Grappo Steps in as Working Theater Artistic Director

The Working Theater has announced that Robert Arcaro will step down as the Off-Broadway theater company's artistic director and will be replaced by long-time Working Theater collaborator Connie Grappo effective immediately.

Arcaro will be stepping down after 8 successful years. As a founding member of the company, he will remain active with the company on its Board of Directors. Grappo has been involved artistically with the Company since 1998 and has directed four productions for the Working Theater including the Drama Desk Award-winning Tabletop and the Drama Desk-nominated Hold Please.

"As a member of the theater faculty at Yale University and a highly regarded director, Ms. Grappo will bring a fresh perspective and many new contacts and connections to the table. Coming from a working-class family, Ms. Grappo understands the concerns of the unique constituency of the Working Theater but, having spent her entire professional life in the theater industry, she also understands what makes great theater that can transcend a specific audience. Her presence will further invigorate the artistic vitality of the Working Theater," state press notes.

Grappo will partner with Producing Director Mark Plesent on all matters that affect the company artistically, including choosing material to develop and produce as well as commissioning playwrights to write plays for the Company. Ms. Grappo is "hoping to expand our pool of collaborators to help us meet the challenge of bringing socially relevant theater to an ever-changing society."

Grappo is joining the Working Theater at a critical juncture for the company. "In the current political climate issues of concern to working people and the poor are being ignored as the current Administration in Washington focuses on corporate tax-relief, tax cuts for the wealthy, corporate opportunities in the global market and the resource-draining war in Iraq. The images in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina made that point blatantly clear on televisions across America. The mission of the Working Theater is as essential now as when the Company was first formed during the 'trickle-down economics' years of Ronald Reagan. The Company is aggressively seeking increased funding in order to produce more work that can magnify the voice of the working majority to the general public."
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