Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts

BA Theatre York University, MFA Theatre York University, LMDA (Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas) member, Actors Equity, Concordia University Artist in Residence, Pounds Per Square Inch Performance (lbs/sq”) Associate Artist

I have witnessed how an expanding knowledge of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary theatre practice has shaped my life and work. Working primarily in the development of new works, I embrace the knowledge that each new work embodies the artists’ individual, cultural and environmental perspective. As an artist/woman of colour I am well aware of some of the external and internalized barriers that inhibit freedom of expression and have strived to create consciously decolonized environments that nurture authentic and embodied modes of expression. Diane Roberts
Diane has directed for such companies as Urban Ink Productions, Black Theatre Workshop, The Theatre Centre, Theatre Direct, The Company of Sirens, Frank Theatre, b current, Cahoots Theatre Projects, Obsidian Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Women in View Festival, The Sudbury Theatre Centre and The Stratford Festival. She is the former Artistic Director of urban ink productions in Vancouver (2007-2014) and former Artistic Co-Director of Nightwood Theatre in Toronto (1994-96). She is also a founding member of Obsidian Theatre and the Co-founder of backforward collective. She has taught theatre and interdisciplinary arts practice at York University and Concordia University and has lectured extensively.

Over the years, through practice and teaching, Diane has developed her voice as a cultural leader—one who would cultivate and promote a vision for theatre that encourages Indigenous ways of knowing as a stepping stone to authentic creative expression. This vision is bolstered by the creation of innovative projects inspiring trans-disciplinary and trans-cultural collaboration.

Diane is the founder of the Arrivals Legacy Project and has been the lead workshop facilitator for the past 13 years. The roots of storytelling and multi-disciplinary art forms (mixing of ritual song, dance, storytelling, live art and theatre) drive her arts practice. Her intuitive style of facilitation draws on specifically crafted creative engagement tools that inspire participants from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds to unearth their authentic creative impulses. Her working methodology draws out and establishes a common vocabulary amongst diverse Indigenous and Intercultural artists, our ways of working and our sense of ourselves as artists in a global society. Diane has developed a signature aesthetic in her directorial work using a rooted creation process that builds on extensive ensemble work and seamless character development. Her process strives to elicit naturalized character rhythms & gestures and connects them to character motivation, intentions and actions. 

Diane Roberts is an accomplished director, dramaturge, writer and cultural animator who has collaborated with innovative theatre visionaries and interdisciplinary artists for the past 30 years. Her directorial and dramaturgical work has been seen on stages across Canada and her reputation as a mentor, teacher and community collaborator is nationally and internationally recognized.