Laura Carbonell Monarque: Producing Artistic Director
Tamilla Woodard: Artistic Advisor
Coryn Carson: Marketing & Media Manager
Kylee Brinkman: Business Manager
Sanam Hashemi: Program Coordinator
Mark Plesent: Artistic Director Emeritus (In Memoriam)
Joe Roland & Joseph White: TheaterWorks! Program Directors
Jenny Rader: Bookkeeper
Anne Dunning, ARTS Action Research: Strategic Advisor
the watsons: Marketing & Graphic Design
John Wyszniewski, Everyman Agency: Press Representative
Laura’s tenure at Working Theater began with a staff internship in 2003 under the guidance of long-time artistic leader Mark Plesent. She quickly grew within the Company to Director of Marketing and Special Events, and subsequently Development Director, working alongside Plesent and former Artistic Directors Connie Grappo and Robert Arcaro. She was named Managing Director in 2010. Laura has been actively involved in growing the company for the past 18 years by procuring funding and initiating new partnerships to support signature programs such as Five Boroughs/One City — a collaborative, community-based theater development and production initiative that is rooted in neighborhoods in each of the five boroughs of New York, and the Company’s educational program TheaterWorks, which teaches playwriting and performance skills to working adults.
As a theatermaker, actor, and musician, Laura has worked nationally at institutions including Portland Center Stage, Arena Stage, and Cleveland Play House. She and her husband Steve Monarque produce independent work with their company MonaVision Films. Laura holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Tamilla has been connected to Working Theater since its 27th season beginning by directing The Best of Theaterworks, a celebration featuring outstanding short plays from 10 years of one of Working Theaters signature initiatives. Since then Tamilla has directed three other productions for Working Theater including the critically acclaimed site specific play La Ruta by Ed Cardona, Jr. Cherry Smoke by James McManus and The Block by Dan Hoyle. The Block was the inaugural production of the Five Boroughs/One City Initiative, for which she also served as artistic director. Prior to joining Mark Plesent as Co-Artistic Director of Working Theater staff from 2020-21, Tamilla served as the BOLD associate artistic director at WP Theater. She is a founder of the site specific international partnership, PopUP Theatrics, and the associate director of Hadestown on Broadway. Tamilla has directed at theaters nationally and internationally including at WP Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, American Conservatory Theater, Classical Theater of Harlem, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts with TheaterWorksUSA and The Cleveland Public Theatre among others. Her work has also been recognized with an Off Broadway Alliance Award, a Lucille Lortel Nomination, and a Drama League nomination. Tamilla is the newly appointed Chair of Acting at the Yale School of Drama, where she also teaches.
Coryn is joining the the Working Theater staff after a varied career in the NY Arts Administration scene which includes theatrical publishing and rehearsal space management. She is an actor and writer who continues to work and produce her own content with a rag-tag team of collaborators all hailing from her Alma Mater Virginia Tech.
Kylee joins Working Theater staff with a background in arts administration and human resources. Prior to joining the NYC theater scene she lived in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) where she worked behind the scenes and on stage for theaters such as Theater Mu, Jungle Theater, and History Theater. Having worked in the arts and the international humanitarian relief industry, she’s focused her career on supporting organizations that serve others, be that through theater making or providing essential and dignified services for the displaced. She is a singer and actor and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from The University of Wisconsin.
Sanam is a multidisciplinary theatremaker with experience supporting theater and non-profit programming. She aims to create access in all of her work and is thrilled to learn and grow with Working Theater staff. Sanam is an actor and a proud member of Cadence Theatre Company’s Pipeline New Works Fellowship, where she’s written two plays under the mentorship of David Lindsay-Abaire. She holds dual degrees in Theater Performance and International Studies from Virginia Tech.
Mark Plesent led Working Theater for more than 25 years with compassion, generosity and ingenuity. He arrived first as an intern in 1989 and quickly made himself indispensable, stepping into the role of Managing Director and also assistant directing Let Me Live by OyamO, with an ensemble that included Arthur French and music by Olu Dara. After a brief absence from Working Theater from 1992 to 1996, when he served as Development Director for Jennifer Muller/The Works and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Mark was named Producing Director of Working Theater in 1996 and Producing Artistic Director in 2010.
Mark produced over 30 plays for the Theater including Michael Henry Brown’s Ascension Day, Ed Belling’s A Drop in the Bucket (which he also directed), and the Drama Desk Award-winning Tabletop, among many others. He is responsible for the re-institution of the Company’s commissioning program resulting in new plays by Linda Faigao-Hall, OyamO, Jason Grote, Lisa Ramirez, Manuel Borras and Ed Cardona, Jr. Mark founded Working Theater’s signature community arts education program TheaterWorks! which provides classes in writing and performance for working people. He also conceived and instituted a ticket subsidy program to provide low cost tickets to groups of working people. In 2015 he launched the ambitious Five Boroughs/One City Initiative, a collaborative, community-based theater producing project aimed at fostering dialogue about pressing social justice issues within and between the diverse working class communities of New York’s Five Boroughs.
Outside of Working Theater Mark produced and/or directed over 15 independent theatre and performance art projects including “Populace”, a performance on the IRT #1 train from Chambers Street to 125th street involving 22 directors and over 200 actors. For 15 years, Mark served on the Board of Directors of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, an organization serving over 400 member theater companies. Mark graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. In honor of Mark’s commitment to bridging the gap between the arts and labor, in March 2021 Working Theater established the Mark Plesent Commission Fund, which supports the annual commission and development of new plays by working people. Thank you Mark. We miss you.