Sarah Jones is a Tony® and Obie Award-winning playwright and performer best known to theater audiences for her multi-character, one-person show Bridge & Tunnel, which was originally produced by Meryl Streep and became a critically acclaimed hit on Broadway.
Called “a master of the genre” by The New York Times, Sarah and her work are celebrated for their humanitarian approach to character and story through the lens of multiculturalism.
As the daughter of two physicians and the product of a multiracial, multi-ethnic family and community, she was interested from an early age in both the welfare and cultural backgrounds of her diverse relatives, neighbors and friends. She was also influenced by talented solo performers such as Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg and Tracey Ullman, and comedians like Richard Pryor. Another key influence for Sarah is Ruth Draper, considered by many to be the originator of the multiethnic, multi-character solo form in theater.
Educated at the United Nations International School and Bryn Mawr College, Sarah returned to her roots by becoming a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, performing around the world raising awareness of issues including ethnic/racial, gender, and economic disparities in the U.S and globally.
After attending Bryn Mawr College, Sarah’s began her earliest performances, which trace back to slam poetry at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York, and a battle with the FCC over censorship of her poem/song “Your Revolution.”
A regular uncensored guest on public radio, Sarah has also made numerous TV appearances on shows including Charlie Rose, The Today Show, and CBS Sunday Morning, as well as in her own special, “The Sarah Jones Show,” on Bravo. She even enjoyed a stint on Sesame Street as “Ms. Noodle” on Elmo’s World.
Her work has enjoyed theatrical runs and commissions from The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Ford Foundation, and Berkeley Repertory Theater to the Market Theater in South Africa and various theaters in Europe and Asia. She has also gravitated to non-traditional stages, from schools, prisons and community centers to the White House, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Sarah has also given three multi-character TED Talks which have millions of views, the most recent being an excerpt of her new one-woman show Sell/Buy/Date, which will have its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in the fall of 2016. She is currently developing multimedia projects based on her characters.
Follow Sarah on Twitter, on Instagram, and on Facebook.
Hi guys, it’s me Bella, I am like, so excited to be here with you guys cuz if you’re here right now then you, like probably care about like, diversity and everything which is like AH-mazing because I totally am like, committed to like understanding people from like, every background and experience, or whatever, cuz, like, that’s how I met Sarah Jones when I was taking like a Pluralism workshop freshman year, and like, not only am I like, a feminist, like, I was named for Bella Abzug who is, like, obviously an extremely important feminist from, like, history, but also I like totally believe in equality for all people, and like I even used to consider myself like a person of color except that that color was like, a sort of pale pinkish-beige color, but of course I totally understand there’s like a hierarchy and like power dynamics and whatever, so I just consider myself like, on the spectrum as someone who is like, willing to be, an ally. um, Anyway, you guys can check out my tumblr, instagram, follow me on twitter and just like, generally learn more about me than you can here, but Sarah Jones wants me to like, keep the focus on this website or whatever, so, yah, I’m totally, just like, excited to like meet you guys and, like, just like share a little bit of my experience with, like, Sarah Jones, or whatever.
My name is Habiba Rahal, you can call me Professor Rahal….although I know many of today’s students prefer something more personal, less formal, eh, so for them I suggest “Dr. Rahal” which is one syllable shorter, or I invite them to take class with someone else. You see, I take my work very seriously, I teach comparative literature, and I believe the beauty of the reverence for the work demands the corresponding beauty and reverence of keeping certain eh, basic standards, such as not saying to one’s professor after a lecture on Ottoman poetry “dude, that was awesome”. This is just so foreign to me. But, I do realize for many of them, and perhaps for you there as you are perusing this website, I may be, actually, the ultimate foreigner—coming from the Arab world as I do, and perhaps not fitting into the typical picture you may have of a woman in hijab—by the way, if you do not know the meaning of hijab, please look it up—I’m sure that, like my students, you eh, have the “dictionary app” on your smart phone as well—but this is the reason I love comparative literature, that just as in life, we are asked to find the connections and the similarities where we may not expect them, usually in the spaces we have devoted to beauty, regardless of where we find ourselves on the globe, or which language is our mother tongue—our art, poetry, music, even what Sarah Jones is calling her one woman show—I believe these are all attempts at transcending difference to find the commonalities. So this is why I recommend my students go and see her work. I suggest you do too—although unlike them, I cannot promise you extra credit if you do. But perhaps you will enjoy it!
Hello there, sweetheart, my name is Lorraine Levine, I’m here because of the young girl Sarah Jones, she puts me in her shows, what she calls her one-woman shows. Of course what that really means is she takes the credit and then makes us go out there and do all the work. But I don’t mind, as a senior it keeps me active to be engaging with all you wonderful young people—even now, here we are, we’re on the computer together, isn’t this nice? Although I hope you’re not taking time out of your workday to be futzing around with Sarah Jones’ website, sweetheart. I mean, it’s your life, but this is a terrible economy, you don’t want to take chances like that with your employment. Not that I’m giving you advice, I’m sure you know what you’re doing. But just in case, I’m not gonna say another word, because I don’t want to encourage you—ach, I mean really, it’s so complicated nowadays with the technology, the distractions, the social media. In my era you didn’t have these problems. Of course you also had to actually know a person in order to be their friend, not like now, with the myface and the spacebook, and the twitter, I don’t know how you kids do it. It’s like I tell Sarah, in my day, your laptop was just the place where you put your napkin –up, up, up, wait a minute, why am I still talking, what are you still doing here? Go, go, back to work, sweetheart.
