Over the past 20 years, the UMO Ensemble has become known as one of the most innovative, compelling and critically acclaimed performance companies based in the Pacific Northwest. The Ensemble has performed in theaters, at festivals and in schools throughout the Northwest, the United States, Canada and Europe.
The mission of the UMO Ensemble is to stir the human spirit and incite the imagination by providing awe, challenge and inspiration through original and compelling physical theatre.
Based in Vachon Island, in the Seattle Washington area, the ensemble has created over 20 new works since they started collaborating together in 1987. The company is committed to an Ensemble of performers who create and compose their own production. The work is rooted in physical theatre, although each ensemble member has their own interests. For each production, an ensemble member serves as artistic director, holding the larger picture in mind. Improvisations in movement, character, vocalizing, and writing are the basis for the creation and development of their new works.
Since their arrival on Vashon Island in 1989, UMO Ensemble has created over twenty original works for the theatre. The Ensemble’s material reflects their diverse range of styles and skills: the copper sculpture “dance animation” of Instinction (1987); the fifteen foot tall puppetry of Who Nose (1990), the mask and Red Nose clown work of Midnight Comix (1990) and Naughty Bits (1991), the lovably irreverent Buffoons of El Dorado (1992) and Insatiable Cabaret (1993); the acrobatic Djool of Caravan of Dreams (1994); the haunting, stripped-down beauty of Digging (1996) and Body Inheritance (1997); the archetypal fables of Expressions of the Spirit (1999); the breathtaking aerial virtuosity of Millennium Circus (1999), the musical and architectural richness of Cities (2001), the poignant and darkly comedic Fatal Peril (2003) and the playful and revealing Rapunzel (2005).
The current ensemble has seven members: Esther Edelman, Martha Enson, David Godsey, Elizabeth Klob, Janet McAlpin, Amy Rider & Lyam White. Each of them has a different background in theatre, dance, and the arts, making their productions rich and varied in technique and style.
Umo Ensemble also has an extensive workshop and residency program, and works extensively in the Washington State school system.
To find out more about their work and upcoming productions, visit their website listed below: