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Now On To the 31st Vancouver Fringe Festival

October 7, 2014

The 30th Vancouver Festival was a success! Photo by Michael Sider.

The 30th Vancouver Festival was a success! Photo by Michael Sider.

Risk, Drama, and Gratitude: This is 30

What an amazing 30th anniversary Festival—and calling it our best yet is no exaggeration! We introduced the new Dramatic Works Series, partied at a smash Opening Night Birthday Bash, danced at the Fringe Bar, sent someone to Peru, ate lots of chocolate, played Super Nintendo, laughed, cried, were shocked and sometimes appalled at the shows we saw, and hung out with all the amazing artists, volunteers, donors, and other audience members who make every September the perfect end to the summer.

Attendance was up over last year—breaking our previous attendance record! And we had record high attendance the first weekend of the Festival. Over 100 performances were completely sold out. Artist donations from their performances and your contributions to attend the Fringe Awards Night, meant nearly $2,000 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society—that’s almost $6,000 worth of food! And donations during and prior to the Festival covered the basic costs of almost half of all Mainstage performances—far more than any previous year! (Forgot to donate? No problem!)

Dirty Old Woman enjoyed a sold out run and won the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, garnering a run at The Cultch next year. “We had a dream cast of Susinn McFarlen, Robert Salvador, Emmelia Gordon, and Alison Kelly,” writer Loretta Seto explained. “When it was announced that we’d been awarded the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, I literally felt my jaw drop—it was a shock and a thrill all at the same time! I feel incredibly lucky to have had such a strong team to help make Dirty Old Woman happen at the Fringe.”

2014 was the inaugural year for the Dramatic Works Series and Liz Kirkland, producer and actor in The Good of the Sun pointed out that “the Fringe offered me a place to learn, fail, question, and eventually succeed in producing a show for the Dramatic Works Series without feeling like I might fall flat on my face. I was set up for success by the staff and the Festival as a whole. I have finished this whole process feeling accomplished as a producer and artistically fulfilled as an actor. I can’t wait to do more!”

Ross Travis (centre) accepting the Artistic Risk Award from Little Miss Risk (left) and Fringe Board Member, Lianna Walden (right). Photo by My City Photos.

Ross Travis (centre) accepting the Artistic Risk Award from Little Miss Risk (left) and Fringe Board Member, Lianna Walden (right). Photo by My City Photos.

Ross Travis, of The Greatest Monkey Show on Earth, won our first ever Artistic Risk Award. “What an incredible fulfilled feeling to get honored in this way after all of the risks I took this year: Started my own company. Made a new show. Made a nonverbal show. Interacted with the audience in daring ways. Combined disciplines I’ve never combined before. Chose themes near and dear to my heart and presented them in a way that caused conversation that wasn’t always popular,” Ross explained. “Thanks to all I’ve met along the way who have been supportive of me and who have been a part of this!”

Our volunteers, as usual, were also amazingly supportive of the Fringe. They told us about some of their experiences with the Festival:

“I walked into Fringe alone, a bit anxious and overwhelmed. I came out enlightened, with friends, and some amazing experiences that money could never buy. Some artists had stories so deep and meaningful that the world has to know and share.”

Fringe volunteers are pretty much the best...and they think the Fringe is pretty great too! Photo by Clayton Wong.

Fringe volunteers are pretty much the best…and they think the Fringe is pretty great too! Photo by Clayton Wong.

“Often I had artists come up to me on the Island and thank me for volunteering. This gratitude hits home the strongest as I know they are the reason for the Festival and we are all supporting them.”

“My days consist of waking up and thinking about Fringe—for two weeks it’s pretty much all I can think of. The live music at the Bar, the artists I meet while lining up for shows, the amazing shows I was excited to see, seeing old friends from last year’s fringe—It’s a Festival I’ve come to love and love with great passion.”

Artists and volunteers weren’t the only ones having a great time. Responses via our audience survey were incredibly positive too:

“The Fringe Festival is one of the things that makes Vancouver a great place to live. It adds real flavour and personality to the city.”

