Ragged Wing Ensemble’s mission is to catalyze a deep cultural shift where artistic action is at the center of vital social change. We aim to connect artists and audiences through the ritual of live performance, exploring universal questions that span the ancient and contemporary. We engage in the study and practice of Ensemble, collaboratively creating new, interdisciplinary works and activating the next generation of artistically engaged citizens.
Ragged Wing Ensemble is a grassroots multidisciplinary arts organization that began producing original work in the East Bay in 2004. Since that time, RWE has created countless new plays, site-specific installations, immersive events, rituals and gallery exhibits as well as educational programs. Most recently, RWE created The School Of Fierce Play, offering adult classes, intensives and retreats to those interested in artistic agility. RWE is also responsible for creating a shared, multidisciplinary arts venue in downtown Oakland called The Flight Deck (Oakland's only blackbox theater space) which served over 50,000 artists and audiences from 2014-2020. The space is still in use today.
Co-Founders from the top:
Amy Sass, Keith Davis, Anna Shneiderman
Ragged Wing creates interdisciplinary performances, plays and art events exploring ancient questions in a contemporary world. We are committed to the development of new work and the cross-fertilization of artistic disciplines. Our stories emerge from folktales, myths and everyday occurrences to become theater, visual art, music, dance and film.
Large-scale visual design, original music, and adventurous physicality are the markers of a Ragged Wing show. With backgrounds in theater, puppetry, mask work, dance, music and visual arts, our team creates daring integrated pieces. Both site-specific and site-flexible, our work can be found in theaters, under bridges, online, and in the woods. We seek to find new ways to weave art into the fabric of community offering opportunities for a variety of audience engagement and participation.
Our process is fluid. It changes depending on the needs of the project. Sometimes one person holds the vision and leads, while other times the group develops the vision together. We train in a certain structural agility that allows us to grow our collaborative skills as both leaders and followers, taking on different roles at different times. We believe that the practice of true ensemble (collaborative art-making) is a radical act, having positive social repercussions beyond the rehearsal room.
Rigor, humor and artistic exuberance characterize our work together. We play fiercely and value our relationships as primary forces in creative collaboration. Honesty, trust and mutual respect form the foundation of our work as we strive for a healthy process. We commit to self-care, the care of our group and the care of our communities.