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Winter Blues Remedies: Theatre, Art, Travel

February 12, 2015

September’s Too Far! Fringe With Us Now!

We’re really excited about the second year of the Fringe Presents series and hope you are too! We can’t wait to see the people we see each September back on Granville Island for these specially selected shows.

TJ Dawe's track and field career was short-lived. He'll tell you all about it in his latest show, Marathon.

TJ Dawe’s track and field career was short-lived. He’ll tell you all about it in his latest show, Marathon.

Charlie Ross’ One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is up next and it’s nearly sold out! Charlie’s been touring the world with this show since he took it to Fringe Festivals across Canada in 2002. It’s all happening February 17-19, but your best bet for tickets is the Wednesday, February 18 performance as both the 17 and 19 are nearly sold out.

March 17-29 brings “Fringe God,” TJ Dawe back for his latest show Marathon. In true TJ style, this personal story has TJ sharing details on his relationship with his father and about his creative process.

Sharing Studio 1398 with TJ will be Dawson Nichols with his show Virtual Solitaire. Written in the late 1990s, when virtual reality was in its infancy, Virtual Solitaire’s themes of technology addiction and loneliness are still prevalent today—and closer to reality than you may realize.

TJ and Dawson are off at the Adelaide Fringe Festival together and will be collaborating on a potential project while away. Stay tuned to our next newsletter for interviews with both Fringe alumni and in the meantime, get your tickets to see them on the same night this March!

Winterruption on Granville Island

Grey February winter skies and cold weather got you down? Granville Island’s art-centered Winterruption Festival may be just the thing to cure your weather-induced discontent. This colourful festival brings the Island to life with the OSGEMEOS Giants, Pop up Dances, free chocolate and port from Liberty Wine Merchants, TheatreSports, and many other exciting performances, installations, and activities—including Charlie Ross, whose renowned 60-minute One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, is sure to restore balance to the winter blues.

Fringe Bar alumni, The Ballantynes, are part of the Winterruption Festival this year.

Fringe Bar alumni, The Ballantynes, are part of the Winterruption Festival this year.

Coastal Jazz, aka the Vancouver Jazz Festival, will be presenting “Motown-inspired Northern Soul” band and Fringe Bar alumni, the Ballantynes, who will be playing with Miss Quincy and the Showdown at Performance Works on February 20.

Full Circle will host a conversation on the issue of inequity in the craft of Directing on February 20 as well as offering a full day Master Class workshop on Negotiating Social Change through Theatre and the Politics of Art on February 21.

The entire festival runs from February 19 to 22. Click here to view the entire Winterruption program.

Web Sales Temporarily Unavailable

You may feel like this guy if you try to buy tickets from our website on March 2 or 3. But don't worry, it'll be back on March 4!

You may feel like this guy if you try to buy tickets from our website on March 2 or 3. But don’t worry, it’ll be back on March 4!

This March 2 and 3, you will be unable to login and buy tickets to Marathon and Virtual Solitaire. This may sound like bad news, but in fact, it’s great news! We’re switching to new ticketing software which will make your future ticket purchasing experiences easier and smoother than ever!

As of March 4, you’ll be able to access account information that you previously provided when purchasing tickets, but you will have to reset your password. When you first sign in with your email, just hit “Forgot Password” and a temporary password will be sent to your email and you’ll be prompted to create a new one.

We’re excited about our new system and hope you are too!

Sponsor Spotlight: G Adventures

Having an adventure travel company as a Fringe sponsor means we have great raffle prizes, like last year’s trip to Peru and 2013’s trip to Costa Rica! We asked G Adventures to share a little bit about what it’s like adding an extra layer of excitement to the Festival:

We imagine that last year's 1st place raffle winner is taking photos of Machu Picchu like this right now thanks to G Adventures.

We imagine that last year’s 1st place raffle winner is taking photos of Machu Picchu like this right now thanks to G Adventures.

In one sentence, tell us what your organization/business is or does.
G Adventures is an adventure travel company offering the planet’s most awe-inspiring selection of small-group tours, safaris, and expeditions all with a focus on sustainability and making the world a better place through travel.

Tell us why your organization supports the Fringe and/or the arts.
Having our only retail location in Vancouver, we feel it is important to support events in our community and our company core values align really well with the Fringe, values like “Create Happiness and Community, Embrace The Bizarre and We Love Changing People’s Lives.”

What do you like about the Fringe?
The range of artists and talent is amazing, there is always something new to see. The Fringe Bar is pretty cool too.

What other charities does your organization support?
We work closely with Planeterra, our own non-profit organization, to support projects in the countries we visit around the world.

