top of page
Background-1.jpeg

 Archive

Blessed Unrest has been creating dynamic, disciplined, and exuberant new works for the stage in NYC and touring internationally since 1999. 

snow-queen-v1.jpeg

New Victory LabWorks
& TDF Performeteria

Blessed Unrest adapts The Snow Queen, using physical theater to build peculiar lands and wild creatures encountered by the courageous heroine as she journeys to rescue her friend.

Doruntine

A marriage that spurns tradition, an impossible journey on horseback, a brother who defies the grave. Inspired by the Albanian legend as written by Ismail Kadare, Doruntine is the mythical tale of a forbidden love and the danger of a promise that can never be broken.

Screen Shot 2024-01-30 at 3.22.15 PM.png
Blessed-Unrest-Lying-2014-1000px_edited.

Lying

Intertwined with the realities and unrealities associated with the condition of epilepsy, Lauren's confessions, along with her pre-teen life experiences are staged as an impressionistic whirlwind of thoughts and happenings—lying, stealing, attending a special Catholic school where she is taught how to fall safely, and faking seizures throughout her adolescence.

400 Parts Per Million

In the spirit of our past Come If You Dare experiments, 400 Parts Per Million is a savage and exuberant exploration of a love nearly missed. We invite you to catch a glimpse of work-in-progress on this new ensemble-built creation.

400ppm-600.jpeg
EurydicesDream-2-BlessedUnrest-500px.jpeg

Eurydice's Dream

Lovers are torn between two worlds, lost and found in a desolate land, and shaken to the core by a shocking encounter. Eurydice’s Dream is an original piece conceived by Blessed Unrest’s award-winning Artistic Director Jessica Burr. Rooted in the myths of Orpheus/Eurydice and Echo/Narcissus, the multiple narratives of wayward love are woven together with humor, precision, and sweat.

The Sworn Virgin

Six artists from Blessed Unrest traveled to Prishtina to create The Sworn Virgin, our second original, bilingual (English/Albanian) play with Teatri Oda. The play is based on the ancient Albanian tradition, still in existence today, in which women take an oath of lifelong celibacy in exchange for the rights and responsibilities of living as men.

poster-burrneshat.jpeg
machinal.farm.v2.jpg

Machinal

The first expressionist play ever written by an American woman, Machinal is a powerful drama about women’s financial dependence on men, and one woman’s attempt to break free. It is a play about New York City, about the maddening banter of people going through the motions, about faith and God, and the role of religion. It is about decent people craving love in a disconnected world. This moving and surprisingly funny play was ahead of its time when it was written in 1928 and is remarkably relevant today.

ArtCamp SexyTime FootBall

There is something shocking for everyone in this game of gay and straight, hot fantasy and cold reality. ArtCamp SexyTime FootBall is a smutty, sweaty, epic exploration of violence, betrayal, and desire. This original creation, born out of the collective brilliance and humor of the ensemble, builds on over ten years of theatre-making by Blessed Unrest.

artcamp1.jpeg
storm.jpeg

The Storm

Time speeds up and thunder rages as Katrina escapes her stifling marriage through forbidden passion. The residents of this small town bracing for the deluge include her oversexed sister-in-law, a prophetess with a musical harem, and the lovelorn inventor of a time machine. Called the most poetic of Russian plays, The Storm is a dangerous fusion of true love and immorality unleashed. Blessed Unrest’s physically dynamic world premiere is electrifying, blatantly romantic, and wickedly funny.

CoMotion

Two worlds collide as the NYU Percussion Ensemble and Blessed Unrest combine classical percussion and physical theatre in these explosive events.

avatar-1.jpeg
Screen Shot 2024-01-30 at 3.31.59 PM.png

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Blessed Unrest heats up Shakespeare's magical tale of people desperately trying to love each other in spite of volatile weather, identity confusion, and meddling sprites. This physically dynamic production ignites Shakespeare's language and tears open the heart of the play.

Nick

A contemporary adaptation of Chekhov’s Ivanov from the original Russian. Nick Ivanov, a man of infinite promise and debt, is torn between his loving wife and the lusty daughter of his creditor. When his vodka-swilling, poker-playing, gun-toting friends insert themselves into the intrigue, Nick gets pushed to the edge. Fiercely comic, electrifying, and blatantly romantic, this is Chekhov as you never imagined.

nick.jpeg
Screen Shot 2024-02-05 at 3.28.56 PM.png

Burn Crave Hold

Blessed Unrest wins Outstanding Production of a Play for Burn, Crave, Hold at the Innovative Theatre Awards.

