The kids really, really wanted to do a play about zombies.
In November 2010, Laura and I were contracted at an area high school to craft and direct a one-act play for students to take to competition. (More accurately, Laura was contracted--I just weaseled my way in.)
At the first rehearsal, we explained to the students that they’d be very involved in developing their characters and the script. Almost immediately, one of the nerdiest--and just to be clear, I love nerds--shouted, “Zombies!” And then all the other kids echoed, “Yeah, zombies! We wanna do zombies!”
Here’s a dramatic re-enactment of how I felt about the idea at that moment:
I recently attended an invigorating (and terrifying) discussion about capacity building in the arts (buzz word alert!). The all-star panel included Randy Reyes (Theater Mu), Abdo Sayegh Rodriguez (TU Dance), DeAnna Cummings (Juxtaposition Arts), Julie Guidry (Upstream Arts), Peter Rothstein (Theater Latte Da), and was moderated by the inimitable Leah Cooper (MN Theater Alliance). (Shout out to MRAC for putting it together!)
What. A. Group.
We discussed values and story-telling, finances and liabilities, and growing pains in small nonprofits. All the insights and honesty the panel provided were incredible, but my biggest takeaway was this:
Risks are challenges. Challenges are opportunities. And if you never have a challenge,
you never have the opportunity to do something extraordinary.
Well, Savage Umbrella is ready to do something big. Something scary. Something extraordinary. We’re ready to carve out our little corner of the world and we hope you’ll join us.
For over a year all 15 ARTshare resident companies navigated uncharted territories. How would we get paid? How would we used a shared space? How would Damon make the schedule? How do you get hundreds of artists, many with multiple jobs and priorities, on the same page? There were meetings. And emails. And doodles. And phone calls. And meetings. Sometimes it was hard. Sometimes we didn’t have agreement as company LET ALONE with 14 OTHER companies. Most of the time it was an exhilarating experiment that we couldn't wait to begin.
So Saturday is a big night for us and our fellow resident companies. We’ll snuggle together in those red chairs, wink at the world and say “ Come watch us twirl.”
This weekend we got to be in on the Minneapolis Institute of Arts' 100 Birthday celebration kick off by performing several pop up teasers of These Are the Men. Naturally, we performed under the watchful eye of Doryphoros (Greek play, Greek statue...get it?). Check it out!