“I love the atmosphere it gives off and all the amazing creativity! It brings people together.”

“It’s about artists and the audience taking risks together.”

“This is theatre at its best—the lack of censorship and lottery system encourages innovation so it is the ONLY place to this amount of diversity and quality!”

“First time attending, won’t be the last time!”

Thanks to all of you who helped make the 30th Vancouver Fringe Festival a special one! Be sure to make your calendar for next year’s Festival, September 10-20, and visit us during our year-round series of performances, starting with One-Man Star Wars Trilogy this February!

Tara Travis won the Fringe New Play Prize with The Unfortunate Ruth in 2014. Apply now and it could be you in 2015!

Tara Travis won the Fringe New Play Prize with The Unfortunate Ruth in 2014. Apply now and it could be you in 2015!

Fringe New Play Award Application Deadline Extended!

Do you have the beginnings of a great script? Do you want to showcase it at the 2015 Vancouver Fringe? Well good news playwrights! The deadline for submissions for the Fringe New Play Prize has been extended to October 17!

Playwrights Theatre Centre is a dramaturgically-focused theatre company that finds, nurtures, and advances Canadian playwrights and supports new plays from creation to performance. For a third year, PTC has teamed up with the Fringe for the Fringe New Play Prize. The winner receives dramaturgical support from PTC and a free guaranteed Mainstage Category spot in the 2015 Festival.

To submit, you must have draft script and a basic production plan to be eligible for the Award. For full details on how to submit, visit PTC’s website. Don’t forget, the deadline is October 17!

There are a lot of Fringe Festivals in North America that you could tour to if you win the CAFF Touring Lottery!

There are a lot of Fringe Festivals in North America that you could tour to if you win the CAFF Touring Lottery!

Be a Fringe Artist in 2015!

Attention performing artists! Do you want to be part of the 2015 Fringe Festival? Ever thought about performing your show on the Fringe circuit across Canada (and some States)? The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals has made touring the circuit just a little easier with the Touring Lottery Application! All applications must be received on or before 5:00pm EST on Friday, October 10!

If your application is drawn in the lottery, you’ll get to choose a minimum of five Fringe Festivals to be a part of in 2015! Take your show on the road and apply today.

Honour a fine artist and support the Fringe!

La Douceur du Thé et des Ponts de Venise by Theo Tobiasse could be yours! Contact us at gareth[at]vancouverfringe[dot]com for details.

La Douceur du Thé et des Ponts de Venise by Theo Tobiasse could be yours! Contact us at gareth[at]vancouverfringe[dot]com for details.

From his first exhibition in Nice in 1960 (when he won the grand prize!), to his passing in 2012, Theo Tobiasse wowed the world with his art. Born in Israel, where he lived out his final days, he survived a childhood under the Nazi occupation of Lithuania. When Tobiasse moved to France, post-liberation, his pursuit of art became public.

Though he created sculptures, pottery, and stained glass, the world knows him best through his arresting paintings, gouaches, drawings, etchings, and prints. The Fringe luckily received one of these beautiful gouaches as a gift from long-time Fringe Lovers who moved south. The piece, called La Douceur du Thé et des Ponts de Venise, is mixed media gouache on paper, signed, and it measures 26 ½” x 19 ½” (exclusive of its frame).

We hope to receive at least $5,000 for the piece. We’d like to put it in the next Maynards fine art auction—but first we wanted to make sure that those in our closest circle and their friends have an opportunity to share in our good fortune!

Please let us know as soon as possible if you or someone you know would be interested.

The Theatre Scene

Jay Clift & Pippa Mackie star in the Canadian premiere of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's wickedly funny play, Hunter Gatherers. Photo by Oshy Parasol & Jonathan Dy.

Jay Clift & Pippa Mackie star in the Canadian premiere of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s wickedly funny play, Hunter Gatherers. Photo by Oshy Parasol & Jonathan Dy.

