Participants | Nishla Smith, Tom Harris, Luca Shaw, Elin Schofield, Eva Scott, Matthew Durkin
‘Sister’ is the latest project from ulita – a show about siblings who live on opposite sides of the world. To the brother, a painter struggling with anxiety, his sister is infallible. She’s a natural storyteller, and has always used her tales to protect him from pain and sadness. But storytelling walks a fine line with lying, and now the elaborate world she’s built around the two of them is beginning to crack.
Ulita is a new Northern voice in music-driven theatre, focused on creating immersive, visceral work from unexpected points of view. Its core members are lead writer/composer Nishla Smith, composer/musical director Tom Harris, and visual artist/designer Luca Shaw, each well-established artists in their own fields.
The Ulita team first came together on ‘What Happened to Agnes’, a visually distinctive staged song cycle commissioned by Opera North, and developed by Opera North, Leeds Playhouse, and HOME Mcr. ‘Agnes’ toured the UK in Spring 2020 with support from Arts Council England, and will be part of the British Council’s UK/AUSTRALIA season for 2022.
Our current projects are ‘The Secret Elevator’, a digital micro-commission for Lancaster Jazz Festival, blending poetry, music and art; and ‘Sister’ a 2-act musically-driven play, set for performance in late 2022. ‘Sister’ received funding for its R&D period through the Develop Your Creative Practice fund, and has recently been awarded an ACE Lottery Projects grant for upcoming development workshops at Snape Maltings as part of Britten Pears Arts’ residencies programme. The show has been picked up by Mercury Music Theatre for BEAM, a showcase of new British musical theatre.
We’re looking forward to partnering with Olympias Music Foundation later this year to develop a new community-focused piece of staged work here in our home-town of Manchester.
As a collective, Ulita is interested in creating authentic, multi-sensory performance experiences, blurring the genre boundaries between theatre, music and visual art. We focus on exploring unfamiliar viewpoints and stories, and enjoy bending the fragile line between reality and the imagination. Our work style is collaborative, and we reject hierarchical structures. We strive for our work to be inclusive and accessible, and are committed to balancing our community-facing and performance projects.