Founded in 1985, Working Theater’s mission is to create theater specifically for, about and with working people— those working in the industrial, service and transportation industries — a community that makes up the majority of the overall metropolitan workforce. We believe theater should not be a luxury. We make our productions relevant, accessible and affordable to all regardless of geography or socio-economic status. Through ticket subsidies, an active commissioning program, a successful grassroots audience development program and a pioneering arts-in-education program, our audience reflects the full diversity of New York.
Working Theater has commissioned, supported, and produced over seventy culturally
diverse world-premiere plays. The company’s body of work has addressed subjects and themes ranging from the working conditions of television production crews (Rob Ackerman’s Tabletop) to the plight of the uninsured in America (Michael Milligan’s Mercy Killers) to the shared journey of undocumented immigrants crossing the United States border, staged inside an actual 18-wheeler (Ed Cardona, Jr.’s La Ruta). Twenty-six of Working Theater’s original plays have been published and 3 have been featured and fully reprinted in American Theatre magazine. The company has presented work in 8 American cities, earned 6 Drama Desk Award nominations, a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble, and 3 Audelco Awards.
In recent years the Company has expanded its reach by touring its professional productions into NYC neighborhoods working people call home, through its ambitious Five Boroughs/One City Initiative, a theater project in which playwright/director teams create pieces of theater rooted in neighborhoods in each of the 5 boroughs of New York.