Theater & Live Performances
Check out Sarah's scripted performances below. If you're interested in bringing one of these pieces or the characters to your upcoming event, please contact us via the Book Sarah tab above and we'll be in touch with logistics!
In Sarah Jones’ one-person performance piece, The Foundation, a philanthropic organization’s annual meeting takes an unexpected turn when a change in board leadership coincides with “unpresidented” political developments in Washington. With both humor and empathy, Jones portrays a diverse range of characters in the Foundation’s community, from program officers to grantees to board members, who each share their views on serving the public good and seeking best practices grounded in shared truths at a time when the very notion of “the truth” itself is in question.
At the center of the piece is Parker, the son of a groundbreaking philanthropist who is suddenly thrust into control of his family’s foundation. projecting his philosophic-differences into the philanthropy's strategy. With the intention of using his business-school background to make the company more profitable and less generous, Parker shares his plan with the benefactors and beneficiaries in attendance in his opening remarks. Shaken by the foundation’s new direction, attendees, ranging from vocal program officers to the a-typical trustee, guided by the lenses of healthcare driven, community oriented, and culturally based philanthropic organizations, one-by-one voice their concerns. By focusing on the positive changes their work and the foundation’s support has created in their communities, local and international, they hope to prove to Parker that financial gain is not the only measure of success.
Relevant yet lighthearted, Jones takes the audience on a journey that is at once familiar, illuminating, and hopeful in the current political climate. Commissioned by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for their 50th Anniversary Symposium.
Tony Award® -winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones (Bridge & Tunnel) returns to the New York stage as a dazzling medley of characters in Sell/Buy/Date, an exuberant new show inspired by the real-life experiences of people affected by the sex industry. Brimming with Jones’ masterful, multicultural characterizations, Sell/Buy/Date presents an honest, moving and even humorous look at a complex and fascinating subject, all while preserving the full humanity of voices seldom heard in the theater.
Bridge & Tunnel
Bridge & Tunnel is Sarah’s Tony® Award-winning solo show, which was originally produced off-Broadway by Oscar-winner Meryl Streep and enjoyed sold-out runs both on Broadway in 2006 and Off-Broadway in 2004. Based on a piece commissioned by the National Immigration Forum and the Ford Foundation, Bridge & Tunnel examines the lives of a diverse group of immigrants from various backgrounds framed by one event: an annual poetry reading.
Surface Transit was Sarah’s first off-Broadway solo show, which drew upon the diverse group of people in her family and neighborhood growing up in Queens, and was loosely framed by her Q46 bus commute to school. Sarah wove the stories of a multicultural cast of characters into a cleverly connected narrative filled with unexpected twists that explored community, prejudice, violence, art and activism in late 20th century New York.
Sarah first developed some of her most popular characters in Surface Transit: Ms. Lady, an older, black woman who is homeless; Lorraine Levine, an elderly Jewish grandmother; Rashid, a young black male aspiring rapper who is “addicted to rhyming” and in a recovery program for it; and Keisha Ray, a young independent black woman who is frustrated by the misogyny in music. In Surface Transit, Keisha Ray performs Sarah’s celebrated poem “Your Revolution”, which was banned by the FCC for “indecency”; a ban that was later overturned after Sarah became the first artist in history to sue the FCC for censorship.
Surface Transit enjoyed sold-out runs at venues including the Nuyorican Poets Café in NewYork City where it was developed with director Gloria Feliciano; The American Place Theater where it was presented by Wynn Handman; Performance Space 122; The Kennedy Center’s AFI Theater; the Berkeley Repertory Theater; and The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa. Surface Transit won a Helen Hayes Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award.
Women Can't Wait!
Women Can’t Wait! is Sarah’s second one-person show. It was commissioned by the human rights group Equality Now and the Ford Foundation, which provided a grant to fund Sarah’s research, writing, and performance of the piece. Women Can’t Wait! premiered at the International “Beijing +5” United Nations Conference on Women’s Rights in June, 2000. The piece exposed laws which discriminate against women around the world. Sarah portrayed eight women from eight different countries, including the United States, and their struggle to turn the personal devastation caused by discriminatory laws into a force for positive change. The experiences of the women and girls from Japan, India, Uruguay, Israel, Jordan, France, Kenya and the United States depicted in the piece were based on numerous real life events and interviews. Following its first performance, Women Can’t Wait! was featured in The New York Times and landed Sarah on the cover of Ms. Magazine.
Sarah continued to perform the piece for audiences across the country and the world including United Nations delegates; in five cities throughout India; in Slovenia; in Mexico; and for the Supreme Court of Nepal in Kathmandu as part of a historic campaign in which Nepali activists and Equality Now partnered to advocate for laws supporting women’s human rights.
A Right to Care
In 2005, Sarah premiered A Right to Care, which was commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, alongside keynote speaker President Jimmy Carter at WKKF’s 75th Anniversary Conference. With the goal of addressing issues of ethnic, racial, and economic disparities in health care, Sarah and Kellogg partnered to create an informative show which highlights the multicultural and class dimensions of our national health care crisis. The daughter of two physicians, Sarah approaches the issues in the piece from the standpoint that health care and public health are not only matters of equal access to high quality services for all, but of broader racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequities. Sarah currently performs A Right to Care for organizations including universities, schools of public health, philanthropic foundations, grass roots community groups, and conferences around the United States.
Sarah returned to her United Nations School roots by becoming the first ever Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF on Violence Against Children. In this capacity, Sarah is currently traveling and performing a piece developed specifically for UNICEF which is based on the recent Secretary General’s report on violence against children. Sarah premiered this original piece in 2007 as UNICEF’s representative before members of Parliament from more than 100 countries gathered in Bali, Indonesia, and will continue to travel internationally, performing the piece to highlight these issues worldwide.
Specially Tailored Performances
In addition to her full-length one-person shows, Sarah is frequently invited to perform specially created versions of her character monologues for various functions and organizations such as community groups, educational and university conferences, corporate retreats, and non-profit benefits. Recent performances have ranged from private events for entertainment companies such as Time Warner and the CBS Corporation to hosting the Gotham Independent Film Awards to appearances for the National Down Syndrome Society, Planned Parenthood, and Sakhi for South Asian Women.