As a new company member, everything is new all the time. Meetings to attend, a fundraiser to plan here, a season to plan there, oh and we make art too, right? All the business of REALLY making theater is new to me. What’s more I joined Savage Umbrella in July and shortly thereafter we restructured: swapping roles and reconfiguring how we work together. Wonderful timing, actually, because common to my experience in working with Savage Umbrella they were supportive of each other while being deliberate in their collaboration strategy. I also came into the company one month after a pretty traumatic bike accident. I received one hell of a concussion and recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury is no joke. Part of healing from something that dulls and changes your mental capacity takes HELLA patience, diligence and hope. As a product of my injury I made poor choices at times, I forgot things quite a bit, struggled with vocabulary and social anxiety. All this is to say is that I became a student in my own life again.
The situation required me to start over. To recreate not replicate. That meant relearning how to be an artist, administrator, editor, performer and collaborator all anew. Each challenge for which I had been previously suited required me to re-negotiate all of that style I had been honing over the last decade. This was a unique opportunity for me to give myself compassion. I had to let go of the behaviors and judgements that no longer served me because my old solutions were no longer soluble in my new condition and environment.
Are you ready for more art? Check out the small sampling below and get ready for our live auction tonight!
“A Midwesterner tried and true, I grew up in Minneapolis and currently live in Green Bay, and am fond of carbohydrates, living at sea level, and observing the native critters of the Upper Midwest. Upon graduating form the University of Wisconsin in 2007 with a B.A. in studio art, I have competed on an Olympic-development cross country ski team, worked as the Education Manager at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, and most recently taught as an Associate Lecturer in Printmaking at UW-Green Bay.
I know Laura through her younger sister, Kit Leffler. Kit and I met at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, and I've enjoyed keeping tabs on all of the art-making projects that Kit is involved with in the Twin Cities. Those Leffler sisters are a talented pair!
In creating the intaglio print Dirty Pillows, I was interested in the idea of hubris that is embedded in the Oedipus mythology and reinterpreted in These Are the Men. I was also drawn to the detail regarding the origin of Oedipus' name. It is derived from the Greek word for swelling — at birth, Oedipus was bound at his feet and ankles by his father and left to perish, and thus when he was later found by his adoptive parents his feet were swollen. The image that I etched into copper and printed with an etching press hints at some kind of bodily misfortune, yet the sufferer accepts his/her/its fate to carry an ambiguous burden without resignation.”
Ohmanohmanohmanohman! The annual Savage Umbrella fundraiser is SO SOON, and we couldn’t be more giddy. A chance to share our upcoming season, eat some walking tacos, hang out with SU friends and fans AND raise some funds for making good work happen? #blessed.
One important and spectacular part of the fun we have planned is our amazing LIVE ART AUCTION. We got up the nerve to ask a bunch of our local art crushes to make some work inspired by our work. So many talented local folks making such beautiful work THAT YOU CAN TAKE HOME, FRIENDS! Here’s just PART ONE of some of the artists and what they’re making for small bites, BIG IDEAS...
In May I was lucky enough to get to travel to Berlin to visit the beautiful and brave Amber Davis (thanks, credit cards!). Many wonderful things happened during my visit to Berlin: a graffitti and street art tour, surprisingly good pizza, a computer game museum, late night beers and laughs with Amber, and so. much. theatre.
Seeing theatre in a foreign country is weird sauce, and I completely recommend it to everyone. Wanna see what another culture is like? Then watch as they hold up the proverbial mirror to themselves. I saw a wild and wonderful production of Romeo und Julia (seriously, check out the trailer), an unfortunately boring Bruckner production at the Berliner Ensemble, a pretty awful production of Threepenny in Munich, and so much more, both bad and good, new and classic. Right at the top of my list? Der Kirschgarten - yup, Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard - at the Maxim Gorki Theatre.