Why is your company called “Ripe Time?”
In a “ripe time,” experience is raw, unfettered, extreme, at the ready, bursting forth like a dream, like a sudden, unpredicatable feeling.
You do adaptations of classic books? Like Merchant Ivory films?
Not exactly. We don’t follow a formula, or a traditional format. We start from the body, creating the "essence " of a story or character through movement and then build out from there.
Just as one “gets lost” inside a beautifully told novel or story that plumbs the depth of a character’s interior life, our theatre takes those very same remarkable stories and interior worlds and translates the literary into rich theatricality. Using the language of dream, we create story through an immersive, nonlinear landscape of sound, image, text and gesture. We tell tales from inside the mind, through ripe moments of rupture, of fusion, of faltering, of transcendence.
What is it about women’s lives that interests you?
Women live double lives. The individual they want or aim to be invariably rubs against accepted cultural archetypes – the mother, the careerist, the wife, the vixen, the virginal innocent. To function in the world, she plays a part on the exterior, while often she harbors another self within that she is afraid to express. Even women of superior will, who circumvent that fear, stumble when challenging societal constrictions. And it’s those stumbles that tend to create great drama.
Do you do work from any single period?
We’ve adapted work from Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, Anton Chekhov, S. Ansky and also contemporary author. Jhumpa Lahiri. We’re starting a Murakami project this season. We’ve also adapted Sophocles’ Antigone. So, no. What connects the writers whose work has inspired our experiments is that they are all writers who’ve created works that are eloquent, poetic and powerful portraits of women that opened a door for our theatrical imagination.
What do you mean by saying your work is ensemble or “movement based?”
Ensemble means our work is co-created by the actors, designers, writers, composers and director. We are less interested in restricting our artists' imaginations by putting them into categories than we are into creating free-form brainstorming on composition and story-telling from all the artists with whom we work.
Regarding movement work, we work with movement because it lets us delve into interiority and metaphor. We embrace the non-literal, the impressionistic, representing story and character as if filtered through a dream or memory. Sometimes that means scenes are abstracted (like in dreams) sometimes that means the story is told through a group of bodies in space communicating through shape and rhythm. It’s like seeing a story play out inside someone’s head through the rhythm of her thought, rather than how a person might narrate that story intellectually.
Can I get involved as a writer? Actor? Audience member?
The best way to get involved is to sign up on our mailing list, join our facebook group or follow us on Twitter. We do not take unsolicited manuscripts. If you are interested in auditioning for our work, we recommend you send us a resume and headshot and narrative description of movement training and or professional experience to our South Oxford address.