Working Theater presents the off-Broadway Premiere of

The Best of TheaterWorks!:
Stories from the 99%

by Gail Baskerville, Mirsada Damms, Bernadette Elstein,

Michael D. O’Hara, Julian Pimiento & Eric Sposito

directed by Tamilla Woodard

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

An off-Broadway premiere featuring 6 of the best short plays to come out of Working Theater’s playwriting and performance classes TheaterWorks! over the past 10 years.

Featuring plays by members of DC37, 32BJ SEIU & Cornell ILR.

June 14th – 17th, 2012

Thurs, Fri, Sat at 7pm / Sat at 2pm / Sun at 3pm

at The Dorothy Strelsin Theatre

at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex
312 W 36th Street, 1st Floor

TICKETS: www.smarttix.com | 212-868-4444

General Admission: $15 / Student Rush $10 at the door

Group rates available. For info please call 212-244-3300

Set & Props Design:  Deb O  |  Costume Design: Emily DeAngelis

Lighting Design: Christopher Weston  |  Sound Design: Jeremy J. LeeProduction Stage Manager: amy francis schott

Assistant Stage Manager: Nicholas Betito

Production Manager: Zack Moody

This production is made possible by:
The New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
public funds from New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs
in partnership with the City Council
The Fund for Small Theaters, a project of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York

The Axe-Houghton Foundation & The Puffin Foundation

TICKETS : www.smarttix.com


Meet the cast & creative team:

 Maria Helan

MARIA HELAN (Veronica/ Mildred/  Carmen) is a company member at Repertorio Espanol were she was just seen in Mariela In The Desert by Karen Zacharias, directed by Jerry Ruiz and in Caridad Svich’s In The Time of The Butterflies, directed by Jose Zayas. NYC credits include original productions of Tryingby Erin Browne, directed by Lou Moreno andAll Eyes and Ears by Rogelio Martinez, among others. Maria was nominated for a Big Easy Award for her portrayal of Mathilde in Southern Rep’s production of The Clean House. She has also worked extensively with INTAR Theatre. She is a voice over artist and is represented by Abrams Artists Agency. Film Credits include World Trade Center directed by Oliver Stone and the foreign film Cruzando(winner best foreign film Seattle Film Fest.)

 

Andres MunarANDRÉS MUNAR (Joe/ Junior) Previously at Working Theater:American Jornaleroby Ed Cardona, Jr. Other theater credits include 9/12 Tapesby Leegrid Stevens at Theater for the New City, Blood and Giftsby JT Rogers at Lincoln Center, Civilization by Jason Grote at Clubbed Thumb; Oedipus El Rey by Luis Alfaro at Woolly Mammoth, Welcome to Arroyo’s by Kristoffer Diaz at the Old Globe Theater. Cornerstone Theater: Naomi Iizuka’sThree Truths. He is a longtime collaborator of Michael John Garces both at Cornerstone (Los Illegals, Attraction) as well as at INTAR Theatre, NY Theatre Workshop, EST, Rattlestick. Film: Che, Entre Nos. TV: “Queens Supreme”, “Law and Order”, “Law and Order: CI” Mr. Munar is a recipient of the Bowden Award from New Dramatists and a Fox Foundation/TCG Fellowship.

 

Tony NaumovskiTONY NAUMOVSKI (Bill Kaprovsky/ Gootchy/ Custodian) is a New York based classically trained actor. He has appeared in over 100 Theater, Film and TV productions internationally to critical and commercial acclaim. His recent film credits include: What about us(Jasmine Guy), the European Premiere of the comedy This is not an American Movie, the award winning US a Love Story, directed by Alrick Brown (Sundance), American Hunger(coming soon) etc. TV credits include:  “Law and Order: SVU”, “Americas Most Wanted” FOX TV; “The World’s Astonishing News”; Japanese National TV, etc. His most recent NY theater credits: Jason in Medea, Gia Forakis & CO, Bugsy Brodsky in Tennessee Williams’ Something Cloudy and Something Clear; KGB Agent Laverenti in the US Premire of PURGE at LaMaMa E.T.C; Cengiz Pasha, the leader of Crete, in the World Premiere ofThree Graces at the OBIE winning SOHO TINK Ice Factory Festival, Hamlet in The Ophelia Landscape [Mark Morris]; Odysseus in The Odyssey; Jocasta in Oedipus Rex etc. Tony is fluent in four languages. He is also a singer, a drummer and a Martial artist. For more info visit:www.tonynaumovskirotino.com