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

Butt Kapinski 
Now-October 11, 2014
The Cultch
2013 Cultchivating the Fringe Award Winner, Butt Kapinski is back at The Cultch till October 11! Don’t miss this totally interactive film noir clown that will shock and delight you! Plus, there’ a talkback Oct. 7 too!

Vancouver International Improv Festival
Now-October 11
Various
Featuring Fringe alumni, Hip.Bang!, Lorax, and Virginia Jack (Orange is the New Blank), VIIF is made up on the spot from your suggestions! And there are even workshops for you to try your hand at improvising!

The Rainmaker
October 10-November 1, 2014
Pacific Theatre
See our Box Office staff on stage (are you surprised we hire actors to man our Box Office?)—and Robert Salvador, the younger man in the 2014 Fringe hit, Dirty Old Woman. In this prairie romance, Lizzie must decide if the man promising rain for her drought-ridden ranch is a con artist, or if he’s the key.

Hunter Gatherers 
October 29-November 15, 2014
Havana Theatre
There are plenty of familiar Fringe faces (directed by Ryan Gladstone and starring Pippa Mackie, Peter Carlone, and Maryanne Renzetti) in this dark comedy that’s described as “Lord of the Flies meets Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe.”

Sponsor Spotlight: CMHC Granville Island

Granville Island lets the Fringe take over a lot of spaces during the Festival, including some space for posters outside the Public Market. Photo by Clayton Wong.

Granville Island lets the Fringe take over a lot of spaces during the Festival, including some space for posters outside the Public Market. Photo by Clayton Wong.

Granville Island has been the Fringe’s home base since 2000 and they’ve supported us through the Cultural Partners Program as well as letting us take over most of the Island during the Festival with our outdoor spaces and many of the Onsite Program shows! Here’s what they have to say about working with us:

In one sentence, tell us what your organization/business is or does.
Granville Island is an urban, waterfront neighbourhood with an unusual mix of arts and culture, food and shopping, offering a unique and enriching experience every time you visit.

What other charities does your organization support?
Many festivals and theatre groups that are on Granville Island.

Tell us why your organization supports the Fringe and/or the arts.
The performing arts industry is a pillar of the Granville Island experience and enriches our visitors’ lives. The Fringe is important because it provides an audience for emerging, experimenting artists.

What do you like about the Fringe?
The creative energy and joyful spirit. The unexpected element; the opportunity to discover new talent and ideas.

If your organization and the Fringe were people, what would they do on an afternoon together? And why?
We would go see a new show together, because we are curious and adventurous.

Take Your Pick this Weekend

September 18, 2014

The Pick is on Now!

Call it the Festival cool down. Call yourself lucky for getting a second chance to see hot Fringe shows. Call it what you like—the Public Market Pick of the Fringe is on now! If you didn’t get to see these shows during the Festival (or couldn’t get tickets because they were sold out) this is your opportunity. In addition to these five great shows, there’s Pick Plus, the hand-picked shows we think you’ll love. Help us say so long to another great Festival by joining us at Performance Works tonight through Sunday.

But act fast, good people! Last night’s Peter n’ Chris double header was sold out! And Saturday’s Pick Plus show, 6 Guitars, is sold out as well. We recommend getting your tickets in advance and we kindly remind you that ticket prices are the same, whether purchased in advance or at the door.

…didn’t see that coming
Thursday, September 18 at 7pm
Fringe alumni and television and film actor, Beverley Elliot, shares personal stories of her journey from gay bars to red carpets.  A show for anyone trying to stumble through life with humour and a little grace.

“A terrific show by an amazingly generous performer. Icing on this cake is her gorgeous voice.” —Jo Ledingham, the Vancouver Courier

 

Caws & Effect
Thursday, September 18 at 9pm
Mind of a Snail expands on their shadow puppetry repertoire to include mask and original music in this tale told from a crow’s point of view.

“The 45-minute show is dense with ‘wow’ moments. You won’t want to blink for fear of missing one.” —CBC

 

Dirty Old Woman
Friday, September 19 at 9pm
Winner of the 2014 Cultchivating the Fringe Award, this star-studded show explores a May-December romance between Nina, an older woman (Susinn McFarlen) and a much younger man (Robert Salvador) with Emmelia Gordon and Alison Kelly as Nina’s shocked daughter and best friend, respectively.

