Working Theater’s 3rd Decade

30th Anniversary Season 2014-2015

CLICK HERE to read about our ongoing program, Five Boroughs/One City, which was initiated in as part of our 30th Anniversary Season.

29th Season 2013-2014


by Michael Milligan
directed by Tom Oppenheim

a co-production with the Harold Clurman Laboratory Theater

Joe loves apple pie, Rush Limbaugh and his wife, Jane. He is blue-collar, made in the USA and proud, but when his wife gets sick and loses her insurance, his patriotic feelings are turned upside down. In MERCY KILLERS, a new one-man play, Joe struggles with the uniquely American experience of losing your health in the land of plenty.


Presented with a post show talk on the role of the writer/playwright in affecting social change and the role of the Actor Warrior.


by James McManus
directed by Tamilla Woodard
with Molly Carden, Patrick Carroll, Julie Jesneck, and Vayu O’Donnell

Poverty, first kisses, boxing, and irrational hope combine in a brutal love story about four young people trying to grasp the American Dream. In this Princess Grace Award-winning play, James McManus captures the devastated remnants of the steel towns of his youth, channeling the frustrations of a working class without work. A combustion of the magical and the mundane, Cherry Smoke takes you to a world rarely seen on the New York stage.

Scenic Design: Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams
Costume Design: Emily DeAngelis
Lighting Design: Solomon Weisbard
Sound Design: Sam Kusnetz
Props Design: Claire Kavanah

Production Manager: Libby Jensen

Production Stage Manager: Megan Schwarz Dickert
Assistant Stage Manager: Kelly Hardy

Casting Director: Stephanie Klapper
Press Representative: Daniel Demello
Fight Choreographer: Rick Sordelet

Readings & other events:

Theaterworks! Final Performance (32BJ)

6/9/2014 and 6/16/2014
Theaterworks! Final Performances (DC37)

28th Season 2012-2013


Commissioned by Working Theater in 2011, LA RUTA, by Ed Cardona, Jr., directed by Tamilla Woodard, is an immersive theatrical experience that follows the journey of several undocumented immigrants as they cross the border into the U.S. to make a better life for themselves and their family. The play is staged inside the trailer and cab of an actual 48′ truck with the audience experiencing the journey alongside the characters, surrounded by the harsh reality of their environment and the poignant narrative unfolding within.

The play will be performed in various communities throughout New York City.

Following the performance you are invited to experience a photographic installation created by Magnum Foundation which will center the play in the broader conversation about immigration reform.

Through LA RUTA, we, at Working Theater and Magnum Foundation, hope to raise awareness about the plight of undocumented immigrants and challenge our diverse communities to consider the experience of this large, yet too often misrepresented constituency.


Theaterworks! Final Performance (DC37)

Theaterworks! Final Performance (32BJ)

4th Annual Directors Salon
Luke Harlan, Dina Vovsi, and Nicole A. Watson, Salon Curators
Rebecca Martinez, Production Manager

27th Season 2011-2012


by Rob Ackerman
directed by Margarett Perry
Off-Broadway Premiere
with Matthew Boston, Brian Dykstra, Rita Rehn, and Jennifer Dorr White

An outrageous new comedy from the writer of Tabletop. Extraordinary things happen when an ordinary electrician begins channeling the spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Readings and other events:

Theaterworks! Final Performance (DC37)

Theaterworks! Final Performance (32BJ)

Broad Channel
by James Bosley, directed by Nancy Robillard
with Tina Benko, Dennis Gagomiros, Jon Krupp, Kate Levy, and Evan Maltby
A working class family comes to blows when they discover a cherished painting brought home by their grandfather during WWII is a valuable work of art… and was stolen from a victim of the Holocaust.

Open Mike Night
The 3rd Annual Open Mic Night, where working men and women take the stage with their own short stories, monologues and poetry.

4/16 – 4/22/2012
Directors Salon
Curated by Luke Harlan, Dina Vovsi and Nicole Watson
A week of events created to inspire and assist emerging stage directors in their careers. Directors are given the opportunity to further develop their skills with scene work and network with an entire community of both emerging and established directors.
Click here for more info

Mamie and Yvonne & Gus and Emily
by Rebecca Schull, directed by Julia Gibson
with Maria Tucci, Brenda Wehle, Stephen Bradbury, Peter Rini, and Tim Rush
A staged reading. Two quirky and endearing one-acts about work, aging, loneliness and sex.

