I suppose I’m going to make a bit of a speech.
And that seemed a fitting framework to think about the large news I have to tell. The long and the short is, I am stepping down as the Artistic Director and leader of Umbrella Collective.
This is not a decision I make lightly. I founded Umbrella Collective (formerly known as Savage Umbrella) over eleven years ago. That’s one of the longest amounts of time that I’ve ever done anything. In 2007 I toured internationally with our very first show. It was immediately after the first version of THE RAVAGERS closed in 2011 that I got pregnant. I was pregnant when I directed CARE ENOUGH. I was nursing when I served the hosted appetizers during intermissions of EMMA WOODHOUSE IS NOT A BITCH. I was in the writing process for JUNE when my heart cracked open, and my queerness that had been knocking quietly at the door of my consciousness finally got loud enough to hear. This collective, this company, these people, have been the people and the comings and goings of my adult life. My heart! My life! My loves
And now we are here in this moment, perched on the precipice between 2018 and 2019 and more than eleven years after that first wild tour. I find my time pressed and my energy wan. I’m in need of a recharge. There have been shifts in my personal life that have added responsibilities and subtracted even more energy and time. There are new professional opportunities in front of me, that I am compelled to explore. I am large. I contain multitudes. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I have to make room to see.
“I and this mystery, here we stand.”
On January 29th, 2019 I’ll be stepping down from the Core Collective and move to Emeritus Artistic Director, in an advisory capacity. Hannah Holman will become Umbrella Collective's Producing Artistic Director. Core Collective Members Alana Horton and Megan Clark will take on more responsibility. The beating heart of the collective thumps on.
“Urge and urge and urge,
Always the procreant urge of the world.”
Like an irritating emeritus professor who still hangs around campus too much, I intend very much to keep "office hours", as it were, with Umbrella. I am not leaving. I’m not moving. I have stories I still want to help tell with Umbrella Collective--WOLF SONG, and TWO RUM PARTIES, and A SQUID HAS THREE HEARTS, and all these other new beautiful, nascent ideas continue to live and breathe and move forward. I’ll be around. Just differently than before.
I’ll let Whit help me close:
“You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.”
See ya real soon.
Please join Umbrella Collective as we celebrate Laura at a special post-show reception after A SQUID HAS THREE HEARTS Workshop on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 at SpringBOX. The workshop performance will take place from 7:30 - 8:30 PM, and the reception will take place from 9:00 - 10:00 PM.