Open-Access TheaterWorks! 2023 Program

Monday, January 23rd at 7pm
Five Angels Theater, 789 Tenth Avenue, New York, New York

Featuring Plays From: 

Constance H. Gemson (Retired, Professional Staff Congress)
Valerie Knight (Professional Staff Congress)
Harrison Magee (Bricklayers Allied Craftworkers Local 1, CSEA Local 1000)
Alex Rodriguez (IBEW Local 3)

Joe White*

With Guest Actors:
Robert Beatty, Irene Glezos*, Dexter McKinney*, David Stott, Mary Testa*

COVID-19 event policies: Masks will be required to be worn throughout the duration of the performance.There is no vaccination requirement.

*Actors appear courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

The program runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. 


In An Abandoned Building
by Constance H. Gemson
Carol: Irene Glezos
Sonia: Mary Testa
Bob: David Stott

Sparks of Uncertainty
by Alex Rodriguez
Joe: Robert Beatty
Chris: Dexter McKinney
Dr. Samuel: David Stott
Steve: Joe White
Apprentice: Irene Glezos

by Valerie Knight
Fisherman: Dexter McKinney
Man: Roberty Beatty
Woman: Mary Testa

Billionaire’s Row
by Harrison Magee
Ted: David Stott
Bill: Robert Beatty
Decorator: Irene Glezos

Constance H. Gemson has worked as a bereavement counselor, social worker, career coach, workshop leader, and adjunct college teacher. Her essay Adjunct Blues and Class Notes was included in the anthology  Children of the People Writings By and About CUNY Students on Race and Social Justice. Additional writing was published in The West Side Spirit, [email protected], and Months to YearsHer article  Grace Notes: Singing in Marion’s Hospital Room was in Narrative in Social Work Practice: The Power and Possibility of Story.She organized two reading series, City Stories of the Upper West Side and Beyond and Here Comes the Sun,for the Goddard -Riverside Community Center. Constance wants to thank the members of her PSC writing group and her friends and family who provided support. She appreciates the ideas of Joe White and her playwriting colleagues.

Valerie Knight is a licensed 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 appeared in many productions by the group and others. Her work has radiated outward into a variety of settings including victims of trauma, care for the caregiver and health professionals, HIV/AIDS, loss of all kinds, the psychological needs of women and people of color. She is a facilitator in Montefiore Hospital’s Healing Loss Program and taught CUNY psychology courses at the District 1199/SEIU union for 16 years. Her current project with collaborator Roz Leiser, RN is “Black and White: Reckoning with Racism and Reconciliation”. The project is developing an American model based on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation process that features narrative, poetry, art and music. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan. She thanks her excellent teachers, family and friends.

Harrison Magee grew up in Queens and is a member of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local Union 1. He’s been involved in union organizing and labor activism since 2008, and before becoming a bricklayer he worked as a mover throughout the 5 boros. He lives in Jackson Heights with his partner Grace, and is very grateful for her support and encouragement.  

Alex Rodriguez (Teacher/Writer) As a lifelong New Yorker, Alex has always been afflicted by the wealth gap that exists within the five boroughs. He is dedicated to empowering, and educating the marginalized communities across the city. SInce his completion of the Pathways2Apprenticeship Program, he has become a member of the Local 3 IBEW, advocated at City Hall for the proper funding of similar programs, has several publications in the Red Hook Star Revue, proudly serves his community through his work with the Brooklyn Networks Program, and now has written his very first play, “Sparks of Uncertainty”. Alex also loves his mom very, very much. 


Robert Beatty Is a native of High Point, NC, Robert’s regional credits include productions at the Yale Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Fulton Opera House, The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, and Triad Stage. On television he has appeared on One Life To Live and Comic Strip Live. He can also be seen in the film The Saint of Fort Washington. He received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama

Irene Glezos played Lady in Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending in NYC (director Austin Pendleton), Provincetown, a 4 city tour of Mississippi and New Orleans (director Jef Hall-Flavin) for which she was nominated Best Actress by the Big Easy Entertainment Awards; Maria Callas in Master Class at MTC in Westport (nominated Outstanding Leading Actress / Connecticut Critics Circle), Serafina in The Rose Tattoo; Fairouz in Naomi Wallace’s In the Heart of America (Long Wharf, director Tony Kushner), Gertrude in In the Summerhouse (director David Kaplan); Joyce/Isabella Bird in Top Girls and Clare in The Two Character Play (director Austin Pendleton).  She’s appeared in numerous films including psychothriller Delusional (now streaming on Amazon) and Tony’s Auto Repair which recently premiered at Soho International Film Festival, as well as series including And Just Like ThatLaw and Orders, Sex and the City and Nina in Park Slope Moms (winner NYWIFT film fest).