“This is rich territory for McFarlen who not only has great comedic chops but an air of wry wisdom about her…Hot as the sex we’re led to believe Nina is having are the tickets for this show.” —Jo Ledingham, the Vancouver Courier

No Tweed Too Tight: Another Grant Canyon Mystery
Saturday, September 20 at 9pm
Fringe favourite, Ryan Gladstone, is very, very drunk insurance investigator, Grant Canyon, who still manages to get his man—and a few femme fatales as well.

“Gladstone is gloriously gung-ho, in total command of the stage … and a whole lot of fun to watch.” —Winnipeg Free Press

 

Roller Derby Saved My Soul
Sunday, September 21 at 5pm
A shy comic book geek finds herself through one of the fastest growing, female dominated sports out there: roller derby—which is under consideration for the 2020 Olympic Games.

“Kenny is a charming performer, easily morphing from mousy to mouthy as her characters require. … Roller Derby is fun.” —Colin Thomas, the Georgia Straight

Butt Kapinski at The Cultch

Deanna Fleysher, writer and performer of Butt Kapinski, is also the director of the 2009 Fringe hit, Red Bastard (written and performed by Eric Davis).

Deanna Fleysher, writer and performer of Butt Kapinski, is also the director of the 2009 Fringe hit, Red Bastard (written and performed by Eric Davis).

Around the corner comes the dark and delicious Butt Kapinski. You may remember this comedic, film noir tribute from last year’s Festival and as the 2013 winner of the Cultchivating the Fringe Award. Butt Kapinski runs September 30-October 11, 2014 at The Cultch’s VanCity Culture Lab.

Once again, audiences will be pulled into the wicked murder mystery as the show’s writer and performer, Deanna Fleysher, deftly works the room with her incredible improvisational skills. As Jo Ledingham of the Vancouver Courier described, “It’s called eating out of her hand and we were in there gobbling it up.”

Deanna is also offering the workshop BEYOND NAKED: A Naked Comedy Lab for Experienced Physical Comedians while she’s in town. “Naked Comedy” evokes the practice of clown and buffoon and helps performers develop unique relationships with their audience. The intensive runs October 2-3 and 6-7 and each participant will craft 5-10 minutes of performable material and cultivate ideas for longer pieces. Find out more on the Facebook group. You may also contact fleyshie[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thank you to our AMAZING Volunteers

Thank you to the Volunteers of 2014! Photo by Michael Sider.

Thank you to the Volunteers of 2014! Photo by Michael Sider.

We love our Volunteers! At the Volunteer Appreciation Party we were glad to display our gratitude and celebrate the Fringe. Without the 600 generous and gifted humans who donate their time each year, our Festival simply could not happen. Our small team of staff members is repeatedly impressed by the diverse group of dedicated people who volunteer. In addition to taking on important roles such as ushers, ticket takers, drivers, bartenders, and raffle ticket sellers, our volunteers also rescue us in moments of tension that inevitably occur in any festival of this scale. If we think of the Fringe as an organism, our volunteers are truly the fresh oxygen that keeps us going.

Thanks also to our partner, Shear Comfort, for their support of this year’s Volunteer Program!

More Fringe Holdovers

Stroke of Luck and The Shakuhachi Quest are being held over at Havana! This September 25 through 27, you’ll have another chance to catch these great Fringe shows! The Shakuhachi Quest is on at 7pm, followed by Stroke of Luck at 9:30pm. Tickets are $12 or see both shows for $20. Fringe Volunteers even get half-price! Tickets are available at the door or you may contact jcsands[at]shaw[dot]ca. See the Facebook event for the details.

Jacques Lalonde shares the value of reaching out to friends and staying positive as he conquers his brain in Stroke of Luck. Photo by Wendy D.

Jacques Lalonde shares the value of reaching out to friends and staying positive as he conquers his brain in Stroke of Luck. Photo by Wendy D.


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