Reservations are currently at capacity. If you would like to be put on the waitlist, please email [email protected]


A Dawn In Her Own Day by Valerie Knight
Billionaire’s Row by Harrison Magee

marcus d. harvey
Rick Hamilton

Join us for the invited readings of new plays from our 2023-2024 Mark Plesent Commission Fund Recipients, Valerie Knight and Harrison Magee. As the culmination of their commission, we invite our Working Theater community to join us in supporting the development of these brand-new one-act plays and the playwrights behind them who will be hearing their work out loud for the first time with an audience. The evening runs approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with a brief intermission between the two plays. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis, and space is limited. Please use the link below to save your space today.

Reservations are currently at capacity. If you would like to be put on the waitlist, please email [email protected]

These pieces were commissioned through the Mark Plesent Commission Fund. To learn more about the fund and its history, please click here.

About the Plays

Following the journey of the birth of an activist, A Dawn in Her Own Day reveals life threatening environmental pollution in an African-American neighborhood and the galvanization of a community. 

Billionaire’s Row offers a glimpse into the world of two movers as they learn to maneuver through narrow doorways, friendships, and a city that reminds you what you’re holding onto.

Valerie Knight, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist that engages the therapeutic arts. Her journey
started as an actress, singer, and theater collaborator in the professional theater. She was a
longtime member of the New York Street Theatre Caravan and acted in many productions by the
group and others including “Molly Maguire”, “Sacco and Vanzetti” and “Bitter Harvest”. She
was honored to have written two additional plays under the auspices of The Working Theater–
“Drawing Close” and “T.R.O.B.A.: Clarence and Ginni”. Her work as a therapist, facilitator, and
CUNY professor included teaching college courses at District 1199 in psychology for 16 years,
Healing Loss workshops at Montefiore Hospital and national on-line workshops entitled “Black
and White: Reckoning with Racism and Reconciliation”. She maintains a private practice in
Manhattan. She thanks her superb teachers, friends, family, and her original producer, Mom.

Harrison Magee is a resident of Jackson Heights, Queens, and is a member of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1. Before becoming a bricklayer, he spent nearly a decade working in the City’s residential moving and storage industry. A longtime union activist, he is closely tied to the City’s labor movement and is passionate about making the City a better place for working people. He completed his first play, Billionaire’s Row through the Working Theater’s TheaterWorks! class in Fall 2022, and is grateful to the organization for the opportunity to continue telling stories. 

Chisa Hutchinson (B.A. Vassar College; M.F.A NYU – TSoA) (Valerie’s Mentor) has presented her plays, which include She Like Girls, Somebody’s Daughter, Surely Goodness & Mercy, Whitelisted and Dead & Breathing at such venues as Atlantic Theater Company, Contemporary American Theater Fest, the National Black Theatre, Second Stage, and Arch 468 in London. Her radio drama, Proof of Love, can be found on Audible (with a boss rating). She’s been a New Dramatist, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Lark Fellow, a Humanitas Fellow, a NeoFuturist, and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group. Chisa has also won a GLAAD Award, a Lilly Award, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, a Helen Merrill Award, and the Lanford Wilson Award. She’s currently on strike with the WGA, but has staffed on two television series—Three Women (Starz) and Tell Me Lies (Hulu)— and is currently creating another with producers Karamo Brown (Queer Eye) and Stephanie Allain (Hustle & Flow, Dear White People). Her first original feature, THE SUBJECT, in which a white documentarian deals with the moral fallout from exploiting the death of a black teen, is available on various VOD platforms after a successful film festival circuit during which it won over 30 prizes. To learn more, visit .

