THE UMBRELLA WELCOMES AUDIENCES BACK!

The Umbrella Stage Company returns in its 2021/2022 season with six fresh,
varied productions, including an original world premiere, staged in-person in its two recently constructed theaters at 40 Stow Street.

Halted by COVID-19 midway through its inaugural season as a professional company, the award-winning team led by Producing Artistic Director Brian Boruta has taken time this year to construct a thoughtful, balanced season to ease stage-starved audiences back into a theater experience for a tentative time.
Planning for limited capacity seating and Covid safety protocols, the season begins with an intimate staging of Audrey Cefaly’s romantic comedy, The Last Wide Open (Sep 24-Oct 10), and builds modestly from there – forgoing the large  casts of originally planned musical spectacles such as War Paint in favor of smaller, diverse and lesser known productions.

The lineup also includes: the music-rich and imaginative sea-faring epic The Old Man and The Old Moon; an updated, relevant new presentation of the satirical The Colored Museum; and the joyous musical comedy Head Over Heels, from the visionaries behind Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Avenue Q, fueled by music from the Go-Gos. Balancing out the season is an expanded
family friendly concert, Holidays Under The Umbrella, and an original play commission created by Hortense Gerardo and directed by Michelle Aguillon, who have partnered with The Umbrella on multiple pandemic projects.

NEW APPROACHES FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF SEASON
With one exception, productions will be in The Umbrella’s new 344-seat proscenium-style mainstage at roughly half capacity to allow for optimal audience distancing from the cast and each other. The Umbrella joins a cohort of peer theaters in implementing heightened cleaning, mask mandates, fully vaccinated workplaces, and required proof of full vaccination or negative Covid test for adult attendees to protect community members.

Boruta cast the widest possible net to engage a diverse panel of Umbrella community members – performers, directors, designers, as well as board and staff members of all ages and backgrounds – to review, discuss and consult on selections that would feel meaningful, accessible and exciting to all its constituents just easing out of the pandemic.

THE UMBRELLA STAGE COMPANY PERFORMANCES

THE LAST WIDE OPEN – Sep. 24 – Oct. 10, 2021

Play by Audrey Cefaly, Music by Matthew M. Nielson , Directed by Nancy Curran Willis

Fate plays its hand in this romantic comedy that features original songs and live music. Lina, a young waitress, and Roberto, an Italian immigrant,  have been working together for years but rarely talk. If they
do, it’s from a distance or gets lost in translation. But when a late-  finds them alone in the restaurant at closing time, they find their lives intersecting in surprising and mystical ways. Over wine and conversation, they test the waters of happiness and intimacy. A love song in three movements, The Last  Wide Open imagines how the universe conspires to bring us together.

THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON – Nov. 12 – Dec. 5, 2021

Play by PigPen Theater, Directed by Julia Deter
The Old Man has kept his post as the sole caretaker of the moon for as long as he (or his wife, the Old Woman) can remember. When she is drawn away by a mysterious melody sparking memories of their shared past, the Old Man must decide between duty (and routine) and love (and adventure). Luckily for audiences everywhere, he chooses the latter, and what follows is an imaginative sea-faring epic, encompassing apocalyptic storms, civil wars, leviathans of the deep, and cantankerous ghosts, as well as the fiercest obstacle of all: change.

HOLIDAYS UNDER THE UMBRELLA – Dec. 17 – 19, 2021

Directed by Sarajane Morse Mullins
The Umbrella’s beloved holiday concert returns the mainstage after last season’s virtual presentation. Familiar faces and Umbrella Stage favorites will return to sing seasonal songs and share their own holiday memories in a family friendly concert to put everyone in the spirit of the season!

THE COLORED MUSEUM – Jan. 28 – Feb. 20, 2022

By George C. Wolfe, Directed by Pascale Florestal
Serving as an elaborate satire of the prominent themes and identities of African American culture, the play is set in a fictional museum where iconic African American figures are kept for public consumption.
Told in a series of eleven sketches, each segment centers on a different “exhibit” in the museum, and serves as a small one-person play or monologue. Exploring themes of racism, stereotypes, intracommunity conflicts in black culture, and the ongoing legacy of slavery and segregation, The Colored Museum received overwhelming critical praise for its provocative subject matter and in-depth
exploration of the African American theatrical and cultural past.

