Director & Core Members

Jay Ruby / Director, Founder

Jay Ruby choreographs action to animate social space and invigorate collective reflection. He cultivates spectacle-based drama using principles of precarity practice. Engaging in festal culture as an aspect of contemporary ritual Jay Ruby applies modalities of theater, circus and dance to address the inequities and wounds of our times.

As founder and director of The Carpetbag Brigade (TCB) he stewarded the company since its inception in Prescott, Arizona in 1997. The company, host and founder of the free all-ages festival Tsunami on the Square transitioned to become an international touring company based in San Francisco, California. Known for its innovative and pioneering use of acrobatic stilting outside of non-traditional venues Jay Ruby has nurtured TCB’s unique style of performance by integrating the traditions of acrobatic stilts, butoh dance, contact improvisation and physical theater.

As artistic and executive director of TCB he facilitated the direction of the touring stilt performances Mudfire and The Vanishing Point which were performed in North and South America and Europe in a diverse array of festivals.

Jay Ruby has lead collaborations and conducted workshops with diverse performance company’s including Flamchen, NaCl, Hand2Mouth Theatre, Sojourner Theater, Wise Fool, Bright Night International, Crimson Coast Dance Society, and Pandoum Theater. He organized and presided over TCB’s 4 month residency at UNESCO’s Universal Forum of the Cultures in Monterrey, Mexico in 2007. He regularly organizes intensive seminars to share the seeds of TCB’s work.

Jay Ruby has a B.A. in Psychology from Antioch College and studied theater in Berlin, Germany at Theater Zerbrochene Fenster and later with Roberta Carreri of the Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark. He supplemented his theatrical training through learning experiences with David Clarkson of Stalker Theater, Diego Pinon Ritual Butoh Mexicano, Contact Improvisation practitioners Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark Smith as well as travel to examine ritual and performance in Bali and Mexico. Jay practices Ashtanga Yoga and Vipassana.

Helen Goodrum / Core Member

Helen Goodrum graduated with a Dance Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in London, England. Her professional performance career as a modern dancer commenced in British Colombia, Canada with Crimson Coast Dance. Exposure to Circus prompted her to explore the integration of circus and dance at Greentop Circus, England as a dancer, aerialist, stilter and acrobat. As an international freelance performer, choreographer and creative developer Helen collaborates with diverse companies teaching worldwide at circus, dance and educational establishments. An active full time member of The Carpetbag Brigade Physical Theater, Helen is a leading artist in the field of acrobatic stilts contributing to its growth and forging innovative development through her teaching, training, collaboration and performance. Additionally, Helen is Carpetbag Brigade’s Marketing and Communications Director and assists in organizing the Global Stilt Congress, an annual gathering of international stilters.