Umbrella Collective

A nonprofit organization

Umbrella Collective announced on October 1, 2021 our intention to wind down operations as a company and sunset the organization. This process will take place over the next year, with a final play workshop to be presented, documentation produced of Umbrella Collective’s process and history, and a celebration in the summer of 2022, for what will be the company’s 15th anniversary.

“No one joins the board of a theater to close it down; we join because we love the magic of making plays,” says board chair Lori Castille. “But this is the right and responsible course of action for the company now. We’re going to celebrate our fifteen years of work, and lift up the people who have come through the collective and who continue to transform our lives. We always say that together is better, and that’s the way we will wind this project down.”

The effects of the pandemic have curtailed Umbrella Collective’s signature process for new work development, affording company members and collaborators time and space to test out ideas, play, and engage with the public through new works and works-in-progress showings. This, combined with the natural life-cycles of non-profit, passion-driven projects, have led to this decision. Fortunately, Umbrella Collective is not experiencing a financial crisis, and we are able to be thoughtful and intentional about how we use our funds to sunset our mission to create new works of theater that inspire vital conversations.

“Saying goodbye is bittersweet. It’s certainly sad and hard and full of grieving, but it’s also a reminder to celebrate,” says Producing Artistic Director Hannah K. Holman. “So many people have given so much to this company over the years, and I am so proud to have been a part of it and to lead it. I personally want to thank all the audience members, donors, and funders who have sustained us so long, and supported this work.”

As part of the closing down process, Umbrella Collective will support development of Have You Heard From Matthew Lately?, a project led by Umbrella Collective member Kathryn Fumie. Collective members will collaborate with past artists to produce documentation of Umbrella Collective’s deep and engaged process for new work development, as a record of the company’s work.

Over almost 15 years of work, Umbrella Collective has produced 51 new plays and workshops, including the pre-Stonewall lesbian love story June, the camp satire Ex-Gays, the adaptation of Kate Chopin’s novella The Awakening, and contemporary reinterpretations of Greek mythology and plays Penelope, The Ravagers, and These Are the Men. Over 250 artists have worked with Umbrella Collective over these productions, performing across the Twin Cities and in Duluth, Minnesota; Calgary, Canada; Kansas City, Missouri; and Seoul, South Korea.

“I never thought that a Fringe show in 2007 would turn into this body of work and this lifetime of relationships,” says co-founder & Artistic Director Emeritus Laura Leffler. “Producing theater is a challenge; producing theater that aims to be transformative, engaging, and meaningful on a shoestring budget is a passion project that has engaged so many people in so many ways.”

Umbrella Collective members have gone on to make amazing theater with other companies, produce their own shows and work, lead organizations, teach at all levels, and be creative leaders in the community. It is with enormous gratitude for these people, for the network of artists, spaces, and companies in the Twin Cities who have been our collaborators and friends, and for the audiences who have come and shared their inspiration that we make this announcement. Theater will always be bringing people together, and together is better.

Thank you.

Organization Data


Organization name

Umbrella Collective

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Community


10300 1st Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55420