Baba Brinkman comes back to the Vancouver Fringe Festival on July 23 to perform The Rap Guide to Religion for one night only!
The Rap Guide to Religion is one in a series of rap-comedies written and performed by the Canadian rap artist and playwright that have received acclaim in New York, Edinburgh, Vancouver, and more! The show will push your understanding of religion. If you’re religious or spiritual, it will challenge you to think about your faith in a new way—as a natural adaption through evolution. If you’re an atheist, it will challenge you to appreciate the secular utility of religion, suggesting that beliefs associated with religion don’t necessarily need to be true to be useful.
We’re sure he’s the only rap artist who has won the National Center for Science Education’s Friends of Darwin Award, which he won for his efforts to improve public understanding of evolutionary biology. Find out more about him through 20 questions with Vancouver Presents.
The Vancouver Sun suggests The Rap Guide to Religion for theatre this week! Tickets are available on Theatre Wire now and will also be available at the door starting 45 minutes before the show.
Thursday, July 23 at 8:00pm
Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright Street, on Granville Island
You can buy your Frequent Fringer Card now and tell everyone that you’re a patron of the arts! You and a guest can use the card—or just hog it all to yourself—for four, 10, or 30 regular Festival performances. You receive great value and artists receive 100% of the proceeds from Frequent Fringer Card purchases. It’s indulgence at its best—celebrating all the different theatre we have to offer and supporting Fringe artists!
Frequent Fringer Cards are on sale now:
Frequent Fringer 4: Get 4 performances for $40
Frequent Fringer 10: Get 10 performances for $90
Frequent Fringer 30: After last year’s popular demand of the special 30th Anniversary Frequent Fringer 30 Cards, we’re bringing them back! Get 30 performances for $270
Frequent Fringer Cards are valid for one or two people (no more than two punches per performance). Cards are limited to regular Festival performances and not valid at special events. A limited number of Cards are available. Cards are non-transferable and tickets may be booked in advance or at the door. Memberships are required and must be purchased separately (except for the Frequent Fringer 30, which includes one Membership).
How do you choose what to see at the Fringe Festival? With 108 un-juried, uncensored shows to see, there is a touch of chance involved in the Fringe experience. You may see an emerging creative talent, a smart take on the modern condition, or an experimental disaster. It’s risky—and we get it! That’s why the Pick Plus and the Fringe Presents are opportunities to enjoy the theatre we’ve picked for you. From shows that receive exceptional reviews in other cities to shows that were popular at past Fringes, we pick them and show them.
This year, fictional heroes, a robot, dead people, and god in drag take over the Revue Stage for the Pick Plus. Tickets are $25 each or get the Pick Plus Pass and save! Buy tickets to three or more Pick Plus shows and get more than 30% off—it’s like getting a show for free!
September 23 at 7:00pm
Bookworm is about a father reading to his son. For book sellers, book buyers, or anyone with a dad, this show will open your heart.
“A compelling, near magical and, transforming performance by a man whose extraordinary skills as a storyteller compels you to want to pick up another book.” —The London Free Press
Giant Invisible Robot
September 24 at 9:00pm
Absurd and poetic, Giant Invisible Robot tells the story of a young man and his invisible friend.
“Though this show is hilariously funny and hugely imaginative, Russel’s underlying turmoil makes it real.” —Uptown Magazine
“Creative, inventive, unique—this show is why you go to the Fringe.” —Vue Magazine
Searching for Dick
September 25 at 7:00pm
In a show that could be alternately called How I Met My Dead In-Laws, Tara Travis gets to know her husband’s late parents through psychic visits.
“It’s a bigger emotional workout than its name implies, but Searching for Dick is an incredible journey and Travis is rare talent.” —the Georgia Straight
God is A Scottish Drag Queen III
September 29 at 9:00pm
God, dressed in a floral power suit, gets real with the audience in this all new hour of comedy—you’ll certainly want to see part three after seeing part two during the Fringe!
“It would be a sin to miss!” —Watermark
Can’t get enough Fringe? As part of the Theatre Wire season, the Fringe Presents is a year-round series of shows from past Fringes and Fringe alumni. This year it includes the world premier of Charles Ross’s One-Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody!
Peter n’ Chris and the Kinda OK Corral
December 3-5, 2015
The acclaimed sketch comedy duo send it up in this parody of the Western genre (just wait until you see the cow…).
