Working Theater has named Tamilla Woodard as its new Co-Artistic Director at the Drama Desk and AUDELCO award-winning off-Broadway company – joining veteran Co-Artistic Director, Mark Plesent – in advance of the company’s 36th season. Woodard is welcomed back to Working Theater having previously served as the artistic director of ‘The Five Boroughs/One City Initiative,’ a multi-year signature program of Working Theater which teams commissioned writers and directors with working class communities in each of New York City’s five boroughs.
Tamilla Woodard returns to Working Theater at a time of organizational growth. Woodard’s addition to management alongside Plesent and Laura Carbonell Monarque (Managing Director) is part of a concerted strategy and an example of Working Theater’s thoughtful readiness to serve each of New York City’s five boroughs by way of a lean and mighty workforce, partnered by on-going relationships with the city’s residents and fellow community leaders.
In a statement, Woodard remarks that “Working Theater has been an artistic home for almost a decade. I am so delighted and honored now to join Mark Plesent as its Co-Artistic Director. Given the moment we are all in, I feel extremely fortunate to be able to lead a company so singularly committed to telling the stories of working people– the teachers, nurses, bus drivers, building workers and electricians, who are keeping this city running for all of us at this time. I’m looking forward to reflecting their heroism, on many kinds of stages, by bringing together extraordinary theater artists, deep community engagement and continued innovation.”
Mark Plesent added, “Having Tamilla join Working Theater as Co-Artistic Director with me is a huge boon to the Company. Tamilla’s artistic integrity, passion for engagement and deep commitment to Working Theater’s mission will enhance the growth we have experienced over the last few years. The decade Tamilla and I have spent building a solid working relationship – through several major projects including La Ruta, a play staged inside a 48 foot tractor trailer and the Five Boroughs/One City Initiative -will enable us to meet the challenges currently facing the organization and the world with both equanimity and enthusiasm.”
“We are excited to solidify our relationship with Tamilla and are confident she will move the company to the next level of artistic expression and audience engagement.” -Bill Henning, Board President of Working Theater.
Woodard comes to Working Theater from WP Theater having served for two years as the BOLD associate artistic director and where she most recently directed the world premiere of the Lucille Lortel nominated Where We Stand by Donnetta Lavinia Grays. She is co-founder of PopUP Theatrics and the associate director of Hadestown on Broadway. Woodard was just named one of 50 Women to Watch on Broadway by the Broadway Women’s Fund. She is also the recipient of an Off Broadway Alliance award for Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical at Atlantic Theater Company and the Josephine Abady Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women. Woodard is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, where she also currently teaches.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
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