 

Jens RasmussenJENS RASMUSSEN (Mark Kristof/ Pirogi)  In NYC Jens has worked at Theatre Row, HERE, The Promenade, New Dramatists, The Lark, EPIC, PanAsian Rep, New Georges, Manhattan Theatre Source, The Internationalists, terraNOVA and others. In addition to having been a resident guest artist with companies in Florida, Virginia, Kentucky and Georgia, he’s performed across the country, from the Kennedy Center to Boise, receiving both an Acclaim Award and a League of Cincinnati Theatres Award for his work. Most recently, on film, he played the title role in Stephen King’s Survivor Type, which is appearing in festivals around the world. Proud member of AEA & SAG-AFTRA.

www.jensrasmussen.info

 

Jeanine SerrallesJEANINE SERRALLES (Hasijia/  Ophelia Montague/ Karen/ Anne) Off Broadway:  The Maids (Red Bull Theatre); Maple and Vine (Playwrights Horizons); Stunning(LCT 3); The Glass Cage (Mint Theater); The Misanthrope(NYTW, Drama League Nom), The Black Eyed (NYTW, Drama League Nom);  Hold Please (Working Theater, Drama Desk Nom- Featured Actress); Antigone Project(Women’s Project).  NYC Theatre includes: Busted (Cino nights); Vendetta Chrome(Clubbed Thumb);  Paris  Commune  (Public Lab.)   Some Regional Credits Include: Maple and Vine (Humana Festival); The Liar, House of the Spirits, Dusty and the Big Bad World, 1001 (Denver Center); Fallen Angels (Dorset);Aunt Dan and Lemon (Merrimack); Lucy and the Conquest (Williamstown). She has also worked at Woolly Mammoth, Cincinnati Playhouse, Dallas Theater, Barrington Stage, O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Sundance Theatre Lab.  Film & TV credits:  The Abolitionists (upcoming), Inside Llewyn Davis(upcoming), Two Lovers, Across the Universe,The Good Wife”, “Sex and the City. NYTW “Usual Suspect”. Member of The Civilians.  MFA: Yale.

 

Gabriel SloyerGABRIEL SLOYER (Monty/ Paco) is honored to join the Working Theater team!  Recently, Gabriel was seen inThe Contemporary Shakesperience, Romeo and Julietand The Dreamer Examines His Pillow.  He has appeared at Yale Rep, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, The Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Players Theatre, SoHo Playhouse, and Repertorio Español.  Please visit www.gabrielsloyer.com.

 

Nikki WalkerNIKKI E. WALKER (Tasha/ Sandra/ Woman): Manhattan Theatre Club: Olivia u/s in An American Plan. York Theater:Ginger Jamaica.  Lincoln Center/ StarfishWorks: Sandra in Buildings a Popera. Ensemble Studio Theatre: Angelique in Trickleby Kia Corthran. NY Classical Theater in Central Park: Kate in Taming of the Shrew /Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.REGIONAL: Alabama Shakespeare: Mae inFlag Maker of Market Street. McCarter Theatre: Christmas Present in Christmas Carol. Denver Theatre Center; Sadie in Gee’s Bend. The Goodman Theater: L’eila Walker inThe Dreams of Sara Breedlove written/ directed by Regina Taylor. Indiana Rep/ Syracuse Stage: Esther in Intimate Apparel. Geva Theater: Mrs. Muller in Doubt. Actors Theater of Louisville Humana Festival: Regina in ClassyAss. Shakespeare Theater DC: Madame Centaur in The Silent Womandirected by Micheal Kahn. TELEVISION & FILM: “Bored to Death”, “Unforgettable”, “Our Idiot Brother”, “30Rock”, “The Sopranos”, “ Law & Order Trial by Jury and Criminal Intent”, “Sex and the City”. Also numerous commercial and voiceover credits.

