The Citadel Theatre is proud to announce the appointment of Mieko Ouchi, one of Edmonton’s most prolific theatre professionals, to the position of TD Associate Artistic Director. This position is funded through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s global corporate citizenship program. Mieko has been at the forefront of advocacy for Albertan artists as a founder and Artistic Director of Concrete Theatre, alongside a brilliant body of artistic work as an actor, playwright, dramaturg, director and producer.
A graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting Program, Mieko Ouchi has been a finalist for, or recipient of, dozens of theatre awards and prizes, including Sterling and Betty Awards, the Carol Bolt Prize, the Enbridge Award for Established Canadian Playwright, the City of Edmonton Book Prize, and the Governor General’s Literary Award. Recently, she helped found an Edmonton (and now Alberta-wide) chapter of the 3.7% Initiative, an artistic leadership program for BIPOC women and non-binary people originally created in Vancouver by Boca del Lupo’s Sherry D. Yoon. In June, Mieko joined the Citadel’s team as an Associate Artist alongside fellow theatre-makers Tai Amy Grauman and Helen Belay.
Albertan and nationwide audiences will remember her groundbreaking plays The Red Priest (Eight Ways to Say Goodbye), The Blue Light, and Nisei Blue as well as her plays for youth I Am For You and Consent, which debuted in Alberta and have since been translated to six different languages and been produced across the country and internationally. Her new play Burning Mom was set to premiere with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre this spring, She made her Mainstage playwriting debut at the Citadel in April 2018 alongside composer Hawksley Workman and director Daryl Cloran with The Silver Arrow: The Untold Story of Robin Hood, a diverse and inclusive twist on the classic tale.
As the incoming TD Associate Artistic Director, Mieko Ouchi will oversee the development of new work and commissions; as well as training opportunities for emerging Artists such as the Citadel’s Assistant Director training and the RBC Emerging Artist Program; and more to be announced in the coming months. We are incredibly grateful to learn from her expertise as part of the Citadel family and offer a new platform for her to continue supporting our community’s theatre-makers. As well, we extend our deepest thanks to our friends at TD for making it possible to bring such an excellent leader to our team while we continue efforts to recover from the extended hiatus of the ongoing pandemic.
Mieko begins her role as TD Associate Artistic Director this month. Helen Belay and Tai Amy Grauman will continue in their roles as Associate Artists, and we’re excited to continue our relationship with all three of these outstanding artists.
“I am so honored to be joining Daryl, Chantell, the board and the entire Citadel team in this new role, and look forward to continuing to support new play development, and building new opportunities, training and safe spaces for the amazing and diverse community of artists we have in our city and province whom I admire so much,” says Mieko. “I am truly grateful for the incredible support I’ve received and continue to receive as an artist from Daryl and the Citadel, and excited to have a position that will allow me to continue to foster, shepherd and pass that on to many others.”
“The TD Ready Commitment is proud to support the Citadel Theatre as part of our focus on amplifying diverse voices in the arts“, says Farah Kurji, TD’s Senior Manager, Philanthropy. “Congratulations, Mieko Ouchi, on being the first TD Associate Artistic Director. We look forward to your leadership that will elevate artists from different backgrounds and mentor them through their careers in the dramatic arts.”