Amy's Wedding (2004)
Composer - Chris Tingley
Director - Syd Ralph
Assistant Director - Joe Douglas
Assistant Director - Lisa Richardson
Choreographer - Tony Aiken
Amy's Wedding asked 30 young performers to consider the Puritan emigration from the UK to the New World in 17th and 18th centuries. What conditions at home rendered the potential dangers of a sea crossing preferable to staying put? What sort of people chose to risk everything for the promise of a new and better life? And what was that life like when they got there?
Amy's Wedding focused on a small New England community, bound together by its own beliefs and customs and set within a closed, male-dominated, religious environment. It is the story of the preparations, the hopes and the dreams of one young woman in the community who is about to be married to the young man that her family has chosen for her.
In these communities female chatter was not encouraged unless accompanied by work… "the devil makes work for idle hands"…The making of Amy's "wedding quilt" however, allows for the piece to eavesdrop on what each patch represents to the women and girls and allows the "untellable" to be told. What elements lie hidden in these women's memories.
The ceremony is to be performed by a visiting cleric whose arrival upsets the apparent tranquillity of their lives. Does Amy fall in love with him or does he take advantage of her? The whole community is thrown into complete disarray by the very beliefs and faith that have held them together.
Stylistically, the company created a piece that derives its strengths from almost exclusively female portrayals and performances. The audience learned about the men in the community through the eyes of the women. Musically and choreographically it draws on a rich legacy of existing folk songs and dances that derive from the era.
Anna Maria Goodridge