A work-in-progress showing of

La Dureza

by Ed Cardona, Jr.
directed by Colm Summers
with a facilitated post-show discussion to follow

La Dureza explores a day in the lives of the delivery cyclists who make our city run. Created in solidarity with Los Deliveristas Unidos (Worker’s Justice Project) and their courageous efforts to organize for fair wages, workplace safety, and human dignity, this piece in development will serve as a powerful testament to the resilience and strength of workers in our city, shedding light on their struggles, and celebrating their triumphs.

This developmental work-in-progress showing of La Dureza will be shared with invited guests. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to learn more.

Support for this development process of La Dureza was provided by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and the Terrence McNally Foundation. 

Los Deliveristas Unidos (LDU) organizes and advocates for app-based delivery workers in New York City. NYC’s 65,000 app-based delivery workers transport billions of dollars of goods each year yet do not benefit from minimum wage or workplace safety protections because they are classified as independent contractors.

LDU’s mission is to empower low-wage immigrant workers to gain a voice in the workplace and build strong and economically sustainable communities through education, organizing, leadership development, and the growth of grassroots economic alternatives. Learn more about how you can support LDU and stand in solidarity with their workers. 


Ed Cardona Jr. (Playwright) 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.

Colm Summers (Director) (he/him) is a director from Waterford, Ireland, based between New York and Dublin. Selected credits include: Every Brilliant Thing (Geffen Playhouse), Portia Coughlan (Abbey Theatre), La Clemenza di Tito (Grand Théatre de Geneve). Colm has worked with The Wooster Group, the feath3r theory, Milo Rau, and Pan Pan. Read Colm’s essays in Études, Blast at 100 (Brill) and in Charles Macklin and the Theatres of London (Liverpool University Press). Colm was Resident Director at the National Theatre of Ireland, inaugural Director-in-Residence at The Geffen Playhouse, and a Resident Performing Artist at BRIClab, Brooklyn. He is a Berkeley Rep Ground Floor alum, Dublin Fringe Radical Spirit Award Nominee, Dublin Theatre Festival Next Stage alum, and Pan Pan International Mentorship mentee. Colm was recently awarded the Irish Arts Council Next Generation Artists Award.

Reynaldo Piniella is an actor, writer, activist and educator from East New York, Brooklyn. In 2021, he was in the acting company of two Broadway shows at the same time – Thoughts of a Colored Man and Trouble in Mind. His Off-Broadway acting credits include work at Signature Theatre Company, the Public, the Working Theater, TFANA and Rattlestick, regionally with Baltimore Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Long Wharf, the O’Neill, Cleveland Playhouse, NY Stage & Film, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival and Actors Theatre of Louisville and internationally with the Sundance Theatre Lab in Morocco and NEAP Fest in Rio de Janeiro. TV credits include Reservation Dogs, Sneaky Pete, Law & Order: SVU, The Carrie Diaries, Flesh & Bone, Blue Bloods, Greenleaf, Louie, NYC 22, Us & Them and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Film: “Madeline’s Madeline” (Sundance Film Fest, Showtime), “Shadows” (HBO Max) and “Broken City” (20th Century FOX.) @ReynaldoRey

Campbell Anidjar (Stage Manager) (they/he) is a queer stage manager & theater artist who seeks to use their work as a stage manger to magnify the voices of those underrepresented in the current theatrical canon. Campbell has previously worked with Working Theater on the 2023 Mark Plesent Commision Fund Readings and the 2024 Theaterworks! program. Other credits include Merrily We Roll Along (NYTW), The Screwtape Letters, The Song of Rome (SFUSA), Howard Ashman Cabaret 2024, AIDS Walk New York 2023, Bogdonoff (NYSAF), how it ends (NYSAF), PRIDE PLAYS 2019 & 2020. Campbell holds a BA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Producing & Management from Marymount Manhattan College. 

Catalina Beltrán (Associate Director) (she/her) is a theatre director from Bogotá, Colombia. Her work has gravitated towards original work, either devised or new plays by young writers. Before starting her journey in the U.S., some of her plays were shown in the most important theatre festivals in Bogotá. She graduated from the MFA Theatre Directing program at Columbia University (2024). U.S. credits include The Covenant (2022) by Sam Kressner, New England Summer Storms (2023) by Emily Everett, Susana: a reconstruction (2023), and Meg by Paula Vogel (2024).