Dexter McKinney II is super excited to collaborate with Working Theater! He recently finished a run of the Sea Lady at the Metropolitan Playhouse after performing in Greenwood at the National Black Theatre Festival, and, making his Broadway debut as (u/s Dez/Reggie) in the Tony Award Winner Skeleton Crew. Other highlights include TV: When They See Us, Mrs. America, Doctor Death and City On A Hill.  More theatre:  Actors Theatre of Louisville, National Black Theatre (Harlem) & Syracuse Stage. Dexter was called “the [cast’s] most charismatic actor” in the NY Times for his performance in the Off-Broadway hit 3Fifths. Dexter gives thanks to the most high, his parents, sister and ancestors. Keep going! @DexterMcKinneyJr

David Stott is Associate Professor of Film & Television at the City University of New York – LaGuardia.  He has directed documentary films for the United Nations, Harvard University, the World Bank, AmeriCorps, and MIT.  His work showcases human rights initiatives in the US/UK and in Peru, Nigeria and the Philippines. His feature COACH OF THE YEAR was an official selection at the SoHo International Film Festival, Golden Door International Film Festival and the Washington West Film Festival and was sold at the Cannes Marche du Film.

Mary Testa is the recipient of the Legend of Off-Broadway Award, Three Tony nominations, two Lucille Lortel nominations, six Drama Desk nominations, two Drama League nominations, two Outer Critic’s Circle nominations, an Obie Award, and a special Drama Desk award celebrating Queen of the Mist and ‘Three Decades of Outstanding Work.’ Broadway: Oklahoma! Wicked, Guys and Dolls, Xanadu, Chicago, 42nd St, Marie Christine, On the Town, Forum, etc. Opera: Anna Nicole/BAM.  Off-Broadway: Oklahoma!, The Portuguese Kid, The Government Inspector, First Daughter Suite, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Queen of the Mist, Love Loss.., A New Brain, See What I Wanna See, etc. Film: Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, The Mother (short; 3 Best Actress Awards), Big Stone Gap, Eat Pray Love, The Bounty Hunter, etc. Television: The Good Fight, Divorce, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Bull, SMILF, Two Broke Girls, Difficult People, and Whoopi. Featured on fourteen original cast albums, Mary’s album with Michael Starobin, Have Faith, is now available.

Joe White graduated Cum Laude from The University Of Rhode Island with a BA in English and a BFA in Theatre. He has been an active member of the theatre community in New York City for 38 years, performing in off-Broadway theatres, including So-Ho Rep, The Public Theatre, West Side Arts Theatre and Ensemble Studio Theatre. He has performed at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, toured India and acted in Regional Theatre. Joe’s film and television acting credits include Goodfellas directed by Martin Scorcese, and numerous episodes of TV’s Law and Order and Blue Bloods. As a director, Joe has worked at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Lincoln Center Institute and The Williamstown Theatre Festival, to name a few. He is an Acting Coach at Fordham Law School and teaches playwriting for The Working Theater. He is a Teaching Artist for Manhattan Theatre Club and Theatre Development Fund. Joe has spent many years volunteering for The 52nd St Project (a program which brings theatre professionals together with the underserved children in Hell’s Kitchen). Joe is a member of Actors & Writers, a theatre company in the Catskill Mountains of New York, where he maintains a home.

The Consortium for Worker Education (CWE) is a private, non-profit agency that provides workforce preparation, industry specific training, and employment services to over 60,000 New York City workers annually, including dislocated workers, New Americans, union members and those new to the workforce.

CWE is the workforce development arm of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, whose affiliated unions represent over 1.2 million workers in the metropolitan region. The CWE union upgrade programs assist workers in maintaining and upgrading their skills and advancing their careers.

Through its community-based partnerships and initiatives, CWE provides tens of thousands of New Yorkers with access to quality, dignified careers in various economic sectors including healthcare, construction, transportation, civil service, education and childcare, retail, and tourism.

Working Theater is dedicated to producing culturally diverse plays that explore the lives of working people and the issues they confront in an increasingly complex world. Its mission is to create theater for, about, and with working people at working people’s prices. TheaterWorks! began in 2001 as a program to train working people to write and perform their own plays. Thus far, Working Theater has offered TheaterWorks! to workers at 32BJ SEIU, CWA Local 1180, TWU Local 100, DC 37, SSEU Local 371, UNITE! and Cornell University’s School of Industry and Labor Relations.

To learn more about Working Theater and our spring productions please visit

Special thanks to: Sherry Kane, Francisco Rodriguez, Walker White (pre-show music), Naima Randolph (COVID Officer), Kayla McConnell (Board Operator), and Ann Josiah (lobby hero). 

TheaterWorks! is supported in part by annual funding from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of 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; The Axe-Houghton Foundation.


Working Theater Thanks it’s 38th Season Sponsors:
GOLD SPONSORS: Cigna, EmblemHealth, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. 
SILVER SPONSORS: Archer, Byington, Glennon, & Levine, LLP, CWA Local 1180, NYC Central Labor Council, The Segal Company, United Federation of Teachers,Vision Screening Inc/DDS

To learn more about the TheaterWorks! program, please click below:
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