UMO is working on a new piece! SQUEEZE is a physical theater piece about connection, scarcity and need. Interlocking stories about people living in very small spaces, in tight proximity, isolated, longing for connection. A world of rhythm and tiny gestures mapping a universe of longing and melancholy comedy. How do we all squeeze in? On the same planet, nation, city, house or even a single platform?
Inspired by the clowning of Buster Keaton and the existential absurdism of Samuel Beckett, 6 clowns will explore being shut out, in need, desperate to connect and vying for control of territory; 5 simple platforms and a series of ladders that connect (or obstruct) them all.
As far as the squeeze part of squeeze, everyone is feeling squeezed all the time in all ways. In cities people are squeezed for space, housing and homes. We are squeezed for time. Families are squeezed for cash. Children are squeezed for free unstructured time.
The pressure is all around us!
We believe sharing these stories that will explore these questions is the purpose of “Squeeze” and our intention is that every person who comes in proximity to the project in any role; audience, performer, musician, stage crew, PR people and even the people who read this artistic statement will pause for a moment and consider, in the words of Charles Eisenstein; What is the world my heart knows is possible? What is the transformation I imagine? What small act of kindness or courage can I take right now?”
First outdoor, FREE showings will take place this summer, during Vashon Rep Summer Fest; July 24-31, 2022.
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is to stir the human spirit and incite the imagination by providing awe, challenge and inspiration through original and compelling physical theatre. UMO shares our knowledge and trains the next generation of physical theatre artists through the UMO School of Physical Arts, located on Vashon Island, WA.
UMO Ensemble is one of the most innovative, compelling and critically acclaimed performance companies based in the Pacific Northwest. UMO's creative process is rooted in physical theatre: improvisations in movement, character, vocalizing, and writing spawn new works.
Since arriving on Vashon Island in 1989, UMO Ensemble has created over thirty original works and shared them with audiences internationally and locally. Over the last several years, UMO has partnered with ACT Theatre, performing acclaimed, image-rich, physical theatre productions through ACT Lab, including: El Dorado, Red Tiger Tales, FAIL BETTER: Beckett Moves UMO, Resistance Cabaret, and Falling Awake (a fugue state).UMO Ensemble members include: Elizabeth Klob (executive artist), David Godsey, Janet McAlpin, Lyam White and Maria Glanz.
Praise for UMO Ensemble:
"UMO Ensemble's remarkable tribute to (Beckett's) genius, Fail Better is a mesmerizing production… a visual delight and an intellectual teaser." - Seattle Times
"UMO found the genius in both Beckett and themselves."- Drama in the Hood
"It is truthful, thoughtful and it holds real power to touch the intellect and the emotions simultaneously." - Seattle Star
The UMO Ensemble has been honored by the NEA , 4 Culture, Arts WA, Norcliffe Foundation and Horizons Foundation for artistic excellence.
Special thanks to Michelle Bates for her photography over the years....her stunning photos are here below...and in the above title photo...