Umbrella Collective works hard. In the midst organizing house concerts, fundraising, and planning exciting things for the future, three of our longest standing Collective Members stopped to answer the question,
'What does being in a collective mean to you?'
Here are their replies:
Being in a collective means there is always someone there to hear me. There is always someone there who has the missing piece to an idea you're working on. There is always someone there to reassure you that your ideas are worthy of exploration. There is always someone there. Community is very important to me, and being part of a collective is being part of a community. Sharing ideas, skills, and creativity is central to that. Umbrella Collective is a place of generosity in this way. We are generous of ourselves, our time, and our creativity.
Lean in to what you love.
Umbrella Collective loves theatre. Devised, group-created, original theatre. We're endeavoring to lean in, to really commit ourselves, and to maintain a creative space. Our collective is investing in our future, our artistry, and our opportunities.
The changing of seasons is deeply entwined with food. The harvest is in, and a wealth of fresh produce is available for all. In the fall, I prepare and preserve food. I invest in my future - future Kathryn, whom in Winter will open a jar of homemade tomato sauce, preserved at the height of summer deliciousness. I will eat fermented kimchi made of just-picked ingredients from the farmers market. I will share homemade salsa at a gathering of friends. I spend a lot of time in this investment: buying, chopping, cooking, jarring, processing. And I know if I didn’t make the effort, I would be quite disappointed in my pantry. And I know if I lean in and commit, it will pay off.
Umbrella Collective is investing. Sweat equity, time, planning, grants, fundraising. Workshops, script development, unique venues, community gatherings. Our kind of theatre requires time, preparation, and investment. I want to continue to present stories that matter, to me and us and everyone. We believe it’s worth it, and we hope you do too. If we lean in, it’ll pay off.
I get to experience the other wild ways that other folks and artists create and see the world. Together, we are able to make work I could never dream of alone
Yet so often, we stick to old, time-worn methods of how to collaborate in theater. There are rigid edges, and strictly defined roles that separate playwrights, actors, directors, technicians, and crew. You're asked to choose a path, and stick with it.
As someone who calls herself a director, performer, actor, musician, and visual artist, I've always felt strange about that strict way of creating art. It just didn't make SENSE to me. I longed for a space where I could play in more expansive ways.
Being part of Umbrella Collective means that I can use all my multifaceted skills and thoughts and ideas. They're welcomed in the room. Better yet, I get to experience the other wild ways that other folks and artists create and see the world. Together, we are able to make work I could never dream of alone. Together, we shape new kinds of compassionate collaboration processes. And the end result is meaningful, embodied, collaborative works of theater, that is the result of the voices of EVERYONE in the room.
There are plenty of theater companies out there. I'm lucky to live in a place and community where theater and art are embraced and supported. But for me, being part of this collective has let me find a space where I can be fully myself, with all my rough edges and contradictions laid bare. And that's everything.
What does Umbrella Collective mean to you? Do you support collaborative, compassionate, risk-taking endeavors?
Now is the time to take the step and get under the umbrella. Consider becoming a member of the Umbrella Circle, our brand new monthly donors club! Click the button below for more information.