Sophia is standing on stage with mic in front of gold curtain
Image: Sophia Cleary. Photo by Denise Malone. Courtesy of the artist.

Sophia Cleary

One & Only

On View: September 20-October 2, 2021

512 West 19th Street

Sophia Cleary is in residence to develop a stand-up comedy show for an audience of one person. Developed from the comedic material she has performed in recent years, Cleary uses the frame of the black box theater to explore the limits of connection between performer and single-person audience using intimacy as her medium. One & Only is a performance series in which each show is borne of the unique connection between Cleary and her audience. Each performance simultaneously celebrates and upsets one-to-one power dynamics, and asks: “How does the apparatus of theater support or disrupt a relationship?”

Organized by Matthew Lyons, Curator.


Directed by Sara Lyons. Lighting Design by Madeline Best.

Opportunities for Public Engagement

Workshop showings taking place the week of September 27 will give select guests a preview of the project during this developmental stage. Follow @thekitchen_nyc on Instagram to be alerted about how to join the livestreams of the evening showings from Thursday, September 30, through Saturday, October 2.

A post-residency discussion will take place with the artist and collaborators on Thursday, October 14, at 5 pm EDT. To RSVP, click here.


Sophia Cleary is a queer interdisciplinary artist, actor, writer, and comedian working with jokes, video, dance, music, mime, and more. Self-identified as "genreless," Cleary draws upon her life experience as a birth doula, waiter, and analyst for a private investigator, in order to explore the nature of relationships, vulnerability, and the space between performer and audience. Cleary has presented her work in New York City at the Center for Performance Research, Danspace Project, The Chocolate Factory, Dixon Place, The Kitchen, and e-flux, and in Los Angeles at the Hammer Museum and Human Resources Gallery. She is the founder and coordinator of the works-in-progress series REHEARSAL and formerly served as the co-editor for Ugly Duckling Presse's performance annual Emergency INDEX. She is one-half of feminist punk band Penis, a collaboration with Samara Davis.


Sophia Cleary: One & Only is made possible with commissioning support from NYSCA Restart NY: Rapid Live Performance Grant program; a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant; annual grants from Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation, and The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Season programming is made possible in part with support from The Kitchen’s Board of Directors and The Kitchen Leadership Fund. Learn more about the Leadership Fund.

Image: Sophia Cleary. Photo by Denise Malone. Courtesy of the artist.