Uncommon Voices

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.


UNCOMMON VOICES 2024

MAY

CARRY YOU

Carry You is an interactive solo(ish) performance exploring love and loss, caregiving and community, playgrounds and Palestine, education and activism, storytelling and shit. 

All kinds of shit. 

Inspired by Buck’s journey of losing a parent while in the process of becoming one, this fictionalized piece-in-progress invites the audience into a personal and political exploration of our capacity for care and connection across borders and generations.

Commissioned and developed by Noor Theatre.

WHEN? MAY 30 2024 at 7.15 PM


JUNE

SPACEBRIDGE

SpaceBridge is a live performance created and directed by Irina Kruzhilina (En Garde Arts A Dozen Dreams) which explores the impact of political and cultural polarization on youth. Irina has brought Russian and American children together to create a space of empathy and to build bridges between the two cultures by sharing their real life stories. The project delves into their journey of integration into American society at a time when these young individuals face a lack of empathy because of their origin. 

WHEN? JUNE 6TH, 2024 at 7PM

AUGUST

KRISTINA WONG: #FOODBANKINFLUENCER

 Our 2022 inaugural winner is artist, writer, and performer Kristina Wong. In her project, “#FoodBankInfluencer” Kristina is working with existing strategists in food desserts to reimagine the grocery store/ food bank line/ community fridge as a new immersive theater/ environment that will attempt to cue healthier instincts of consumption and self-determination. Jessica Hanna, director.

WHEN?
AUGUST 24, 2024 / The Catskills, NY

AUGUST, 27 2024 tbd in NYC


NOVEMBER

BRICKS

Created by Charlene Jean with music co-composed with Franklin Rankin, BRICKS is an Afro-futuristic musical which travels between Earth and a funk-filled, eternal empire filled with guardian angels situated outside Earth and beyond Time – a realm called Up Yonder.

BRICKS is a piece about family legacy, a mom, her daughter, and the ancestors that precede them. BRICKS brings together characters which cause us to contemplate urgent spiritual implications such as land memory, ancestry and assimilation – blending high fantasy with real historical archives.


PAST UNCOMMON VOICES

MARCH 2024

SPANGLISH SH!T

Spanglish Sh!t is 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. Book and Lyrics by Samora La Perdida, Music by Josiah Handelman, Matthew Zwiebel and Mobéy Lola Irizarry.

WHEN? MARCH 2024

WHERE? The Catskills

THE SEAGULL

By Sasha Molochnikov. A director is staging his adaptation of the Seagull at the Moscow Art Theatre. The war with Ukraine begins and the antiwar statements reflected in the show are censured by the new management of the theatre. The director leaves for a temporary stay in the United States but when his anti war sentiments become known, he is threatened with being sent to the front and realizes he can never go back to Russia.

WHEN? MARCH, 24 2024

WHERE? BROOKLYN, NY


SPANGLISH Sh!t (WRITING RETREAT)

SEPTEMBER 2023

BRICKS

Charlene Jean
Charlene Jean

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.  


SPACE BRIDGE

Irina Kruzhilina

MARCH 2023

UNTITLED.

MJ Kaufman

A week of rehearsals will investigate how to integrate live performance and film in the story.


APRIL 2023

Spanglish Sh!t

Samora la Perdida

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

Sarah Gancher & Jared Mezzocchi

Date: April 19th

Place: Coffey Street Studio


MAY 2023

CARRY YOU

Leila Buck

Date: POSTPONED

Place: The Owl Music Parlor


JUNE 2023

73 SECONDS

Jared Mezzocchi

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.