Ed Cardona Jr. (Harry’s Mentor) is a Connecticut native who has made significant achievements in the field of playwriting. He graduated from Western Connecticut State University and went on to obtain his M.F.A. in playwriting from Columbia University. Ed is the author of numerous full-length, one-act, and ten-minute plays. His most recently produced works have garnered attention and recognition. Among them is “American Jornalero,” which was staged by Intar Theatre, Oakland Theater Project, Teatro Vista, and Urban Theater Company. Ed’s contribution to community and collaborative initiatives is commendable. He wrote “Bamboo in Bushwick” for the Five Boroughs/One City project, which aimed to bring together various communities through theater. Furthermore, he penned “La Ruta,” a New York Times Critics’ Pick, for the Working Theater. Additionally, “Maria Se Fue” was performed as a one-act play at the As Performance Series, NYU | Steinhardt Drama Therapy Program. His ten-minute play titled “Rip 60, Z Split, Hot Read, Ear Hole on 3 – BREAK” was featured at the Source Festival by Source Theater, and his play “Lychee Martini” was a finalist at the 2020 National Playwrights Conference, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. His talent and dedication have earned him accolades and opportunities as an artistic associate with the Working Theater, a collaborator with Urban Arts Partnership/The New Group/Life Stories, and a resident playwright with Theatre 4 The People, St. Andrews College, Hispanic Playwrights-in-Residence Lab at Intar Theatre, The Professional Playwrights Unit at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, and The Hall Farm Center for the Arts & Education in Townsend, VT. Ed’s written works have been published by renowned publishing houses such as Dramatic Publishing, Smith and Kraus Publishing, and NoPassport Press. Notably, his thesis play, “PICK UP POTS,” earned him the prestigious John Golden Award during his time at Columbia University. Outside of his playwriting endeavors, Ed is an IT professional in Higher Education. He has resided in New York City for over twenty years, calling the borough of The Bronx his home. Despite living in New York, Ed remains a die-hard Red Sox fan. Throughout his journey, he is grateful for the love and support of his family.

marcus d. harvey (Valerie’s Director) is an award-winning multi-hyphenated artist who holds his MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College, MA in Dramatic Writing for Social Change from NYU and Dual Undergraduate Degrees in Drama and Performance Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill. As a director, he has directed for The Contemporary American Theatre Festival, The Working Theatre, Lean Ensemble, Bloomsburg University, Passage Theatre Company, Marymount Manhattan College, LaGuardia Community College, Potomac Theatre Project, The National Black Theatre, Luna Stage and Harlem 9. As an actor, he has performed for such companies as Lean Ensemble, National Black Theatre, Triad Stage, The Old Vic (London), Playmaker’s Rep, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, WAM Theatre, and TADA! Theatre. As a writer, he has written three solo shows and is currently at work on a play, a bright light, centered around suicide/depression and mental health in Black & Latin communities. marcus is an Assistant Professor of Theatre in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Montclair State University. 

Rick Hamilton (Harry’s Director) Managing Director of the Chain Theatre and the Chain NYC Film Festival, is an award-winning filmmaker whose short films, including “Seeing Glory,” “Choices” and “The Fear Inside” have screened around the world. He directed the hit Off-Broadway show Fabulous! The Queen of New Musical Comedies, the AUDELCO-nominated Gypsy and the world premiere staging of The Orbit of the Soul. At the Chain Theatre, he directed A Will to Live and What Passes for Comedy on the Mainstage and the workshop production of Georgie D., following its development in the Chain Play Writing Lab. His work Off-Off Broadway includes Geeks! The Musical and Sophia. Other play development work includes staged presentations of Lychee MartiniCandy HeartsSarah was Mine and A Retail Carol. Rick also directed the steampunk burlesque cabaret Suave and the Boner. For more information on past and current projects, please see

A Dawn in Her Own Day Cast

Daniel Carlton RECENT PROJECTS : Director : Freedom Flight ( also Playwright , 2022-23 national tour.) “ Jabari Dreams Of Freedom” by Nambi E Kelley. ( New Victory Theater Spring 2022, National Tour) Writer Director “March On”( Apollo Theater, National Black Theater Festival , York College , Playhouse Square ). 48 Hours In Harlem“ “What If” (Negro Ensemble Company Cherry Lane Theater, UPenn) . Freedom Riders” (National tour)Director and Playwright “Pigfoot Mary Says Goodbye To The Harlem Renaissance( Metropolitan Playhouse, r, Community Works ,Kumble Theater,Schomburg Center) Night Train 57 Workshop (Kennedy Center). “ Playwright “ Shelter : Refugees of the American Dream(Blackberry Productions ) Playwright Partnerships with writing partner Nambi E Kelley: Hidden Inside” . Keen Teens . Director and Co-Writer hybrid Digital and Live Play “ This Ability “ ( Chicago Children’s Theater) . “ So Journey To The Truth (Syracuse Stage). Other recent : Performing multiple characters in”Finding North” by David Gonzalez ( National Tour)“, Storyteller: The Eagle in Harlem ” , ( Summerstage NY, Brooklyn Museum, ) . Actor ”Children of War Theater Project”. ” Dramaturgy Dance Iquail on ” Public Enemy “ Summer 2022 “Black Swan, “Pushers Project. ” Dances For A Variable Population” Revival 6 (2022 ) , Revival 7 ( 2023). Director’s Mentor Negro Ensemble Company. Current Faculty: HB Studios .Alvin Ailey Dance .

