NEW YORK CITY: Working Theater has announced Laura Carbonell Monarque as the company’s new producing artistic director, succeeding co-artistic directors Tamilla Woodard, recently named chair of acting at Yale School of Drama, and Mark Plesent, who died earlier this year following a four-year battle with cancer. Plesent was the sole producing artistic director since 2010 before Woodard joined as co-artistic director in 2020. Woodard will now move into the role of artistic advisor, working alongside Monarque to oversee the Five Boroughs/One City Initiative and the Mark Plesent Commission Fund.
“Working Theater has been my home for nearly two decades and I’m honored to take on the task of moving the mission forward at a critical juncture in the history of our industry,” said Monarque in a statement. “I can’t wait to meet our audiences in the theatre again, and share new stories for the stage—stories that fill us with hope and joy, stories that move our hearts and unite us. It is my privilege to carry on Working Theater’s grand mission to serve our communities with great theatre that is available and accessible to all.”
Monarque started as an intern at Working Theater in 2003 before eventually becoming the director of marketing and special events. By 2010, Monarque was named managing director. Her work within the company over the last 18 years has included securing funding and initiating partnerships to support programs like Five Boroughs/One City. Monarque is also an actor and musician, having worked nationally with companies such as Portland Center Stage, Arena Stage, and Cleveland Play House. Additionally, she produces independent work with her husband Steve Monarque through their company MonaVision Films. She has a BFA in theatre from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
“For years, Laura has been intimately involved in every aspect of the company’s growth and her ascension to this critical role at the helm is the logical progression of her own development,” said board president Bill Henning in a statement. “We look forward to unleashing her artistic passion in furtherance of the Working Theater mission to tell the stories of workers at ticket prices working people can afford.”
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