After performances of the sold-out premiere engagement at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, audiences shared their thoughts and experience with Uncommon Sense.
Written by Tectonic Theater Project Company Members Anushka Paris-Carter and Andy Paris and Directed by Andy Paris
There is a saying in the autism community "If you've met one person on the spectrum, you've met one person on the spectrum." Uncommon Sense is a theatrical exploration of what that means and how that impacts both autistic individuals and their families. With a cast of eight playing multiple roles, including five characters living on the spectrum, you'll meet Dan, a young man in his 30's in the throes of falling in love; Neeraj, an Indian boy whose mother, Merry becomes a pioneer and champion for an understanding of her son's challenges and unique gifts; Jess, a teenager beginning college and navigating life on her own for the very first time; and Moose and Annalise, two young people struggling to exist in a world that feels foreign and unyielding. Through theatrical innovation, sensory immersion, and personal narrative, Uncommon Sense engages the audience in the experience of living in an autistic world and shares the love stories of five unique families and their quest to not only survive, but thrive.
Uncommon Sense premiered at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center in January 2017 and played a sold out engagement that was heralded as "funny, tragic, important and gorgeous". The tour will begin in the fall of 2017 and continue into the 2018-19 season.
Read more about theater and the global dialogue surrounding autism.
Actors: Jessica Almasy, Scott Barrow, Purva Bedi, Carolyn Baeumler, Ron Domingo, Andrew Duff, Jill Frutkin & Zuleyma Guevara.
Photo Credits: Roland Ferrie & Kim Reed, GBPAC, 2017
About the CREATORS
Anushka Paris-Carter spent many years working as an actress in some of New York's most seedy and not so seedy spaces — with some really brilliant companies and some really fab directors. Favorites include Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastic, Lucie Tiberghien's Quiet Room and Marcia- Jean-Kurtz's Between Two Worlds. Anushka studied acting and Performance Art at Australia's National Theater and the Swinburne Institute of Technology. TV credits: Janus for the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Fame and Misfortune (also for the ABC) with Kylie Minogue and Host of the X-Games 2000. Writing Credits: The Fan Maker's Inquisition.
Andy Paris has made a career of developing new works for the stage and screen, including The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, The Laramie Project (Emmy nomination), Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, by Moises Kaufman, Or,, by Liz Duffy Adams, Lucie Tiberghien’s The Quiet Room, Innocents, by Rachel Dickstein, The Talking Band’s The Neckalce, Matthew Maguire’s Phaedre and Deb Margolin’s Indelible Flesh. As a writer/director: Laramie: 10, Going Public, an original play about our education system; The American Family at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival; The Fanmaker's Inquisition, co-adapted with his lovely wife Anushka Paris-Carter from the novel by Rikki Ducornet; Goldstar Ohio, which he directed at The Cleveland Public Theatre; Migration at the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU; Faith Pilger’s The Stages of Burning; and The Corporate Carnival, for The Women’s Project, in which he also performed at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center. Currently he is co-writing Uncommon Sense, also with Ms. Paris-Carter, a play about living on the autism spectrum. Andy has performed in countless other plays in New York, regionally, and in Europe. Regionally, he has been seen at Denver Center, The Huntington, Playmaker’s Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Rep. Theatre of St. Louis, Hartford Stage, Theatre Virginia, Berkeley Rep and La Jolla Playhouse. Favorite roles include Berowne in Love's Labours Lost, Keppler in Richard Goodwin’s Two Men of Florence, directed by Edward Hall, and all of the male roles in A Sleeping Country, by Melanie Marnich, directed by Mark Rucker. FILM/TV credits include Laramie (HBO) and Law & Order (NBC). He has also been the recipient of two AUDIE Awards and a Voice Arts Award for his audiobook narrations. Andy was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a graduate of NYU.
ABOUT TECTONIC THEATER PROJECT
Tectonic Theater Project is an award-winning company whose plays are among the most performed around the world. The company is dedicated to developing innovative works that explore theatrical language and form, fostering an artistic dialogue with audiences on the social, political, and human issues that affect us all. In service to this goal, Tectonic supports readings, workshops, and full theatrical productions, as well as training for students in the company’s trademarked technique, Moment Work. Since its founding by Moisés Kaufman and Jeffrey LaHoste in 1991, Tectonic Theater Project has transformed the landscape of American theater with plays that are stunningly theatrical and powerful agents of change. The company’s groundbreaking plays have included The Laramie Project, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, I Am My Own Wife, 33 Variations and The Tallest Tree in the Forest, among others.
Tectonic Theater Project productions have won one Pulitzer Prize; eight Tony nominations; three Tony Awards; four Emmy nominations; three Obie Awards; three Lucille Lortel Awards; two Drama Desk Awards; three Outer Critics Circle Awards; three NAACP Awards; GLAAD Media Award; 2002 Humanitas Prize.
Not only have Tectonic productions been successful artistically, they have also sparked national discourse about their subjects and have inspired artists and audiences worldwide. In fact, President Obama invited Tectonic to the White House to witness the signing of the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, in recognition of Tectonic's contribution to the national dialogue around LGBTQ hate crimes. And, Founder Moisés Kaufman received the 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Obama for his powerful contribution to American theater. As President Obama noted, “[Moisés Kaufman’s] work sensitively probes questions of culture and sexuality. His award- winning Tectonic Theater Project continues to move audiences with its bold portrayals of contemporary social issues.”