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This Charming Fringe: February, March, and September

December 16, 2014

The Fringe Presents Returns with Boyish Charm

Missed the Fringe? Don’t fret! The second year of programming outside the Festival promises epic lightsaber battles, high school reflections, and a break from reality in One-Man Star Wars Trilogy, Marathon, and Virtual Solitaire.

“This year’s Fringe Presents shows take us on a virtuosic ride through boyhood,” Fringe Executive Director David Jordan explains. “It’s every boy’s dream come true to be able to play like Charles Ross in his re-enactment of all three original Star Wars movies. In Virtual Solitaire we get to see the dark side of that male obsession with fantasy and video games when the fun doesn’t end, and finally, in Marathon, TJ Dawe takes us on a journey through awkwardness and isolation to manhood in his coming-of-age story.”

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy

“Ross makes an impressive Star Wars run in less than 12 parsecs!” —Chicago Sun Times

One-Man Star Wars Trilogy
By Charles Ross
February 17-19, 2015
at Performance Works
After last year’s sold out run of One-Man Lord of the Rings, Charles Ross is back by popular demand with his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy! He’s been touring the world with One-Man Star Wars Trilogy since 2002, when it was a hit on the Fringe circuit, with the George Lucas stamp of approval.

“With nuclear levels of energy, [Ross] throws himself around the stage, performing not only the dialogue of Lucas’ movies, but the theme music, sound effects, and both sides of the lightsaber battles.” —Variety

Virtual Solitaire

“A work of tremendous imagination formed by edgy, poetic writing and acted with awesome skill.” —Saskatoon StarPhoenix (Named Best Play at the Saskatoon Fringe Festival)

Virtual Solitaire
By Dawson Nichols
March 17-29, 2015
at Studio 1398
Since Virtual Solitaire’s 1997 debut and 2000 Vancouver Fringe run, technology has advanced exponentially, and so too has its ability to leave users feeling isolated, disconnected, and sometimes addicted. In Virtual Solitaire, Nathan is addicted to full immersion virtual reality. He’s had the surgery, but can’t afford the bandwidth anymore. He turns to testing games for cash, but gets trapped in one when the characters take over his brain and body—and he can no longer tell the difference between his virtual reality and his real life.

“So beautifully written and performed that it should stand as a blueprint for any solo artist.” —Peter Birnie, The Vancouver Sun

 

 

Marathon is TJ Dawe’s 14th one-man show as writer and performer. You can catch it this March at Studio 1398. Photo by Anita Lee / My City Photos.

Marathon is TJ Dawe’s 14th one-man show as writer and performer. You can catch it this March at Studio 1398. Photo by Anita Lee / My City Photos.

Marathon
By TJ Dawe
March 17-29, 2015
at Studio 1398
After receiving a standing ovation at the 2014 Vancouver Fringe Festival’s Opening Night and 30th Birthday Bash, we’re bringing Marathon back for a full run! Based on TJ Dawe’s short stint running track and field as a means of connecting with his high-school-principal-dad, Dawe links his actions and emotions to his understanding of the Enneagram and his Fringe career—giving audiences insight into the man who’s been delighting Fringe crowds since 1998’s Tired Clichés.

“An elfin grin spreads on his face, and he takes us back to his ill-fated career as a high school athlete … the long arms reach out and the tales spill with breathless enthusiasm. He takes three seemingly unrelated threads, skillfully winds them together and once again, he’s the master.” —Edmonton Sun

Congrats Fringe 2015 Lottery Winners!

2014's PTC Fringe New Play Award Winner, Tara Travis, passes the torch to 2015's winner, Derek Chan, in this Instagram video by Lois Dawson.

2014′s PTC Fringe New Play Award Winner, Tara Travis, passes the torch to 2015′s winner, Derek Chan, in this Instagram video by Lois Dawson.

On December 3, hopeful artists gathered amongst their friends and other Festival Fans at Vancouver’s ANZA Club. All were eager to find out which of the record breaking 221 applicants would win a spot in the random Lottery-selected lineup for next year’s Festival.

In true fun Fringe fashion, the Lottery also worked as a bingo game where attendees had to eat some worms (of the gummy variety), perform an Elvis impersonation, or do a slow dance whenever certain numbers were called out. Assisted by Board Members Nancy More, Lianna Walden, and Robyn Kurtz, Executive Director David Jordan hosted the draw and the game with whimsy and the occasional tip on how to do a proper “high school slow dance.”

Before the official draw, 2014’s winner of the PTC Fringe New Play Prize, Tara Travis, presented 2015’s winner, playwright Derek Chan of rice & beans theatre. Derek’s play Starstuff will receive a free Mainstage spot at the 2015 Festival as well as dramaturgical support with Playwrights Theatre Centre’s, Kathleen Flaherty.

