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Rachel Dickstein

Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance

Rachel Dickstein is a deviser, director and choreographer of theatre, opera, and dance-based performance. She founded the Obie-winning theatre company Ripe Time over twenty years ago, to develop and produce ensemble-based adaptations from literature. The company has received commissions from BAM, Center Theatre Group, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia, PA) and presented its most recent work at the BAM Next Wave Festival. Rachel conceives and creates stories using the language of memory and imagination to trace how women-identifying bodies negotiate identity in the face of cultural constrictions. Inspired by the most searing writing of the past and the politics of the future, she creates embodied performance for the 21st century.

Some of Ripe Time’s past work includes the world premieres of the critically acclaimed SLEEP (BAM Next Wave Festival, Yale Rep, Annenberg Center), THE WORLD IS ROUND (BAM-Fisher), SEPTIMUS AND CLARISSA (Joe A. Calloway, Drama Desk, Drama League nominations, Baruch Performing Arts Center) FIRE THROWS (based on Antigone) at 3LD, INNOCENTS (based on Edith Wharton’s THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, BETROTHED (based on stories by Jhumpa Lahiri, Chekhov and S. Ansky) at the Ohio Theatre. Opera and Music based theatre works include: BLOOD MOON by Garret Fisher/ Ellen McLaughlin (BMP, Prototype), DESIRE by Hannah Lash for Jack Quartet (Miller Theatre, Columbia), Kamala Sankaram/ Susan Yankowitz’s THUMBPRINT (LA Opera, Prototype), Vijay Iyer/Mike Ladd’s IN WHAT LANGUAGE? (Asia Society, REDCAT, PICA TBA Festival). Rachel was the recipient of the 2015 LPTW Lucille Lortel Award and was nominated for the 2014 Alan Schneider Award, and the 2014 and 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award. Two of her productions have been selected to be featured in the Prague Quadrennial in 2015 and 2019. Proud past recipient of the Drama League Fall Production Program, NEA-TCG Director’s Fellowship, and residencies at Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, LMCC, JCC in Manhattan, Watermill Center, and the Civilians R&D Group. BA, Yale College. Associate Professor, Theatre and Performance at Purchase College, SUNY.

Representative Courses

  • Directing I
  • Embodied Images: Directing As Composition
  • Ensemble Creation
  • Collaborative Directing and Devising
  • Directing Chekhov
  • Junior Seminar
  • Adapting Literature
  • Adapting Virginia Woolf
  • Performance Practicum