The Importance of Theatre as a Place of Agitation and Dissent

“The institutions of art – theatre, film, video, and conceptual art, for instance – are among the rare spaces where one be permitted to depart from the law and social norms. I emphasize may because permission in these spaces is conditional upon social, political, psychological, economic, and legislative circumstances which widen or narrow the realm of possibility. To some extent, that permission remains broad and guaranteed under the laws of democratic states that respect their own legal systems and protect the freedom of their citizens. However, permission remains narrow and practically unobtainable in security states or totalitarian states, such as the one in which Saadallah Wannous lived.


“In modern democratic states, one can, through the world of art and its institutions, step outside the law for a few hours before going back to being a loyal citizen. Here lies the importance of theatre as a place of agitation and dissent. In the name of theatre, an actor or artist can commit acts that he or she cannot commit outside the theatre. He or she can talk about taboos and open debates on serious issues such as religion, sex, armies, war, treason, and so on – publicly, before an audience.”


— From an essay “What Has Slipped Away Is So Far, and What Is Yet to Come So Close” by Rabih Mroué, in “Doomed by Hope: Essays on Arab Theatre”.

Ritual Art Troupe Board Meeting on March 15, 2019

The Ritual Art Troupe held a board meeting at 12:30pm on March 15, 2019, with Board Meeting Minutes here.

The agenda for the board meeting was as follows:

Official Business

  • Call to Order and Introductions
  • Quorum Check
  • Review and Approve Agenda
  • Review and Approve Prior Board Meeting Minutes
  • Board Recruitment
  • Project Review (brief)
  • Finances (Banking, Past and Planned Donations/Grants and Expenses)
  • Fundraising
  • Other Official Business
  • Next Board Meeting
  • Adjourn

People’s Pop-Up Climate Justice Theatre for San Francisco Climate March

The People’s Pop-Up Climate Justice Theatre was created by Theatre Makers for the purpose of participating in the activities surrounding the Global Rise for Climate March in San Francisco on September 8, 2018.

The project involved presenting four performances each of two plays:

  • Ecopocalypse: a dystopian play in which corporations and the wealthy continue the pursuit of profit at the expense of the environment
  • Animal Factory Farm: a play portraying a fable about animals treated poorly by humans who band together and learn that humans are risking not only animal lives, but everything about our way of life on earth

 

Theatre Makers is a project of the Ritual Art Troupe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Ecopocalypse by Theatre Makers

Ecopocalypse is a dystopian play in which corporations and the wealthy continue the pursuit of profit at the expense of the environment.

A Theatre Makers project called the People’s Pop-Up Climate Justice Theatre premiered Ecopocalypse and another play called Animal Factory Farm with several San Francisco performances as part of the global Rise for Climate events during September 2018.

The first four performances of Ecopocalypse had the following cast:

  • Julia(n) Butterfly Abbey….Ben Perlman
  • Rajendra Shiva….David-Henry Bennett
  • Barron Pruitt….Nadeem Anjum
  • Ivanka Koch….Khadijah “Katie” Ford Garvin
  • Bodyguard….Matt
  • Air Vendor….Iryna Lymar
  • Protestors….Matt, Alexander Milbert, Stardust
  • Counter-Protestors….The Audience!

The People’s Pop-Up Climate Justice Theatre was created by Theatre Makers. Theatre Makers is a project of the Ritual Art Troupe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Our Thanks to…

  • Playwrights: Iryna Lymar and Stardust (thanks to Playwrights Circle critiques)
  • Sets: Spiraleena, Julie Neva, Meg Duff, Matt, Lisa R. Prochello, Joaquín Sandoval, Stardust
  • Props and Costumes: Khadijah “Katie” Ford Garvin, Ben Perlman, Larry Ackerman, Michelle Tang, Cayenne, Rickster, Keith Hennessy, Mrs. Clear Plastic, Iryna Lymar, Stardust
  • Sound: Stardust, Andrew Chin
  • Logistics: Julien Jourdan
  • Videography/Editing: Peter Menchini
  • Funding: Audience Donations, Brad, Stardust
  • In-Kind Donations: Arizmendi Bakery, Stardust

“Exposé” excerpt music for titles Copyright ©2018 by Stardust Doherty and Bernhard Ruchti.
“Quartet No. 1 for FOCH” excerpt music for end credits Copyright ©2018 by Stardust Doherty.
“Ecopocalypse” Play Copyright ©2018 by Iryna Lymar and Stardust Doherty.

Animal Factory Farm by Theatre Makers

Animal Factory Farm is a play portraying a fable about animals treated poorly by humans who band together and learn that humans are risking not only animal lives, but everything about our way of life on earth.

A Theatre Makers project called the People’s Pop-Up Climate Justice Theatre premiered Animal Factory Farm and another play called Ecopocalypse with several San Francisco performances as part of the global Rise for Climate events during September 2018.

