created by Emily Ritger & Ensemble
Directed by Emily Ritger
Assistant Director - Mekala Sridhar
Music Director - Maria Camia
Set Designer - Alex Emond
Costume Designer - Mary Kauffman
Lighting Designer - Luke Miller
Sound Designer - Clara Swan-Streep
Dramaturg - Kristina Auten
Stage Manager - Kelsi Parsons
Assistant Stage Manager - Stephanie Bell
DIRECTOR(Emily Ritger)'S NOTES
I lived on the same piece of land until the day I left for college. It became a part of me and I was vitally connected to it. I spent my summers catching frogs, exploring the woods and making concoctions with mud and leaves. I not only feel a sense of ownership towards this place, but also a sense of comfort and companionship. In the backyard or in the woods — I have always felt surrounded by the past and connected to the people who lived on the land before me and who will live there in the future. I am fascinated by these unknown characters and began dreaming of them all living on the same parcel of land in Wisconsin, but at different moments in history, living separately at once - a feeling of vertical time.
I’ve wanted the opportunity to talk to my grandmother when she was a girl. I’ve wanted the opportunity to talk to the people who exist only in the folklore of this region. And I’ve fictionalized them here after listening to stories and researching and reading; I’ve let them take over my imagination.
I wrote the beginnings of this piece under the mentorship of Sibyl Kempson and with fifteen days of rehearsal, I brought the working script to this ensemble cast. During our time together, we have played, made pieces, and thrown text away. Entire characters have been deleted and new ones have been formed.
I didn’t have answers walking into this process. I didn’t know where this piece was heading. Every day was a surprise and while it made me nauseous to not “know” what this piece would be, it also exhilarated me. Now, this piece holds all of our voices as we explore our relationship to the land we live on, including the fictional voices of those who have lived here before and even after us.