Pink Umbrella Theater’s immersive new play turns your house into a stage

Pink Umbrella Theater’s immersive new play turns your house into a stage

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Kids, parents and people of Milwaukee, this is your last chance to catch a unique theater experience.

Pink Umbrella Theater is putting on a show called “Scavengers!”

“What it is about is a group of four friends, a turtle, a rabbit, a dog and a duck, who are all buddies with one another are planning on planting a friendship garden, but their seeds go missing,” says Katie Cummings, the founder and executive director of Pink Umbrella. 

“Scavengers!” is an interactive play where kids help find the missing seeds in their homes.

“We send packets home to the grown-ups in the house with objects that they need to hide, so the house becomes the stage,” says Katie. “Then the participants travel throughout their home throughout their play to find the objects and solve the riddles and find the seeds.”

There’s also a “sensory immersive” part of the play to help make your home a stage. With the packets Pink Umbrella sends to families comes a “forest bag.” The bag was put together by the character Tumble the Turtle who placed his favorite things from the forest inside like twigs and leaves and berries that smell sweet.

“There’s also a squirt bottle that has pine essential oil in it so that the families can kind of spray the room that they’re in,” says Katie. “So we feel and use our imagination to feel like we are in the forest.”

“Scavengers!” is the company’s first production. Pink Umbrella Theater is a production company for those who identify with a disability.

“Our tagline is accessible theater for all,” says Katie. “Our mission is to amplify and provide a platform for artists and actors who identify with a disability. We are a professional theater company so everybody gets paid for their time. The goal of the company is for it to be fully run by individuals who identify with a disability.”

Katie came up with the idea of the play as she’s a part of the national coalition Theater for Young Audiences. She says a member of the group expressed sadness that their home was no longer a magical place for their four-year-old due to the pandemic and that got Katie thinking.

“I was like, ‘Oh, how can we create magic?’” says Katie. “I met with our two playwrights, Vanessa Loxton and James Fletcher, and gave them all these ideas that were in my brain about sensory immersive and how do we create a stage in a variety of homes. This was the play that they came back with; this beautiful story of friendship and accepting one another and solving these riddles along the way.”

The play will run until this weekend, Feb. 5, 6 and 7. The Saturday and Sunday shows will have ASL interpreters. Tickets are available at pinkumbrellatheater.org.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee