The Whitefire Theatre Solofest Presents “Deer Woman: An Autobiographical Fairytale of an Exotic Dancer and a Magical Encounter “

Written and Performed by Megan Rippey. Directed by Valerie Hager.

Megan Rippey is all woman…brilliant, beautiful, powerful, contradictory and brave. 

Like I said, all woman.  The show centers around her career as an exotic dancer, but really it’s far more about her fascination with sexuality and power.  For her, dance is an exhilarating and transcending experience that just happens to be taking place in a club, on a stage with her half naked and wrapped around a pole.  It is much more about herself than the audience.  Much more about controlling the situation, creating and then recreating herself on stage for her own satisfaction… being showered with money, occasionally is, for her, just a bonus.

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Megan has a BA in Women, Gender and Sexuality and is clearly intrigued by the process of seduction.  Her show seems to be autobiographical, and as she dances, performing incredibly athletic and frankly gorgeous feats of agility, she beautifully dominates us.  Manipulating where we look, what we see of her and how. 

It’s a show of lights and shadows and profound honesty.  She defines herself boldly and with such a grace and self effacing humor…more contradiction.  And then we meet her ‘why.’  There’s always a why in theatre, or any art, and of course there always should be.  But Megan’s ‘why’ is more startling than most.  She dreams one night that she meets a goddess – half deer, half human.  A giantess striding through the forest, beautiful and terrible and fearsome.  This dream changes her, it pulls out from deep within her most basic needs, her anger, her strength, her ruthlessness.  It gives her a power she hasn’t known before and it both invigorates her and scares her.

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As a show, “Deer Woman” is harder to define than most. 

There is Megan, so exquisitely good, such an amazing presence, her characters full of life and humor and quirk. Her story of an exotic dancer, a woman bold enough to take control of a career that for most would seem to be one of exploitation and darkness.  And then the goddess, the deer woman. Strange and unusual and totally, fearlessly real.  I have always believed that there is magic all around us if we only care to look for it.  Fairy dust, gods small and large, something unexplainable everywhere we go.  So why not a giant deer woman in a forest at night, showing us that we are the ones with all the power amd that we should not be afraid to use it.

There’s one thing that defines a truly excellent performer and that is belief. They must believe who they are and we must believe what we see. 

Megan Rippey is utterly believable.  The dance, the story, the fearless sexuality and the beautiful deer woman. I barely breathed the entire show.  I found it so inspiring and intriguing and warmly dangerous. I absolutely loved it.  The last few minutes are a gift worth waiting for…we meet deer woman and she is everything we hoped.

If you ever get the chance to see “Deer Woman: An Autobiographical Fairytale of an Exotic Dancer and a Magical Encounter“ you’d be a fool not to take it.

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.