Graduate students Lee, Lizzy, Brittain, and Michael study singing with Professor Kent Randall, an operatic tenor of international acclaim. Kent is under investigation for sexual misconduct, and each student has agreed to provide an anonymous statement. As a representative from the University Office of Institutional Compliance interviews the four, their lessons overlay the conversations, combining reality, memory, and imagination as illustrations of Kent's influence over their memories and testimonies.
image by Givens Parr
The workshop premiere of The Smallest Sound, in the Smallest Space ran from March 3 - 5, 2023 to fully sold-out audiences at Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre, co-produced by The Why Collective. Co-Founder and Artistic Director of The Why Collective, Sydney Anderson said The Smallest Sound, in the Smallest Space represented a vision she had for the company’s inaugural season. “So often artists, and in particular classical vocalists, are expected to stand a certain way, sound a certain way, dress a certain way, and not have anything dissenting to say about it,” Anderson said. “When I first read this play, it was like reading my own inner monologue on paper. This is exactly the story that needs to be shared, and my deepest hope is that this Collective serves as a platform and a safe space for artists to express their truths without fear of retaliation.”
"The most obvious precursor is Master Class by Terrence McNally,” said playwright Bryce McClendon. “The crucial difference is in the titles: Master Class takes place in public before an audience, Smallest Sound... in the private voice studio. In dialogue, I think the two plays index the different ways toxic notions of genius morph into common practices and work their way into the culture to cause harm and perpetuate it through a collective denial of its legitimacy.”
Directed by Katy Early, this Workshop Premiere of The Smallest Sound, in the Smallest Space featured a cast of emerging and established actors and musical artists, including Shah Motia, Shelly Lynn Walsh, Alexander J. Rodriguez, Rachel Policar, Ai Chaim Ra, Heather Jones, Morgan Mastrangelo, Nathaniel LaNasa, and Savannah Bergli.
Shelly Lynn Walsh (The Compliance Officer) and Shah Motia (Kent)
From Left: Nathaniel LaNasa (Mel), Alexander J. Rodriguez (Lee), and Shah Motia (Kent)
Rachel Policar (Lizzy) and Nathaniel LaNasa (Mel)
Morgan Mastrangelo (Michael)
From Left: Shah Motia (Kent), Savannah Bergli (Daniela), and Sophie Delphis (Brittain)
Alexander J. Rodriguez (Lee)
Rachel Policar (Lizzy)
Sophie Delphis (Brittain)