I don’t mind Sarah Jones put me in her shows, but now I gotta be on the website, too? Lord. Alright, fine, My name is Ms. Lady. Well, that’s not my real name, but i don’t know y’all people out there from a hole in the ground so I ain’t just gon’ tell you my name, shoot, you on this internet, you could be anybody. But i will tell you this. I might be homeless, but that don’t mean I ain’t got a heart and a soul just like you. Matter of fact, just cause i fell on hard times in my life don’t mean I’m not just as hard-working and smart as anybody else. That’s right. It’s like I tell people, growing up in the South when i did, I just didn’t have no same opportunities like some other people, like maybe you a artist, or a intellectual, one of them fancy university type of people Sarah Jones be taking us all around to perform for. You might even have your PhD. Or something like that., But far as I’m concerned, I got that too,. Shoot, I’m Poor, Homeless, and Disabled. I got everything y’all got, except tenure. That’s a academic joke. Anyway, that’s enough of this internet mess. I’ll see y’all around my campus, Ms. Lady’s school of life on these streets. Tuition is low, only gon’ cost you some time, maybe a smile, some change, a sandwich. Unless it’s one of them nasty sandwiches some of y’all eat, with the goat cheese, and that arugula, can’t even pronounce it–yuck! Turns Ms. Lady’s stomach.
My name is Joseph Mancuso, uh, most of my friends call me Joey, but, uh, I’m only just meeting you now, that’s hardly what I’d call a friendship, so you can think of me as Officer Mancuso. And this is a one way conversation, this is not some Web 2.0, or whatever how you call it, interactive thing, so you can save your breath, your internet breath, no offense but you’re probably sitting there munching on something in front of your computer, alternating between websites and videogames and now you found Sarah Jones’ page. Alright, well, I’m not here to judge, my kids sit around and do the same thing, but I warn them just like I’m gonna warn you—Sarah Jones loves to preach a whole lotta Kumbaya multicultural blah blah blah, but I’m here to tell you I’m in law enforcement almost 20 years, I’ve seen it all, and as far as I’m concerned the only thing everybody’s got in common is there’s some real rotten apples in every barrel, and I’m Italian American, I don’t judge any other ethnic groups, but I don’t care where you’re from, your accent, or how unpronounceable your name is, as far as I’m concerned, yeah we’re all the same, and that’s the bad news. I don’t care who you are, you may not be guilty until I can prove it, but you better believe you’re suspicious. Keep you nose clean, there, Internet. Now beat it.
My name is Praveen Mandvi, what a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am most disappointed that I will be unable to engage with you here for very long. I told Sarah Jones I would stop by, but, you see, my human rights work is rather demanding, and since you are currently in possession of a working computer and internet access, you do not appear to be one in most urgent need of human rights protection. By the way, for those of you who are Indian, or who have done enough yoga and traveling to have become India-philes, you may have noticed my name is actually usually given to males—quite astute of you! It means “one who knows everything”, so of course that name could never be given to females! I was indeed named for a male relative, though the joke in my family is I am proof that the real meaning of the name is “one who knows everything”. knowledge being a male trait, that is perhaps my feminism can be attributed to the gender inequalities I have found not only in my own background but in every culture around the world (and don’t think you are off the hook, dear Western countries—the only place I have heard there is no discrimination against women is the moon, and even there I understand the women are expected to make the freeze dried “space coffee”—I’m teasing. Little feminist humor there. Ok, very little.) But my point is I believe in respect and equality for all, not only women, but the men out there who love and respect them—hello you two! No, truly, I know you there in the cyberspace are just as committed to human rights for all as I am. Oh dear, please don’t tell me that’s a pornography site you have open on the tab right next to this one! Oh, no, it’s just one of your American news programs. Alright, well, carry on with your work—I’m off to do the same!
What’s good, my people? My name is Rashid, you knowhattamsaying, and um, Sarah Jones be having me in her shows and whatnot, and she asked me to jump on this collabo for her website, you feel me, say a few words, so um, this is a real beautiful opportunity to connect with y’all on a digital platform and whatnot, you feel me? I mean, me, myself personally, I really more consider myself a artist and not really a technology dude, you feel me, ‘cuz I started out in hiphop back in the day, youknowhattamsayin, writing rhymes with pen and paper, you feel me? But um, I know these young cats out here, they all about the autotuning and the ringtones and all that, and I ain’t hating on it, I’m saying, that’s what’s up, times change and all that. But for me it’s like, it’s always gon’ be about the music, you feel me? Trying to say something for the people, nahmean? Even if half of these cats out here is more concerned about getting they own iphone app than saying something dope. But that’s cool, it’s all about diversity, you feel me? Oh, and for those of y’all that couldn’t really understand nothing I’m saying, you knowhattamsaying, that’s cool too, I still feel you, you feel me?