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Sarah  Jones

Sarah Jones

Tony® & Obie Award-Winning Playwright & Performer, Bridge & Tunnel

Biography

Sarah Jones is a Tony® and Obie Award-winning playwright and performer best known to theater audiences for her multi-character, one-person show Bridge & Tunnel, which was originally produced by Meryl Streep and became a critically acclaimed hit on Broadway. Called “a master of the genre” by The New York Times, Sarah and her work are celebrated for their humanitarian approach to character and story through the lens of multiculturalism. Read More >

As the daughter of two physicians and the product of a multiracial, multi-ethnic family and community, she was interested from an early age in both the welfare and cultural backgrounds of her diverse relatives, neighbors and friends. She was also influenced by talented solo performers such as Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg and Tracey Ullman, and comedians like Richard Pryor. Another key influence for Sarah is Ruth Draper, considered by many to be the originator of the multiethnic, multi-character solo form in theater. Educated at the United Nations International School and Bryn Mawr College, Sarah returned to her roots by becoming a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, performing around the world raising awareness of issues including ethnic/racial, gender, and economic disparities in the U.S and globally. After attending Bryn Mawr College, Sarah’s began her earliest performances, which trace back to slam poetry at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York, and a battle with the FCC over censorship of her poem/song “Your Revolution.”

A regular uncensored guest on public radio, Sarah has also made numerous TV appearances on shows including Charlie Rose, The Today Show, and CBS Sunday Morning, as well as in her own special, The Sarah Jones Show, on Bravo. She even enjoyed a stint on Sesame Street as “Ms. Noodle” on Elmo’s World. Her work has enjoyed theatrical runs and commissions from The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Ford Foundation, and Berkeley Repertory Theater to the Market Theater in South Africa and various theaters in Europe and Asia. She has also gravitated to non-traditional stages, from schools, prisons and community centers to the White House, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Sarah has also given three multi-character TED Talks which have millions of views, the most recent being an excerpt of her new one-woman show Sell/Buy/Date, which will have its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in the fall of 2016. She is currently developing multimedia projects based on her characters. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

On Her Creative Process

Portraying Her Characters in Real Life

Using Her Characters to Support Multiculturalism and Understanding

Speech Topics

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. Read More >

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. Read Less ^

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.

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.

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