Measure For Measure

A young leader, determined to purify society of sexual corruption, finds himself at the mercy of his lust for a nun. She is forced to choose between her brother’s life and her morality. Wickedly comic, unbearably raw, and strangely tender, Measure for Measure exposes the chaos of a society as it fights for love beneath a repressive regime. Blessed Unrest’s focused adaptation and physically dynamic approach rip the heart out of the play and ignite Shakespeare’s language to expose, in the most intimate way, what makes these people tick.

Screen Shot 2024-01-31 at 7.22.11 AM.png
Screen Shot 2024-01-31 at 7.30.07 AM.png

365 Days, 365 Plays

In November 2002, the Pulitzer prize-winning Suzan-Lori Parks sat down and committed to writing a play a day for the next 365 days. The world premiere of this play cycle was performed in major cities and communities around the country as a yearlong national festival. The Public Theatre committed themselves to producing Suzan-Lori Parks 365 Days/365 Plays, which ran from 13 Nov 2006 - 12 Nov 2006. 65 Theatre companies in New York were recruited to help the Public Theatre accomplish this extraodinary theatrical feat.

The Kosova project

The six-member company of Lying traveled to Prishtina, Kosova for an international theatrical exchange with Teatri Oda. This adventure included incorporating a Kosovar actor into the play for critically acclaimed bi-lingual performances, intensive training workshops and roundtable discussions.

"Si një hap I pare bashkëpunimit mes dy teatrove private: atij Oda nga Prishtina dhe Blessed Unrest nga Nju Jorku, në skenën e Odës u dha premiera sgfaqjes Lying...Atmosfera artisike e shfaqjes krahas situatave dramatike apo tragjike, përmbytet edhe nga situatat komike."
~Albana Beqiri, Zëri E Shtunë

Screen Shot 2024-02-05 at 4.34.56 PM.png
Screen Shot 2024-02-05 at 4.34.56 PM.png

Come If You Dare 2

An exuberant, free performance developed from a weeklong, process-oriented workshop exploring the travel journals and interviews of Jessica Burr and Matt Opatrny from their journey through the former Yugoslavia and Albania.

The artistic leadership of Blessed Unrest spent six weeks exploring theatres and interviewing theatre professionals about their work. In Kosova they found Teatri Oda, with whom they resolved to exchange ideas, technique, and performance.

Long Train Ride
Stage Curtains

Certain Things, Which I Will Call Sacred (The Lovers' Project)

What happens when the love of a lifetime is shattered by the loss of memory? An original piece created by Blessed Unrest with text by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles Mee, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Zona Gale, Deirdre O'Connor, Henrik Ibsen, Karen Larsen, Anton Chekhov, Petronius, and others. Performed at the Looking Glass Theatre in New York, and at the San Francisco Fringe Festival.

Life is a Dream

A meditation on morality, love and the search for truth by prolific 17th century Spanish playwright, Calderón de la Barca. Written in 1635, Life is a Dream tells the story of Segismundo, imprisoned at birth by his father, Basilio, king of Poland. Rosaura, a much-maligned potential princess with gender issues, arrives in Poland from neighboring Muscovy to avenge her honor, and finds a grown Segismundo locked in an isolated prison. The play follows the parallel journeys of these two characters as they struggle with questions of vengeance, ambition and honor.

tea and text for six women

Women of various ages speak as mothers, daughters, lovers and witnesses, sharing stories from their lives while they gather at a non-traditional tea party. The text of the piece is taken from the candid and uncensored poetry of Sharon Olds, an award winning poet and New York's Poet Laureate from 1998-2000. The structure of the piece is based on the writings and composition methods of John Cage. This is coupled with a gripping retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's classic poem The Raven. Together they challenge audiences to question the context and structure of their own lives.

The Rover

A little known play by the 17th Century female playwright Aphra Behn; in our version, performed by an all female cast.

Red Chairs

Peer Gynt 1:16:19

Not a biblical reference, but rather a compact, frenetic retelling of Ibsen's classic play that lasted exactly 1 hour 16 minutes 19 seconds.

bottom of page