TECTONIC THEATER PROJECT's
Written by TTP Company Members Anushka Paris-Carter and Andy Paris
Artistic Director Moisés Kaufman
From the creators of The Laramie Project, Gross Indecency, and 33 Variations, Uncommon Sense is a new play about living life on the autism spectrum. Meet Moose, Dan, Jess, and Lali, four people on the spectrum, and discover the remarkable ways they and their families conquer challenges through humor, determination and love. Inspired by interviews with real people, this multimedia play reveals our universal challenges with “difference,” our desire to connect, and the lengths we will go for the people we love. Uncommon Sense embraces all audiences, from those finally seeing their experiences reflected on the stage, to those peering into the autism world for the very first time. Photos by: Joan Marcus © 2017
Available for engagements in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons.
Watch the videos below to find out more about the show and the audience response,
or click on the drop down library for additional Uncommon Sense resources.
INCLUSION & ENGAGEMENT
About the show
+ Our Philosophy
Uncommon Sense is presented in an inclusive, judgment-free environment. At no point is anyone shushed or asked to leave due to noises, movements, or behaviors related to a cognitive/developmental disability.
+ Relaxed Performances
Performances on November 11 at 2:00 pm and November 19 at 3:00 pm were Relaxed Performances at the Sheen Center, intended to attract and accommodate individuals who may not be able to comply with traditional theater etiquette.
+ Art Gallery Installation
During the New York Premiere at the Sheen Center, Autistic License: The Art of Pure Vision, presented with Pure Vision Arts, filled the Sheen Center Art Gallery with works by artists on the autism spectrum. In keeping with Pure Vision Arts’ mission, this exhibit provided people with autism and developmental disabilities opportunities for artistic expression, and builds public awareness of their important creative contributions.
+ Post-Show Discussions
During the Sheen engagement, post-show discussions were held following each Saturday matinee performance. Topics included:
- The Portrayal of Autism in the Media
- Diversity & Inclusion in the Arts
- A Q&A with the Cast
- Evolution of Uncommon Sense
For more information on discussion participants and moderators, click here.
+ Accessibility Resources
+ Photo Gallery
+ Press and Testimonials
Click here to view video footage of audience reactions to Uncommon Sense.
+ Production History
New York Premiere at the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture, New York, NY, October-November 2017.
World Premiere at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, University of Northern Iowa, January 2017.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM
+ TECTONIC THEATER PROJECT
Tectonic Theater Project is a not-for-profit theater company based in New York City. Guided by founder and artistic director Moisés Kaufman, Tectonic’s work has been seen by millions worldwide. In its twenty-five-year history the company has created and staged over twenty plays and musicals, including Kaufman’s Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Laramie Project (written by Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project company), Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, and Kaufman’s Tony Award-winning 33 Variations, which starred Jane Fonda. Mr. Kaufman also co-wrote and directed the HBO film adaptation of The Laramie Project, for which he received Emmy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writer.
Tectonic Theater Project is a company of storytellers with a unique method of creating theater, striving to bridge the gap between art and life. All too often, the lives and stories of people impacted by inequality are invisible to those whose are not. Tectonic develops and produces plays that amplify the voices of underrepresented communities; by shining a light on these communities, the company fosters conversations leading to a more just society. As Kaufman states, “Art is a great prism through which we can understand history and current events.” Tectonic crafts plays using the company’s trademarked theater-making method, Moment Work, and through a rigorous process of research, writing, workshops, and collaboration in a laboratory environment.
In 2009, President Obama invited the company to witness the signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act at the White House, recognizing Tectonic’s contribution to the national dialogue around LGBTQ hate crimes. President Obama awarded Kaufman the National Medal of Arts for "his powerful contributions to American Theater," and with appreciation for how the company "continues to move audiences with its bold portrayals of contemporary social issues.”
+ Anushka Paris-Carter, Co-Writer
Anushka Paris-Carter started working as an actor on television at age 11. She studied devising at Australia’s National Theater and the Swinburne Institute of Technology. While at Swinburne, she studied with Phillip Gaullier. Her other work in Australia includes St Feets for St. Martins, Library Stories at The Malt House, Hiroshima for the Melbourne Spoletto Festival, and Janus for the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Paris-Carter’s New York credits include Carson Krietzer’s Self Defense, Valerie Shoots’ Andy, Kirk Bromely’s Icarus and Aria, Bocca for Target Margin, Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique, Mephisto for Reverie, Lucie Tiberghein’s The Quiet Room, Gwen John directed by Leigh Fondakowski, Family Running For Mr. Whippy directed by Elyse Singer, and Marcia Jean Kurtz’s Between Two Worlds. Her New York film and TV credits include Ed Bowe’s Picture Book and hosting X-Games for ESPN. She is a graduate of both the Public’s Shakespeare Lab and the Naraopa Summer Writing Program. Her first play is Fan Makers Inquistion, also written with Andy Paris.
+ Andy Paris, Co-Writer
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 Moisés Kaufman, Or,, by Liz Duffy Adams, Lucie Tiberghien’s The Quiet Room, Innocents, by Rachel Dickstein, The Talking Band’s The Necklace, 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. 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.
+ Jimmy Maize, Director
Jimmy Maize came to Tectonic in 2003, contributing to the development of the Pulitzer Prize–winning I Am My Own Wife (Broadway) and the Tony Award–winning 33 Variations (Broadway, starring Jane Fonda). He managed the company from 2005–2009, during which time he created the Education Outreach Program, providing Moment Work training opportunities for thousands of students. He then served as the company’s literary manager, shepherding and developing Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Broadway, starring Robin Williams), and later signed on as dramaturg for Tennessee Williams’s One Arm (The New Group) and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (BAM). In 2011 he became a Moment Work master teacher, and has since taught and developed new work at numerous schools, including The New School for Drama, Columbia School of the Arts, NYU Tisch, Arizona State University, Eugene Lang College, and Whitman College. He has used Moment Work to write and direct The Temple Bombing (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta), In One Room (Bailiwick Rep, Chicago), John Muir Wolf (Whitman College, Washington), and HARBORED (En Garde Arts, NYC), among many others. Additional directing credits include Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest (Classic Stage Company, NYC); You’re Invited (The Old Vic, London); Hypochondria by Kyle Jarrow (Schapiro Theatre, NYC); and his 100-actor adaptation of Spoon River Anthology (Riverside Theatre/Invisible Dog Arts Center, NYC). Additional playwriting credits include Between Life and Nowhere (3-Legged Dog, NYC) and In The Belly (Players Theatre, NYC). He obtained his MFA from Columbia School of the Arts, and is a member of SDC and The Dramatists Guild.