 

Gail Baskerville (Playwright, “The Hypochondriac”) was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1960 to a mother who became a teacher at the age of 56 and a father who was an artist who died at the early age of 40. Her father’s family was from Virginia, NC her mother’s family God-fearing members of the Augusta County Christian Church in Augusta, GA. At the age of nine, Gail became completely enthralled with reading short stories by such authors as Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Zora Neal Hurston, Harriet Beecher Stowe and James Baldwin. She would memorize the stories she read and entertain family and friends with her recitals. She enjoyed entertaining so much, she began writing her own stories. At age forty she joined Bethel Emanuel Temple where her pastor recognized her story skills and assigned her to create a message in a minute drama ministry. She wrote and performed inspirational skits every other Sunday. In 2006 she had a desire to learn script writing. She joined the TheaterWorks! class at her Local 372 Union Headquarters in NYC. She completed 3 scripts: “Lottery Ticket”, “Hypochondriac” and “Call Me Billiethat were performed at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and written in the Local 372 Union paper. Gail’s stories tend to have some connection to her own past. “Call Me Billie” was based on her twin sister who died ten years ago. Her sister loved Billie Holliday and enjoyed dressing up like her. Gail lives and works in NYC with her husband and three children. She continues to write and perform skits at churches, community centers and nursing homes.

Mirsada Damms (Playwright, “Locker Room Talk”) is currently working in the office maintenance field, but is aspiring to become a resident building manager. Native of Ulquin, Montenegro, she has been making a living here in the “Big Apple” for the last 20 years. She is also the author of the comedy “One Man’s Garbage” and “Que Leche”. Other works include “Remembering Our Town” and “A Cheesy Situation”. Mirsada’s play being presented here is called “Locker Room Talk”, a humorous interactive dialogue between three ladies in their workplace.

 

Bernadette Elstein (Playwright, “The Graveyard Shift”) lives in Brooklyn and has been a member of DC37 since 2001. She has written and performed a monologue for Working Theater previously when she worked as a School Crossing Guard. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in social work. She graduated College of New Rochelle in 2008 from the DC 37 campus, where she learned that she enjoys writing.  Bernadette enjoys helping others and making people laugh.  She has worked in the Brooklyn Public Library in an after-school program helping children learn to appreciate what reading books can do for them. She hopes to become a librarian one day. Currently she works as a Police Communications Technician, helping others in need. She is married and has a daughter who is a senior in college.

 

Michael D. O’Hara (Playwright, “The Luxury Life”) is a native New Yorker, a graduate of CUNY/Hunter College and a member of the Dramatists Guild. He’s been a photographer, graphic designer, editor and publisher of newsstand magazines. He has three full-length screenplays currently “making the rounds.” He is an eBay Power Seller, a hypnotist in training, and is working on a one-man show with a plane-crash survivor who was one of the first pro-wrestling stars of the emerging cable-TV era of the early 1980s. Besides “The Luxury Life”, TheaterWorks! has presented readings of 4 of his other short one-act plays: “On Her Sixteenth”, “M.O.C.”, “Sunset Cowboy” & “To Boldly Go”. “To Boldly Go” will have stage performances by the Theater Group of Lafayette, CO this August. Special thanks to our playwriting guru Joe Roland; 32BJ SEIU President Michael P. Fishman for his continued support of this project; Mark Plesent and Working Theater, the amazing actors, and the wonderful audience.

 

Julian Pimiento (Playwright, “Silent Song”) is a proud member of Local 32BJ SEIU. His short stories “Grace” and “Kelly and Freddy” have been published in two separate collections, Kindred Spirits and Kindred Spirits II. Julian wrote, produced and acted in an award winning short film adaptation of Gracethat screened at film festivals worldwide. He also wrote and directed the short filmsRecurrence and Manny for campus movie fest ’09 and ’10 at New York University. Julian was also recognized for his one act plays, “Fallen Leaves”, “Kelly and Freddy”, “Ironclad”, “High Rise” and “All City by the Working Theater in New York City, as well as an acting and directing workshop with Olympia Dukakis at New York University.gracethefilm.wordpress.com