Jasai Chase-Owens– Theatre credits include: Sanctuary City(New York Theatre Workshop) , The Tempest(The Public Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream(The Public Theatre), Native Son(Yale Repertory Theatre). TV/Film credits include: The Expanse(Amazon Prime), Uncoupled (Paramount ), The Deuce(HBO), MUTT.

Nia Shuko Curd is an aspiring actress. She has been performing since the age of 7, studying various forms of art including theater, dancing and the visual arts. She went to LaGuardia high school majoring in Drama and has experienced workshopping a variety of new plays. This includes Dirt Rich, by Chisa Hutchinson and Women Like a River Falling From the Sky, by Emily Ritger, Claribel Gross and Mekala Sridhar. Outside of acting Nia enjoys singing, spending time with family, experiencing new things and reading. She currently also works with middle school children teaching them visual arts. In the future Nia hopes to continue in her pursuit of theater, as well as to get the ball rolling on her career in film. 

Jennifer Fouché is a New York based actor and graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (New York) and the Academy Company. In addition to her education at The Academy, Jennifer studied with master teachers Eric Bruner (voice), Dr. Donna Zapola-Connolly (classical voice), Rob Clare (Shakespeare) and co-founder of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Jeff Perry (scene study).

She is an ensemble member of New York’s critically acclaimed Amoralists Theatre Company, a former member of the Flea Theatre’s resident ensemble, The Bats, a member of the Tony Award winning  Broadway Inspirational Voices and teaching artist.  Broadway: CHICAGO, Chicken and Biscuits, POTUS. Off Broadway: SISTAS The Musical (Orig. Off B’Way cast), B Boy Blues. Off West End: Half Me, Half You. 

Television: Wu Tang: An American Saga, Jessica Jones, Quantico, SMASH, The Mysteries of Laura, Person of Interest, Pinkalicious & Peteriffic, Fairly Odd Parents. Film: Crown Heights, B Boy Blues.

IG: jkfouche

Neeta Thadani (she/they) (Stage Directions) is a queer Desi-American director, actor, writer, and producer for theatre, film, and podcasts. Their most recent credits include associate directing Dana During Tech Week at Mercury Store and directing White Bitches in Delhi at Columbia University. Their most recent play, On The Radio, was selected for the Workshop Theater’s 2023 Fall Intensive. Their interests in artmaking and audio storytelling revolve around the crafting of South Asian identity in America, stories centering diaspora, queerness, caste privilege, and the decolonization of academia.

Campbell Anidjar (he/they) (Stage Manager) is a queer NYC-based stage manager who is thrilled to be making their Working Theater debut. He is currently the stage manager of the national tour of The Screwtape Letters running through December 2023. Previous credits include Merrily We Roll Along at New York Theatre Workshop, Hound Dog at Ars Nova, PRIDE PLAYS 2019 & 2020, and GMHC’s AIDS Walk New York 2023. Campbell holds a BA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Producing & Management from Marymount Manhattan College. 

Billionaire’s Row Cast 

Jacqui Guillén is a bi-lingual New York based actor from Mexico. She was born and raised in border towns Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico and Brownsville, Texas. Guillén received her BFA in acting from Texas State University and studied with The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford Upon Avon before relocating to NYC. Her TV/Film credits include, Orange Is The New Black, Search Party, Blue Bloods, Bull, And The Good Cop, & “Crabs In A Barrel”, currently on HBO(Max). Theater credits include World Premiers : “Torera”,“I Wanna Fuck Like Romeo And Juliet“, “ Mancave”, ”Truckers”, “72 Miles To Go…”, ”Then They Forgot About The Rest“. She’s been a two-time finalist for the Nosotros’ Ya Tu Sabes Monologue Slam hosted by NBC. Her portrayal of Charlie in the production “Truckers” earned her an HOLA Award nomination for outstanding supporting actor. She currently voices Mrs. Martinez in PBS’s Alma’s Way.

