We Still Smell As Sweet By Laura
As we celebrate our eleventh anniversary as a company this season, we are excited to announce we will be changing our name. Our 2018 - 2019 season will kick off as we embrace our new moniker: Umbrella Collective.
We have had a lot of adventures over our eleven illustrious years. We’ve created over 20 original productions and numerous works-in-progress in the Twin Cities, as well as across the country and world—including Duluth, Minnesota; Calgary, Canada; Kansas City, Missouri; and Seoul, South Korea. We have had over a hundred artists under the umbrella at one time or the other (no really, we have a list!) and we’ve performed at many incredible venues around town – some that still thrive, some that have closed. There’s a lot of theatrical life under our belt.
As someone famous once asked, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Which is to say, what does it even matter what we call ourselves? Perhaps, ultimately it doesn’t. “Savage” was always supposed to be a contrast to Umbrella, a hard term with a soft, which we thought reflected some inherent embrace of dissonance. But it brought up a lot that we are happy to leave behind – a lot of confusion and assumptions that we never much liked.
No, we are not nor have we ever been located in Savage, MN. I’m sure it’s a great town, but we’ve never even been. No, we never liked our name shortened to “savages” – we always called ourselves SU or SUers. But it happened. Often. And the leap in logic to call us “savages” led to other negative assumptions around the way that term is associated with violence—especially toward Indigenous Peoples—and we certainly don’t want to perpetuate that.
“So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title,” that famous girl reasoned.
I don’t know that I’d say that we are perfect, or even striving for perfection. We are the same new work, beautiful aesthetic, important conversation folks we’ve always been. And now the name feels like it fits in a way that it hasn’t in a while. We are honoring our past while springboarding into our bright, shared future.
As we have grown, our work and aesthetic has become more honed and sophisticated. We’re less tongue-in-cheek and more focused than ever on supporting artists and processes. We are less ragtag and more refined, less young and more established. But above it all, we are still fully committed to our values of pushing the boundaries of form and content while fostering important conversation on relevant topics for our artists and audiences alike.
The biggest change is that we are more ourselves. And we are embracing that fully.
Stay under the umbrella with us, the Umbrella Collective.
You can find our more about our 2018 - 2019 season here!
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