The first four performances of Animal Factory Farm had the following cast:

  • Chicken Little….Khadijah “Katie” Ford Garvin
  • Mad Cow….David-Henry Bennett
  • Sassy Salmon….Alexander Milbert, Ben Perlman
  • Guerrilla Gorilla….Nadeem Anjum
  • Human….Matt, Iryna Lymar
  • Human Race….The Audience!

The People’s Pop-Up Climate Justice Theatre was created by Theatre Makers. Theatre Makers is a project of the Ritual Art Troupe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Our Thanks to…

  • Playwrights: Iryna Lymar and Stardust (thanks to Playwrights Circle critiques)
  • Sets: Spiraleena, Meg Duff, Matt, Lisa R. Prochello, Joaquín Sandoval, Stardust
  • Props and Costumes: Khadijah “Katie” Ford Garvin, Ben Perlman, Larry Ackerman, Michelle Tang, Iryna Lymar, Stardust
  • Sound: Stardust, Andrew Chin
  • Logistics: Julien Jourdan
  • Videography/Editing: Peter Menchini
  • Funding: Audience Donations, Brad, Stardust
  • In-Kind Donations: Arizmendi Bakery, Stardust
  • Performance of Music for Titles and Credits: Friction Quartet

“Humboldt Quartet” Title and Credits Music Excerpt Copyright ©2018 by Stardust Doherty.
“Animal Factory Farm” Play Copyright ©2018 by Iryna Lymar and Stardust Doherty.

Kari Barclay Bio

Kari Barclay headshot image

Kari Barclay (he, his, him) is a director, playwright, and researcher completing his PhD in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. Originally from Washington, DC, he has made work regionally and in New York at venues including the San Francisco Mime Troupe Studio, Round House Theater, and Manbites Dog. His original play, “Can I Hold You?”, was one of the first plays about asexuality performed in the U.S. and enjoyed runs in San Francisco and Brooklyn. Kari is a co-writer of the Theatre Maker play “20/20”. More at kari-barclay.com

Donate Play Scripts

To donate scripts of plays to the Ritual Art Troupe, please email us.

We are particularly seeking plays with social, political, economic, and environmental change (SPEEC) themes of whatever era and in whichever language.

We are specifically seeking scripts of the following plays:

  • If We Must Live by Frank Greenwood
  • Burn, Baby, Burn! by Frank Greenwood
  • Brother Malcolm X by Frank Greenwood
  • The Final Mission of Mother Jones by Frank Greenwood
  • Martin Luther King: The True Story by Frank Greenwood
  • Please Call Me Langston by Frank Greenwood
  • Zora! by Frank Greenwood
  • The Ferrer Play by Daud Mujais, Emile Khuri, et al.
  • The Ferrer Play produced in Paris probably in 1909
  • bamoro by Duro Ladipọ (1962)
  • ba Waja by Duro Ladipọ (1964)
  • Suru Baba Iwa by Duro Ladipọ
  • Tanimowo Iku by Duro Ladipọ
  • Bode Wasinimi by Duro Ladipọ
  • Plays from JOIN Community Union in the late 1960s, co-directed by Melody James and Little Dovie Thurman

Thank You!

Thanks for donating to the Ritual Art Troupe!

Donation receipt:

If you would like to receive a receipt for your donation, please include a note with your legal name (used with the IRS) and email address.

Donor recognition:

If you would like to be recognized as a donor on our website, please email us giving us permission to do so and specifying the name under which you would like to be recognized. And please send lots of good energy to the folks on our donor list.

Tax deduction:

Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by U.S. law as indicated by our IRS 501c3 tax exemption letter.

Donate Venue, Food, Materials, or Equipment to Ritual Art Troupe

To donate food, materials, or equipment to the Ritual Art Troupe, please email us. (You can also donate funds or donate scripts or volunteer.)

We are actively seeking donations of the following:

  • Venue: free or low-cost performance locations open to the public
  • Portable sound equipment: Countryman B3 Omni Lavalier Mic, Standard Sens, with 3.5mm Locking Connector for Sennheiser Wireless Transmitters, EW Series (quantity 3, assortment of beige, cocoa, and tan colors), Sennheiser EW 100 G4 Lavalier Wireless System with Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone (quantity 3), Kopul M3010 XLR M to XLR F Microphone Cable – 10′,3.0 m, Black (quantity 3), FocusRite 2I2 laptop input interface (quantity 1), Anchor Audio LIB2-COMP Liberty 2 Passive Companion Speaker (quantity 1), Kopul Studio Elite 4000 Series XLR M to XLR F Microphone Cable – 50′, 15.2 m, Black (quantity 1), Hosa Technology SKT-250 Speakon to Speakon Speaker Cable, 12 Gauge, 50′, (quantity 1), Anchor Audio SS-550 Heavy-Duty speaker stand (quantity 1), Auray SB-52SSB speaker stand bag (quantity 1), Anchor Audio SOFT-LIB rolling case (quantity 1), monitor speakers (2 small), Goal Zero Yeti 400 rechargeable battery (quantity 1), canned air bottles (to clean/dry mics)
  • Portable lighting equipment: rechargeable LED spotlights
  • Healthy vegan food and drinks for rehearsals and performances
  • Muslin fabric rolls (Unbleached Wide Permanent Press Muslin preferred, like Roc-lon Style #5114) for set backdrops and costume design
  • Large portfolio to carry flat props
  • Curtain fabrics (for the portable theatre and home theatre, especially black velvet and scrim)
  • Costumes (ask about current productions)

