Hey, 2018. You've been a lot.
I know it’s not quite the end of the year, but I always feel reflective around Give to the Max Day. (I suppose any annual event tends to offer a benchmark in that way.) As I think back on the past 365-ish days of art-making, I’m feeling a mix of celebration, amazement, some exhaustion, and immense gratitude. It feels good to think back on the moments of joy and discovery in rehearsal rooms and audience conversations. To be honest, it feels necessary and healing
We started 2018 with the beautiful monster of a show that is THE RAVAGERS — with a cast of 20 in a haunting and crumbling basement. Then, we dug into the mythology of the WOLF SONG workshop presentation with open hearts and unending questions. During the summer, we created space for Beth Ann, Ricardo, Suzanne, Jex, Sabrina, and Steven to challenge, learn, and play through our Night of New Works incubation program. We also had a big, ol’ party because we turned 10+1 years old! Oh, and we changed our name!
It seems apt to end this big year with a party — more specifically the workshop presentation of TWO RUM PARTIES OF SIGNIFICANCE, our take on swashbuckling, mermaids, and reckless romance in the Golden Age of Piracy. In January 2019, the workshop presentation of A SQUID HAS THREE HEARTS will enchant and challenge us as we explore what it means to be a parent in current environmental climate. (You may remember the beginnings of this project from Night of New Works 2017!) And finally, we’ll invite Evelyn Nesbit back to the stage for the full production of VELVET SWING in April 2019.
As we look forward, we’re also looking inward. Over the past decade+, we’ve made a lot of plays (over 20!), had a lot of conversations, and worked with so, so many incredible collaborators. Now, it’s time to dig back in and get our hands dirty with beginnings. We’ve got plans to strengthen our collaborative muscles, start simmering some fresh projects, and invite even more makers under the umbrella. Stay tuned to find out what's in store, and how you can get involved!
It is such an honor to continue growing, learning, and making with you, dear Minnesota artists and audience members. I know Give to the Max Day is sometimes overwhelming (so many emails!) — but it really is an important day for ambitious, small-budget organizations like Umbrella Collective. We believe that art, collaboration, and conversation build the bridges for understanding and compassion that are so essential to our communities.
Your support on Give to the Max Day helps us continue to create bold and vibrant new works that spark vital conversations. Together is better, and we’re better together with you.
Head over to https://www.givemn.org/story/umbrellacollective to make it possible.