Co-created by Shayok Misha Chowdhury and Scott R. Sheppard
In collaboration with Lightning Rod Special
SPEECH is a poisonous love letter to cancel culture. The ghost of a show that never was haunts the theater. An absence so disturbing, so exotic, so white-hot, so traumatic, so incendiary, so horrifying, that we must, no ... we must NOT look. If we look, we feed it. It feeds on our imagining of what it could have been. It grows. We must exercise superhuman restraint. To look would indulge a pernicious fetishization, a complicity with snuffish voyeurism. SPEECH is our attempt to wrestle with the problem of free speech in a racialized, still colonial, Instagramming America.
Shayok Misha Chowdhury is a queer Bengali director, writer, musician, and theater-maker based in Brooklyn. Misha is currently in residence at Ars Nova, The Drama League, and The Flea, and was a recent 2050 Directing Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop and member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Recent and upcoming credits: Beast Thing with Aleshea Harris (Drama League); MukhAgni with Kameron Neal (Ars Nova); rasgos asiaticos (SohoRep & CalArts Center for New Performance); and Your Healing Is Killing Me (PlayMakers Rep) with Virginia Grise. He is one half of the writer/composer duo Grill and Chowder; their musicals have been seen or developed at NYMF, Ars Nova, and SPACE on Ryder Farm, with an upcoming concert at Joe’s Pub. Misha’s poetry has been published in The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. He has taught and directed at Stanford, Fordham, Syracuse, Brown, and Williams. MFA: Columbia.
Scott R. Sheppard is a theater artist living in New York City and a Co-Director of the Philadelphia-based theater company Lightning Rod Special. Recently, he was a lead writer and performer in LRS’s The Appointment at New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series (The New York Times and TONY Critics’ Pick). He was also a co-creator and performer of Underground Railroad Game, (OBIE for Best American Theatre Work, Edinburgh Fringe First Award, Edinburgh Stage Award, named by The New York Times as one of the 25 Best Plays of the past 25 Years). Recent credits: Pig Iron Theatre Company: Period of Animate Existence, 99 Breakups (deviser/performer), and Gentlemen Volunteers (performer); George & Co.’s Holden (co-creator/performer); Proud graduate of Pig Iron School for Performance Training. Recently an Independence Foundation Fellow and a Guild Hall Resident Artist. Up next he is co-writing Nosejob, 2019 Drama League Residency, and Very Smart and Fragile Boys with Andrew Neisler.
Saori Tsukada is a performer/creator in the New York downtown dance and theater scene, known for her “astoundingly precise movements” (Irish Times) and “carefree charisma” (Village Voice). Born in America, raised in Japan, and living in NYC since 1999, Saori has generated “virtuoso” (TimeOut NY) principal roles for experimental works by the likes of John Moran, Yoshiko Chuma, Catherine Galasso, Aya Ogawa, Hoi Polloi, Witness Relocation, the Vintage DJ, and Joe Diebes. Her choreography has been exhibited/performed at C24 Gallery, Figge Art Museum, and Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair. Saori was nominated for Best Actress at Dublin Fringe in ’05 and ’08. She co-created and starred in Club Diamond, which was developed at Sundance and MassMoca and premiered at The Public Theater’s Under The Radar ‘17. Most recently she performed in Haruki Murakami's SLEEP with Ripe Time (BAM) and Nosebleed by Aya Ogawa (Under The Radar).
The intimate, flexible studio space within BRIC House is dedicated to emerging and mid-career artists, with an audience capacity of 50-75 for rehearsals and performances in a workshop setting.
For ticketed events, the Box Office opens one hour prior to show time. Advanced tickets can be purchased online.