Intercultural theatre company, based in Vancouver British Columbia dedicated to developing, producing and touring Indigenous and multicultural works. It was founded by Marie Clements in 2001 as a First Nations Theatre company, and has since expanded its mandate.
Urban ink works with other community and cultural groups, and employs multidisciplinary forms and techniques including storytelling, dance and film in its innovative projects.
Productions include Burning Vision (2002) by Marie Clements, in association with Rumble Theatre; Rare Earth Arias (2002) featuring the commissioned word arias of six women writers from the downtown eastside; Hunted (Waterfront Theatre 2003), a collective creation inspired by the art and stories found in Japanese comic books, conceived and directed by Maiko Bae Yamamoto, artistic associate of urban ink productions.
Women in Fish -- Hours of Water (Galiano Island 2003) was an interactive installation of fishing and domestic artefacts mounted in conjunction with a live docudrama taped from radio, which unfolded over five nights and six episodes, and involving over 100 participants made up of established and emerging artists and community participants. It assembled the stories of the women on Galiano Island in relation to the dying fishing industry, the sea, and the fishermen, conceived and directed by Marie Clements and Kathleen Flaherty from CBC Radio.
More recent projects include The Arrivals Project, a series of workshops in collaboration with local theatre groups which facilitated artists in a dramatization of their own histories of displacement, using stories and cultural practices. Workshops were offered across Canada, in the UK, Colombia, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Vanishing: Letters from the Downtown Eastside (Firehall Arts Centre May 2009) comprised visuals and writing by the Downtown Eastside Women’s Writing Group, directed by Rosemary Georgeson and Diane Roberts. In November 2009 urban ink in association with Raven Spirit Dance premiered Dreamcatcher, part 2 of the Vanishing Project.
In 2010 M. NourbeSe Philip was the Canada Council Artist in Residence, and her poetry cycle, Zong was adapted for the stage.
Children of God by Corey Payette (with Raven Theatre)--"a beautiful heartbreaking musical about the residential school experience”--premiered in Vancouver in May 2017, and then toured to the National Arts Centre’s mainstage in June 2017, and the Citadel Theatre in March 2018.
The second Artistic Director was Diane Roberts. The current A.D. is Corey Payette. In 2018, he was awarded the John Hirsch Prize for new and developing theatre directors who have demonstrated great potential for future excellence and exciting artistic vision.
Last updated 2019-10-22