Blessed Unrest


A World Premiere

Misconceptions Photo by Maria Baranova Photography

“No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.”

~ Margaret Sanger

“I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.”

~ Ronald Reagan


A play large enough to contain them both

Tickets on sale now

May 11 – June 3, 2023

122CC Theater, NYC

MISCONCEPTIONS is a very serious—and very funny—play about a mother who questions motherhood: The story of a woman who dares to search for answers…wherever they take her. It is also a dramatic inquiry into the performance of fact and fiction, an exploration of how verbatim theater, performance art, and magical realism illuminate reality.

Written by the Emmy-nominated playwright Steve Wangh (The Laramie Project) and directed by Jessica Burr with Blessed Unrest’s award-winning imagination, humor, and artistic risk-taking, MISCONCEPTIONS illuminates the personal stories that underlie the political posturing of post‑Roe America.

In Development

Untitled Othello

Untitled Othello

An Exploration in Multiple Parts

Blessed Unrest and Keith Hamilton Cobb in partnership with Midnight Oil Collective embark on a search for the Untold Story of the “Moor of Venice”.

This is NOT a stage play…not yet…

It is an ongoing workshop to discover if there is anything in Shakespeare’s classic toxic play worth putting on a stage.

When we find out…we’ll tell you.

Untitled Othello is an exercise in creative justice, employing ensemble-based creative practices engaged in deep and sustained exploration of Shakespeare’s text.

It will seek to provide dimension to the title character of Shakespeare’s play by providing dimension to all of the characters that people the world wherein his story unfolds, thus revealing a plausible black hero’s journey that Shakespeare left us too few and also perhaps too many words to illustrate.

More information here.


Fancy Fundraising Frolic

to celebrate our upcoming production of

Misconceptions Photo by Maria Baranova


  • Written by
    Steve Wangh
  • Directed by
    Jessica Burr
  • Saturday, March 25
    5:30–9:30 pm
  • 873 Broadway, 4th Floor, NYC
  • Featuring Special Guest
    Moisés Kaufman
  • Dress Code
    Fun ‘N Fancy (Whatever that means to you!)
  • Fancy Fundraising Frolic Tickets
    $30 – Artist
    $50 – in advance
    $70 – at the door
    $250 – VIP (includes tea with the Artistic Director)
  • Please donate via PayPal or Venmo
    and RSVP to

Addressing Statements Made at the Gala

Dear Friends,

It's a hallmark of Blessed Unrest's work that we operate in a principled manner that reflects our values. At our gala in March, remarks made by playwright Steve Wangh fell short of this standard. Specifically, Steve's statements were disrespectful to trans and non-binary members of our community. The leadership of Blessed Unrest is committed to supporting and uplifting trans and non-binary members of our community and actively advocating for bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom for all. We apologize unequivocally for Steve's statements, which do not represent our core values.

We are grateful to you for your support and appreciate those of you who came forward and made their feelings known. To those who attended performances of Misconceptions, we especially thank you for supporting our production of this work that we believe did rise to reflect our values, both artistically and as members of the greater community.
- Jessica Burr, Artistic Director

From Steve Wangh: I sincerely apologize. I spoke about gender in a joking way that was completely off base and insensitive. I imagine my words betrayed my own gender insecurity at that moment, but I realize that saying so might sound like I’m trying to justify my language… and that’s entirely beside the point. The point is: I’m really, really sorry that I spoke in a way that you felt dissed by my words. As I say: No excuse. I just apologize.

Blessed Unrest and Theaterlab present

Chasing the Tides, or Exposure

Chasing the Tides, or Exposure Artwork: Ripples of Thought by Rafal Makiela, courtesy of the artist
Model: Barbara Sklarek

9–18, 2022

357 W 36th St, 3rd floor, NYC

  • Written and performed by
    Matilda Woods
  • Directed by
    Jessica Burr
  • Sound Design
    Julian Evans
  • Lighting Design
    Jay Ryan
  • Costume Design
    Sera Bourgeau
  • Production Stage Manager
    Darielle Shandler

In this tense one-woman show, eerie images mix with an internal monologue as the writer/performer Matilda Woods (writing under a pseudonym) dives into a series of events from her life, swimming in the ever-shifting waters of memory.

A woman, bound by conventions and expectations that befall her gender, navigates the fluctuating tides of exposure and concealment. When the truth is suppressed, it gains power and momentum. Where in a woman’s body does that power live, and when it is finally released, where does it go? What is the sensation? Disquiet? Hysteria? Or something far more sinister?

Chasing the Tides, or Exposure is a Rorschach test of a play, guaranteed to evoke a strong response in everyone who ever struggled with secrets.

Battle of Angels

  • September 23–26, 2021
Battle of Angels
  • Written by
    Tennessee Williams
  • Directed by
    Jessica Burr

“Indecent and improper…lascivious and immoral.”

~ Boston Police Commissioner Joseph F. Timilty, 1940

“Low and common.”