Ritual Art Troupe Board of Directors

Current Board

photo of Jacob BreedloveJacob Breedlove (President/Executive Director, founding member, he/his/him)
Jacob is a musician, puppeteer, artist and teacher, who is devoted to sharing his love of history and human culture, especially through performance and teaching. He is the founder and director of Rag on a Stick Theatre and the founder and co-director, with Laura Kuhlman, of Orchestra of the Moon, based in Portland, Oregon. Special areas of focus are: Medieval and Renaissance music, early dance and drama, puppetry, the construction, repair and playing of ancient musical instruments, particularly harpsichord, clavichord, hurdy-gurdy, vielle, viola da gamba, and capped reeds.

photo of Stardust at the SanctuaryStardust Doherty (Treasurer, founding member, ze/per/herm)
Stardust is a playwright, composer, musician (oboe and English horn), and English teacher. Stardust is focused on the True of Voice musical dance theatre production and is a co-organizer of the Theatre Makers Meetup, as well as other playwrighting and composing projects. Stardust serves on the Board of Directors of two other non-profit organizations: the Online Policy Group and the San Francisco Composers Chamber Orchestra. Stardust formerly worked at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Verified Voting Foundation, as well as at various high-tech companies during a prior career. Stardust began directing plays with per Shakespeare adaptation “A Midwinter Afternoon’s Nightmare” and the original “Bush Faeries: The Musical” (2018) staged at Breitenbush Community Hot Springs winter radical faerie gatherings. Along the way, there was an agit prop production of “Occupy San Francisco Employee Retirement System” (2013) in response to the bankster housing crisis. Stardust is a co-writer with Iryna Lymar and director of the Theatre Maker plays “Animal Factory Farm” (2018) and “Ecopocalypse” (2018) and co-writer with Iryna Lymar of “You Too” (planned 2019) and a co-writer with Kari Barclay of “20/20” (San Francisco Fringe Festival 2019).

Matt (joined March 28, 2018, he/his/him)
Matt is a multimedia artist and virtual reality developer. He co-founded Virtual Bytes, an art, education and research collective creating virtual reality experiences and research that utilize neuroscience concepts to explore the mind/body connection. He is passionate about using his background in creative media and technology to develop virtual reality experiences that challenge our preconceptions about the world around us, and help us connect to each other in new ways. Matt acted and served on the crew for the Theatre Maker plays “Animal Factory Farm” (2018) and “Ecopocalypse” (2018), and “20/20” (San Francisco Fringe Festival 2019).

Jean-Paul Jones (aka JP) (joined October 5, 2018, he/his/him)
JP has worked as a music director, actor, and countertenor at a variety of theaters and schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and greater Los Angeles. With a B.M. in Vocal Performance from California State University at Northridge, JP performed in the Al McNeal Jubilee Singers, the L.A. Opera Chorus, and the Pacific Mozart Ensemble during the first decade of the 20th century. During this decade, JP performed in Pacific Collegium, the Grace Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, the Cathedral of Christ the Light Chorus, and still performs in the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra Chorus. Theater credits include the role of Jamie in “The Last Five Years” at the Moonlet Theater, Irving in “Babes at Arms”, an ensemble role in “No No Nanette”, and musical director roles for “Sweet Charity” at 42nd Street Moon, “Cabaret” at Abraham Lincoln High School, and “Seussical the Musical” at Mercy High School. JP has worked as music director of Young Performers Thatre and St. James School and recently starred in the West Edge Opera premiere of “Mata Hari”.

Iryna Lymar (Secretary, joined October 5, 2018, she/her/her)
Iryna was born in Ukraine, lived in China for 8 years, and eventually moved to California. She studied linguistics and speaks 4 languages: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Ukrainian, and Russian. While doing management and translation jobs in China, Iryna started exploring writing and the theater world. She wrote a compilation of stories about strangers called “Just some strangers on the way” (the book is registered in Ukraine) and a short script called “Robot Buddha”. She co-directed the “Robot Buddha” play in Shenzhen, China, in 2016. Besides that, she was an active member of improv group called “Planet Factory” and acted at monthly shows for a year. Now Iryna lives in San Francisco, teaches yoga and participates in local theater life. Iryna is a co-writer of the Theatre Maker plays “Animal Factory Farm“, “Ecopocalypse” and “You Too“.

Emeritus Board

Emeritus Board Directors include the following:

  • Mark Alburger (founding member, resigned March 2, 2018)

Join Us!

Ritual Art Troupe is always seeking new talent and experience for its Board of Directors. If you are interested or know someone who might be a good fit, please email info@ritualart.org.