What Will the Neighbors Say? is an investigative theatre company that provokes questions through untold stories.
Founded by a collaborative cohort of international artists, the Neighbors present overlooked social, cultural and historical narratives that challenge the audience to reflect on the current moment. Through a combination of original plays, arts education workshops and dynamic community gatherings, the troupe encourages rowdy and rigorous debate at the theatre and throughout the Neighborhood.
What Will the Neighbors Say? fights for a more empathetic world by presenting risky, provocative theatre.
We spark conversations and facilitate greater understanding. Championing our community's capacity to explore ambiguous and nuanced themes, we create morally complex genre-bending work that challenges our audiences before, during and after a presentation. Armed with the understanding that meaningful conversations require varied perspectives, we build Neighborhoods across borders to facilitate new connections throughout our communities.
Founded in 2016, What Will the Neighbors Say? is helmed by Sam Hood Adrain and James Clements.
Since its inception, the company has premiered 11 original plays in 6 cities in 4 countries on 2 continents, and co-presented a further 24 new works. Over the course of these projects, the Neighbors have created jobs for over 200 artists - 75% of them non cis-male identifying and 50% of them members of the global majority or immigrants.
Through their robust community engagement department, the Neighbors have organized symposiums, staged annual benefits for organizations ranging from Planned Parenthood to PERIOD and hosted free public events, including their free flagship program, "storytime," a night of storytelling and live music.
The Neighbors are members of the Adjunct Faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, and were Adjuncts and the Company-in-Residence at CUNY Queens College. Additionally, they have taught at the Wuhan Institute of Design & Science, Ohio State University and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers, amongst others. They also provide free arts education for students K-12 through their What Will the Kids Say? initiative.
What Will the Neighbors Say? has received funding from a number of grantors including the National Endowment for the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, A.R.T./NY, the Brooklyn Arts Council, Off-Broadway Angels, IndieSpace, Rhode Island Foundation, the Bel Geddes Fund, the Leon Levy Foundation, the Puffin Foundation and the Network of Ensemble Theatres.
The company has been selected for residencies with Catskill Mountain Shakespeare, IRT Theatre's 3B Development Residency, MITU580's Gowanus Affordable Arts Initiative and Artists-at-Home Program and BRIC's BRIClab Residency. The Neighbors have collaborated with partners including the Brooklyn Public Library, the Queens Public Library, El Puente Presente, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, the Queens Memory Project, the Queens Historical Society, the Queerly Festival, Pregones/P.R.T.T. and THE CITY newspaper.
The company has been featured in The Evening Times, Harper's Bazaar, International Business Times, Time Out New York, The Herald, The Providence Journal, the Daily Mail, STV, BBC Radio, My Entertainment World, Motif Magazine, Theatre is Easy, London Television, The Theatre Times, BroadwayWorld, the Brooklyn Reader, Black Girls Do Theatre, StageBuddy, the Front Row Center and the Stage Whisperer Podcast.
The Neighbors have presented work at BRIC House, the Cell, the Kupferberg Centre for the Arts, HERE, IRT, MITU580, Theatre for the New City, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY International Fringe, the Kraine, the Sheen Centre, WOW Cafe Theatre, Club Cumming, the RED Sandcastle (Toronto), the Stockwell Playhouse (London) and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. WWTNS? was originally founded by Sam Hood Adrain (2016-Present), James Clements (2016-Present) and Ana Cristina Da Silva (2016-2022).