~ Joan Crawford (declining the role, which had been enlarged to make the play more attractive to her)


~ Unnamed (and outspoken) Boston City Councilman

Presented as part of the 2021 Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival.

  • Featuring
    Heather Benton, Dylan Gervais, Michael Gene Jacobs, Nancy McArthur, Ariel Polanco, Mayadevi Ross, Ronnie Williams, Anna Wulfekuhle
  • Production Stage Management
    Margaret Gleberman
  • Composition and Sound Design
    Adrian Bridges
  • Set Design
    Sohn Plenefisch
  • Costume Design
    Sera Bourgeau
  • Lighting Design
    Elizabeth M Stewart
  • Assistant Director/Dialogue Coach
    Aaron Michael Zook
  • Thursday Sept 23 6:30 pm
  • Friday Sept 24: 8:00 pm
  • Saturday Sept 25: 4:00 & 8:00 pm
  • Sunday Sept 26: 1:00 pm
  • Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
    Provincetown, Massachusetts



May 1–9, 2021

Saturday, May 1

Sunday, May 2
3pm & 5pm

Saturday, May 8

Sunday, May 9
3pm & 5pm

  • May 1–9, 2021
  • East 26th Street between 5th and Madison
    just north of Madison Square Park
    Closest subways are R/W to 23rd St and 6 to 28th St

Touch is an offering to NYC, an invitation to partake in the warmth of creative intimacy, with the safety of distance. Wake up your senses with the vicarious delight of following performers through fractured journeys of forbidden touch set against the beautiful canopy of Madison Square Park.

Touch will be performed outdoors as part of the NYC Open Culture Program.

  • Direction
    Jessica Burr
  • Composition, Arrangement, Sound Design
    Adrian Bridges
  • Performed, and with original text, by
    Michael Gene Jacobs, Tatyana Kot,
    Ariel Polanco, Anna Wulfekuhle
  • Final Text
    Keith Hamilton Cobb and Teddy Jefferson
  • Production Stage Management
    Margaret Gleberman
  • Costume Design
    Sohn Plenefisch
  • Press Representation
    Kamila Slawinski

Battle of Angels

Battle of Angels
  • September 25–27, 2020
    Central Park, NYC

This Friday to Sunday only, join us for a live, in-person, outdoor, and significantly abbreviated presentation of the stunning and controversial play by Tennessee Williams.

Three women fight over a handsome stranger newly arrived in their Mississippi Delta small town. Written by Williams in 1940, Battle of Angels was closed by order of the Boston League of Decency and the Boston Police Commissioner called it “Indecent and improper…. Lascivious and immoral.” Come see for yourself.

Presented in New York as part of the 2020 Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival

  • Written by
    Tennessee Williams
  • Directed by
    Jessica Burr
  • Featuring
    Heather Benton, Michael Gene Jacobs, Nancy McArthur, Ronnie Williams, Aaron Michael Zook
  • Production Stage Management
    Margaret Gleberman
  • Sound Design
    Adrian Bridges
  • Costume Design Consultation
    Sera Bourgeau

Kennedy Center Commendation

The Kennedy Center

Blessed Unrest was honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival 2019 National Awards Committee with a Commendation for Distinguished Leadership, along with artistic affiliate Rich Brown. Our work with KC/ACTF over the past five years, serving as panelists, respondents, and guest teachers, has been extremely rewarding and we are thrilled to have our contribution recognized with this award.

In Development


This new play delves into the ongoing legacy of slavery in the United States, including the role white northeasterners played in its development, financing, and expansion. We are working closely with Keith through a series of developmental workshops this fall. Look for a public presentation in the spring of 2020.

Bringing Back Refuge


Refuge, our original multilingual play devised with Teatri ODA (Kosovo), presents the incredible true story of thousands of Jewish World War II refugees being harbored by families in Albania, set against our Kosovar collaborators’ own experience as refugees during the 1990s Balkan Wars. Following last spring’s largely sold out run of Refuge at NYC’s Baruch Performing Arts Center, we are planning a New York remount and a tour to other US cities, to Kosovo and the Balkans, and to Western Europe.

We need your support to keep telling this story of compassion, connection, and perseverance. Donate now or contact us.

If your theatre would like to present Refuge, please contact us.

“At its best, independent theater is inventive, emotional, inspiring and has the ability to transform the atmosphere in a room full of people. In the several years I have been attending shows by Blessed Unrest, they have never ceased to amaze.”

~ Amber Gallery, NY Theatre Now

“Once in a blue moon comes a piece of theatre so impactful you wonder if you won’t be talking about it for years to come. A piece of theatre so unique and bold, it makes you exclaim, ‘Wait. Theatre can do this?’”

~ Rachel Kerry, New York Theatre Review
on Body: Anatomies of Being

Get to Know Blessed Unrest

A video by TDF (Theatre Development Fund)

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist in any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, or how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.

“No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille