WHAT WE DO
URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS IS A FIRST-CLASS THEATRE COMPANY THAT TELLS REAL-LIFE, OUTSTANDING STORIES AND IS TAKING THEM TO THE WORLD.
—THE HON. JASON CLARE, MEMBER FOR BLAXLAND
Urban Theatre Projects (UTP) makes work that has social impact. As Western Sydney’s premier independent arts organisation, UTP has created over 115 new Australian works that have received awards and recognition internationally and nationally. We tell personal, real-life stories that present a complex portrait of contemporary Australia and bring these stories into the everyday by creating site-specific, distinctive, cultural experiences for our audiences. We’re driven to make work that has the power to shift perceptions and break down stereotypes – work that inspires us to create a fairer and more compassionate society. We do that by connecting people through great storytelling and rich, shared experiences.
What we make
UTP has a curatorial approach to making work, where a number of artists respond to a common theme that has a universal power to connect and/or topical currency: such as climate change or the concept of family. We work with diverse artists, across cultures and generations – writers, visual artists, filmmakers and musicians in addition to theatre-makers – to respond to the theme from their perspective, through installation, film, music or performance.
How we make it
UTP’s artistic model involves ‘matchmaking’ artists with residents, scientists, businesses or industry leaders to create the spark of invention. In this process non-artists become an essential part of an artist-led creative process, with mutually beneficial outcomes.
Where we present it
UTP presents work in theatres – in Bankstown (NSW), Adelaide (SA), Burnie (TAS), Lismore (NSW) or Antwerp (Belgium) – and unexpected locations in Bankstown and beyond. From a laneway art gallery to a backyard film screening, a monologue on a shop corner to a large-scale performance on the street, we look for ways to engage new audiences by taking work off the stage and into the everyday.
WHO WE ARE
URBAN THEATRE PROJECTS IS ONE OF THE TOO FEW PERFORMANCE COMPANIES THAT CONTINUALLY THINK OUTSIDE THE SQUARE.
—THE SUN HERALD
Led by Artistic Director Jessica Olivieri, UTP is a small hands-on team working with artists and creatives to develop and implement UTP’s annual program. Jessica Olivieri has spent two decades developing ambitious cross-disciplinary projects with renowned national and international organisations.
UTP looks for new ways to create, present, distribute and finance its work; including diversifying the work UTP makes and how this work can be presented to open up new opportunities, and exploring alternative distribution models and partnerships, including digital platforms.
What we’re inspired by
- Theatre connecting people
- Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary
- Telling personal stories that have a universal quality and that remind us of our human connection
- The cultural richness of Sydney’s west; home to 1 in 3 NSW residents
- Collaborating with residents, businesses and industry leaders to collectively envision a better future
- Being innovative, nimble and responsive to opportunities
- Having a high social impact and a low environmental impact
A CULTURE OF INVENTION AND REINVENTION
Urban Theatre Projects, one of Australia’s more intrepid and experimental cross-cultural performance companies.
—THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
UTP has a 38-year history of creating groundbreaking work from its base in Sydney’s west. Under a handful of visionary artistic directors, the company has played a vital role in Australia’s cultural landscape.
- Sidney Myer Award recipient in recognition of the Company’s outstanding contribution to theatre
- Creator of over 115 new Australian works, including Back Home and The Fence
- A pioneer of new artistic models of social engagement
- A history of partnerships with high profile arts organisations including Sydney Festival, Centenary of Canberra, Harbourfront Centre Toronto
- A history of international touring to countries including Canada, Belgium and South Africa