“…one of the most satisfying theatrical experiences this reviewer has seen in years 
.”- Alan Hall, Chapel Hill News, April 1996, on “Those Women”

Archipelago strives for theatrical excellence in bringing unique and timely artistic vision to the community. In a time / era / world that expects and often demands instant — and tolerates less than satisfactory — results, our goal is to dig deeply into the creative process, mining the collective knowledge of the company in order to produce a theatre experience that is immediate and authentic.

“Well, lets face it: There is nobody quite like Ellen Hemphill, the actress-director-producer-author who brings reason and rhyme to the world of avant-garde theater. She’s as intriguing as Jeanne Moreau’s voice and just as authentic “- Bill Morrison

Each original play comes “from the netherlands” much like a dream, offering its unique and unpredictable burst of images, trailing distorted bits of a familiar world.
Our thoughts/conversations blend ultimately into written texts that are rich with images and lend themselves to movement and voice work. The interpretation of text becomes a collaborative exploration that is at once imaginal, physical, emotional. Our goal is to create an atmosphere of collaboration that enables the writers, director, designers, composer and actors to work together in a process that leads to a genuine art form on stage.

Rooted in the Roy Hart Theatre’s tradition of extended vocal range work and the work of gestural theatre in the tradition of German movement theatre, Archipelago moves well beyond usual theatrical genres to create new performances that give primacy to voice and body movement in relation to text. Our productions work to maintain, through the creative and performing artists, a balanced relationship between the emotional content of  sound, text, movement and music. We incorporate both original writings as well as existing texts in our productions.