“The funniest thing I’ve ever seen at Fringe.” —Winnipeg Free Press
The Unfortunate Ruth
February 2-7, 2016
Winner of the 2014 Fringe New Play Prize from Playwrights Theatre Centre, Tara Travis wrote and performs as identical twins who each live in parallel universes. Featuring shadow puppetry from Mind of a Snail!
“Solo performer Tara Travis knows how to spin a line.” —the Georgia Straight
One-Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody
February 18-21, 2016
From the man behind One-Man Star Wars and One-Man Lord of the Rings, comes a parody and homage to the Dark Knight Trilogy. Without costumes, sets, or Batmobiles, Charles Ross puts on an incredibly dynamic comedy show.
April 11-17, 2016
Award winning comedy duo James and Jamesy accidentally flood the stage with tea—and bring down the fourth wall and the house in their attempts to stay afloat in his playful and interactive show.
“Outrageously funny, magnificently written, combined with brilliant performances.” —London Free Press
More info and tickets are available at TheatreWire.com. These shows are available as part of a Theatre Wire Pass: buy tickets to any three or six Theatre Wire shows and save up to 30%! Be sure to visit Theatre Wire to see all the shows that are available as part of the Theatre Wire Passes!
If you attended last year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival and filled out a Membership Card, you’re part of our team! The First Vancouver Theatrespace Society, producers of the Fringe, will be holding an Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, July 29 at Big Rock Urban Brewery, 310 West 4th Avenue. Doors are at 6:30pm. Thank you to our new partner Big Rock for hosting us this year!
Please note that we have made arrangements and the meeting space is now wheelchair accessible!
Showing off our lovely partners!
The Fringe’s newest partner is Emelle’s Catering—and we’re so excited to get to know them and introduce them to you. Emelle’s will be providing delicious appetizers at the Fringe’s Opening Night on September 8. So Fringers, meet Emelle’s!
Fringe: Tell us a bit about your business.
Emelle’s: We really cater to you! And we truly have something for everyone. Locally, we have a store front café “Emelle’s Westside Kitchen;” a food truck “Emelle’s Westside Wheels;” and of course our catering business Emelle’s Catering. So from one person on the street to 2,000 people for a conference, we are always eager to help. In December of this past year, we opened a secondary location on the Sunshine Coast—which features our Emelle’s Madeira Bistro (another store front restaurant location), Alice Sweet Shop (an ice cream and pastry shop), as well as an extension of our catering services.
Outside of the many places you can find us, we are most proud of our flexibility. Our brand is not based on the type of the food we serve, but instead, the experience you have with us. So be it meatloaf or the rarest caviar, we are equally as excited to be a part of your event. Consider, every milestone is often celebrated with food. Birthdays, weddings, life celebrations, holidays, new business launches, welcoming a new team member, etc. Being able to be part of those celebrations is a privilege.
F: How long has it been around? How did it come to be?
E: In 1986, after working at Expo here in Vancouver and being exposed to the hospitality industry, CEO and Executive Chef, Mary Lee Newnham, changed careers from accountant and found her passion as Chef. In the years following she worked her way up by holding positions at places such as the Convention Centre, Atrium, Expo in Spain, and a few other local catering companies. Searching for opportunities, in 1998 she joined what was then called Ramon’s as a consultant to help with menu development. Following a busy Christmas season, she decided to buy the business from its existing owners and in May of 1999 Emelle’s was founded.
F: What is something people may not know about it that they should?
E: How to pronounce our name—Emelle’s—it can stump people sometimes. Emily’s, Emile’s, all kinds of interpretations. The fun part of our name is that we call our CEO and Executive Chef Mary Lee “ML” for short. It’s just spelled phonetically. Most assume it’s something French and chic—and we certainly don’t mind being chic.
F: Is there a certain culture that it promotes?
E: Our company vision really says it all: “To be of service while striving for excellence; extending hospitality to our guests, team, community, and planet.” We always want to give back to our community and we take pride in our affiliations and commitments to our team, our guests, our footprint, and the many local charities, hospitals, and arts programs we support.
F: Four words that would best describe your business are:
E: Delicious. Hospitable. Integrity. Service.
