This time last years, we jumped in with both feet. At the same time that we were running our Kickstarter campaign, we were already putting our plan into action with the world premiere of Emily Conbere’s play Knocking Bird. Conbere’s play, and it’s long and circuitous journey to production, was one of the reasons we wanted to start Umbrella Project in the first place, so it made sense that it was our first co-production. We are not a traditional theatre company but we are both a development pipeline filling in the gaps between readings and workshops, first productions and second productions, as well as a new play matchmaker. In this case, it was Splinter Group and West of Lenin that came to the table with us to bring this play to life—over two years after its latest staged reading.
Originally written as a ten-minute play for Live Girls Theater, Knocking Bird was expanded to a one-act in January 2013 for SOAP Fest (dir. Andy McGinn). Conbere continued to develop the play during her time as part of the Seattle Rep Writers Group and the full-length version received a staged reading presented by Northwest Playwrights Alliance in June of 2013 (dir. Paul Budraitis).
Paul Budraitis, who had continued to champion the play followed it’s reading with NPA, and Norah Elges, Umbrella Project’s co-founder and Executive Director, had been committed to see the play through to production.
While New Play is not one of the People’s Choice categories for the Gregory Awards, which honors excellence in the Puget Sound area, Knocking Bird is eligible for Outstanding Actor, Actress, Director, and Production.
View the digital program for Knocking Bird here.
Knocking Bird ran September 11 through October 3, 2015 at West of Lenin.