Past Projects

Sal Capone Billy

Sal Capone:The Lamentable Tragedy of...

Written by: Omari Newton


Yukon Arts Centre 18, 19 Mar 2016 in Whitehorse, YK
Presentation House 29 Mar – 2 Apr 2016 in North Vancouver, BC

Produced by Urban Ink and premiered in Vancouver and Montreal (2013-14) in association with Black Theatre Workshop, Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of is a theatrical powerhouse that follows a young hip hop group caught in the aftermath of a violent police shooting. Inspired by the loss of Fredy Villaneuva, an unarmed youth shot by police in 2008 in Montreal, Sal Capone is a dynamic and edgy work with a strong socio-political message. It is a raw and honest portrayal of friendship, loss and the choices we make when trust is shattered.

Recipient of 5 META Nominations (2014) including Outstanding Professional Production

Directed by: Diane Roberts
Featuring: Letitia Brookes, Troy Emery Twigg, Kim Villagante, Jordan Waunch and Seth Whittaker

“Jordan Waunch’s Chase is a driving force, and Kim Villagante’s Jewel is an earthquake” – Georgia Straight

“Absolutely riveting” – Richard “Bugs” Burnett

“The performances range from high-octane to explosive” – Montreal Gazette

Sal Capone       Sal Capone

Sal Capone       Sal Capone3

Developed in association with Black Theatre Workshop and Playwrights Workshop Montreal.


Return Home

Return Home is an interdisciplinary performance exploring the story of two women as they struggle with issues of identity while living in disconnection from their homeland. In an exploration of her hybrid identity, Dima Alansari’s curiosity about her family roots leads to uncovering a strong connection to her great grandfather Ibrahim Alansari. Now living in Canada, Dima draws parallels between her own historical narrative of occupation and colonization and that of the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island. In both workshops Dima collaborates with Indigenous artists and through physical storyweaving derived from The Arrivals Personal Legacy Process and MT Space’s devising process, she brings forth decades of lost and forgotten stories, metaphors and impressions.

The two women central to the narrative are played by Emilie Monnet, an Anishinaabe Indigenous woman from Quebec living under the legacy of colonization, and Dima Alansari, an indigenous woman from Palestine living in exile. Joining the women on this journey is the Raven, a bringer of magic and transformation played by dancer and choreographer Carlos Rivera, an Indigenous Mixteco from Mexico. It is the Raven who will guide Emilie and Dima in and out of the realms of the imaginary and the real, serving as a mirror to bring about their awakening process. Through his aid, they will discover what each woman has to teach the other and what they can learn about their own identity in relation to the challenges each one faces.

August 6-16, 2015 : Performances at The Theatre Centre Mainspace in Toronto (Summerworks)
September 26-27, 2015 : Performances at IMPACT 15 (International Multicultural Platform for Alternative Contemporary Theatre)
Photographer: Ali H Kheireddine
Co-Directed by: Majdi Bou Matar and Diane Roberts
Performed by: Dima Alansari, Carlos Rivera, Emilie Monnet
Musician: Jeremy Therrien & Heather Majaury
Sound design by: Sunil Sunny Mewani
Video design by: Alex Williams

Women In Fish

Women In Fish (2004-2013)

Vancouver remembers fishing: A way of life lost, and the women who were a part of it

Women in Fish is based on the tragic story of the Loretta B, a fishing packer that sank in 1962, submerging five men and one woman to the dark sea. After being tied to fish crates by her husband and fellow crewmate, Eileen Lorenz emerged the sole survivor, later found and plucked from the water on the eve of her 18th birthday and eight months pregnant.

Weaving this tragedy with the larger tragedy of the world’s fishing industry, Women in Fish documents women’s contributions to what was once a top industry on the West Coast.

We’ve been omitted from history. The only view of fishing was that it was a man’s life and men did it all. That’s not true. Women were very involved – we ran our own boats, we did it all – we catch ‘em, clean ‘em, cook ‘em and can ‘em. They owned their own boats and they raised their children on the boats. As First Nations people, our history goes back to the beginning of time. Water connects us all. The decline of the fishing industry, and fishing stocks, has had huge impacts on us. – Rosemary Georgeson, Playwright and Actor

Women in Fish was first created in 2004 as a community production on Galiano Island. It was then produced by CBC as a radio documentary and a 4 part radio series, shortlisted for a prestigious Jack Webster Award for Best Documentary. From 2010-2013, a live performance adaption titled Women In Fish: Hours of Water toured throughout BC, sparking community sharing about women’s roles in resource industries across the country, accompanied by an installation commemorating of the contributions of women to the industry, youth programming activities, and workshops. In 2013, the documentary film We Have Stories: Women in Fish directed by Rosemary Georgeson (2013, 25 minutes) was premiered at the Carnegie Centre as part of the Heart of the City Festival.