If your organization and the Fringe were people, what would they do on an afternoon together? And why?
We would teleport ourselves to Mongolia for an afternoon and learn how to make patterns for traditional garments from a nomadic seamstress. Obviously!

The Theatre Scene

Just a taste of what Vancouver has to offer in the way of Theatre

ITSAZOO has designed a special cube for only 50 audience members for The Competition is Fierce.

ITSAZOO has designed a special cube for only 50 audience members for The Competition is Fierce.

Eat My Puppet Shorts
February 13

Studio 16
A show for audiences who are tired of watching people on stage and would rather see sock puppets. Featuring 11 short puppet pieces.

Talking Stick Festival
February 17- March 1
This year’s Talking Stick Festival, called Coming to the Fire showcases art, performances, and workshops by national and international Aboriginal artists including Polaris Prize winning throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

February 18-28

Havana Theatre
Catherine lives in the shadow of her mathematician father’s brilliance and descent into madness. John Stuart of Flickering Light Productions directs David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize Winning drama about the fragility of reality, trust, and love.

Chutzpah! Festival
February 19 – March 15
The Chutzpah! International Jewish Performing Arts Festival’s 15th anniversary brings together art, music, dance, theatre, and comedy from all over the world and puts some of it in downtown clubs and venues. Opening night features Tel-Aviv based dance company Maria Kong and their multi-media magical journey of a show, Backstage, at Red Room Ultra Bar.

The Competition is Fierce

March 3-22
Shop Theatre
Fringe alumni, ITSAZOO presents Sebastien Archibald’s newest play, which takes corporate competition to a violent, deranged, and psychopathic level—and it takes place in a specially designed cube!

Living the Dream: Star Wars, Fringe, and Accountants

January 20, 2015

Star Wars: The Next Generation

Charlie Ross, a kid obsessed with Star Wars, skipped a Cub Scouts meeting for his first acting workshop.

Charlie Ross, a kid obsessed with Star Wars, skipped a Cub Scouts meeting for his first acting workshop.

Charlie Ross is living his childhood dream—he gets to be Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, and retell the Star Wars stories—for an audience! “It’s connecting with that eight-year-old child, who loves to just reenact and play all the different characters,” Charlie recently told the BBC.

When Charlie was eight, he lived on a farm outside Prince George. His exposure to popular culture was pretty limited, but his dad had a tape of Star Wars that Charlie claims to have watched about 400 times. “The damage was done,” he told the BBC. “In a way, it was like childhood trauma!”

His mom let him skip Cub Scouts one night so he could attend his first acting workshop, and years later, Charlie has turned his obsession into a career that’s taken him around the world. He’s performed One-Man Star Wars Trilogy off-Broadway, in Dubai’s resorts, London’s West End, at Star Wars conventions, and everywhere in between.

But what’s it like being a kid on stage once you have a kid in real life?

In March, 2014, Charlie and his wife welcomed their baby girl to the world—an experience he says was way scarier than any performance experience. “Actors tend to rehearse things and don’t like to screw up, although it can be fun if you do, but with having a kid, you don’t want to make any mistakes. It’s all about the kid now!”

And while performing One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is still a great release for his inner eight-year-old, Charlie has noticed a shift in his performances. He pays much more attention to the kids, and their parents, when they’re part of the audience at his shows. “It might be more kid friendly. I just did a show in Petoskey, Michigan and there were lots of kids,” Charlie says. “It made me feel very happy to see the kids digging the show. It also made feel hopeful for future generations of theatre goers.”

Although being a dad means Charlie is now somewhat grown up, he’s happy to “get to relive being a kid as a parent” as his daughter grows—and he’s looking forward to the day he and his daughter bond over Star Wars.

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is playing February 17-19 at Performance Works on Granville Island. For more information, and to buy tickets, visit

More Opportunities to be a 2015 Fringe Festival Artist!

The Lottery has been drawn and the Dramatic Works Series filled up in a matter a minutes. So where does that leave artists who want to be part of the 2015 Fringe? There are two more options for you:

Bring Your Own Venue & Site-Specific Shows

At long last, our list of pre-approved Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) venues has been released! This year we’ve added new BYOV venues—Pacific Theatre and Arts Umbrella (and Carousel Theatre is back)—to create a wider variety of options for our artists. Click here for all the details on how to apply. BYOV applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Applicants must have a pre-approved venue secured before applying with the Fringe.

If you’d like to produce a Site-Specific Show for your BYOV, visit the Site-Specific info page for details and the application form. Don’t forget, your show must be site-specific. Proximity to either our Granville Island or our East Van hubs will be heavily considered.


