The reading of the one-act play was not open to the public. These unique events are only open to the generous donors to Roundabout, the Manhattan not-for-profit that operates theatres on Broadway and Off-Broadway. Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt), who will direct Odets' The Big Knife for RTC on Broadway in the spring, directed Waiting for Lefty. (Coincidentally, Lincoln Center Theater is producing a fall Broadway revival of Odets' Golden Boy.)
James Fitzsimmons was stage manager. Alexander Greenfield was assistant director.
The play, first produced by socially-conscious Group Theatre in early 1935, was inspired by a real-life taxi strike. The play's frame is a union meeting (with actors positioned throughout the auditorium). The union leader, Lefty, is mysteriously missing. The play is made up of a number of "episodes" or scenes relating to economic hardship and the power of bosses. The Monday night presentation included a restored scene called "The Young Actor," which was cut back in the day because of its controversial reference to communism.
The play famously ends with news the Lefty has been shot, and the crowd shouts, "Strike! Strike! Strike!"