Memory Rings is a spellbinding journey into the woods of a vanishing past and even more precarious future. By turns meditative and playful, this stunning theatrical collage from the inventive Phantom Limb Company combines fairy tale, fable, puppetry, choreography, original music and striking visual design to chronicle 5,000 years of human and environmental change, all under the watchful gaze of the world’s oldest living tree.
Inspired by the “Methuselah Tree,” a California bristlecone pine estimated to be more than 4,800 years old, Memory Rings is the second installment in Phantom Limb’s trilogy of original works about the environment. Its time-bending forest dreamscapes—incorporating everything from the ‘Epic of Gilgamesh” to our penchant for Google searches—chart the humor and hubris of our species, the loss of our identification with the natural world, and the hope that we may yet be able to rewrite our story.
Jessica Grindstaff and Erik Sanko
Directed and Designed by Jessica Grindstaff
Original Music and Puppet Design by Erik Sanko
Choreography by Ryan Heffington
Costumes by Henrik Vibskov
Lighting Design by Brian H. Scott
Sound Design by Darron L West
Video Design by Keith Skretch
Dramaturgy by Janice Paran
Produced by Mara Isaacs, Octopus Theatricals
Production photos by Sierra Urich
CAP UCLA presentation funded in part by the Royce Center Circle Endowment. With generous support from Todd VonBastiaans & Bryan McCarthy. Additional support provided by Diane Levine & Robert Wass.
Memory Rings premiered at OZ Arts Nashville in June 2015 and is commissioned by BAM for the Next Wave Festival, CAP UCLA, the New York University Abu Dhabi Arts Center and ASU Gammage at Arizona State University.
Additional support provided by the Jim Henson Foundation and NewMusic USA.