Diego Repertory Theatre under the direction of Herbert Siguenza and Todd Salovey, In development: Jarman (all this maddening beauty, a performance piece inspired by the life and work of British filmmaker Derek Jarman, with Washington D.C.-based ensemble force/collision. Among her key works are 12 Ophelias, Any Place But Here, Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man’s Blues, Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart (a rave fable) and The Way of Water.Seven of her plays are published in Instructions for Breathing and Other Plays (Seagull Books and University of Chicago Press, 2014). Five of her plays radically re-imagining ancient Greek tragedies are published in Blasted Heavens (Eyecorner Press, University of Denmark, 2012). Her works are also published by TCG, Broadway Play Publishing, Manchester University Press, Playscripts, Arte Publico Press, Smith & Kraus, Alexander Street Press, StageReads and more. Among her awards/recognitions are: Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship TCG/Pew Charitable Trusts National Theater Artist Residency at INTAR, NEA/TCG Playwriting Residency at the Mark Taper Theatre Forum Latino Theatre Initiative. She has edited several book on theatre including Out of Silence: Censorship in Theatre & Performance and Trans-Global Readings: Crossing Theatrical Boundaries. She sustains a parallel career as a theatrical translator, chiefly of the dramatic work of Federico Garcia Lorca as well as works by Calderon de la Barca, Lope de Vega, Julio Cortazar and contemporary works from Mexico, Cuba and Spain. She is alumna playwright of New Dramatists, Drama Editor of Asymptote literary journal, associate editor of Contemporary Theatre Review (Routledge,UK), contributing editor of TheatreForum, and founder of NoPassort theatre alliance and press, which recently published Todd London’s The Importance of Staying Earnest.

Michael Premo is an artist, journalist and documentary storyteller. He has created, produced and presented original works of art and media with numerous companies including Hip-Hop Theater Festival, The Foundry Theater, The Civilians, Penny Arcade, Company One, EarSay, Inc., and the Peabody Award winning StoryCorps. He’s a co-creator and Executive Producer of Sandy Storyline (www.sandystoryline.com), a participatory documentary that collects and shares stories about the impact of Hurricane Sandy on our neighborhoods, our communities and our lives. The project won the inaugural Transmedia Award from the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. He co-created and collaborates on the multimedia storytelling project Housing is a Human Right (www.housingisahumanright.org), a project connecting diverse communities around housing, land, and the dignity of a place to call home. Stories are shared across multiple platforms including radio, internet and interactive installations in unconventional places. His radio documentaries have been broadcast internationally and his photography has appeared in numerous outlets including Left Turn, The Village Voice, The New York Times, Narrative,ly, and Het Parool (Holland). He is on the Board of Trustees of the Network of Ensemble Theaters, Fellowships include: NYSCA Individual Artists Award, and the Inaugural 2013 Blade of Grass Fellowship. As an activist and sometimes organizer he has worked with various groups and organizations. Michael is based in Brooklyn, NY.

Rachel Falcone uses oral history, art and technology to engage people in the telling of their own stories. She is Co-Founder and Executive Producer of the award-winning transmedia storytelling project Sandy Storyline. For the last 6 years she has produced first person stories about the housing crisis, and the human right to housing movement, as part of her multimedia project Housing is a Human Right. The project’s latest release is Home, a global Hip Hop mixtape produced in collaboration with the independent record label Nomadic Wax. Rachel traveled across the United States with the Peabody award-winning national oral history project StoryCorps. She has since worked as a producer with EarSay, Inc. and None On Record. Her independent radio documentaries and multimedia have been broadcast internationally, and shared through interactive installations everywhere from laundromats to vacant storefronts to shipping containers. Her most recent exhibition at the Tribeca Film Festival’s inaugural, juried transmedia showcase, Storyscapes, won the Bombay Sapphire Award for Transmedia. Rachel is a sought after speaker and workshop facilitator, and has taught oral history and storytelling for movement-building in collaboration with institutions like the Museum of the City of New York, People’s Production House, the Institute for Social Ecology, Parsons The New School for Design, and others. She has also been an organizer for social movement organizations, including Occupy Our Homes and Organizing for Occupation (O4O). Rachel currently consults on transmedia storytelling and impact campaigns for nonprofit organizations and media projects. She worked on the Good Pitch supported film Young Lakota (Independent Lens 2013), and a global tear gas campaign for the War Resisters League. She is now working in the field of patient advocacy, coordinating communications and a new blog initiative for the Partnership for Palliative Care. Rachel was a 2011 New Voices Scholar of the Association for Independents in Radio (AIR), and a 2013 Blade of Grass grantee. She is based in Brooklyn, and studied philosophy at University College London and Vassar College.

Artistic Directors

Tamilla Woodard is a Director residing in New York City. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, an alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab and founder of PopUp Theatrics, a partnership creating site impacting theatrical events in collaboration with theatre artists working around the globe. Most recent work: Long Distanace Affair: BA Edition, (Bienal Arte Joven Buenos Aires and PopUP Theatrics, Buenos Aires) INSIDE(PopUP Theatrics, Madrid, Spain;) La Ruta, by Ed Cardona Jr ( Working Theater, NYC) With PopUP Theatrics: Long Distance Affair, an international collaboration for live Skype performance; Hotel Project, Co-Creator, world premiere in Querétaro Mexico in July 2011, American premiere at Washington Jefferson Hotel and the Summit Grand Hotel in January 2012; Other recent work includes, 3 Editions of Long Distance Affair, Edinburgh, Scotland, Querétaro, Mexico, New York, USA; DramaTour in Querétaro Mexico (Sabandijas del Palacio) Valiant by Lanna Joffrey at InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia, PA); Nightlands by Sylvan Oswald (New Georges,NYC) and the development and direction of Saviana Stanescu’s Polanski Polanski (Teatrul Odeon, Bucharest; The Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Sibiu, TIFF International Festival, Cluj; PS122/SoloNOVA festival, HERE, NYC and The Chain, LIC, New York). She has directed for the Working Theater, HERE, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, PS122, DR 2, The Culture Project, Urban Stages, Dance Theatre Workshop, The Kitchen Theatre and for festivals around the US and internationally. She a recipient of The Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists, The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Theatre Workshop Director Fellowship, New Georges Audrey Residency and a TCG On The Road Grant.

staff_mark

Mark Plesent has been associated with Working Theater in since 1989. In 1996 he was named Producing Director and in 2010 he became Producing Artistic Director. He has produced over 30 plays for the Theater including Michael Henry Brown’s Ascension Day, Ed Belling’s A Drop in the Bucket (which he also directed), and the Drama Desk Award-winning Tabletop, among many others. In his current capacity, Mark is responsible for the re-institution of the Company’s commissioning program resulting in new plays by Linda Faigao-Hall, OyamO, Jason Grote, Lisa Ramirez, Manuel Borras and Ed Cardona Jr. Mark has also worked as the Development Director for Jennifer Muller/The Works and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Prior to working for the arts organizations mentioned above, Mark produced and/or directed over 15 independent theatre and performance art projects including Populace, a performance on the IRT #1 train from Chambers Street to 125th street involving 22 directors and over 200 actors. Mark serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York, an organization serving over 300 member theaters. Mark graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater.