New Plays to Premiere in Community Gardens in Manhattan & Brooklyn

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Now in its fifth year, Communal Spaces: a garden play festival will premiere eight new short plays inspired by and performed in four community gardens in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The festival will take place in the last three weekends on September.

This year's Communal Spaces festival will feature new plays by Sarah Bernstein, Alexander Borinsky, Nora Sørena Casey, David M. deLeon, Dominic Finocchiaro, Angela Santillo, Charly Evon Simpson, and Sofya Weitz. Communal Spaces is produced by The Motor Company, Artistic Director Lillian Meredith.

Communal Spaces Schedule

Saturdays and Sundays: Sept. 12 & 13, Sept. 19 & 20, Sept. 26 & 27

La Perla Garden, 76 W. 105th St., Manhattan Valley, Manhattan

Walk with Me? @ 12:00pm

by Alexander Borinsky

Sonder @ 1:00pm

by Sofya Weitz

Green Oasis Community Garden, 372 E. 8th St., Alphabet City, Manhattan
Catfight at the Oasis @ 2:30pm

by Sarah Bernstein
Welcome to The Fall @ 3:30pm

by Angela Santillo

Classon Ful-Gate Community Garden, 474 Classon Ave., Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Derek and the Sheep @ 3:00pm

by Nora Sørena Casey
Classon vs. Klaxons @ 4:00pm
by David M. deLeon

Warren St. Marks Community Garden, 619 Warren St., Park Slope, Brooklyn
An Apple Today @ 5:00pm

by Charly E. Simpson
enter a garden @ 6:00pm
by Dominic Finocchiaro

Communal Spaces features direction by: Todd Brian Backus, P. Tyler Britt, Jesse Jou, Rachel Karp, Lillian Meredith, Dina Vovsi, Megan Weaver, and Christine Zagrobelny.

The acting ensemble includes: Derek Ang, Miles Butler, Victoria Cawley, Mollie Collison*, Ethan Dubin*, Siho Ellsmore*, Koryna Flores, Zoe Sophia Garcia*, Caitlin Johnston*, Adriana Jones, Starr Kirkland, Marc Hem Lee*, Amanda Marikar, Kenny Mathieu, Sean Mellott*, Alex J. Moreno, Anna O'Donoghue*, Eileen Rivera*, David Rodriguez, Betsy Rosen*, Rachel Sachnoff, Peter Sanzone, Alison Schilling, Kayla Scudero, Jillian Stevens, Alice Rose Turner, Piaget Ventus, Sajda Waite, Curry Whitmire*, Marissa Wolf, and Josh Wolonick.

* Denotes membership in Actors' Equity Association

About the Plays

Some of the gardens are haphazard while others are more manicured. They are like jungles, or barbecue hangouts, or magical hidden places. The plays reflect the unique feeling of their gardens, and turn the venue itself into a character.


My grandma is scratching filthy drawings into the hoods of precious cars, and somehow everything is better. A little bit of a play, a little bit of a manifesto. Walk with me, and I'll tell you all about it.


A play about looking through people who ask for help. What does it mean to be seen by someone that you try not to see?

Catfight at the Oasis

Joanne, the long-suffering garden administrator, has called yet another meeting to resolve the intractable stray cat debate. Will the Bird Lobby get felines expelled from the garden, or will Pro-Cat protestors win the day?

Welcome to The Fall

1973: A smokejumper crash-lands on the property of the world's first meteor strike survivor.

Today: Your tour guide is about to lose her mind.

Derek and the Sheep

Derek travels through time to a future garden filled with singing, dancing, and sheep. A musical for all ages about trying to get home.

Classon vs. Klaxons

For too long, the robot overlords have ruled our city! Today, we fight for the garden. Everyone grab a watergun.

An Apple Today

Jacqueline needs to talk to her sister, Clara. As Jacqueline struggles to open up, the women happen upon a former classmate who evokes memories of playground crushes and cruelties.

enter a garden

Things grow in the garden. Leaves turn from green to red to brown and fall to the ground. Life happens.

The mission of Communal Spaces: a garden play festival is three-fold. First, to make space integral to narrative; by using the garden as the primary inspiration for the story, the garden becomes a character, instead of merely a backdrop. Second, to make theater as public art; by presenting plays in municipal spaces we return to theater's roots as a populist art form. Finally, to embrace the experience of being a New Yorker; by developing a relationship not only with specific urban spaces but also with the communities that thrive within them, by making theater that directly relates to and augments these spaces and encourages exploration of not only the gardens but the neighborhood beyond, we invite our audiences to consider their relationship to the city we all call home. Love your city. Love your gardens. Plant urban roots.

The Motor Company is dedicated to creating a producing theater that is accessible and community-oriented. Our mission is to heighten our relationship to our city and surroundings by using public spaces as the impetus for story-telling and theatrical events. Annual programs include Intimate Bar Plays, a series of overlapping pieces written for the dark corners of an East Village bar, and Communal Spaces festival of plays written for and performed in specific community gardens in Manhattan and Brooklyn. New events currently in development include Subway Series, a traveling performance of interlocking plays created for specific lines and stations along a Queens-Manhattan-Brooklyn commute.

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