Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging

About the show

From Tectonic Theater Project, the creators of 'The Laramie Project,' 'Gross Indecency,' and '33 Variations,' comes 'Uncommon Sense,' a new play about living life on the autism spectrum.

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Meet Moose, Dan, Jess, and Lali, four people on the spectrum, and discover the remarkable ways they and their families conquer challenges through humor, determination and love. Inspired by interviews with real people, this multimedia play reveals our universal challenges with “difference,” our desire to connect, and the lengths we will go for the people we love.


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

85
Theatre is Easy

"Allows audiences to see a range of behaviors associated with autism...The play is frequently funny, but not at the expense of the characters. And while it shows many victories, it also doesn't wrap everything up nicely or shy away from the problems that people on the spectrum face in romantic and other relationships. But the design elements take a pretty good script and bring it to another level." Full Review

85
Exeunt Magazine

“An exceptional piece of theatrical craft, with strong performances across the board and every element of design working in harmony with Paris’s staging...In paying attention to the differences among the characters with autism and their connections with others, rather than their isolation and difference from neuro typical people, ‘Uncommon Sense’ brings welcome complexity to the dialogue, and does so with elegant theatricality.” Full Review

80
Time Out New York

"Tectonic Theater Project’s moving and at times surprisingly funny play about autism. Playwrights Paris-Carter and Paris offer four nonintersecting but mutually resonant stories...Paris’s direction uses multimedia effects to convey the overwhelming sensory onslaught that several of the characters feel...A compassionate and nuanced work that eschews stereotypes, maudlin arcs, and pat resolutions, 'Uncommon Sense' invites us to experience a diverse and vibrant spectrum instead." Full Review

80
Theater Pizzazz

“The…complex, carefully crafted, but easy-to-follow structure allows for telling the stories by interweaving them, creating a mosaic…of experiences encountered by autistic people and their loved ones. The production allows both tears and laughs to flow…Apart from the autism angle, the stories are not particularly surprising. Still, the playwrights…are to be applauded for providing a non-maudlin, entertaining, and accessible approach to informing us about autism and the people it affect.” Full Review

80
Theater Pizzazz

“The…complex, carefully crafted, but easy-to-follow structure allows for telling the stories by interweaving them, creating a mosaic…of experiences encountered by autistic people and their loved ones. The production allows both tears and laughs to flow…Apart from the autism angle, the stories are not particularly surprising. Still, the playwrights…are to be applauded for providing a non-maudlin, entertaining, and accessible approach to informing us about autism and the people it affect.” Full Review

70
Theatermania

"The acting is strong from top to bottom, but the characters often feel like paper-thin shells...We're invested in the successes and failures of each of the characters who suffer with varying degrees of autism, and can viscerally feel the weight on the shoulders of their loved ones. But the further we travel through their stories, the more 'Uncommon Sense' feels like an academic presentation on the expansive breadth of the autism spectrum. " Full Review

60
The New York Times

"Putting across so many medical factoids and bits of real stories has the paradoxical effect of diminishing a sense of emotional truth...The shape of the storytelling tends toward the conventional. Yet when uncomfortable scenes are allowed to develop naturally, real comedy, mixed with sadness, emerges...Under Mr. Paris’s sometimes inventive but sometimes awkward direction, there is too much information pressing in from all sides." Full Review

45
Lighting & Sound America

“Paris' cast is nimble, often treating the material with more delicacy than it seems to merit...The elephant in the room at ‘Uncommon’ is ‘Curious Incident’, which so fluently used lighting, sound, and projections to get us inside the head of a kid with autism. Nothing in ‘Uncommon’ is so accomplished...In trying to tell four stories, the authors do justice to none... It's too bad, because there are some hard, compelling truths here; this material deserves nothing less than their very best.” Full Review

90
The Northern Iowan

for a previous production "I knew that I was about to see something wholly unique and original. What I didn’t know was just how emotionally poignant and impactful the following two hours would be...The entire cast was able to convey a real, emotional depth to their characters that stemmed from a full awareness of the complexities of autism...They were presented as fully rounded human beings whose deepest and most profound fears and desires were made wholly relatable...Staggeringly honest and daring." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

75
Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you want to see an honest portrayal of people on the autism spectrum, and how it affects them and their loved ones.

Don't see it if seeing people with autism (and their loved ones) depicted onstage would upset you. It was heart-breaking, yet extremely touching.

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see characters on stage representing the autism spectrum in a truthful way.

Don't see it if you prefer traditional plays with few characters and singular storyline.

79
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Overwhelming

See it if Want to get several different examples of lives of people with autism that aren't sugar coated

Don't see it if You would get too overwhelmed with all the displays though there are more sensory friendly performances

78
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you want an intelligent show about autism. Beautifully staged and acted but because there too many stories characters aren't fully developed

Don't see it if the idea of a play about autism is not for you.

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Thoughtful

See it if you want to better understand those who live with a different way of seeing and living life.