Clinton Lowe hails from The Bronx and is excited to return to the Working Theater! Last season, he made his Broadway debut in the Tony-nominated, Pulitzer Prize-winning play Between Riverside and Crazy (by Stephen Adly Guirgis, dir. Austin Pendleton). He recently worked on the world premiere of Nothing, Nothing (a Shakespearean adaptation by Amina Henry, dir. Elisa Bocanegra) and received a Best Actor nomination from L.A. Theatre Bites. Other highlights: Kill Move Paradise (World Premiere, NY Times Critics Pick, National Black Theatre) and The First Deep Breath (World Premiere, BTAA – Ossie Davis Award, Victory Gardens). Select TV/Film credits: “Insecure” (HBO), “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), S.W.A.T. (CBS), “The Hustle” (Series Regular); American Gangster (starring Denzel Washington & Russell Crowe, dir. Ridley Scott) and Grimcutty (Hulu). Proud graduate of William Esper Studio. IG: @clinton_lowe, #BLACKLIVESMATTER, and Rest In Peace, Mark Plesent; miss you dearly!

Matthew Trumbull Theatre—Working Theater debut. Theatre: The Temple, or Lebensraum (NYIT Award, Outstanding Lead Performance), prod. Tin Drum Productions/Brick Theater; Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood (NYIT nominee, Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role), prod. Flux Theatre Ensemble; Why We Left Brooklyn, prod. Theater Accident; The Neurology of Love, prod. Untitled Theater Company #61. Solo Theatre: The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children (FringeNYC Award, Solo Performance; Audience Pick, Minnesota Fringe Festival), prod. Theater Accident. Narrative podcasts: Nora’s Dragon, prod. Sarah Elizabeth Grace; Our Options Have Changed, prod. Flux Theatre Ensemble; Give Me Away, prod. Gideon Media. Storytelling: The MothSoundtrack SeriesNo You Tell It!

Neeta Thadani (she/they) (Stage Directions) is a queer Desi-American director, actor, writer, and producer for theatre, film, and podcasts. Their most recent credits include associate directing Dana During Tech Week at Mercury Store and directing White Bitches in Delhi at Columbia University. Their most recent play, On The Radio, was selected for the Workshop Theater’s 2023 Fall Intensive. Their interests in artmaking and audio storytelling revolve around the crafting of South Asian identity in America, stories centering diaspora, queerness, caste privilege, and the decolonization of academia.

Allison Goldhammer (Stage Manager) is a New York City based stage manager, carpenter, and technician. She has a passion for live entertainment and is thrilled to be a part of the Working Theatre’s 2023 Mark Plesent Commission Fund Staged Readings.  Allison is currently a deck carpenter/audio swing on Dracula a Comedy of Terrors, Off Broadway at New World Stages. Some of her stage management credits include Daughter of the Wicked, Off Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club, the 2023 Robin Hood charity gala, and New York Times critics pick MacBitches, Chain Theatre. Some of her other production credits include assistant deck carpenter on Rock and Roll Man The Musical, Off Broadway at New World Stages, and various concerts as a programmer on the GrandMA2 at the St George Theatre. To learn more about or contact Allison, visit her website at


WORKING THEATER IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY GENEROUS COMMUNITY MEMBERS LIKE YOU, AND MAJOR GIFTS FROM: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program in partnership with the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York; The Howard Gilman Foundation; The Shubert FoundationThe Axe-Houghton Foundation; The Howard Bayne Fund; The Michael Tuch Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; Public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; An award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
GOLD SPONSORS: Cigna, EmblemHealth, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. 
SILVER SPONSORS: CWA Local 1180, NYC Central Labor Council, Segal Consulting, United Federation of Teachers, Vision Screening Inc/DDS Inc