A WORLD PREMIERE – Mar. 18 – Apr. 10, 2022

By Hortense Gerardo, Commissioned by The Umbrella, Directed by Michelle Aguillon
Local playwright Hortense Gerardo (Incantation) will create a brand new play specifically for The Umbrella Stage Company season. Stay tuned throughout the year for more information, sneak peeks, and special events leading up to this world premiere event

HEAD OVER HEELS – May 13 – Jun. 6, 2022

Adapted by James Magruder, Concept and Original Book by James Whitty, Music by The Go-Go’s,
Directed by Brian Boruta
Head Over Heels is the bold new musical comedy from the visionaries that rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q and Spring Awakening. This laugh-out-loud love story is set to the
music of the iconic 1980’s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s, including the hit songs, “We Got the Beat,” “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Vacation,” Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and “Mad About You.”
A hilarious, exuberant celebration of love, it follows the escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their beloved kingdom from extinction—only to discover the key to their realm’s  within each of their own hearts.

40 STOW STREET, CONCORD MA 01742
978.37 1.0820
TheUmbrellaStage.org

Mother’s Day – so many ways to celebrate Mom!

Looking for ideas for Mother’s Day?  Everything you need to celebrate your Mom can be found right here in Concord!

Whether you are looking for a special gift or activity, here are a few ideas:

 

The Umbrella Open Studios on front law of The Umbrella

May 1, 2, 8 & 9 – 10:30AM – 4:30PM

Limited capacity. RSVP for free timed slot through Artfest App (recommended) or web ticketing (May 8 or May 9) up to 30 minutes before the day’s events start. 

 

Yoga outdoors on lawn at Clark Farm Market with On The Mat Yoga

On the Mat will return to Clark Farm Market in Carlisle for Yoga on the Farm this spring and summer. We will be back on the fields at Clark Farm Market beginning May 8th. We are dreaming of spring and cannot wait to see you in the farm fields!

The cost for each class is $18 to drop in or you can use your existing studio 10-, 20-class pass.  Virtual passes do not apply. REGISTER NOW.

Take Mom on Art Walk!

The Art Walk exhibits outdoor, air-inspired artwork by several regional artists that engages the element of Air — whether banner, windchime, pinwheel, or any other creative forms. Explore the air-inspired art scattered throughout Concord Center’s conservation land, and use the QR codes on exhibition signs or  the Artfest Kidstrack coloring activity sheet, self-guided audio tour Google Map, or our new Artfest App to listen to the artists discuss their work and inspirations.

Featured Artists

BARD | A Symphony of Wind @ Heywood Meadow, Ford Park [audio]

Laurie Bogdan | Winds of Change @ Reformatory Bike Path [audio]

Nayda Cuevas | Wish for Change @ Chamberlin Park [audio]

Liz Helfer | Lightweight @ Millbrook Way [audio]

Leah Medin | Medium Green @ Heywood Meadow [audio]

Karen Krolak and Nicole Harris | aWays to Fathom: Middlesex edition @ Nashawtuc Hill [audio]

Piano Recital with Tanya Bartevyan, 3-4pm on Mother’s Day

Felicia-Buitenwerf, Unsplash

Rent a boat at the South Bridge Boat House 

Rent a canoe or kayak and explore miles of peaceful waterways on the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord Rivers.

Get her garden ready! Try one of the many farm stands or nurseries in town – there is a fabulous selection!

Take a hike on a trail or through a local park. Or pump up tires on mom’s bike and take the rail trail.

 

Take the Women of Concord Tour!

In a town famous for the independent spirit of its people, Concord’s women have always been leaders, fighting for justice and creating a uniquely American vision in literature and art. Come with us to hear the stories of these remarkable women, and see the places where they made their mark.

Tours are offered Saturdays May 1, 8 and 15 at 1:00 -2:30pm. Price $40 per person. Each guest will receive a complimentary ticket to “Every Path Laid Open,” a special exhibit opening May 7th at the Concord Museum and the tour ends with a visit to Concord’s Colonial Inn for a slice of cake and pot of tea. Tours offered by the Concord Visitor Center and in partnership with the Robbins House and the Concord Museum.

 

There is no better spot than Concord to find an array of beautiful gifts for mom. From fashion to home decor to jewelry, gourmet chocolates  – you’ll find it all right here in town!

 

 

 

You can never go wrong with flowers! Look for Flowers  here.

Visit Imagination Station & make a Mother’s Day card!

