Community & Non-Hierarchy
Both in the creative process, as well as in offering live theatre, we are committed to creating spaces where authentic and vulnerable exchange can happen between human beings. We believe this can only happen in the liminal context of ritual and within a culture of welcoming and courage, respect and compassion.
The co-creative community of The Ritual Theatre forms & reforms according to each project’s scope -
weaving an ever-evolving web of relatedness, learning and healing. We are committed to practicing ways of working, creating and being that are non-hierarchical and which honor the unique gifts, wisdom and life journey of each individual
that makes up the whole.
Diversity & Inclusivity
As as we enter our second decade, and following our 2021 Rites of Passage: 20/20 Vision project, we have made a commitment to work with at least 50% Black, Indigenous & Immigrant People of Color (BIPOC) as collaborators,
and to nurture the most diverse age, ethnic and class range possible in our ensembles and audiences.
We are continually widening the creative pool from which the company creates its work and are committed to working with with actors, dancers and musicians who are not just formal ‘professionals’, but those often engaged in other livelihoods.
The majority of theaters in the Berkshire region serve white, upper middle class audiences aged 60 and above. One of the reasons for this, we believe, is that ‘theatre’ in America has become irrelevant to the struggles and needs of many, particularly younger people in their 20’s and 30’s, Black, Indigenous & Immigrant People of Color, and working-class people. Many of us have not grown up with a culture of the performing arts. Therefore, we aim to make work that reflects the experiences of these diverse and often underrepresented audiences, and that's financially accessible to all.
Inner & Outer Inquiry
Our work speaks directly to our deepest needs and concerns as artists and individuals, as well to the deeper needs of our local community and humanity at large, in hopes to offer us - along with our audiences - fresh inspiration for living.
Requisite to this process, each ensemble member must have a real and personal need to be part of a given project, since the unique perspective and story that each person offers to the work is what makes it both transformative and meaning-full.
Ongoing inner & outer inquiry into our personal lived experiences, our collective human nature, and the nuanced politics of our world is fundamental to how and why we create the work. Theatre is both the means and the product through which we make impact and make sense of, praise, grieve and give future vision to all that which asks for our attention.
Raw, Honest & Real
Taking risks by continually reinventing our creative process and the willingness to trust uncertainty, renews our relationship with 'theatre'. The heart of our work is a journey into deep presence and vulnerability which uses ritual, movement, relationship, song and text as its language. Our goal is not to create some polished perfect thing, but something that remains raw, vital, fresh, transparent and open.
The bulk of our offerings happen in and are inspired by alternative locations for theatre that are often outside in nature,
or in unique and otherwise unorthodox human-made structures. We utilize relationship with spaces & places in order to further transport ourselves and our audiences into spaces of liminality, and to echo the indigenous ritual theatre traditions of pre-colonial societies. In addition, by setting our work within the context of place, we seek to reclaim ritual, theatre and the performative arts as part of the world of the living and the everyday.
We work to honor openness & transparency in communication in all stages of the creative process within the company and with everyone involved in each project. This includes in: Fallow or Rest Period, Gestational or Visioning Period, Fundraising, Active Creation, Refining & Finalizing, Performance-Offering, Post-Partum or Integrating, & Archiving.
In a village way of life, art-making is regenerative, whereas in the industrial capitalist mode, art-making is extractive.
We believe that if the arts & theatre are to truly serve their function, we must restore their capacity to regenerate us as makers, as viewers, and one day perhaps - as villages. Therefore our creative process must renew and replenish all persons involved in a project- creatively, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually- as well as support us personally and collectively
to evolve into more of who we are.
Financial Abundance & Integrity
We believe artists should be respected for their labor, skill and offering to society. Their service has inherent value in the world, just as much as that of any competent doctor, teacher, engineer, or crafts-person. We aim to pay generous ‘gratitude’ stipends for each of our ensemble actors, musicians, and technicians to the best of our ability, and thus to encourage
a thriving local creative economy.
We are committed to keeping ticket prices affordable and accessible to the widest range of people, while simultaneously upholding the value of our work. Some of our offerings have a sliding scale ticket price, while some are by donation or free.
No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
To this end, we welcome (tax-deductible) donations through our umbrella 501(c)(3) Living Culture. Donations from generous patrons, as well as foundations, provide the company with an abundant fiscal platform from which to create.
If you are interested in joining our annual circle of patrons, please contact us.