MONK PARROTS produce concept driven live work through multidisciplinary collaboration.  From this strategy we have initiated a diverse repertoire ranging from experimental drama, musical plays, and opera.  We premiere our work in New York and tour nationally and internationally.  Our mission is to cultivate new audiences for new forms, provide opportunities for artists, and forge uncommon unions that enrich our practice and broaden our relationships with professional artists and community members.  We received support from Creative Engagement, Tides Foundation, Manhattan Community Arts Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space Artist Residencies, Hatchfund, USA Projects, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the generosity of many individuals.  Monk Parrots is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit performing arts organization based in New York.

We derive our name from Monk Parakeets, specifically the ones that have found their way into the Northeastern United States via overturned delivery trucks and other legends.  Unlike most exotic birds they can survive basically anywhere by working together and adjusting to unusual climates.  They symbolize intelligence, endurance, adaptation, and collaboration.


LUKE LEONARD, founding artistic director

Luke is an American artist whose work spans the performing and visual arts.  Best known as a director and designer of multidisciplinary theatre and contemporary opera, he is also an actor, playwright, visual artist, and teacher.  Luke’s critically acclaimed work is described as “outstanding” by The New York Times and “bold and experimental...a clear vision...pure theatrical experience” by nytheatre.com.  His stage productions, designs, and visual artworks have been presented in Australia, Italy, New Mexico, New York, and Texas.  Luke holds a Master of Fine Arts from The University of Texas at Austin and lives in New York City. (www.lukeleonard.com)


Jessie dean, Producing artistic director


Prior to moving to New York City, Jessie worked exclusively as an actor and director in Atlanta, Georgia, her hometown.  She started her own theatre company, Relativity Theatre Concern, and produced a season of shows before being offered a managing director position at Dad’s Garage Theatre.  In 2009, she was offered a spot in a classical MFA program at Illinois State University under the direction of Henry Woronicz, former Artistic Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  Since arriving in New York City in 2013, she has had had the opportunity to work closely with Monk Parrots as an associate artist, and as a Producing Artistic Director, devising and sculpting four new world premiere plays at La MaMa, 59E59 Theaters, New York Theatre Workshop’s 4th Street Theatre and re-shaping the way she thinks of herself as a theatre-maker. She has also put her M.F.A. classical text training to work and has made herself available to emerging playwrights as an actor/dramaturg. She has championed many new plays into their next steps towards production at reputable theatres around the country including: New York Theatre Workshop, P73, The Araca Group, The Roundabout Theatre Company, The Lark, PlayPenn, The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, Abingdon Theatre Company, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  She has also been creating her own written work for the first time in her life, completing the first draft of a darkly comedic novel called Inventing Vida.