Imagination Station has everything you need to create some beautiful and creative homemade cards that your mom will love!

May 8th: Concord Museum Exhibit: Every Path Laid Open: Women of Concord and the Quest for Equality

 

Order take-out or buy fixings for her favorite meal! How about brunch, pack a picnic or dinner around the firepit?

Don’t forget Dessert!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, aunts & grandmothers out there.

 

Celebrate the Spirit of Concord!

Decorate your home or business to celebrate Patriots’ Day all around town. Post a photo of your celebratory decor on the Concord Together Facebook page and be entered to win one of three $50 gift cards!

This month-long celebration will continue for the entire month of April. Please have your decoration up anytime in April!

 

Find out more about it!

Winter Solstice Celebration

Many Celebrations this Winter Solstice

 

Flickering firelight illuminates small hands gluing, weaving, and cutting. Are these elves in the North Pole? Nope, these are the kids and families participating in this year’s Winter Solstice Celebration!

 

You may recall last year’s blow-out Solstice at the Old Manse. Families, friends, and strangers who became friends gathered around the fire pit singing carols like “Deck the Hall” and “O Tannenbaum.”  Voices of the Earth, the Arts & Environment chorus, lit hundreds of candles handed out to the crowd. Everyone heartily drank warm cider and roasted marshmallows on the fire. This year, you can guess, is slightly different. We won’t be at the Old Manse. But we still plan to celebrate the Solstice! Instead of gathering in one spot on one day, we’re celebrating over many days.

 

Ninjas in Nature is hosting a Winter Ninja Festival to enjoy the freedom of running around outside and the satisfaction of building your own fire.

 

 

In our winter self-care workshop, gather what brings you warmth and joy during dark months and create reflective collage art before hibernating at home.

 

Finally, families can craft their own solstice ornaments at Concord Market. Glue, cut, and weave lily stem stars. Twist and tie fabric evergreen trees. Wrap cranberry wreaths to hang on the tree. Don’t forget to visit Concord Market and pick up some hot cocoa or cider to enjoy!

 

Join us around the community fire this Solstice for all these outdoor, winter workshops. To learn more about and sign up for our collection of Winter Solstice activities, visit the Arts & Environment class page. Who knows how you’ll light up this Winter Solstice!

 

A Beautiful Display of Gratitude and Appreciation for Concord’s Emergency Personnel

Three months ago, Concord resident, Ned Perry, reached out to Jennifer Eaton (resident and owner of of Copper Penny Flowers) to start planning way to recognize and show appreciation for our First Responders in Concord.

 

Like so many of us in Concord, Ned Perry wanted to find a way to thank our police and fire fighters for all they do for Concord, particularly during this stressful period of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

 

Jennifer went to work, searching for the perfect vase and then developing an arrangement that would be perfect for the event.

 

   

They came up with a plan and placed the orders for 100 cobalt blue vases. When the vases arrived, Copper Penny Flowers staff went to work, filling an arranging 100 lovely bouquets for the November 13th event, enough so every full-time member of the Police Department and the Fire Department would have an arrangement to take home with them at the end of her/his shift.

 

 

 

At 2:30 pm on Friday, November 13th, a small group of representatives of the Concord community gathered in front of the West Concord Fire Station to present the fire fighters with the floral arrangements, formed into a large heart shape.

 

In attendance:

 

The West Concord Fire Station, Ned Perry, Nancy Crowley and Dorrie Kehoe (both long time community leaders work on the fire station window boxes all year long) Maynard Forbes (owner of the West Concord 5 & 10), Jane Hotchkiss as a representative of Select Board, Jennifer Ubaldino, Executive Director of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest.

 

 

 

Bonus – This event gave the fire fighters an opportunity to show off their brand new sharp yellow jackets – – – made in Concord!

 

Below, Jennifer Eaton puts final touches on the two heart formations.

 

 

An hour later at 3:30 pm, a different small group of representatives of the Concord community congregated in front of the Walden Street Fire Station to present Fire Chief Judge with similar blue vases and arrangements for the fire fighters who work in the Concord Center Fire Station.

  

 

Following the presentation to the Concord Firefighters, the small group of representatives moved over in front of the Police Station and presented a blue heart of flower arrangements to Chief O’Connor to thank each member of the Concord Police Department for everything each employee (from Dispatcher to Captain to Chief) do for Concord every day of the year. Chief O’Connor took a few moments to thank the community for the recognition and support.