 

Eric Sposito  (Playwright,  “Self Interest”)is a married father of three boys who was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He started his career at 17 years old caring for horses at race tracks in the New York area. At 22 years old Sposito began working in the Newspaper Industry laboring on printing presses for the New York Daily News at their production facility located on Atlantic Ave. and Pacific Street in downtown Brooklyn. Soon thereafter Sposito transferred to the New York Times and was employed in printing plants for The Times located in Carlsdadt and Edison, New Jersey, as well as College Point, Queens, for almost 30 years. During his tenure at the Times, he held various elected offices for the Union that represents the workers in his craft, including Vice-President and Shop Steward. In 2004 Sposito started on the road to a new career by attending college at the Cornell ILR off campus program for union leaders in Manhattan and earned a bachelor’s degree in Union Leadership and Administration from the National Labor College in 2007. From 2007 until 2011 Sposito studied law at Rutgers School of Law in Newark, NJ, where he authored, and had published, three legal papers. He is currently admitted to practice law in the States of NY and NJ and is working as a Field Attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. This coming fall he will begin teaching Labor and Employment Law at the Murphy Institute/ CUNY program in New York City.

 

TAMILLA WOODARD (Director) is a Director, Actor and Adapter residing in New York City. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, an alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a founding member of The Internationalists, a collective of directors from around the world creating an interactive global theatrical community. Most recent work includes Co-Creator of the site specific performance Hotel Project, that had its American premiere at Washington Jefferson Hotel and the Summit Grand Hotel in January 2012; Valiant by Lanna Joffrey (InterAct Theatre); Nightlands by Sylvan Oswald (New Georges) and the development and direction of Saviana Stanescu’s Polanski Polanski (starring Grant Neale and produced by Nomad Theatricals) ( PS122/ SoloNOVA festival in New York City, Teatrul Odeon in Bucharest, The Sibiu International Theatre Festival, TIFF International Festival in Cluj and HERE in NYC). In addition, she developed and directed Overcoming Speechlessness based on the text by Alice Walker with adapter Dana Balicki for Culture Project’s Women Center Stage. She has directed at HERE, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, PS122, DR 2, The Culture Project, Urban Stages, Dance Theatre Workshop, The Kitchen Theatre, Manhattan Class Company and for festivals around the US and internationally. Her work has won best of festival awards, audience favorite awards, Top 10 Shows to See citations, New York Innovative Theatre nominations and critical acclaim in The New York Times, Variety and others. New Dramatists honored her with The Charles Bowden Award and The League of Professional Theatre Women with the Josephine Abady Award. She serves as an adjunct professor teaching solo performance at City College’s Center for Worker Education.  More about Tamilla atwww.Tamilla.com

DEB O (Set and Prop Designer) Some of her design credits include: 5 Days In March, Heaven On Earth, The Panic Show, Make a Small Incision (Witness Relocation), The Seagull, Ivanov, Platonov, Uncle Vanya (Lake Lucille, NY), Take What is Yours (59E59, The New OhioTheatre), The Daughters (New Rock Opera, Cap 21, NY), The Deepest Play Ever(The New Ohio, NY), Too Much Too Soon(Lesser America) The Nature of Captivity(Mabou Mines, PS 122) The Savannah Disputation (Old Globe, CA) The Greeks(Julliard), Expatriate (New Musical, Culture Project, NY), Salsalandia (La Jolla Playhouse, CA), The Lacy Project (Premiere Yale, Ohio Theatre, NY), Jihad the Musical (Edinburgh Festival), The Mistakes Madeline Made (Yale Rep). MFA from Yale School of Drama, and she is also teaching design at NYU/PHTS.

www.debodesignstudio.com

 

