Founded in 1985 to develop and produce new plays for and about working people, Working Theater exists to expose the taxi-drivers, doormen, domestic workers and others who make New York City run to the transformative experience of live theater. Through relevant productions, an active commissioning program, a successful grassroots audience development and ticket subsidy program and a pioneering arts-in-education program, we serve a community too often overlooked in the off-Broadway world. By supporting first-rate playwrights and other theater artists to create new works for and about America's working people, and making our productions accessible and affordable to all, we attract an audience that reflects the full socio-economic diversity of New York. Our mission is even more important today: as off- Broadway companies compete to attract traditional theater-goers, Working Theater's success at attracting a non-traditional audience is vital to the field at large. Now entering our 27th season, Working Theater has emerged as one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary theater. Our inclusive programming, non-traditional casting, new play commissioning, outreach to a working class audience and willingness to tackle issues of working people set us apart from other new play centers across the country.
Over the past 26 years, The Theater has commissioned and produced over 60 world premieres of culturally diverse plays with subject matter ranging from the working conditions of a television production company's technical crew (Rob Ackerman's Tabletop), to Mike Batistick's Port Authority Throwdown which followed a Pakistani cab driver in post-9/11 New York, Lisa Ramirez's Exit Cuckoo which looked at the often invisible world of domestic workers in the 21st Century and Stefanie Zadravec's Honey Brown Eyes, which explored the effects of war on ordinary working people. The Theater has had 23 original plays published (two, including 2008's Our Dad is in Atlantis, featured and fully reprinted in American Theater Magazine), 6 Drama Desk Nominations, 3 Audelco Awards and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble for Tabletop.