Uncommon Voices is a new work developmental residency program that gives artists working at the intersection of theatre and social change the tools to engage in a collaborative creative process to build stories that spark conversation and promote community.
We offer support to artists to create genre-bending work and think deeply about the story they are telling, where it belongs and to whom it speaks.
Originally launched in 2019, it was shut down due to Covid-19. Uncommon Voices returned in 2022 and will continue to grow as a program with a new strategy, in which we give the artists we work with greater support in two phases.
Artists who enter the process for Phase One receive a commission and a sharing with a small audience in whatever form is appropriate to the piece.
For artists that we select for Phase Two, we provide funding for an extended workshop with a small presentation based on the needs of the piece.
BRICKS created by Charlene Jean and co-composed with Franklin Rankin is about the buried communities of formerly enslaved Black people that are relatively innocuous to the passerby. It is an always-changing script template detailing the history-repeating shared injustice of “buried” towns. The story is of a mother seeking to protect her child from the intense spirits which emerge from these buried towns by giving her a spirit blinder, Baker-Miller pink glasses. We consider the repercussions of that spiritual blindness and the need to recognize the truth of our histories through the lens of land memory, family, and ancestry, which unlocks the site-specific history.
PAST UNCOMMON VOICES
A week of rehearsals will investigate how to integrate live performance and film in the story.
Date: April 3rd
Place: Ideal Glass Studios
A bilingual brujería musical.
Book and Lyrics by Samora La Perdida, Music by Josiah Handelman, Matthew Zwiebel and Mobéy Lola Irizarry.
Small audience for work in progress presentation Monday, April 3rd.
Spanglish Sh!t iis a bilingual musical about the emotional and spiritual cost of denying your origins; The piece tells the story of Brujita who runs the most poppin’ Puerto Rican restaurant in East Harlem, enchanting customers with her magical meals. But when an old family recipe calls for a tablespoon of her Spanish, she must make a shocking confession… and wrestle with the demons of her whitewashed past.
Red Hook History Project 2023
Date: April 19th
Place: Coffey Street Studio
Place: The Owl Music Parlor
Date: June 9th
Place: Jefferson Market Library (425 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011)
Time: 7PM, following a talkback
We are thrilled to give support to some of New York City’s most exciting creative voices. We hope you will donate to En Garde Arts to support our company and the artists we treasure.