NET/TEN Shareback: Ripe Time - Creating Bridges Between Regional Theatre and Ensembles

Spring 2017 Travel Grant Recipient

Rachel Dickstein of Ripe Time (Brooklyn, NY) traveled to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to meet with dramaturg, producer, and audience engagement facilitator Amrita Ramanan to plan and brainstorm community engagement and artist-audience dialogues for Ripe Time’s touring production of Murakami’s Sleep. Together, they also attended productions and discussed new prospective collaborations and opportunities with OSF.


I traveled to Oregon Shakespeare Festival to explore collaboration possibilities and brainstorm audience engagement strategies with dramaturg Amrita Ramanan for Ripe Time’s upcoming production of Sleep at the Next Wave Festival.

--Rachel Dickstein, Ripe Time

Helpful tools for Ensemble Artists/companies making these kinds of outreach trips:

  • Be sure your ensemble and the company you are traveling to share core values. If you want to collaborate, you’ll need to have a common language even if your work seems on the surface to be very different. We discussed issues connected to the fact that our piece was built on an ensemble and that OSF has a permanent ensemble too. We investigated ways both theatres could honor its commitment to the artists it was already investing in through a shared project.
  • See as much work as possible at the host theatre and meet with as many artistic team members as possible to best understand the culture of the host theatre. I saw five shows in three days and met with three other artistic staff members in additon to Amrita.  This helped enormously is “getting” the mission as I could see the work and how it was impacting the audience first hand.
  • When meeting with colleagues at the host theatre, approach meetings through questions, not trying to “sell” your ensemble’s work. Use the meetings to find common ground and shared vision. Most of what I asked Amrita about was how their mission towards diverse voices and forms intersected with my own at our otherwise small company, Ripe Time.  It helped us find common ground despite our vast organizational differences and helped me understand ways I could adapt audience engagement strategies OSF had used, even in a very different context with very different work.
  • Share resources: even if the sizes of your two companies are vastly different, know that each offers resources for the other. Think of time together less as networking and more as learning opportunities for both host and visiting theatre to grow from the culture of each others’ theatre. I felt like my meetings with Amrita, Bill Rauch, Mica Cole and others helped us understand one anothers’ mission as theatres and as artists.  I left feeling so invigorated by a sense of community in the field and good strategies at how to best connect to audiences through my own ensemble practice.


Photo credit Max Gordon. The Husband (Brad Culver) lies next to The Woman (Jiehae Park) in bed. She sees a haunting vision of an Old Man.

Photo credit Max Gordon. The Woman (Jiehae Park) floats underwater in a swimming pool and sees her doppleganger, the Shadow (Saori Tsukada) for the first time.

Photo credit Max Gordon. The Stranger (Akiko Aizawa) watches The Woman from afar, waiting.

photo credit Max Gordon. The Stranger (Akiko Aizawa) rips pages of Anna Karenina from the book, creating a hurricane pages in which The Shadow (Saori Tsukada), The Woman (Jiehae Park), and Anna (Paula McGonagle) spin.

Photo credit Max Gordon. The Woman (Jiehae Park) cracks her life open. With the Shadow (Saori Tsukada).




  • Rachel Dickstein, Artistic Director, Ripe Time
    138 South Oxford Street Suite 4D
    Brooklyn, NY 11217
    (718) 622-3650


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Friday, March 9, 2018

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