the sheen center for thought & culture presents
THE new york premiere of the tectonic theater project production of uncommon sense
mainspring arts cooperative, executive producer
Written by Tectonic Theater Project Company Members Anushka Paris-Carter and Andy Paris
Directed by Andy Paris
Artistic Director Moisés Kaufman
"Funny, tragic, important and gorgeous"
—Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Inspired by true stories of people living on the autism spectrum, Uncommon Sense is a new play that delves into the mysteries of the brain. This multimedia production weaves together the four personal journeys of Dan, Jess, Moose, and Lali — and their families and friends — as it reveals our universal challenges with “difference,” our desire to connect, and the lengths to which we 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.
Uncommon Sense premiered at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center in January 2017. Audiences shared their thoughts and experiences with Uncommon Sense following the sold-out engagement.
Actors: Jessica Almasy, Scott Barrow, Purva Bedi, Carolyn Baeumler, Ron Domingo, Andrew Duff, Jill Frutkin & Zuleyma Guevara.
Photos by Darcy Dempster, Roland Ferrie & Kim Reed, GBPAC, 2017
About the CREATORS
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 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. 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 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.”