During the Lottery draw, Derek’s co-artistic director at rice & beans, Peter Chamale, also won a spot for his own show which he said will include topics such as “cooking and brown people,” called Small Town Hoser Spic. Another Lottery winner was longtime Festival volunteer Scott Water, who is producing a play about “a boy who sees letters and numbers in colour but isn’t crazy.” Two-time London Fringe performer and choreographer, Emilee Nimetz is both excited and “terrified!” to be doing her first solo production. Emilee’s spoken word and movement-based show will be centered around the idea of its title, How to Build a Home.

People at the Lottery Party participating in a singalong led by Executive Director David Jordan.

People at the Lottery Party participating in a singalong led by Executive Director David Jordan.

Candice Fiorentino of Anatolia Speaks, along with Martin Dockery (with a new show, The Exclusion Zone) will return in 2015, as will Portland-based mask artist Andrew Phoenix of WonderHeads. Lottery Party goers cheered on when other return artists’ names were pulled from the hats, including Hiromi Yano (aka Little Miss Hiccup), Trent Baumann (better known as The Birdmann), and Corin Raymond, who won the Pick of the Fringe with his show Bookworm, a few years ago.

Just before the final provincial winner was drawn, Board Members Doug Beaton and Robyn Kurtz hijacked the Lottery to celebrate David’s decade-long stint at the Fringe. David was bestowed with a tower of hats, each representing a role he’s played over the years as Executive Director. An audience favourite was “The Lid of the Last Minute Success.”

To cap off the event, shadow puppeteers Mind of a Snail delighted the crowd with what they described as their “weirdest show ever,” Inside Outlet, before the Nautical Miles’ Corbin Murdoch spun a selection of dance-inducing tunes.

Full Lottery and WaitList results can be found here. Heaps of thanks to the ANZA Club for lending us their room, equipment, and wonderful staff! Congrats 2015 Lottery winners!

Change the World

It’s not too late!

Your donations let the Festival and Fringe artists create those unique and life-changing moments, big and small, that we all love. It doesn’t happen without your help!

High Tea was just one Mainstage show that benefited from generous donations to the Fringe! Photo by Michael Sider.

High Tea was just one Mainstage show that benefited from generous donations to the Fringe! Photo by Michael Sider.

Fringe Lovers covered the basic costs of about half of the 2014 Festival Mainstage shows! These Fringe Heroes helped make the 30th Anniversary Fringe utterly unforgettable and the biggest Festival to date! It’s not too late to be a Fringe Hero and make a difference!

Work on the 2015 Festival is already well underway. The successful Dramatic Works Series will be returning for a second year, we are creating new mentorship opportunities (including with youth), and beginning exciting collaborations with local independent theatre companies! And Fringe Presents continues this Spring.

Of course, none of this materializes by itself. Your investment in the Festival and Fringe artists will help make sure this happens and make it all as amazing as it can possibly can be!

Forgot to donate? Want to add to the transformative power of your 2014 donation? Want to help fund over 50% of the performances?… Or save more on your 2014 taxes? It’s not too late to create amazing theatre for everyone… and get a 2014 tax receipt!

Help create a strong year-round Fringe and build the next Festival and next decade of Fringe! This is your Fringe—make it happen!

Thank you for your belief in your Fringe!

Sponsor Spotlight: The Georgia Straight

For nearly 50 years, the Georgia Straight has been reporting on Vancouver’s arts, culture, lifestyle, politics, and everything in between. They even printed the Fringe’s program guide back when the Festival was establishing itself in the 1980s. We asked them to share a little bit about what it’s like sponsoring the Festival:

The Georgia Straight covers a lot of Fringe, and their coverage took up a lot of space on our Press Clippings board at the Festival this year. Photo by Michael Sider.

The Georgia Straight covers a lot of Fringe, and their coverage took up a lot of space on our Press Clippings board at the Festival this year. Photo by Michael Sider.

How did you support the Fringe this year?
As a true partner to the Fringe, we produced a special issue and sent out our talented theatre reviewers to see as much Fringe as humanly possible. Shouldn’t Colin Thomas get a special Fringe award?

Tell us why your organization supports the Fringe and/or the arts.
We believe the arts provide a vital contribution to the community and make our city a better place to live. The Fringe personifies everything that the arts should be…accessible, fun, affordable, and a place to nurture artists. The Fringe is also a great kick off to the arts season and seems to wrap up the summer months in a perfect way. The Fringe Festival has been voted “Best Performing Arts Festival” in our Best of Vancouver Readers’ Poll for many years. Our readers LOVE the Fringe!

