parker's stuff

Sarah Jones: Polymorphic Playwright at TED →

Sarah Jones is an actress & storyteller. Her TED biography describes her as a “polymorphic playwright.” In her 2015 TED talk, she acts out part of her play on the topic of sex work from the perspective of a future history professor teaching the topic to a group of students. In the story, the professor draws from a new-age technology which can record feelings and memories as well as words, and plays several of these recordings for the class. Each recording shares a different perspective on the topic of sex work, each with their own nuances. Jones’s presentation is wildly entertaining, thought-provoking on the topic of sex work, and receives a standing ovation from the TED audience.

In an earlier talk from TED 2009, Jones shared her brilliance again, this time creating characters who each would give their own TED talks. They are imaginative stories told by complex characters – well worth a watch here as well.

Jones’s performance style, using acting to bring a new character to life to tell a story, reminds me of Anna Deavere Smith’s TED 2005 talk “Four American Characters”. I love this method of sharing perspectives and telling stories and hope to continue to see it on the TED stage.