Alisha Espinosa (Dramaturg) is an Afro-Boricua theater maker. Not only is she a professional playwright and AEA actor, she is also the Producing Artistic Director for the Latinx Playwrights Circle and Marketing Director for WP Theater. She was a recipient of a Creatives Rebuild New York Artist Employment Grant and NALAC Fund for the Arts Artist Grant. A selection of her work can be found on the New Play Exchange Network, including The Language of the Unheard, which was a Eugene O’Neill Finalist. Select Residencies: Hedgebrook Residency 2023, Saltonstall 2023, Audrey Residency 2022 – ’23 (New Georges), Early Career Writers Group 2021 – ’22 (Clubbed Thumb), First Stage Residency 2019 (Drama League). Select Acting Credits: Twelfth Night (St. Louis Shakes), blooms (EST), A Skeptic & A Bruja (Urbanite), Seize the King (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (WP Theatre), Hamlet (Stage One), Much Ado About Nothing (KY Shakespeare). alishaespinosa.com | @la.espi | MFA UMKC

Sanam Hashemi (Line Producer and Stage Directions) is an actor, writer, and producer from Virginia. She is the Producer of Artistic Programs at Working Theater and an inaugural recipient of Cadence Theatre Company’s Pipeline New Works Fellowship. Onstage, she’s performed with TheaterWorks Hartford, Mile Square Theatre, Virginia Rep, Mosaic Theatre Company, and Lake Dillon. TV credits include Succession, Dear Edward, and Full Circle. 

Nelson Diaz-Marcano (Community Engagement Consultant) is a Puerto Rican NYC-based theater maker, advocate, and community leader whose mission is to create work that challenges and builds community. He currently serves as the Literary Director for the Latinx Playwright Circle where he has helped develop over 150 plays in the past three years. His plays have been developed by the Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Road Theatre Company, Pipeline Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Vision Latino Theater Company, The Orchard Project, The William Inge Theatre Festival, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and The Parsnip Ship among others. Recent credits include: Las Borinqueñas (EST) World Classic (Bishop Theatre Arts Center,) Y Tu Abuela, Where is She? Part 1 (CLATA) When the Earth Moves, We Dance (Clubbed Thumb, Teatro Vivo) The Diplomats (Random Acts Chicago,) Paper Towels (INTAR,) Misfit, America (Hunter Theatre Company,) I Saw Jesus in Toa Baja (Conch Shell Productions) and Revolt! (Vision Latino Theatre Company.)

The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts was established in 1993 to strengthen the arts by initiating and incubating new ideas within the various constituencies and settings of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). By leveraging the extraordinary talents and creative energies of students, faculty, staff, and alumni to bring distinction to UNCSA, the Kenan Institute acts as a springboard to the broader creative community. www.uncsa.edu/kenan

The Terrence McNally Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to supporting bold new voices in the American theatre by providing financial and institutional support to early-career playwrights. Created by Terrence and supported through the royalties of his work, the Foundation is also committed to supporting LGBTQ+ causes, as McNally did throughout his life.

The Five Boroughs/One City Initiative is Working Theater’s ambitious multi-year program teaming commissioned writers and directors with working class communities in each of New York City’s five boroughs. Working in phases, the goal of the initiative is for local residents to inform the process of devising, scripting, rehearsing and premiering an original work that is firmly rooted in the cultural identity of their own neighborhoods. The pieces are also performed first in the locations that helped to create them before having further iterations throughout New York making sure production and performance is accessible to communities outside the traditional Manhattan theater locations. 

Launched in 2014, the program has produced a wealth of theatrical experiences, including public readings, work-in-progress showings, workshop performances and three off-Broadway premieres. It has also created incredible collaborations and partnerships between other theaters and cultural institutions in all five boroughs. Check out the initial commissioned programming below to learn more about the productions and the communities that helped to create them. Learn more about the program and past development.