Umbrella's 2021 Mentorship Project

Final Presentations at the
Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts
2291 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City
December 17, 2021, 7:00 PM
Free admission

One of the reasons we started Umbrella Theater was to provide mentorship for aspiring directors and designers and to provide them with a "portfolio project." These projects are designed to not only give the artists an opportunity to be mentored while creating work, but also as a way for them to introduce themselves to the established theater community. Our Founding Technical Director, Cara Pomeroy, had the opportunity to become the set designer for Utah Rep’s production of Carrie in 2015, when the original set designer recommended her based on her work as a student in his class. She has gone on to design for Plan-B Theatre, SLAC, The University of Utah, The Grand, Sackerson, and numerous other local theater companies. And when Utah Rep's Managing Director at that time, Lee Hollaar, was starting Umbrella, he saw how helpful that had been in her early career and wanted to give others a similar opportunity.

Umbrella's mentoring has seen us working with other theater companies on productions including Sackerson's A Brief Waltz in a Little Room, 23 Short Plays About Walter Eyer and OPPA's production of RENT. We even started on a production of our own, Mary's Little Monster, but had cancel because of the the Covid-19 emergency.

This December, Umbrella will be tying an alternative approach to mentoring. Based on the experience of our Founding Artistic Director, Jamie Rocha Allan, with similar projects, Umbrella will be producing an evening of short original pieces. This event is in cooperation with Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts. Six writers and six directors were chosen from current students and recent alumni from the University of Utah and Westminster. The writers were each tasked with creating a 10 to 15 minute segment that will be cast primarily from twelve student actors from SPA. The project will happen over two weeks culminating in a performance of each work at SPA on December 17th at 7 PM.

The first week will see the writers and directors being mentored by Jamie, as they talk through the unique relationship of director and writer. The second week of the project will be rehearsals of the pieces. New writing nights such as these offer writers and directors an opportunity to develop and practice these collaborative skills without the pressure and time and financial constraints of mounting fully realised productions.

Umbrella hopes to continue using this project as a way of engaging with various artists around the city. We believe that events like this would also be of benefit to the numerous freelance writers and directors working in the city.

We hope that you will attend the December 17th presentations and give feedback to the writers and directors so that they can learn even more from this experience, and to Umbrella so that we can make future projects even better.

This project is supported in part by the Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) program

Salt Lake County ZAP logo
Last modified November 30, 2021