TheaterWorks! classes teach performance and writing skills to working people. In each sixteen-week class, students write and rehearse short theatrical pieces based on their work experiences, and perform them before an invited audience. The TheaterWorks! program is overseen by Educational Instructors Joe Roland and Joe White and Producing Artistic Director Mark Plesent.


TheaterWorks! is offered to corporations and unions as a resource for their employees and members, and each class is tailored to meet the specific needs of the host organization. Since its inception, the program has served workers at District Council 37, Transport Workers Local 100, Social Services Employees Local 371, Building Service Employees Local 32BJ, Communication Workers of America Local 1180 Retirees and to members of UNITE! employed by Amalgamated Life Insurance. In early 2007, the Working Theater inaugurated a new course at Cornell University’s School of Industry and Labor Relations.

The goals of TheaterWorks!

  • to combat the sense of alienation many workers feel toward their jobs by providing them with a non-threatening creative environment in which to explore the meaning of what they do
  • to teach creative problem solving
  • to foster self-expression
  • to help engender personal and long-term connections to the arts

The 2017 CWA 1180 Retirees TheaterWorks! Final Performance- photos by P. Kevin O’Leary