To use art as a catalyst for positive connections between individuals, communities, and systems.
----a letter from our CEO
Thanks so much for taking the time to check out our site. We are thrilled that you are interested
in moving in your community. After all, it is up to you to share your stories and inspire us all. I
would like to share with you a little about what caused us to move.
Flash back to the spring of 2017, three college seniors feverishly writing papers, buttoning up capstone projects, closing show after show, performing in final recitals, but most importantly of all, deciding on one of the most daunting tasks in your final weeks of undergrad: life’s next steps.
The days, weeks and even months leading up to a big life change are inevitably filled with fear, uncertainty and for us, 2am existential conversations in the technology lab of the Humanities and Fine Arts building with our closest friends. The floor littered with costuming renderings, the dull hum of computers working at full capacity, the soothing click clack typing of papers being edited, empty cans of Redbull and half finished Starbucks drinks sprinkled throughout the room giving life to each persistent scholar left standing.
This is when we decided to contemplate post-grad life. In retrospect, 2am on a Wednesday running on about two hours and fifteen minutes of sleep, hammering out a 400-level linguistic theory term paper is not the time to decide that your post-graduate plan is to plunge into the proverbial deep end of life by starting a company from scratch, but I admire the sheer confidence, determination and audacity we had to proclaim to the Edwards Building dwellers that we would be starting our very own theater company.
We had absolutely no idea what that would even mean in the coming weeks and even months. We could not imagine the hardships we would face, the doubt, the worry and the sacrifice that would greet us at every turn; however, we also couldn’t have imagined the tremendous success that followed. With the boldness to dream, the courage to believe we could dare to achieve something our hearts were set on, we framed the biggest asset we possessed then and today; a willingness to try. So we set forth, not a dollar to spend or a place to rest our artistic heads, on a journey that would, if nothing else, touch the lives of five 20-something years olds fresh out of college.
The name and idea of Boots on the Ground Theater came of this serendipitous late night conversation that spurned questions:“What am I doing?” “What is my purpose?” “how can I be more useful? Finally Mikayla said, “I want to put my boots on the ground”- a term used to allude to ground troops who are on active service in a military operation, meaning she wanted to be an active participant in serving communities through the art she did. We were enamored. I said, “Let’s do it”.
Just like that, Boots on the Ground Theater was born, a place where artists connect with, affect change in, and support their communities by telling stories. And here after two years, that dream has landed our boots on the ground in 4 states and 2 countries. Bringing a book to life on stage, creating an initiative to revitalize an entire community through art, gathering research in the conflict zones of Ukraine, raising money for victims of domestic violence and homelessness, organizing support for hurricane relief efforts – all of these incredible opportunities manifested through a willingness to try and putting people first.
All my love,
Charlotte Overby (CEO)