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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

Art Opportinities @ Concord

UMBRELLA ARTS

Adult, Teen, Youth, Mulitgenerational, free @ Home Activities

Until we are able to safely resume in-person arts education classes and workshops, most of our programming will be offered through The Umbrella @ Home, where we intend to offer the best possible online arts education experiences that you have come to expect.  We will be adding online arts instruction opportunities, as well as free at-home DIY creative activities and artists demos on a rolling basis, so please check back frequently or subscribe to our newsletter.

Additionally, we are now offering curbside clay purchasing and firing through The Umbrella! For more information on our curbside clay policies, go to our Ceramics @Home page!

More Information About Online Arts Education with The Umbrella @ Home

  • We have invested in setting up Google Classroom for The Umbrella.  With few exceptions, like Zoom, most art experiences will be set up in and conducted through Google Classroom.
  • We have detailed step-by-step instructions available for the initial set up to help anyone access the art education experiences.
  • We are anticipating running 2-month online semesters with classes running no more than 6 weeks.  See projected schedule below.
  • We are offering a wide variety of classes that meet regularly, workshops that meet once or twice, and art activities that can be downloaded and viewed on demand.
  • We are working to make the online art experience at The Umbrella of the highest possible quality, secure, easy, affordable and a great way to connect with the community of other artists.
  • We are working with some of your favorite teachers including: Mike Roche, Elizabeth Noonan, Becky Bearse, Renu Goyal, Lois Andersen, Kat O’Connor, Gillian Fraiser, Joy Buell, Alex Salzberg, Janet Scudder, Sarah Scoville, Alicia Herman, CC King, Sarah Bettencourt, and more.
  • For more information, check out The Umbrella @Home’s Frequently Asked Questions page.

Projected Schedule of Online Arts Education 2020-2021

  • Winter 2021 Session: January/February – Registration opens early Dec
  • Spring 2021 Session I: March/April – Registration opens early Feb
  • Spring 2021 Session II: May/June – Registration opens early April

Arts & Environment Classes

Classes will be held virtually using Zoom and Google Classroom depending on the teacher’s preference. Some classes will include 1 or 2 field trips to local Concord-area conservation land, where students will practice the skills they learn virtually. During these field trips, everyone will be required to wear a mask and appropriately social distance. Any questions about social distancing protocol can send inquiries to Caroline Provost at caroline@theumbrellaarts.org.

Concord Art ONLINE CLASSES

To learn more about how to use ZOOM go HERE

Sampling of some online classes on the schedule:

  • Approaches to the Figure
  • A New Year, A Bolder Brush
  • Ring in the New Year with Pastels: Learn to Paint Fearlessly
  • Explore Contemporary Art
  • Real Basics and Hands On Color Theory
  • Beginner ot Intermediate Drawing from Observation

Village Art Room Offerings

As we are not able to have groups at the Art Room at this time, and as the pandemic continues and cold weather sets in, we, the staff, volunteers and sponsoring businesses of Art for All, are focusing our efforts on 1) getting art supplies and activities to people in our community who are largely confined to their homes and who have few resources to engage in creative projects and venues, and 2) developing participatory, community art projects that can be seen in the windows of the stores in West Concord Village.

Find out more here about what we are doing now, and how you can participate.

Order ahead online and we will have a bag for you to pick up on the porch of You can pick up on the porch of 21 Winthrop Street. Arrange for a time to pick up using the email on the form.

Tap into your inner phoenix in 2021! Together we will rise from the ashes of an incredibly challenging year. With creative projects! Download an outline of the Phoenix to color in your own for free!

Or to come by the Art Room to pick up a Coloring Kit. Each kit has 2 coloring sheets for the Phoenix as well as a set of 4 coloring cards and a set of 12 crayons for $12, or 2 sheets, 4 coloring cards and a set of 36 colored pencils for $15. Proceeds from sales helps us bring this project to individuals and families who are financially challenged. SIGN UP HERE for a pick up time, or contact margie@villageartroom.com to arrange a time.

Making and sending greeting cards is a wonderful way to stay creative and connected during this sequestered, pandemic winter.

Make Valentines for ART for ALL’s LOVE for ALL sale in February. Original, handmade cards will be on sale at several of our local retailers in West Concord. Proceeds of sales support the ART for ALL program.

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!