The Poetry of Philip Levine
2011 US Poet Laureate & Pulitzer Prize-winner Philip Levine joins us for a night of poetry
featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides and André De Shields, Gene Gillette, and Lisa Ramirez
32BJ SEIU 5th Floor Auditorium
25 West 18th Street, 5th Floor (between 5th & 6th Aves)

by Zakiyyah Alexander, directed by Victor Maog
with Mary Bacon, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Ron Cephas Jones, Peter Kim, and Nick Lehane
Tasha is experiencing some very unusual symptoms. Could they be related to her dead end job? Her internet affair? Her own father’s illness? A lot can happen in one week in New York, especially when you don’t have health insurance.


by Gail Baskerville, Mirsada Damms, Bernadette Elstein, Michael D. O’Hara, Julian Pimiento, and Eric Sposito

Directed by Tamilla Woodard

An off-Broadway production featuring the best short plays to come out of our playwriting and performance class TheaterWorks! over the past 10 years.

with Maria Helan, Andres Munar, Tony Naumovski, Jens Rasmussen, Jeanine Serralles, Gabriel Sloyer, and Nikki Walker

26th Season 2010-2011

Honey Brown Eyes

by Stefanie Zadravec
directed by Erica Schmidt
with Edoardo Ballerini, Sue Cremin, Gene Gillette,  
Beatrice Miller,
Daniel Serafini-Sauli
& Kate Skinner

Once members of a band together.
Now on opposite sides of a war.

Can a bond formed through music
survive a world spinning out of control?

Set in two kitchens, Honey Brown Eyes portrays the 1992 war in Bosnia through two encounters of unsettling intimacy.

 Post show discussions on Reconciliation, Women &War, & War & The Media.

25th Anniversary Season 2009-2010

EXIT CUCKOO (nanny in motherland) by Lisa Ramirez, directed by Colman Domingo & Raquel Cion  (WT Hit Performance)

Tabletop by Rob Ackerman, directed by Connie Grappo (WT Hit Reading)

Progress in Flying by Lynn Rosen, directed by Daniella Topol (developmental reading)

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory…From Douglass to Deliverance created & performed by André De Shields, directed by Alfred Preisser  (First Stage Production)

TheaterWorks! 32B/J Final Performance

I am a Man by OyamO, directed by Bill Mitchelson (WT Hit Reading)

Working People’s Open Mic Night

American Jornalero by Ed Cardona, Jr., directed by Victor Maog (First Stage Production)

Maiden Voyages by Honor Molloy and Bronagh Murphy, original music bySusan McKeown, directed by Jessica Bauman (developmental reading)

Gail by Mike Batistick, directed by Arin Arbus(developmental reading)

The 3 Sisters Project directed and developed by Maureen Towey (First Stage Production)

Hold Please by Annie Weisman, directed by Connie Grappo (WT Hit Reading)

Bugs of the Pigs in the Lions by Kia Corthron directed by Kent Gash(developmental reading)

The Golden Vanity: William Bell/ Adrian on this Island by Alejandro Morales, directed by Scott Ebersold (developmental reading)

Uncle by former TheaterWorks! student Eleanor Herman, directed by Henry Miller (developmental reading)

Special Interests by Joe Sutton, directed by Luke Harlan (WT Hit Reading)

The Electric Baby Play by Stefanie Zadravec directed by Daniella Topol(developmental reading)

Velazquez by Gordon Dahlquist directed by David Levine (developmental reading)

TheaterWorks! Final Performance

Song to a Child Like Me by Manuel Borras, directed by Arin Arbus(commission & developmental reading)

The Poultry Play (working title) by Lisa Ramirez, directed by Lisa Peterson(commission & developmental reading)

Slay the Dragon by Victor Lodato directed by Jackson Gay (developmental reading)

24th Season 2008-2009

Exit Cuckoo

written & performed by Lisa Ramirez

directed by Colman Domingo

Exit Cuckoo is about women, the choices they make, the competing pressures they are subject to, and the defining effect this has on how children are raised. The play is a hilarious and profoundly moving collage of mothers, nannies and caretakers, and the complex chemistry between them.

Kat Foster in King of Shadows, 2008 Photo © Carel Di Grappa

King of Shadows

by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

directed by Connie Grappo
with Satya Bhabha, Kat Foster, Sarah Lord and Richard Short

at Theater for the New City

King of Shadows is a world premiere by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Good Boys and True- Second Stage; An Almost Totally True Story- Manhattan Theatre Club; Dark Matters- Rattlestick). The story centers around Nihar, a 15-year-old homeless runaway selling sex to survive, who claims he’s being pursued by supernatural demons. When Jessica, a young social worker, takes him in, he forms a dangerous bond with her teenage sister that threatens everything she values. The famous fog of San Francisco mixes with a fog of fantasy and fear as each try to protect against a danger they don’t understand.   Who to trust?  What to believe?  Where are the boundaries? These remain unsolvable mysteries for two public servants and our society’s most vulnerable.

