Blessed Unrest

About Blessed Unrest

Blessed Unrest uses the safe structure of training, rehearsal and performance to create an environment where dangerous things can happen. We are an experimental physical theatre ensemble generating original work since 1999, including 27 full productions (15 world premieres). We have performed at New Ohio Theatre, PS122, Public Theater, Interart Theatre, NYU, Columbia, Manhattan School of Music, Emelin Theatre, and on international tours of Albania, Macedonia, and Kosovo.


Blessed Unrest is committed to producing dynamic, disciplined, and exuberant new works for the stage in NYC and abroad, by building original pieces and reconstructing established texts with our diverse ensemble of artists.


Our diverse ensemble includes artists who are African-American, Russian, Italian, Korean, Chinese, Argentinian, Indian, Brazilian, and Albanian, as well as hearing and visually impaired performers. This diversity broadens the scope of our work and attracts diverse audiences. Blessed Unrest includes 11 company members, 18 associate artists, and an extended training ensemble of over 20. Many of us have been working together consistently for over a decade.


We train in and devise material using Viewpoints, Suzuki, modern dance, Grotowski, Butoh, Lecoq, and methods of our own creation. We hold regular four-hour training sessions with our ensemble and we develop each of our plays for a year or longer.

Educational Outreach

We teach our physical theatre and devising methods to students and organizations in workshops and residencies. More info here.


We pursue international exchange and partnership, believing that artistic collaboration has the power to break down cultural barriers and build international bridges. We have been collaborating with Teatri Oda of Prishtina, Kosovo, since 2005, creating original, bilingual (English/Albanian) plays and performing in NYC (the first ever US/Kosovar theatre collaboration in the US) and on several tours through the Balkans and Switzerland.


First Prize
secondo theaterfestival
Zurich, Switzerland

Lucille Lortel Award
League of Professional Theatre Women
to Jessica Burr in recognition of her work as a director and the body of work Blessed Unrest has created under her leadership

New York Innovative Theatre Awards

  • Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play (2018) for The Snow Queen
  • Caffe Cino Fellowship Award (2014) for consistent production of outstanding work
  • Outstanding Choreography/Movement (2013) to Jessica Burr and Sonia Villani for Eurydice’s Dream
  • Outstanding Stage Manager (2010) to company member Jaimie Van Dyke
  • Outstanding Production of a Play (2008) for Burn, Crave, Hold
  • Honored with 16 total nominations including for Outstanding Ensemble, Director, and Original Script


See our past productions here.

Our work has been funded by: U.S. Department of State/Embassy in Kosova; New York State Council on the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; SHS Foundation; Lortel Foundation; Mellon Foundation; Trust for Mutual Understanding; CEC ArtsLink; Puffin Foundation; TCG/International Theatre Institute; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; A.R.T./New York’s Nancy Quinn Fund; and by contributions from individual donors.