THE SMALLEST SOUND, IN THE SMALLEST SPACE Staged Reading Announced At Lincoln Center

The Smallest Sound, in the Smallest Space by Bryce McClendon will be presented in a staged reading on Thursday, May 30th.

By: May. 20, 2024
THE SMALLEST SOUND, IN THE SMALLEST SPACE Staged Reading Announced At Lincoln Center
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The Smallest Sound, in the Smallest Space by Bryce McClendon will be presented in a staged reading on Thursday, May 30th.

This performance comes after the sold-out run of its workshop premiere, incubated and presented at Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre (Artistic Director, Kira Simring) in March 2023, which audience members called "fresh, exciting, and painfully realistic." The play follows four graduate-level voice students of Professor Kent Randall, an operatic tenor of international acclaim currently under University investigation for sexual misconduct. Each student has agreed to provide an anonymous statement. As a representative from the University Office of Institutional Compliance interviews the four, their lessons overlay their conversations, combining reality, memory, and imagination as illustrations of Kent's influence over their memories and testimonies.

Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Why Collective, Sydney Anderson says The Smallest Sound, in the Smallest Space represents a vision she had for the company since its inception "So often artists, and in particular classical vocalists, are expected to stand a certain way, sound a certain way, dress a certain way, and not have anything dissenting to say about it," Anderson says. "When I first read this play, it was like reading my own inner monologue on paper. This is exactly the story that needs to be shared, and my deepest hope is that this Collective serves as a platform and a safe space for artists to express their truths without fear of retaliation."

"The most obvious precursor is Master Class by Terrence McNally," says playwright Bryce McClendon. "The crucial difference is in the titles: Master Class takes place in public before an audience, Smallest Sound in the private voice studio. In dialogue, I think the two plays index the different ways toxic notions of genius morph into common practices and work their way into the culture to cause harm and perpetuate it through a collective denial of its legitimacy."

Directed by Katy Early, The Smallest Sound, in the Smallest Space will feature a cast of emerging and established actors and musical artists, including Steven Goldstein, Shah Motia, Shelly Lynn Walsh, Alexander J. Rodriguez, Rachel Policar, Heather Jones, Morgan Mastrangelo, and more.


The reading is being presented free of charge, but seat reservations must be made to due limited availability. Click here for ticketing information and purchases.

About the playwright

Bryce McClendon brings over two decades of experience as an actor and opera singer to their writing. Their plays are musical in style, form, and content: often about musicians, involving songs or other music, or inspired by musical works and forms. As a singer, Bryce was a 2020 regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, a 2019 Eva & Marc Stern Fellow at SongFest in Los Angeles, and a 2018 resident artist at Opera NEO in San Diego. Their trans-focused opera interview podcast Beyond Travesti is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, and their writing can be sampled on their Substack, The Bryce is Wrong.

About The Why Collective

The Why Collective was established in 2021 by Creative Director, Sydney Anderson, as a rotating roster of artists and thinkers dedicated to a roundtable style of artistic inception and creation. Collective artists are invited to work together without the traditional hierarchy of leadership roles. It is the collective's mission to create nuanced and layered works of interdisciplinary theatre that encourage artists and audiences to seek deeper truths together through the art of questioning.


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