Don't see it if you are cold and unresponsive to others' differences. This show opens one's eyes to a host of traits that don't seem as odd as before.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Great staging

See it if You are interested in special people with special problems coping with the world around them. Family's don't know who to turn to for help.

Don't see it if You're not interested in learning about autism and people who face difficulties not of their own making.

85
Great acting, Must-see, Clever staging, Relevant & very moving, Intelligent / thought-provoking

See it if you'd enjoy something new and different. Must-see, whether or not you know / understand / have been touched by autism. Moving AND humorous.

Don't see it if you'd get lost watching 4 separate stories told @ the same time, @ times by the same actors. Your loss: intelligent script and a great cast!

Also Education with facts and humor. I GOT it.... Read more Read less

41
Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you want to see some great staging, sound and lighting

Don't see it if you are expecting to see an accurate representation of people with autism

Also I have a few friends with autism and the thing that bothered me most a... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you are interested in new theater, you enjoy creative theater, you want to see something new and different (play is about autism spectrum)

Don't see it if you want big production values, want a predictable play

Also The Tectonic Theater Project's production is a great addition to theat... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Profound, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You're a fan of Tectonic and enjoy their style of storytelling. You want a better understanding of the broad spectrum of autism.

Don't see it if You prefer one narrative over several. You don't like vignette-style storytelling.

Also Tectonic really knocks it out of the park with this one. There is no o... Read more Read less

70
Clever, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you enjoy stories about individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Some of the scenes were overacted and not a great representation.

Don't see it if you want to see a big production

97
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting

See it if You want to learn about how autism expresses itself in a myriad of characters without being beat over the head with it

Don't see it if ...see it

97
Captivating, Beautiful, Great acting, Must see, Great staging

See it if you seek a better understanding of autism and its impacts to those who have it and their families. Expect to have your eyes opened!

Don't see it if you prefer a linear plot structure in your storytelling. This piece bounces between four different, unrelated characters.

Also I couldn't help but to fall in love with these characters--not only th... Read more Read less

87
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Touching, Great production design

See it if enjoy new works about misunderstood subjects. Tectonic works its creative magic opening locked door to glimpse inside the world of autism

Don't see it if you if think autism doesn't interest you. It will. or the lives of those with it and those love them will. It's not what you think.

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You are interested in various gripping stories on the spectrum of autism. A show with great insight and heart. Profound. Highly recommended.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in autism. However there is so much richness and depth to this play it is definitely worth seeing.

96
Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if You like shows where you learn something profoundly moving, almost without realizing it, you’re so entertained-it all works-lights; sets...

Don't see it if You want a musical or a strict “story”. This tells multiple stories but they are used in an attempt to enlighten a broader topic-it SO does!

95
Absorbing, Clever, Exquisite, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if WOW!LOVED THIS!!Fabulous play, outstanding acting, lighting and sound.Don’t miss,especially if you are on autism spectrum or caregiver.Bravo

Don't see it if Theme of autism is a trigger.

71
Clever, Dizzying, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You enjoy shows that deal with discovering what life is like for people and their families living with a mental illness

Don't see it if You don’t like sensory overload

80
Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you want to see a cast portray the spectrum of autism very well. Projection design and staging is very well done.

Don't see it if you are bothered by some weaker acting from some of the cast or the constant jumping among the four stories.

90
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you are interested in the subject matter, you are or know someone on the spectrum and like non traditional shows.

Don't see it if You want to see a lighthearted show. Parts are emotional and you'll leave with plenty of questions.

70
Ambitious, Great set, Well staged, Well intentioned, Amateurish acting/script

See it if you're interested in autism. US tries (not always successfully) to show diff challenges along the spectrum. Great set, used well by director

Don't see it if you require top-notch acting by all & a stellar script (some funny/warm moments, some grating). Least effective stories re: Moose and Rice.

Also Uncommon Sense sets out to tell the stories of several characters on t... Read more Read less

92
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Must see, Relevant

See it if If you like brilliant performances and an incredibly important and thought provoking show.

Don't see it if If you prefer one overarching story rather than several smaller stories within one show.

81
Absorbing, Great acting, Quirky, Relevant, Riveting

See it if You want to see fantastic actors tackle astoundingly honest roles with truth and a little bit of sass. Great staging and truly beautiful

Don't see it if You don't like stories about autism. You can't sit still for 90min or you're sitting front row balcony

Also The Sheen center balcony has a glass barrier up that makes sitting in ... Read more Read less

87
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Heart-felt

See it if You're a fan of Tectonic Theatre, interested in autism & how it can be depicted on stage, enjoy several simultaneous amusing/dramatic plots

Don't see it if You are offended by "disease of the week stories, have no patience for young people with autism, don't enjoy abstract sets & multiple plots

79
Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking

See it if To get a better understanding of people on the spectrum as well as those close to them.

Don't see it if You only like light easy Theatre.


Cast & Creatives (18)