The mission of the artists and educators of wombat theatre company is to create and produce high quality theatre that explores all styles, periods and forms of artistic expression. We are a teaching theatre, committed to sharing with our community the far-reaching and diverse benefits of participation in theatre, which we accomplish through productions and educational programming. We are devoted to our ensemble and to providing opportunities for them to grow and hone their skills in all aspects of theatrical production.
FROM THE COMPANY
We didn’t set out to start a theatre company. It began with a single show–a devised piece on fairy tales. Through long hours of creative collaboration, we found ourselves constantly inspired by each other’s dedication, discipline, abilities, knowledge and immense generosity. We were excited by what we accomplished and wanted to work together again. And again. And again. When we stopped to take stock of what we had created and the people who shared in that process, it became clear that there were three principles that guided our work: Production, Education, and Community.
Our primary goal is to produce high quality theatre that inspires, informs, challenges and entertains an audience. No matter what other principles we embrace, we are committed to–and believe our other principles are best served by–well crafted, fully realized theatrical productions. We embrace all forms and all styles of theatre. Some of our productions have been innovative: an immersive and site-specific Cyrano de Bergerac, masks and puppetry in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, original themed poetry preceding Fool for Love. We have embraced a collaborative devising process in projects such as When Trees Fall, an exploration of the psyche’s relationship with fairy tales, and Moore and Sons, an examination of family grappling with loss. We also produce traditional renditions of both classical and contemporary plays.
All our founding members and many of our company have master’s degrees in theatre education, so our idea of education is more than what many think of as teaching. There is overwhelming evidence that suggests participation in theatre increases self-awareness and empathy, fosters confidence and teamwork, increases knowledge, and inspires conversation about universal human themes and current social issues. As theatre educators, we are all fervent believers in the power and necessity of story as a means of understanding and developing ourselves, each other and a healthy community. We are also dedicated to bringing theatre to young audiences, not only through workshops and classes, but also through hands-on internships. Our interns have the opportunity to participate directly in all aspects of production, including acting, stage management, design and even creating original music for our productions.
Wombat is a unique kind of ensemble company. For us, the benefits of arts education are not limited to our audience and interns. The lighting designer of this production may be an artist who acted in our last, who never had a chance to explore their design talents before. In one devised piece, during the rehearsal process, the stage manager became a lead actor. In this way, we all expand our knowledge and develop skills together. While we’ve maintained a core group since our first production, we have never mounted a production that didn’t include new artists and collaborators who have continued to inspire us, added to the quality of our work, and enriched the spirit of our ensemble. Our community extends beyond our artists to all those who have supported us and donated to help us realize our education goals, our productions, and to keep our ticket prices affordable to those who cannot afford Broadway shows.
Perhaps a production about fairy tales was the perfect project to launch our company. A fairy tale is believed to be something unrealistic, even impossible. Though there are trials and tribulations, through some combination of perseverance and magic, a happy ending is found. While this isn’t true of all fairy tales, it’s an appropriate metaphor for our story. We have overcome the unrealistic, and perseverance has certainly been key in doing so. But it turns out the truest magic is working with thoughtful, dedicated and talented people who we respect and who inspire each other in our quest to serve our community.