The Umbrella Stage Company Launched as Greater Boston's Newest Professional Theater Company
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stewart Ikeda, 978-371-0820 x. 211
CONCORD, MA—February 20, 2019—The Performing Arts program at The Umbrella Community Arts Center will kick off its 2019/2020 season in September with a new name—The Umbrella Stage Company—a new status as Greater Boston’s newest professional theater, and in a new home.
“What we’re seeing here is the natural next step in the evolution of this program,” says The Umbrella Stage Company’s Producing Artistic Director, Brian Boruta.
Upon its founding in 2008, the Performing Arts program officially became the fifth member of The Umbrella’s family of programming. Boruta assumed leadership of the program in 2012, and The Umbrella has since staked its claim as one of the most well-regarded and award-winning theaters in Greater Boston. Committed to presenting "Bold, Daring, and Innovative" programs, The Umbrella has brought edgier, thought-provoking and socially relevant theatre productions to Concord -- revivals and classic plays and musical that employ fresh approaches and technology – earning numerous DASH Awards for its efforts.
“Since we formally voted to support a Performing Arts program in 2012, The Umbrella Board is increasingly excited about the impact our top-rated stage company, paired with a new state of the art facility, will have on the region,” says Board Chair Allene Kussin.
EXPANDED PROGRAMMING, WIDER TITLE CHOICES
As a newly minted professional theater, The Umbrella Stage Company will expand its public offerings with added productions, performances, and special events throughout next season, whose lineup will be announced shortly.
“We’re working on some really special projects for that first season as The Umbrella Stage Company," Boruta says. "We want to mark the occasion; to celebrate the new space and our continued evolution. As a professional theater, we have access to titles and materials not previously available to us. Over the coming years, we are hoping to present regional premieres and even commissions and supporting the development of new works and emerging artists.”
PROFESSIONAL UNION AND DIVERSE STORIES
But access to new titles are not the only benefit that comes with the status change. Beginning next season, The Umbrella will be able to forge new relationships with Greater Boston’s professional actors, directors and designers. "By operating under an agreement with Actor’s Equity Association," Boruta observes, "we will be able to expand the breadth and depth of the stories we tell and the voices who tell them, and ensure that we can continue meeting and exceeding the standards our audiences have come to expect.”
Critical to the success of the program in this new chapter, Boruta says, is to maintain the relationships with the many talented team members who have helped pave the way for this moment.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without the efforts and talents of so many people over the past several years," he says. "It was important to me to design an agreement with the union which would create new opportunities for the region’s professional talent, but also offer fair wages and opportunities to those who are not part of those unions. Those artists still have critical roles to play as this program moves back home.”
THE NEW HOME: A CUTTING EDGE MULTI-THEATER PERFORMING ARTS COMPLEX
That new home he speaks of is the result of a $20 million dollar capital campaign which broke ground in 2017, and is slated to be completed in the summer of 2019. The new building, which also houses newly refinished artist studios, classrooms, gallery and exhibition space, will feature two performing arts venues, a 344 seat proscenium-style Main Stage, and a flexible 80-100 seat Black Box performance space. The Umbrella Stage Company will split its season between these two venues.
“Our building project has been a labor of love for the past 7 years," says The Umbrella Executive Director, Jerry Wedge. "From a visionary Board, to creative designers and capable contractors, this new building will be the creative home for Concord, Metro West, and the greater region.”
Each venue is fully equipped with state of the art lighting, sound, and projection equipment. The Main Stage will feature a full fly system, unobstructed sight lines, and a custom-designed orchestra facility. Support spaces such as expanded green rooms, set shop, and storage will support performances across both stages.
The Umbrella Stage Company will remain part of The Umbrella Performing Arts Series, which also features film screenings, concerts, community collaborations and other special events, and is in turn part of The Umbrella Community Arts Center’s programming which includes Arts Education, Arts and Environment, Studio Arts and the Arts Gallery. The Umbrella, Inc. is a qualified 501(c)3 non-profit.
During the remainder of construction, performances are being held at a temporary facility, The Umbrella Annex at 57 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, Concord, MA 01742.
For more information, contact The Umbrella at 978-371-0820, or visit https://TheUmbrellaArts.org/Theater.