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Vayu O'Donnell in "Cherry Smoke" at Working Theater in 2014.

Working Theater to Stage a Season of Plays in All 5 NYC Boroughs

To celebrate its 30th anniversary season, the NY-based company has commissioned plays about, and developed in, specific neighborhoods.

NEW YORK CITY: To celebrate its 30th anniversary season, the Working Theater has designed a series of productions titled “Five Boroughs, One City.” As the name suggests, one show will take place in each of New York City’s five boroughs—the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

To bring the idea to life, the Working Theater has brought on a group of artists for each borough who will create new plays in collaboration with communities in each locale. Each team will also have a designated community partner. The workshop and development process will happen between now and March of next year, and performances will occur in the respective boroughs April 3–May 3, 2015. All five plays will be presented May 5–10, 2015 Off-Broadway at a to-be-announced location.

In the Bronx, director Maureen Towey and playwright/actor Dan Hoyle have partnered to explore the New Settlement Community Campus in the Concourse/Highbridge neighborhood; the community partner for that project is the Community Action for Safe Apartments, a project of New Settlement Apartments.

In the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, director Ana Margineanu and playwright Ed Dardona Jr. will set out to find out what community means to various populations there. The partner will be Mayday Space, a new community venue in the area.

In Manhattan, playwright Caridad Svich and activist/artist Michael Premo will explore the meaning of “sanctuary” to the people who use the services of Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the community partner for the show.

The Electchester neighborhood in Queens—a housing development for electricians built by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers after WWII—will serve as the backdrop for playwright Adam Krarr and director Gaye Taylor UpChurch’s show with Local Union No. 3; IBEW is the community partner.

Finally, in Staten Island, playwright Chisa Hutchinson and director/community organizer Patrick Crowley will explore the diverse populations surrounding the campus of Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the community partner for the borough.

Working Theater was founded in 1985 and focuses on producing theatre for and about NYC’s working population (primarily those in the industrial, service and transportation industries).

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