23rd Season 2007-2008

Steven D. Garcia and Sergio Ferreira in Our Dad is in Atlantis, 2008 Photo © Carel Di Grappa

Our Dad is in Atlantis

by Javier Malpica

translation by Jorge Cortinas
directed by Debbie Saivetz
with Sergio Ferreira, Steven D. Garcia
The Theatres at 45 Bleecker Street
Our Dad is in Atlantis is a funny, tender story of two young brothers left in Mexico by their widowed father who’s gone to the U.S. to find work. In the care of relatives they barely know, the boys are forced to rely on each other for the emotional and physical support that, as children, they are wholly unequipped to provide. Their journey of premature independence leads them to a naïve attempt to navigate the impassable distance between them and the father who seems to have abandoned them. Written by Mexican Playwright

22nd Season 2006-2007

Back From The Front

by Lynn Rosen
directed by Connie Grappo
with Jen Albano, Peter Bradbury, Karl Kenzler, Haskell King, Christopher Larkin, Aubrey Levy and Annie Torsiglieri
Riverside Theatre at Riverside Church

Back From the Front paints an absurd picture of America at war, a hilarious and finally tragic portrait of a family coming apart at the seams.

When a government liaison announces to the Walker family on national TV that their son, Robbie, who’s been mysteriously inaccessible since his helicopter was shot down in Iraq, will be delivered home for Thanksgiving, they are overjoyed. But when a strange young man in uniform arrives on their door-step, they go to record depths of denial to avoid the unbearable prospect of loss.

Port Authority Throw Down

by Mike Batistick
directed by Connie Grappo
with Edwin Lee Gibson, Annie McNamara, Debargo Sanyal and Aladdin Ullah
Culture Project
Pervez, a Pakistani cab driver, is haunted by the ghost of his religious brother after he is picked up by the FBI on suspicion of terrorist activity. The brothers came to America to live a secular life in relative safety and now find themselves on two very different paths as they respond to the alienation they feel here.  Pervez reaches out to a homeless alcoholic who lives in the men’s room at Port Authority and a Christian missionary from Akron, Ohio as he attempts to navigate the lonely terrain of post-9/11 New York City.
“Debargo Sanyal, as Pervez, and Annie, McNamara as Barb, the mild-mannered missionary, get Port Authority Throw Down off to a rousing start . . . there are well deserved laughs and fine performances . . . [the play] sets its story in an atmosphere of intellectual fear and distrust, then pushes its characters in the direction of intercultural cooperation and support  . . . its battered heart is in the right place.” Anita Gates, The New York Times, October 31, 2006

21st Season 2005 - 2006

First Stage Presentations

Killa Dilla (an Ogunde minstrel show for Jim Crow)
World Premiere
by OyamO
directed by Andre De Shields
with Kim Brockington, Leland Gantt, Laura E. Johnston, Angela Lewis, Gil Pritchett, Roslyn Ruff, Dan Teachost, Joan Valentina and Bill Weeden
The Players Theater
Using a kaleidoscope of performance styles Killa Dilla tells the story of La Barsha, a woman whose survival is threatened by her unresolved rage. A powerful call for self-examination and healing that challenges our cultural assumptions with wicked humor, outrage and compassion.

Port Authority Throw Down
by Mike Batistick
directed by Connie Grappo
with James Murray Jackson, Jr., Annie McNamara, Debargo Sanyal and Aladdin Ullah
The Access Theater
Pervez, a Pakistani cab driver, is haunted by the ghost of his religious brother after he is picked up by the FBI on suspicion of terrorist activity. The brothers came to America to live a secular life in relative safety and now find themselves on two very different paths as they each respond to the alienation they feel here.  Pervez reaches out to a homeless alcoholic who lives in the men’s room at Port Authority and a Christian missionary from Akron, Ohio as he attempts to navigate the lonely terrain of post-9/11 New York City.

Box Americana: A Wal-Mart Retail Fantasia
commissioned by The Working Theater
by Jason Grote
directed by Connie Grappo
with Lia Aprile, Stephen Bradbury, Avery Glymph, Julia Pace Mitchell, Chudney Sykes and Jim Wisniewski
Bank Street Theater
The ghost of Sam Walton is resurrected-with his own personal chorus of Chinese workers-to sing the praises of consumer utopia.
Meanwhile, two female associates of Wal-Mart #24-2-128, the consumer epicenter of Sprawlville, USA, discover that the Promised Land has turned into a swamp of inequity and empty rhetoric. At a moment when the largest employer in the United States is defending itself against the largest class-action lawsuit in American history, and its anti-union activity is setting a bold low standard in the industry, we watch as two little Davids take on a retail Goliath.


Republicans, A Prose Poem
(Benefit for Iraq Veterans Against the War; sponsored by New Directions Publishing)
by Eliot Weinberger
directed Connie Grappo
with Leland Gantt, Gaby Kohen, Richard Masur, Novella Nelson, Jeanine Serralles, Lee Wilkoff, Eunice Wong
A powerful snapshot of the world as seen through the eyes of one of America’s foremost essayists.