What do you like about the Fringe?
In FIVE words:
Fun
Risky
Incredible
New
Gutsy
Engaging

If your organization and the Fringe were people, what would they do on an afternoon together? And why?
We would create something wacky and fun…probably a band or a theatre troupe or combination thereof. How about “The Straight Fringers?” Sounds like a hit coming your way soon….topped off with a party to wrap it up.

The Theatre Scene

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

Fringe alumni, Kahlil Ashanti, stars in PostSecret, written by fellow Fringe alumni, TJ Dawe.

Fringe alumni, Kahlil Ashanti, stars in PostSecret, written by fellow Fringe alumni, TJ Dawe.

It’s a Wonderful Life: Radio Show
December 5 – 30, 2014
Pacific Theatre
Who would have guessed that an attempted suicide would become a beloved holiday classic? Revisit the perennial favourite as a 1940s style radio play, written by Peter Church. Check out the cute costumes in this preview!

Kayak
January 7 – 17, 2015
Firehall Arts Centre
Produced by Fringe alumni, Alley Theatre, Kayak, is the story of Annie Iverson, a BMW-driving, bleached-blond who sets out to save her son from the dangers of his radical environmentalist girlfriend.

PostSecret: The Show
January 20 – February 7, 2015
Firehall Arts Centre
Fringe legend TJ Dawe creates monologues that often spring from his deepest, darkest secrets. He has teamed up with Frank Warren, creator of PostSecret.com one of the most popular blogs in the world, to develop this unforgettable live, immersive experience that draws you into the world of sexual, sad, funny, and controversial secrets, connecting stories of frailty and heroism playing out silently around us. Starring Fringe alumni, Kahlil Ashanti.

Happy Holidays!

From our white board to you! Happy holidays from the Fringe! Illustration by Shantini Klaassen.

From our whiteboard to you! Happy holidays from the Fringe! Illustration by Shantini Klaassen.

Tick Tock! 2015 Fringe is Coming

November 19, 2014

You’re Invited to the Fringe Lottery Party!

What are these spoons up to? Mind of a Snail's performance at the Lottery Party will let you in on the secret!

What are these spoons up to? Mind of a Snail’s performance at the Lottery Party will let you in on the secret!

Be among the first to know which artists will be part of the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival! We will be drawing names out of a hat to select next year’s Mainstage Artists on Wednesday, December 3 at the ANZA Club. You thought we were just making up the randomness of Fringe shows year after year? No, we really do draw shows out of a hat. Really!

On top of drawing the shows, we’ll eat gummie worms, give each other high fives, have high school style slow dances, and other such silliness as we play a weird version of bingo—and you may even win a prize from DOXA Festival!

After the Lottery, shadow puppet masters, Mind of a Snail will perform Inside Outlet, a show of objects. There’ll be toothbrush on hairbrush violence, a gelato spoon ghost, and spray bottles who are the gatekeepers to a mystical face. This 35-minute show is certainly quirky, and Mind of a Snail promises it will leave audiences with a warm, contemplative energy.

Stick around after the performance and dance with us as DJs Warbin (aka Wade & Corbin) play everyone’s favourite songs—you will not be able to stop yourself from shakin’ your groove thang.

Details:

Where: The ANZA Club, 3 West 8th Ave (upstairs)
When: Wednesday, December 3 starting at 8:00pm
Cost: The Lottery Party is free, but donations to Mind of a Snail will be accepted via pass the hat
Dress: Whatever you like—with a hat!

Can’t make the party, but still want to know which artists are getting in? We’ll be live tweeting that night!

More Chances to Be a Fringe Artist!

The Dramatic Works Series is Back & Last Chance to Apply for a Mainstage Spot

 

So you want to put on a Fringe show… well you can!

Betty Lambert's The Good of the Sun was performed by Good Theatre as part of the Dramatic Works Series in 2014. Will your favourite dramatic work be part of the Series in 2015? Photo by Kurtis Stewart.

Betty Lambert’s The Good of the Sun was performed by Good Theatre as part of the Dramatic Works Series in 2014. Will your favourite dramatic work be part of the Series in 2015? Photo by Kurtis Stewart.

The application deadline for the Mainstage Category closes on Wednesday, November 26. Mainstage artists get their venue, technician, and schedule included as part of their fees, as well as Box Office support and inclusion in Festival marketing. Click through for all the information on what’s included and how to apply—but make sure you apply by Nov. 26!

We’re happy to announce that the Dramatic Works Series will be back for a second year thanks to the generous support of Lochmaddy Foundation. Artists in the Dramatic Works Series are selected on a first come, first served basis, but they must meet the criteria, including producing a published dramatic script with two or more actors in the show (no one-man shows). Applications open today, so get on it! In addition to getting a venue, technician, schedule, Box Office support, and inclusion in Festival marketing, Dramatic Works Series artists will be mentored by a local director (last year, it was Scott Bellis). Check here for full details on how the Dramatic Works Series works and to apply.

