Ripple Theater will reopen on June 17 after a four-year renovation. The nonprofit theater company returns to Brainerd Road and has also announced a partnership with Shakespeare Chattanooga.
“We are excited to announce the reopening of Ripple Theater on June 17,” said Thomas Goddard, president and producing artistic director.
The re-opening will commence with a ribbon-cutting at the 3264 Brainerd Road site, hosted by the Chattanooga Area Chamber, Midtown Council, of at 4 p.m., followed by a debut production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” produced by new partner Shakespeare Chattanooga, opening June 20.
“Ripple Productions and Shakespeare Chattanooga have recently formed a partnership to work together to augment quality theater in Chattanooga, and we’re very excited about working together,” said Mr. Goddard. “The companies will work primarily as separate theater entities, both utilizing the space of Ripple Theater.”
Ripple Board Member Dr. Brian Johnson noted, "We are so glad to see the facility renovation almost completed and can't wait to return to the production of good-quality family theater programming.”
Joshua Michalski, also a Ripple board member, added, "It is really rewarding to be a part of the revitalization in the Midtown area. Ripple Productions is going to be an wonderful asset in every way."
“We are delighted to partner with Ripple Productions and grateful for the gracious extension of hospitality,” said Shakespeare Chattanooga Producing Director Janis Hashe. “We are especially appreciative of a partnership that allows us to pursue our own mission, which is not religion-based, in this mutually beneficial way. We are also very happy to be part of the continuing renewal of Brainerd.”
In addition to a theater space, the building will now be able to host a variety of events, including classes, meetings, and other gatherings, and function as both a performing arts venue and a community center.
“Over the years, Ripple has been blessed with many resources in equipment, costumes, props, and set pieces to support the growing scale of its productions," Mr. Goddard explained. "This growth made it more difficult to continue the scale of production, while utilizing multiple venues."
In 2008, Ripple purchased the theater space near the Missionary Ridge Tunnels, formerly the Backstage Dinner Theater and then the Encore Theater. In 2009, Ripple staged a six-production season in the 85-seat theater, attracting more than 5,500 people.
“And then the rains came,” said Mr. Goddard. “The storms that threatened to wash Nashville and other cities away overwhelmed this little building. From January 2010 to the present, Ripple has been weathering the storms of both nature and the economy, saving and raising funds, repairing as time and support materialized, and praying for God’s leading.”
Looking ahead, Mr. Goddard said, Ripple Productions is excited about the opportunities to serve the community and the city. “Whether using Shakespeare, Dickens, C.S. Lewis, or original work, Ripple Productions will continue a high standard of excellence in everything it produces, using theater, education, and outreach to explore the human condition and experience. We will help to realize an ever-increasing arts community, and help Chattanooga become the city it’s destined to be.”