 

Pandemic: Changes & new offerings we have embraced and liked

We all want the Pandemic to come to an end… But what about things that have come about or were started due to the Pandemic that we don’t want to end? Here are some thoughts…

One Concord resident wrote this: “Overall, I think people are much more friendly and kind, here and elsewhere. Seems the ‘We are all in this together’ idea is bringing out best in so many.”

Living Concord followers sent us some of their favorite things:

Curbside pick-up at Concord Library

Messages on staircase leading to Nesting shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor classrooms

Eating Lunch outside at schools

Birthday Parades

 

Small, social distance concerts at your home. Some local musicians can come to your home to perform for you and small group.

Mobile ordering @ Haute Coffee

Curbside pick-up options at so many shops & restaurants

 

Al fresco dining, more outdoor seating options

Seeing many more people walking & biking

Library lawn cafe tables and chairs set up for safe social distance small gatherings

Free parking in town

Easier commutes (b/c less traffic) or no commute

No business travel

Graduation Parades & CCHS Administration stopping by each Graduate’s home in the Graduation Celebration School Bus

Drive-in movies at CCHS, from Concord Recreation

Concord Ag Week (not just Ag Day)

Less activities has allowed for more family dinners, more free time, more game nights

Zoom calls with family & friends

Concord-Carlisle Community Chest Driveway Project

Celebratory take out dinner options offered by local businesses

Chalk messages & more messages of gratitude and kindness around town

Playing games like Kahoot or Risk with friends and family

Being in your pajamas longer and having more leisurely mornings

All the new library offerings

Special take-out dinner offerings / “celebration dinners” from local restaurants

Sidewalk sales / sidewalk displays

Outdoor town meeting (with no presentations)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umbrella’s productions you can watch via Zoom

Summer Quest

Concord Together, Concord Solstice and Fall In Love with Concord

Paperless menus  – just scan QR code with your phone.

All the new Umbrella offerings

More options to sit around town

Go Out Doors along the Rail Trail

People seem less in a hurry, kinder.

These are just a few of the good things that we have learned, started and liked during this trying time. Thank you to all of you who have worked so hard to make these things happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Activities with the Kids

The month of May is a great time to get out, explore nature and get creative!

Check websites for local spots like:

The Umbrella Arts   To commemorate BOTH the 30th anniversary of Musketaquid Earth Day celebrations and the 50th anniversary of International Earth Day itself, we invite you to explore the WATERtheme virtually with us this season. Via this website and social media, we will share 30 events/activities to celebrate, learn, and create with and around water. Some are things to do in your house, others involve getting outside. Dive into such activities as making a glass harmonica or a rain stick; canoeing the Sudbury River; or building and launching an Earth Float. Activities will be slowly revealed throughout the 50 days. EarthDay3050

Albright Art Supply   – offering an array of art supplies

Craft.ed – offering craft kits and ideas

Village Art Room  offering art kits and ideas

This is a great time of year to make a nature bracelet. Wrap some masking tape around your wrist, sticky side pointing out and gather up any flowers, petals, leaves you find while taking a walk or in your yard. You’ll be happily surprised how colorful your bracelet will be with all the spring flowers blooming and array of colors of the petals that you can find on the ground.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day…. How about using items you find to create a beautiful card?

Round up some glass jars in the house and make a votive or vase for your mom, using tissue paper, modpodge glue and, if you want, some flower petals for adornments.

Looking for other ideas of gifts to make?

Click here are some fabulous suggestions such  as glass magents and rock art:

How about a Photo Scavenger hunt? Use some lists (here is one form Pinterest) or create your own. Each family can have a different list or work off same one. If the weather is crummy, take it inside for silly poses or items around the house.

While you have your camera ready, look for hidden letters all around you and spell your name with photos!

Make wind streamers!

Find a stick  – check for small branches that have fallen and use that for perfect stick.

Cut up strips of fabric – use scraps or old T-shirts if you have them. Or use some grosgrain ribbon you may have floating around from a birthday. The more colorful, the better!

Check out GoExploreNature.com for more great ideas. They suggest “Wrap the strips around the stick and tie a knot. One strip is plenty to make a wind streamer, but some kids (like mine) prefer more. Add some nature bling. How about adding a feather or a leaf? The more creative, the better!
Grab your wind streamer and run like the wind!”