New for 2015 is the DAREU! program! DAREU! is an evolution of the Onsite Program. Up to 12 participants will create Augmented Reality site-specific videos based on the theme of “risk.” These videos will be viewable on smartphones or tablets through the 2nd Story App and will debut at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in September. DAREU! will be similar to The Only Animal’s 2nd Story: Blood Alley pilot project, which was part of the 2014 Heart of the City Festival.

Workshops will be held weekly March 11 thru June 17 and The Only Animal will provide mentorship, instruction, workshop materials, video and editing equipment, design support, a production materials budget, and production and event support including printed and social media publicity materials. All participants will receive an Artist Rush Pass for the Fringe.

Participation is limited to writer-directors aged 17-24 (inclusive) who have the intention to be professional artists. No experience in film or video necessary. A gender balanced diverse group of artists will be selected on a first come, first served basis. For more information on the program, and to apply, visit The Only Animal’s website.

Be the Fringe’s Treasurer!

Always the banker in Monopoly? Love the Fringe? Show your love by helping us find a new Treasurer for the Fringe/FVTS Board (First Vancouver Theatrespace Society).

Our current Board Treasurer, Andrew Westman (who's hamming it up on the left here, at a recent Fringe Festival) will become our Board President next year and we're looking to fill turkey hat. Is that you?

Our current Treasurer, Andrew Westman (who’s hamming it up on the left at the Fringe Festival) will become our Board President next year and we’re looking to fill his…er turkey hat. Is that you?

Our very capable current Treasurer, Andrew Westman is becoming the next President of the FVTS Board, so we need someone to fill his shoes as he takes on this new role. As the Treasurer you would assist Andrew, the Board, and Executive Director David Jordan with the preparation of the annual budget, quarterly reports, and generally keeping on top on financial issues and keeping the Board informed.

See more details on the duties and skills we require. If you’re interested in this opportunity, please contact Board Member and Board Affairs Committee member, Jim Sibley.

We're not sure which one of you 600 volunteers did it, but thank you for choosing us for TELUS' Dollars for Doers program! Photo by Clayton Wong.

We’re not sure which one of you 600 volunteers did it, but thank you for choosing us for TELUS’ Dollars for Doers program! Photo by Clayton Wong.

Dollars for Doers

Thanks to an anonymous TELUS employee or retiree, and the TELUS Dollars for Doers program, the Fringe received a TELUS donation of $400!

Dollars for Doers is a program that recognizes the volunteer efforts of TELUS’ staff and retired staff team. When a TELUS employee volunteers a minimum of 50 hours in the community, TELUS donates $200 to the organization of his or her choice. And when a retired TELUS employee volunteers 200 hours, TELUS donates $400! To the Fringe Lover who designated the Fringe for the TELUS donation: Thanks, whoever you are, for choosing to support the Festival and Fringe artists!

Do you or did you work for TELUS, or another business that donates to charities in exchange for your volunteer hours? If so, don’t forget you can leverage more support for the Fringe through Dollars for Doers and other donation matching programs! Don’t work for TELUS? Many businesses offer similar volunteer rewards/donation matching programs. Just ask your HR representative and get your company supporting the Festival and Fringe artists!

Don’t forget: the Vancouver Fringe’s charitable society name is “First Vancouver Theatrespace Society.”

There's a new vision of Dionysus in The Bacchae 2.0. Photo by Tim Matheson.

There’s a new vision of Dionysus in The Bacchae 2.1. Photo by Tim Matheson.

The Theatre Scene

Just a taste of what Vancouver has to offer in the way of Theatre

PuSH International Performing Arts Festival
January 20 – February 8
Unique and genre pushing (hence the name) performances from artists around the world and around the block. Be sure to check out Club PuSH at Performance Works and free events like Human Library and Le Grand Continental (in which our Board President, Jane Westheuser, along with dozens of Vancouverites, will be dancing). And if you’re between 16-24 years old, get a Youth Passport and see up to six shows for just $5 each!

The Bacchae 2.1 
January 21 – February 7
Frederic Wood Theatre at UBC
American playwright Charles L. Mee often gets his mitts on the Greeks and shakes them around till their teeth rattle. The Bacchae 2.1 gives us a subversive Dionysus in thigh highs and combat boots. Warning: Explicit content.

This Stays In The Room
February 4 – 7
Waterfront Theatre
This Stays in the Room invites you, the audience, to join them on the stage of the Waterfront Theatre as they explore what it requires to face ourselves and others as we grapple with shame, forgiveness, vulnerability, and hope. Seated on the stage in the midst of the action, the audience will be invited to act as witness to the disquiet of other people’s internal dialogue and struggle.

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