Written by Marie Clements with Rosemary Georgeson, Eileen Lorenz and the WIF Participants.
Directed by
 Marie Clements (Governor General Nominee-Burning Vision) and Kathleen Flaherty (CBC Radio)
Dramaturgy by Paula Danckert (Playwrights Workshop Montreal)
Featuring award winning designers including: Tim Matheson, Noah Drew, John Webber, Sandy Scofield, Jonathan Ryder, Richard Wilson, Rosemary Georgeson, Mia Perry, Julie Moore and David Kerr.
Performed by Rosemary Georgeson & Mary Galloway
With Hours of Water Ensemble: Ben Cardinal, Patricia Collins, Steven Hill, Renae Morrisseau, Suzie Payne & WIF community voices
Live Performance Animated by Diane Roberts

Past Performances:

Confessions of the Other Woman

Confessions of the Other Woman (2012) by Valerie Sing Turner

Written by Valerie Sing Turner (Winner of the 2011 Enbridge Award for Emerging Canadian Playwright)
Directed by Diane Roberts & Gerry Trentham

Collaborating Artists: Conor Moore (Set; Lighting and Projection Design); Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg (Dance Design); Troy Slocum (Sound Design); Florence Barrett (Costume Design); Candelario Andrade (Video & Projection Design; Jordan Nobles (Composer); Travis Pangburn (Technical Direction); Shannon Macelli (Stage Management)

Starring: Kevin Loring, Valerie Sing Turner & Matt Ward
An urban ink/Visceral Visions/Vancouver Playhouse co-production in association with The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

What would YOU do if you met your soul mate – and he was married?

Eve, a 40-something Asian-Canadian woman, begins to question her very existence at the end of a passionate love affair with Sam. Her search for answers launches her on a liminal journey through memory, fantasy and recurring encounters with a mysterious being whose motives aren’t always clear. Veering between hard scrabble insights and emotional honesty–all leavened with a fine appreciation of the absurd – Eve finds herself trying to make sense of her beloved grandmother’s legacy as she seeks to reconcile personal integrity with true love.

Across time and cultures, legend and tabloid headlines, women having affairs with married men have been the fodder for much derision, speculation and discourse. In an age of post-feminism and society’s hypocritical attitude toward female desire, Confessions offers a fresh perspective, combining theatre, poetry, movement, dance and interactive projected image to explore the quirks and richness of the uncompromising human spirit.

Development History:

  • Production Residency: July 25th-August 13th 2011, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
  • World Theatre Day Reading: March 14th, 2011 7:30pm The Vancouver Playhouse Recital Hall
  • Text Workshop with the participation of Emma Tibaldo, Playwrights Workshop Montreal: March 7th-11th

Squaw Hall

Squaw Hall (2010-2011)

Squaw Hall, an open air “Indian Dance Hall”, was built on the Stampede grounds of Williams Lake in 1947 as a place for First Nations people to celebrate, as segregation was fully enforced in Williams Lake at the time and First Nations people were not allowed in the businesses or dance halls run by the white community. What began as a place created out of exclusion and racism soon transformed into a place of gathering.

Urban Ink’s Squaw Hall Project was a 2-year arts training program that provided mentorship in performance, playwriting, acting and media skills to a mostly First Nations group of youth and adults as a means to explore the history of the region.

The workshops culminated in the creation of two artistic works:

Squaw Hall: A Community Remembers (Film)
What was it like to be young in the 40s, 50s and 60s? Seven youth decided to find out, by interviewing Elders in their communities.  What challenges did the Elders face back then? What were their proudest moments? Was it so different from today? A Community Remembers is a poignant film of Secwepemc and Tsilhqot’in Elders remembering their journeys growing up in the Cariboo Chilcotin.

Damned if you do; What if you don’t? (Theatre) is a humorous and powerful story of three youth living in Williams Lake who face challenges dealing with family struggles, the lure of alcohol, and peer pressure.

