Unboxed Voices is a NYC production company that features seasoned and new storytellers, actors, writers, playwrights, musicians, comedians, and other performers.
I was raised in my grandmother’s kitchen surrounded by stews of tales that laid the foundation for my love for stories. Her tales taught lessons and gave instructions; they carried history and thrived on hope to live a little longer. Fancied or real, embellished or humble, it did not matter. They were alive.
My love for stories began in my grandmother’s kitchen and has traveled winding roads and the topography of humanness. Unboxed Voices was born from this journey.
In June 2010 I attended a reading for one I my favorite short story writers, Mitch Levenberg.
Although I enjoyed his reading of “The Cat,” I inquired as to when he would read my favorite story, “Dyspnea.” Mitch replied, “When someone asks me next.” With my desire for some good storytelling I called a Jessica Pichardo, the owner of the Downtown Brooklyn locale Linger Cafe, where I had exhibited some of my artwork the year prior. She agreed that I could host an evening of short stories that would feature Mitch. She wouldn’t charge me for using the space and in return I would bring in some business. July 2010 Mitch read “Dyspnea” and my NYU alum mates, Nayanda Moore and Dahlia Heyman also read stories to an audience of ten. It was a satisfying evening overall. After the reading, Jessica and others asked about the next reading. At which I replied, “what next reading?” –Kat Chua, 2013
Having begun as a one-night short story event in July 2010, Unboxed Voices has since produced over 80 events: Evenings of Short Stories featuring nearly writers, Monologue Monday featuring two dozen monologue performers, which inspired Monologues with Kim & Jimmy, four annual Variety Shows featuring over a two dozen entertainers, and three Short Play Festivals featuring over 40 playwrights and 90 actors.