In January, the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category—which includes site-specific shows—will open. Artists hoping to apply as a BYOV can find information here and here. More information will be shared soon!

There might be gender parity at the Fringe, but in more professional theatre, it's not the case. Photo by Clayton Wong.

There might be gender parity at the Fringe, but in more professional theatre, it’s not the case. Photo by Clayton Wong.


More Women Playwrights at the Fringe

There are lots of women artists and playwrights at the Fringe—in fact almost 62% of applicants to the 2014 Festival were women—but this is far from the norm. According to a national study, women account for only 33% of artistic directors, 34% of working directors, and 27% of produced playwrights. When Ruby Slippers Theatre heard this, they partnered with the Fringe and with Equity in Theatre to begin a new project: Advance Theatre: New Works By Women.

The Advance Series will showcase dramatic readings of five new plays by Canadian women playwrights during the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival—and they’re accepting submissions now till February 15!

If you have a script, submit it to Ruby Slippers by February 15 for consideration. Click here for more details on the submission process. We’ll announce the chosen plays in June!

On the Day of the Dead

Every year, the Fringe brings together a haphazard group of people: artists who are trying something new, who want to tell personal stories, who create something magical on stage; volunteers who not only work their 20 hours, but offer to stay and help; audience members who see two shows or 30 shows; and everyone in between. So many of these people come back year after year that the Fringe has been described as summer camp. It’s a gathering space for old and new friends as much as it is a theatre festival.


Day of the Dead 2014

The Fringe wants to bring all these people together more often—through events like our year-round series The Fringe Presents and the upcoming Lottery Party. On November 2, the Mexican Day of the Dead, we held another such event.

For a second year in a row, Fringers gathered at Los Cuervos Taqueria y Cantina. Over tacos, margaritas, and churros, we all took some time to get to know each other a little better. We recalled Fringes past and imagined future Fringes, and shared our hope that the community the Fringe creates will always exist.

As the evening unfolded, Fringe Executive Director, David Jordan, got up on a chair to welcome everyone. He reminded us that the Day of the Dead is meant to honour those who have passed. He then shared the story of his uncle Charlie, whose funeral he attended this past year. David’s memories of Charlie are those of a child—he remembered Charlie teasing a pet bird by moving a toothpick back and forth across his mouth as the bird kept trying to grab it. Charlie was a joker. By the end of his life, Charlie was in an assisted living home. While David thought at first that this was sad, he learned at Charlie’s funeral that Charlie was well-known and appreciated—he and his roommates had created a community within the home, one that, for Charlie, was filled with the art he loved, that a friend had painted and given to Charlie. Far from being alone, Charlie had been surrounded by a community he’d helped create—showing David that Charlie’s impact had been more than he imagined.

For many of us, that’s exactly what we want: to have our own community, especially one filled with art. It’s a big part of what the Fringe tries to create, and the promise of such a community far into the future, a Fringe Forever, was what we got to celebrate that chilly November night.

2015 is closer than you think!

December 31 is just around the corner! Don’t forget that your donation to the Fringe will get you a 2014 tax receipt and it’ll help create an amazing 2015 Festival with plenty of opportunities for performing artists. Thanks, in advance! Donate now, before it’s too late for your 2014 taxes!

Sponsor Spotlight: Shear Comfort

Shear Comfort supported the Fringe Volunteer Program in 2014--and here are just a few of the Fringe's volunteers! Photo by Clayton Wong.

Shear Comfort supported the Fringe Volunteer Program in 2014–and here are just a few of the Fringe’s volunteers! Photo by Clayton Wong.

Volunteers are a supremely important part of making sure the Fringe Festival runs smoothly—they sell tickets, tend bar, do data entry, and tons of other jobs that Festival staff simply would not be able to do without them. Shear Comfort knows the importance of volunteers to the Festival, so in 2014, they joined the Fringe to support our volunteer program. Here’s what they have to say about working with us:

In one sentence, tell us what your organization/business is or does.
We provide customers with completely customized car seat covers in a wide variety of styles and colours.

Tell us why your organization supports the Fringe and/or the arts.
We love the work that the Fringe puts into the events and we love attending the events even more!

What do you like about the Fringe?
We love the variety of different performances and acts, both the tame and the bizarre. Great entertainment!

If your organization and the Fringe were people, what would they do on an afternoon together? 
Probably take a ride in a car with nice neoprene seat covers while listening to the soundtrack from Star Wars.

What other charities does your organization support?
The SPCA is another charity we are proud to support.

Do you have any recommendations for audiences on what to do at the Fringe? If so, what?
Being Star Wars fans, the upcoming One-Man Star Wars Trilogy sounds amazing.


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