Be creative, have fun and enjoy the spring weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events

Art Ramble: Something in the Air

On display through November 14 in Hapgood Wright Town Forest, the 6th annual Art Ramble Exhibition continues The Umbrella Arts Center’s thematic exploration of “Air” that began with the spring’s Earth Month and Artfest celebrations. “Something in the Air” is presented by The Umbrella Arts & Environment Program and curated by Laurie Bogdan and Kimberley Harding, who asked artists to creatively grapple with an element that is invisible and yet essential to life.
“Our call seek works that illustrate human, animal and botanical interactions with air,” the curators wrote, “and encourage exploration of the atmospheric aspects of the Hapgood Wright Town Forest” – the historic site of the Emerson-Thoreau “amble” to Walden Pond.
The phrase “Something in the Air” suggests drama, mystery, change, or movement. The 15 diverse works selected for the 2021 Art Ramble are all evocative of these concepts in one way or another. Fiber works Windblown (Kiyomi Yatsuhashi), The In-Between Series (Nilou Moochhala) and The Shutter Dresses (Martha Heller) embody movement, as they shimmy in the breezes. Air Currents (Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer) suggests movement despite its rigid metal construction.
There is an air of mystery in the dancing figures of Forest Air (Melissa Shaak), the quiet cubes of Collected Breath (Janet Kawada), the floating, pillowy Foggy Morning (Liz Helfer), the translucent birds and frogs of Waves of the Aerial Sea (Lisa Nelson), and the tall creatures Breathing (Paul Angiolillo). In and Out (BARD) dramatizes the relationship between trees and human breath while Every Breath You Take (Silvina Mizrahi) shows the drama of humans interacting with the environment. The Ethereal Dreamer (Laurie Bogdan & Kimberley Harding) dragonfly is a symbol of change; The Luna Moth Life Cycle (Jude Griffin) and Up in the Air (Jennifer Fuchel) depict the amazing metamorphoses of insects; and Airing Out the House (Rebecca Tuck) symbolizes a hope for positive changes in our lives.
This free, family- and dog-friendly exhibition is presented in collaboration with Concord’s Division of Natural Resources, and supported in part by a grant from the Foundation for Metrowest.
Artist statements, wayfinding, audio and other details can be found at TheUmbrellaArts.org/Ramble.

Wrack Line

On view through October 31, Wrack Line features new paintings by Michael MacMahon, created during his two-year residency at The Umbrella Arts Center in Concord. Originally from Ireland, MacMahon now resides in the United States, and these dual perspectives prominently inform the works in Wrack Line. Part of the painting faculty at School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, he has shown work both nationally and throughout the region. His practice utilizes landscape imagery and color theory to further his interest in the representation of the American landscape with an exploration of home as a place and a state of mind. Awards include the Dana Pond award for painting. In addition to painting he has enjoyed interdisciplinary opportunities that bridge art and other ventures, most recently as curator of The Umbrella’s group exhibition, Dazzleship. See TheUmbrellaArts.org

Filipino American Experiences

In recognition of Filipino American Heritage Month, The Umbrella Stage Company will present a special program exploring the Filipino American Experience through the dramatic writing and production process as part of the 29th annual 2021 Concord Festival of Authors.

On October 30 at 8PM, join an interactive discussion with playwright Hortense Gerardo, director Michelle Aguillon, and actor Jude Torres who will present a scene of an original play that examines what it means to be a Filipino American in relation to the American Dream through the lens of a Filipino family living in the suburbs of Cleveland. They will then discuss the process of bringing scripts to life through the collaborative process of live theater, and will preview a short scene-in-progress from an upcoming World Premiere of Gerardo’s new work commissioned for The Umbrella’s 2021-2022 season (http://TheUmbrellaStage.org).

Now in its 29th year, the Concord Festival of Authors celebrates the written and spoken word with a global audience, but this is the first time a playwright has been featured in the CFA. The Umbrella Stage Company stages professional productions in newly constructed theaters of the expansive Umbrella Arts Center, a multifunction nonprofit in historic Concord, MA.

This special streamed event is free with registration at https://TheUmbrellaArts.org/FilAm

About the Speakers

Director of the Anthropology, Performance, and Technology (APT) Program at UC-San Diego, Hortense Gerardo is an award-winning filmmaker and prolific playwright whose works have been performed around the world. Michelle Aguillon has worked in Boston-area theater for more than 25 years as a director, actor and producer. Jude Torres is a Boston singer-songwriter and actor who has performed at Speakeasy Stage Co., Company One, and others.