Just a taste of what Vancouver has to offer in the way of Theatre
Chivalry is Dead: A two-women re-imagining of Don Quixote
Original’s Café Mexicano (Port Moody)
July 24-August 2
Shakespeare Unchained is back to present you with another classic re-imagined through theatre and dance—and the wacky brains of Kara Nolte and Julia Siedlanowska.
Sister Mary’s a Dyke?!
July 28-August 2
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
Co-produced with the frank theatre company, Sister Mary’s a Dyke?! is a new play by Toronto-based playwright Flerida Pena. It follows Abby, a Catholic school girl whose notions about herself and the church are turned on their head in this coming-of-age, one-woman comedy. The show on August 2 is ASL interpreted and Pay What You Can.
Vancouver Queer Film Festival
Out on Screen presents diverse cinema at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. For its 27th year, the lineup includes over 80 films from 20 countries, with topics ranging from transgender lives to queer con artists.
We’re celebrating the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival and we’d love to see you at the party! If you attend, you’ll meet Fringe artists and other Fringe VIPs during the pre-show reception, see Wonderheads perform their award winning physical theatre with surprise guest Fringe artists, and knock your Fringe socks off with double-header musical guests Tanga and Tonye Aganaba!
The Fringe’s Opening Night is on Tuesday, September 8 at Performance Works (1218 Cartwright Street on Granville Island), starting at 6:00pm.
Tickets for the Opening Night VIP Reception are on sale now for $100! What’s that get you?
Or come to the Concert portion of the evening for just $20! Doors open at 9:00pm on Tuesday, September 8 at Performance Works on Granville Island. Sorry, no minors—the Fringe Opening Night Dance Party with Tanga and Tonye Aganaba is a licensed event.
Award winning rap artist and playwright, Baba Brinkman comes back to the Fringe on July 23 to perform The Rap Guide to Religion—part rap, part comedy, part TED Talk—for one night only and tickets are now on sale!
Although it was only written within the past year, the show has been in the making for a while. Baba wrote The Rap Guide to Evolution for evolutionary biologist Dr. Mark Pallen in honour of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday in 2008. Baba only read books on evolutionary biology while developing the show and several were on the evolutionary origins of religion. He gathered that religion is an instinct and it occurred to him that this evolutionary perspective could be a point of reconciliation between religious factions as well as between believers and non-believers. So Baba began writing the science of evolutionary religious studies into his genre of choice: rap-comedy. He sent copies of his lyrics to evolutionary religious studies scholars for feedback and fact-checking so he could accurately represent the research and continue to call himself the only “peer-reviewed rapper.”
We spoke to Baba about the show, his innovative rap-comedy, and his experience with Fringe Festivals. Read on! And get tickets to the one night only performance here!
Fringe: What can audiences expect from a performance?
Baba Brinkman: Expect surprises, laughs, and rapturous lyricism. It’s a tribute to science and reason communicated in the style of a religious revival and to the beat of a rap concert.
F: What things do you want your performance to prompt people to think about?
BB: If you are religious, or just spiritual, the performance will challenge you to think about your faith or your spirituality in a new way, as a natural adaptation endowed in humans by evolution. If you’re a die-hard atheist, the show will challenge you to appreciate the “secular utility” of religion in new ways, suggesting that if the beliefs associated with religion aren’t literally true, they might not be useless.
F: How do rap and comedy intersect for you? Is it mostly an intersection of your personal interests, or do you see some other connection?
BB: Both rap and comedy thrive by being in-your-face, confident, bold, and provocative. Both are driven by set-ups and punchlines, and both have a great tradition of speaking truth to power. I started out more than 10 years ago as a rapper, but have assimilated the techniques of stand-up comedy more and more into my act over the years.
F: How has your experience with Fringe Festivals contributed to your career?
BB: Fringes are where I test out and fine-tune new material before launching it off-Broadway or internationally. They have been a totally essential part of my creative process, as well as the place I first got any recognition as a performer.
The Vancouver Fringe Festival and Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC) are now accepting applications for the fourth year of the Fringe New Play Prize. The winner will receive dramaturgical support from PTC and a free guaranteed spot in the Mainstage Category at the 2016 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
The full application checklist is available here. Submit applications to submissions[at]playwrightstheatre[dot]com with “Fringe New Play Prize” in the subject line. Please attach PDFs of your script, production plan, and resume. The application deadline is October 2, 2015. Results will be announced at the Fringe Lottery Party in December.