JEREMY J. LEE (Sound Designer) wrote this bio while negotiating a contract between USA-829 and the Broadway League. International: Designer- Nilo Cruz’s Pais de Bicicleta & Alonso Alegría’s Cruce Sobre El Niagara (Festival Iberoamericano De Teatro De Bogota), David Edgar’s Continental Divide(London, Birmingham); Upcoming – Sound designer for LoNyLa’s TimeWave festival in the UK; Associate Designer – Bridge Project 2010 World Tour (NYC, Asia, Europe). Off-Broadway: The Ohmies, Into the Hazard,Adam Bock’s The Thugs, Alex Timbers’Dance Dance Revolution, Song For New York(Mabou Mines), John Fugelsang’s All The Wrong Reasons (NYTW), Thinner Than Water (Labyrinth) Regional: Theresa Rebeck’s Dead Accounts (Premiere, Cincinnati Playhouse) Matthew Lopez’sSomewhere (Premiere), Death of a Salesman(Old Globe); John Guare’s Rich and Famous, (ACT, San Francisco), The Boys Next Door, Red (Syracuse Stage), Lisa Loomer’sDistracted, Luis Alfaro’s Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, Nilo Cruz’s Lorca In A Green Dress(Premiere – Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Southern Rep, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Signature Theatre (DC), 5th Avenue Theatre, The Sundance Institute.  Awards: Bay Area Theatre Critics Award, Austin Critics’ Table Award, Helen Hayes Award Nomination. Jeremy also teaches Sound Design at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

 

CHRISTOPHER WESTON (Lighting Design) Most recent productions include The Empress of Sex (Bleecker Street Theatre),East Village Theater Festival (Metropolitan Playhouse), The Orange Person (IRT), Little Shop of Horrors (LaGuardia Performing Arts Center). New York theaters include the Kitchen, John Houseman, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 59E59, Cherry Lane, 45th Street Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, Barrow Group, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, Mazer Theatre and many more. Regional productions include Mrs. Mannerly (Penguin Rep), Logomaniacs (Actors Shakespeare Company) Proof, Having Our Say (Hangar Theatre), and The Color of Flesh (NJ Rep).  International: T.E.L.O.S. (European Biennial in Athens, Greece).  Chris was nominated for Outstanding Lighting Design by the New York Innovative Theatre Awards for his design ofThe Return of Peter Grimm at the OBIE winning Metropolitan Playhouse.  He has an MFA in Lighting Design from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a BFA in Performance Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.In addition to lighting theater and dance, Chris has designed for interiors, architecture, fundraisers, weddings and other events. He is a Teaching Artist for Roundabout Theatre Company. For more information, please visitwww.chriswestondesign.com

 

EMILY DEANGELIS (Costume Designer)Credits Include:  Round My World (Parsons Dance Company), Myths and Hymns (Prospect Theatre Company), Rated P for Parenthood (Daryl Roth Productions)Nightlands (New Georges), SEED (Classical Theatre of Harlem), The Judy Show (DR2 Theatre), Enfrascada (Clubbed Thumb), Soul Doctor (National Tour), Through The Night(Daryl Roth Productions), The Diary of a Teenage Girl- The Play  (3LD, New Georges),We Declare You a Terrorist (The Public Theatre, SPF), Angel Eaters (NYIT Award Nominee, 2009).  MFA- UCSD.www.emilydeangelis.com

 

AMY FRANCIS SCHOTT (Production Stage Manager) has worked professionally in theatre for over fifteen years. She has stage managed in a variety of venues including the ballroom of an abandoned hotel in her hometown of St. Louis, a sandy (and spidery) clearing in the Tennessee woods, and the beautiful and historic Shubert Theatre in New Haven, CT. She spent five years as the stage manager/lighting director for the Connecticut Gay Mens’ Chorus. In NYC, amy has worked on projects at the York Theatre, Symphony Space, Lincoln Center Institute, 3LD, NYMF, Ars Nova, the NAMT Festival of New Musicals, NY Live Arts and Fringe NYC. AEA since 2003.

 

NICHOLAS BETITO(Assistant Stage Manager) is usually at the front of house, but is thrilled to be backstage for this production. Working Theater: King of Shadows, Exit Cuckoo, Directors Salons, and TheaterWorks! class final performances. BA: The City College of New York. Member of Actors’ Equity Association. The TheaterWorks! education program is the paragon of working people’s theatre; it is my honor to be working on this exciting production. Thank you to Working Theater and all who support its mission. Congratulations to our playwrights; thank you for emboldening us to explore the complexities of being a working American.