Squaw Hall project was presented by Urban Ink in partnership with Twin Fish, and made possible thanks to the support of its Advisory Committee, and its partners the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake, the Canadian Mental Health Association-Cariboo Chilcotin Branch, the Noopa Boy and Girls Club and the Child Development Centre. Financial support was provided by the Rotary Club of Williams Lake, Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, First Peoples Heritage Language and Culture Council, the Vancouver Foundation, the Province of BC, Telus and 2010 Legacies Now.


Downtown Eastside Women's Writing Group (2002-2011)

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Writing Group (DTES WWG) was an urban ink/Firehall Arts Centre/DTES Women’s centre initiative under the Direction of Urban Ink Associate Artist Rosemary Georgeson.

In 2002 the DTES WWG created Rare Earth Arias, an earthly meeting of words, dresses, electrical conductivity and the celebration of the rare voice featuring the commissioned word arias of six members of the DTES WWG: Wendy Chew, Rosemary Georgeson, Leith Harris, Sharon Jo Jelden, Ruth Matemotija Barnett, and Muriel Williams. Premiere at the Firehall Arts Centre under the Artistic Direction of Marie Clements and Maiko Bae Yamamoto, and directed by Mercedes Baines, Rachel Ditor, Kathleen Flaherty, Lorena Gale, Sophie Merasty and Adrienne Wong, Rare Earth Arias was performed by Patti Allen, Patricia Collins, Tasha Faye Evans, Patricia Idelette, Suzie Payne and Vera Wong with the operatic stylings of Katherine Harris. Set and costume design by Barbara Clayden, lighting design by James Proudfoot and stage management by David Kerr.

“… this show displays a rare ambition… It is sometimes baffling, occasionally crude and intermittently beautiful.” – The Georgia Straight

Rituals of Rock is an anthology of poems also from The Downtown Eastside Women’s Writing Group that marks their second year of weekly writing workshops and weekly dessert. Rituals of Rock follows their first publication entitled No Supper Tonight – scapes of the Downtown Eastside. This new book is the continuation of the group’s will to write books that are real, humorous, bold and passionate – words of character that describe the women that write them. In part, Rituals of Rock is a tribute to every woman who knows a thing or two about being a woman, and being a rock.

In May 2009 the DTES WWG created VANISHING: Letters from the Downtown Eastside which premiered at the BC Buds festival. It was a story of the inner voice that guides and defines ‘the safe place inside’ told through visuals, music and the written word.

In Nov 2009 the DTES WWG collaborated with Raven Spirit Dance, Aboriginal storyteller Quelemia Sparrow, and renowned indigenous cellist Cris Derksen in the creation and performance of VANISHING PT2: Dreamcatcher at the Firehall Arts Centre.


Gravity (2008) by Tricia Collins

Written and Performed by: Tricia Collins
Directed by Maiko Bae Yamamoto
Video/Installation by Cindy Mochizuki

Gravity is an exciting collaboration of theatre and video installation that interweaves story-telling and the stitching together of myths and facts. Gravity tells the story of four women across time, water and worlds connected by blood; by forces pull/pushing them together/apart; and their thirsty love for life and for each other. Gravity elevates, entertains and excites its audiences.“I have to tell the story of Gravity. This is the story of a woman who i never met by who made me and made a legacy of Chinese North Americans. Approximatly 100 years ago my great Grandmother was kidnapped. this thrust her a way from her home and incited a blood line that spaned the globe and eventually enriched the history of Canada, the UK and the US.” Tricia Collins.

Tricia Collins wraps herself in a technical tour de force… Gravity is a fascinating hour of theatre blending light, sound, video and more physical elements in the wholly satisfying piece of performance art
Peter Birnie, The Vancouver Sun

Gravity is a bold and beautiful work. Collins is an always engaging performer: athletic, playful, likeable and brave. It’s impossible not to be won over by her candour.
Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier

Gravity Tour
Carifesta, Georgetown, Guyana – August 2008
Center for Festival Arts, St. Augustine, Trinidad – September 2008
Crown Point Hall, Tobago – September, 2008
CINARS, Montreal November 2008

Copper Thunderbird NEW

Copper Thunderbird (2005) by Marie Clements

Written by Marie Clements
Directed by Peter Hinton
Dramaturgy by Paula Danckert

A National Arts Centre, urban ink co-production in collaboration with Playwrights Workshop Montreal and The Banff Centre for the Arts.