For more information, contact: Kathleen Flaherty.
Update on the 2014 and 2015 Winners!
Tara Travis, winner of the 2014 Fringe New Play Prize for her play The Unfortunate Ruth, will return with the award-winning play as part of the Fringe Presents, February 2-7, 2016. Get tickets here!
Since Derek Chan won the 2015 Fringe New Play Prize for his play Starstuff: Per Aspera Ad Astra at the Fringe Lottery in December, he has been in development with Kathleen Flaherty at the Playwrights Theatre Centre. “Playwrighting can be such a lonely adventure,” Derek said, speaking of the impact of working with Kathleen. “With her patient ears and inspiring guidance driving me forward, it suddenly doesn’t feel so lonely anymore—not this time anyway.” Starstuff will open at The Cultch on September 10 as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival.
We’re seeking accommodation for Fringe artists during the Festival! If you have an available couch, fold-out, futon, room, or even home, apply to be a billet host. We’ll set you up with an artist to stay in your home. To help us match you up, we need to know a few things about you. Fill out and download this form by August 3 and email it to artist[at]vancouverfringe[dot]com. If you host an artist, you’ll receive a Super Pass or 10 Ticket Vouchers!
Want to get involved with the Fringe in a different way? We’re also accepting applications for volunteers: apply now or update your profile. Check out the available volunteer positions, from selling tickets, to pouring drinks, to counting money, and being part of our production crew. In addition to meeting new people, gaining work experience, and seeing free theatre, volunteers will also receive a t-shirt, snacks at the Volunteer Centre, an invite to the Volunteer Appreciation Party, and the coveted Volunteer Rush Pass. Thanks again to Shear Comfort for supporting our Volunteer Program!
The First Vancouver Theatrespace Society, producers of the Vancouver Fringe Festival, will be holding an Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, July 29 at Big Rock Urban Brewery, 310 West 4th Avenue. Doors are at 6:30pm.
If you purchased and activated a Membership at the 2014 Vancouver Fringe Festival, you are a Member and eligible to attend and vote at the AGM. Members will be voting on amending a variety of bylaws primarily regarding wording and modernization (who uses a telegram or telex anymore? Seriously). The proposed changes to the FVTS bylaws can be viewed here.
Thank you to our new sponsor Big Rock for hosting us this year! See you there!
Every year the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards celebrates the outstanding achievements of Vancouver’s professional theatre community—and 2015 was the first time in years that Fringe shows were eligible to win! This year the Awards took place on June 22 at the Commodore Ballroom.
Two 2014 Fringe shows got nods with nominations for Susinnn McFarlen for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role in Dirty Old Woman and Billy Marchenski for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Greenland. Sadly Susinn and Billy did not win, but there were plenty of Fringe alumni among the winners.
Tara Travis, along with Dusty Hagerud, garnered the Award for Outstanding Design in Monster Theatre’s The Little Prince, a foray into Theatre for Young Audiences.
Christine Quintana, who’s been involved in various Fringe productions over the years, including directing 2012’s The Best, Man, won multiple Awards for her shows Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical and Selfie, including the Fringe sponsored award for Outstanding Production – Musical and the Sydney Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright. Christine wrote about her wins on her blog.
Just a taste of what Vancouver has to offer in the way of Theatre!
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Jericho Beach Park
Still delivering amazing music you won’t hear anywhere else, the 38th Vancouver Folk Music Festival presents over 60 acts from more than 15 countries. There are the names you know, like Richard Thompson and Angelique Kidjo, but you’ll also want to check out the wildly theatrical Hawksley Workman, the quirky musical rants of Beans on Toast, Grace Petrie‘s protest songs, Nunavut’s innovative The Jerry Cans, and so much more!
Cat’s Ass Comedy Show
The Biltmore Cabaret
Fringe alumni Morgan Brayton, April O’Peel, and others will perform at the Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association’s Cat’s Ass Comedy Show! It’s going to be paws-itively hilarious—and for a good cause!
DOXA’s Free Outdoor Screening: Hip Hop-eration
DOXA presents the Vancouver premiere of Bryn Evan’s Hip Hop-eration at the first-ever DOXA Free Outdoor Screening! Watch the trailer here!