Ripple Productions opens full season in renovated theatre.
If you’ve driven through the Missionary Ridge tunnel heading east on Brainerd Road recently, you may have noticed that the space that once housed the Backstage Dinner Theatre, then the Encore Theatre, is back in business.
The Pulse sat down with Thomas Goddard, President of Ripple Productions, which owns the newly renewed theater space, now called the Ripple Theater. In 2008, the company purchased the Encore Theatre and began producing shows to great acclaim. But in 2010, the company suffered a massive setback with flood damage to the theatre. After nearly five years of renovation, the company is finally re-opening with a full season in a freshly rebuilt space, and a drive to make a positive stamp on the Chattanooga arts scene and on the community itself.
The Pulse: What is the mission of the Ripple Theater?
Thomas Goddard: Ripple Theater is a nonprofit organized theater that challenges its audience to explore the human experience from a Christian point of view. Ripple is committed to the highest quality storytelling—selecting stories that are relevant, engaging, and uplifting, or hopeful. Using both classical and contemporary work, Ripple strives to use theater and education programs to enrich the community.
TP: How does the new space nurture that mission?
TG: The new space is such a blessing to have. Roughly 8,000 feet of the 10,000-square-foot building have undergone renovation and in some cases, a complete rebuild. The new space is designed to accommodate both theater and other live programming, film presentation, as well as classroom opportunities and other events. The hope is to occupy the space as often as possible with events and programs that will team with other aspects of county and city leadership to help our great city get even better.
TP: How does the inclusion of this new arts space affect the community?
TG: As partners with the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, ArtsBuild, and the Tennessee Arts Commission, as well as corporate sponsors, Ripple and the new space have great connections and have been blessed with a position with high potential to reach across demographic lines and other boundaries to build bridges. One of our highest priorities is building bridges, and bringing people together. There are few mediums that accomplish this goal better than theater arts. There’s something for everyone in the theater.”
Ripple will open its season with “The Savannah Disputation”, described by the New York Times as “comparative-religion-class debates over the word of the Bible and the tenets of the Catholic faith, set to the rat-a-tat rhythm of a sitcom laugh track” on Aug.15, playing through Aug. 31.
The rest of the 2014-2015 season includes:
“Caroline or Change” Nov. 7- 23
“Beauty and the Beast” Feb. 13–Mar. 1, 2015
“Measure for Measure” Apr. 17 – May 3, 2015
Ripple Productions3264 Brainerd Road.
For more information,
or call (423) 600-9242.