Alice Ripley nearly didn’t star in Phil Geoffrey Bond’s new play Small Town Confessions.
Bond had written the play and wanted Ripley to play the role of Satan’s bride, but was “too shy” to ask. When Small Town cast member Tony nominee Sally Mayes saw Ripley perform at Feinstein’s/54 Below anniversary show, she mentioned it to the Next to Normal Tony winner.
“She said I should definitely play it and I would be great in this role,” Ripley says. “I hinted at her that I was open for a talk about being involved and the next day Phil sent me an email.” Before Ripley read the play, she was drawn to Bond and the project because Bond has “a great brain and heart, and he knows how to make them work together.”
Ripley will play the bride of Satan in Phil Geoffrey Bond’s play Small Town Confessions at the Broadway Bound Theatre Festival on August 10, 12, 14.
“I picture myself sitting on the front porch with a cigar in a wedding dress,” Ripley says. “I have one monologue and it’s like three pages long or something, so I’m telling everybody: ‘I tried it this way with God. Three lifetimes I remember trying to make sense of all this craziness on earth and I’ve decided this time around I’m going to marry Satan; I’m giving up.”
Through a collection of monologues, Small Town Confessions is a visit with the residents of Anitola, Louisiana. According to press notes, “Rumors of encounters with Martians, a special stopover from Diana Ross, an obsession with the musical Wicked, a has-been Walt Disney World employee, a chat with the bride of Satan and the creative use of spray glitter are tales told in this homespun account of small town living, hosted by Jobeth Maybelline, manicurist to the town and keeper of community secrets.”
Of the cast’s characters, Ripley notes a rarity that excites her. “Maybe there's some kind of geyser of familiarity with these kooky characters that don’t get, as a group, all this stage time. Maybe there’s one kooky character in the show but not all of these characters,” she says.
As part of the inaugural Broadway Bound Theatre Festival, Ripley feels a sense of honor and excitement that these artists are bringing audiences into a place they’ve never been before.
“My favorite thing as a performing artist is to get a pile of raw material from a writer who says, ‘Will you help me make this real?’” Ripley says. “There’s nothing like starting from scratch.”
The play will reunite Ripley with Tony winner Daisy Eagan once group rehearsals begin, after sharing the stage together in The Dead.
“No matter what state the production is in, it’s kind of mind-blowing when everyone gets together in the room for the first time,” Ripley says. “They’ve all done their own preparation and you kind of see what everyone has; it takes a couple of big leaps.
“I am drawn to these types of shows and they’re drawn to me,” Ripley says. “Usually they’re drawn to me first; it’s kind of an equal back and forth. This time, I think it found me and I’m glad.”
To purchase tickets for Bond's Small Town Confessions, click here.