 

 

 In attendance were: Police Chief O’Connor, the Concord Police Officers, Jennifer Eaton of Copper Penny Flowers , Peter Lovis of the Cheese Shop, Jennifer Ubaldino Executive Director of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest, Jane Hotchkiss representing the Select Board and Ned Perry.

 

 

We would like to thank these front line workers for their dedication and service. We are so  grateful for the Concord Emergency Personnel.

 

We’d like to thank Jennifer Eaton & her Copper Penny Flowers staff for all the thought and time they put into making these lovely arrangements.

 

We’d also like to thank Ned Perry. We are so lucky to have people in our community like Ned Perry who take notice of all the people who contribute to making our town the special place we call home. It’s one thing to feel gratitude but quite another to be the one to put it into action.

 

Ned is known around town for being fiercely pro-Concord and a long time advocate of supporting our local merchants while always taking notice of the helpers and those in need.

 

Every town should be so lucky to have a Ned Perry to call a neighbor.

Concord Museum’s Memorial Day Offerings

 

To commemorate Memorial Day and pay tribute to those who died in service to our country, The Concord Museum has crafted a special edition of History at Home. 

The program includes an introduction, comments on Ralph Waldo Emerson (whose birthday is today), a tribute to Peter Brooke, and then four vignettes about the Melvin Memorial including a conversation with Harold Holzer, a description of Daniel Chester French’s sculpture, Mourning Victory, a tour of the Memorial itself in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and then a few excerpts from the recent rededication of the Memorial (last June) including a very touching keynote address by our curator, David Wood, and a poem read by Neil Rasmussen.

Check out these links:

Concord Museum Memorial Day Program

History at Home

Memorial Day Op-Ed

Concord Journal Guest Commentary (May 21, 2020 edition)

Our Memorial Day tradition of honoring military men and women who died while serving our country originated in the aftermath of the Civil War and became a federal holiday in 1971.

Each year my wife and I attend the ceremony in the village where we grew up, smiling at the high school band playing songs we performed at their age; warmed by the remarks made by decorated veterans; and touched by such time-honored rituals as the playing of taps; the 21 gun salute, and the reading of names of those who lost their lives in battle.

This year there will be no parade and yet, it seems, we have so much to mourn including the recent loss of loved ones and those who have risked (and in some cases lost) their lives while caring for others.

In chronicling the history of Concord, my colleagues and I at the Concord Museum are guided by the words of Robert Penn Warren: “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.”

On Monday, May 25, 2020 we will be posting a special Memorial Day video program that we hope will provide solace and perspective to those who view it – uniting us in ways to better face the future.

The posting will feature our Curator David Wood’s keynote remarks last June at the rededication in Sleep Hollow cemetery of the Melvin Memorial which honors the lives of three brothers from Concord who died in the Civil War. Their surviving brother commissioned his boyhood friend, Daniel Chester French, to create a sculpture later called, Mourning Victory.

David’s remarks were based on one of the brother’s diaries which include his account of being captured by the rebel forces (where he would die in captivity) and of his brothers’ deaths from dysentery and a fatal charge in Petersburg.

While observing a different civil war in his native land in Ireland, the poet, William Butler Yeats, minced no words about the destruction it unleashed which, to me, are reminiscent of our recent experience of this pandemic.

We are closed in, and the key is turned

On our uncertainty; somewhere

A man is killed, or a house burned

Yet no clear fact to be discerned.

 

Despite the destruction all around him, however, outside Yeats’s window he notices a more hopeful natural phenomenon: honey-bees building a home in a starling’s empty nest.  Seamus Heaney once championed Yeats’s poetic observations for “satisfying the contradictory needs which consciousness experiences at times of extreme crisis, the need on the one hand for a truth telling, and, on the other hand, to credit as a reality the squeeze of the hand, and the actuality of sympathy and protectiveness between living creatures.”

We hope our special virtual Memorial Day observance will elicit such sympathies and our need to protect each other in this, our moment of collective crisis.

 

Thank you and best wishes on this unique and solemn “stay-safely-in-place” Memorial Day.

Concord, MA 9/15/08 Tourists visit the Concord Museum, on Monday, September 15, 2008. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff); Reporter: Brad Kane; Section: NWWk; Slug: 21nwtouris Library Tag 09212008 Globe NorthWest