Copper Thunderbird is a two-act play on canvas, based on the life of Norval Morrisseau. Inside the power-lines which Norval Morrisseau boldly defined were the colours he experienced between his Objibway cosmology, his life on the street, and his spiritual and philosophical transformations to become The Father of contemporary Native art and a Grand Shaman.


Hunted (2003) by Maiko Bae Yamamoto

Hunted is a visually stunning work of physical theatre inspired by the art and stories found in Japanese comic books. Hunted is conceived and directed by Maiko Bae Yamamoto, a former Artistic Associate of Urban Ink and co-founder of the critically acclaimed boca del lupo theatre, and features a dynamic cast of some of Canada’s most exciting theatre makers including J Patricia Collins, James Long, Julie Tamiko Manning, Raugi Yu, Spencer Herbert and Marie Clements.

A young woman wakes up in a hospital bed with no recollection of how she ended up there… or who she is. The next few days take her on a journey through alleyways and seedy nightclubs as she traces her history back into the labyrinth of sewers rotting beneath the city. Slowly, bits of her life are forced upon her through memories and encounters with shadows from her past shadows bearing a horrifying and irrevocable truth.

Burning Vision

Burning Vision (2002) by Marie Clements

Burning Vision by Marie Clements is a play in four movements, a composition that traces the journey of uranium from its origins in the Sahtu Dene earth, through water, over land and into fire- the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima. A vision unfolds over four see-er songs sung by a Dene medicine man in the late 1800’s. Burning Vision was commissioned by Rumble Productions in Vancouver and was developed in conjunction with Playwright’s Workshop Montreal. Burning Vision was developed in residencies at Rumble Theatre, The Women Writer’s Unit at PWM, and at The Banff Playwrites Colony, with dramaturgy by Paula Danckert, and direction by Peter Hinton.

Burning Vision was produced by Rumble Productions in association with urban ink productions, and premiered at The Firehall Arts Centre in April 2002, garnering a total of six Jessie Richardson nominations, including best original script, best production, and best direction in the small theatre category. In 2003, Burning Vision was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, shortlisted for The George Ryga Award for Literary Arts and published by Talon Books. In 2004, Burning Vision was awarded The Canada-Japan Literary Award for Excellence.

Burning vision completed its national tour to two prestigious showcases for the best in contemporary theatre in Canada. Once again, Burning Vision, brough together a diverse and dynamic cast and design team to present at Festival de Theatre des Ameriques in Montreal, and the new Magnetic North Festival in Ottawa. The production closed to rave reviews and publication of Burning Vision by Talon books, 2003.

“… a brave new play that bombards the sense and fires up the mind…” – The Globe and Mail

“I think that the best stories happen like the wind; they envelope you, surprise you, chill you, move you, and warm you… Marie Clements knows about the wind.” – Redwire Magazine

“… visually and aurally spectacular.” – The Vancouver Courier

“… sensually compelling.” – The Georgia Straight

“… Stunning and provocative.” – The Ottawa Citizen


Urban Tattoo (1999) by Marie Clements

Urban Tattoo is a performance work that combines a radical approach to storytelling, incorporating multi-media and music. It takes the themes of identity, displacement and survival and redesigns them into an urban context. Urban Tattoo was workshopped at The Native Earth’s Performing Arts Weesageechuck Festival in Toronto with dramaturge and director Margo Kane. It was given a work in progress performance with Maenad Theatre in Calgary in early 1996 and a staged reading at The Native Voices Festival  in New York, directed by Randy Reinholz, at the American Indian Community House. In 1997, Urban Tattoo was presented at The University Leeds, in England. Later, it was workshopped with Peter Hinton and Chapelle Jaffe at The Playwright’s Theatre Centre in Vancouver, and premiered a workshop production at the 1998 Women in View Festival in collaboration with Lynda Hill, Terri Snelgrove, and DB Boyko.

Urban Tattoo has since toured to festivals and theatres across Canada and the US. Most recently, it was presented at last year’s prestigious Festival of the Americas in Montreal. Written and performed by Marie Clements.  Urban Tattoo is published by UCLA Press and Ribsause, a book/cd by Vehicle Press.

“… bold and sassy… Urban Tattoo filled with wit.”  – Calgary Herald

“Urban Tattoo offers what Virginia Woolf described as those emotionally charged ‘moments of being’ in life It emits the lingering emotional resonace of a good poem.” – City Life, Victoria

“Melding dreams with reality, Clements’ vocal control, fluid movements and emotional range make for a moving tribute to warrior women everywhere.” – LA Weekly