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There are four full months before the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival, but you don’t have to wait to get a dose of Fringe!
Chase Padgett, best known for his 2013 Pick of the Fringe and Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Award winning show, 6 Guitars, is melding his two most popular performance skills—guitar showmanship and comedic hijinks—in his latest show, Funny Music Weirdo, April 20-22.
But Chase isn’t just a guitar aficionado. He keeps his comedy chops honed with a standing gig at Curious Comedy Theater in Portland, Oregon, known as “Portland’s best mix of improv, sketch, and variety comedy.”
Funny Music Weirdo promises an hour of comedy showcasing music, characters, stories, and Chase’s personal take on why Crossfit is cruel and unusual punishment—not to mention a looper machine and effects pedal hooked up to a Wiimote for some special musical effects.
Chase will also be part of the Fringe Cabaret: After Dark—a late night Fringe Cabaret on April 22, starting at 10:00pm with fellow Fringe alumni, Jeff Leard (The Show Must Go On), Ingrid Hansen (Little Orange Man), David C. Jones (The Dance Teacher), Mark Hughes (Tragedy + Time Served = Comedy), and many more! Check the Facebook event for a full list of all the Fringe alumni who are performing.
Next week is National Volunteer Week and the Fringe wants to extend our appreciation to the 500-plus volunteers who donated over 10,000 hours this past year! Thanks to them, the Festival ran smoothly, Theatre Wire shows had help with front of house operations, and we accomplished so much that just wouldn’t have been possible without their help!
Volunteering for the Fringe is part of a Canadian trend. According to Statistics Canada, “44% of Canadians volunteered a total of 1.96 billion hours in not-for-profit organizations in 2013.” And Hill Strategies pointed out that “between 2004 and 2013, the number of volunteers in arts and culture organizations increased by 23% [and] during the same timeframe, the number of volunteer hours in arts and culture organizations increased by 22%, higher than any other type of not-for-profit organization and much higher than the 1% increase in volunteer hours in all types of organizations.”
If you want to join the trend, mark your calendars! We’ll be recruiting volunteers for the 2017 Festival in June!
We also want to say thanks to Shear Comfort, which has supported our volunteer program since 2014. Shear Comfort’s contribution helped fund the purchase of volunteer coordination software—not to mention volunteer perks like t-shirts and training day BBQs. We’re happy to announce that Shear Comfort is back for 2017! And while Shear Comfort’s focus is obviously their custom-made seat covers for cars and trucks, they certainly have a love of all things fun and quirky. Not only do they love and support the Fringe, but check out their ode to the Gran Torino, the Dude’s car in The Big Lebowski, and their tribute to all the classic cars in the movie version of Grease!
Thanks Shear Comfort! And thanks to everyone who spends time volunteering—be they Fringe volunteers, or volunteers for other organizations. Make sure to thank the volunteers in your community during National Volunteer Week, April 23-29!
Happy New Year Everyone! Ok, we know it’s long past January, but at the Fringe, we’ve just ended our 2016/2017 fiscal year and we’re feeling pretty grateful and thankful as we head into 2017/2018!
Thank you to everyone who donated during our recent Spring for the Fringe fundraising campaign and to everyone who gave in 2016/17. Spring for the Fringe launched with this letter from board member Sharon Sutherland, who asked you to join her in supporting the Festival, Fringe Presents, and Theatre Wire. She also let you know that we’ve kicked off a new initiative, the Fringe Diversity and Inclusion project. Your gift, or monthly pledge, is already at work making a difference for artists—and with your generosity we are off to a great start for 2017/18. 2017 will mark our best Festival ever (we always say that, and we always mean it!), we’ll launch the third season of Theatre Wire, and we’ll kick off the Diversity and Inclusion project with confidence.
The Fringe supports and enriches the growth of many people through many programs and it all takes a lot to create, execute, and maintain. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you Fringe Lovers!
Speaking of Fringe Love, for 2017 we’ve made some exciting changes to the Your Fringe for a Day program and we want to know, do YOU want to have your own day at the 2017 Fringe Festival? You, or a group of friends, family, or colleagues can make a donation that “buys” you a day at the Festival! On Your Day we’ll celebrate you and your reasons for supporting the Fringe all day long! It may seem like the Festival is months away, but…the Festival is only months away! Since there are only 11 days to choose from, Your Fringe for a Day usually sells out. If this sounds like way too much fun, you’re right, and you’re going to want to get in on this! You can donate in one lump sum, make several smaller donations, or sign up for monthly giving. All donations from October 2016 onwards count, so you may have already given enough, or are close. If you’d like to have a Your Fringe for a Day at the 2017 Festival, let me know now and we can reserve your day today!
Once again, to all of our donors—from $10 to $10,000— YOU make it possible! Thank you!
Every year the Fringe relies on seasonal staff to prepare for the Festival. Think you’ve got what it takes? Review the job postings below and apply now! More postings will be shared in the coming months, so be sure to regularly check this page for the latest opportunities.
Box Office Manager
The Box Office Manager is responsible for the planning and implementation of all aspects of the Fringe Box Office. This is a seasonal position, 30 hours per week July 3, 2017 to August 11, 2017 and then 37.5 hours per week August 14, 2017 to September 29, 2017.
The Communications Coordinator is responsible for creating and implementing online marketing material including the e-newsletter, social media, and additional marketing projects. This is a seasonal position with full-time hours June 19, 2017 through September 29, 2017, with flexibility regarding class schedules in September.
The Volunteer Supervisor supports the recruitment, assignment, management, and training of more than 500 volunteers who make the Fringe happen. We are looking for someone with great attention to detail and people skills. This is a full-time seasonal position, beginning June 12, 2017.
Please note that the contract dates included in these positions are contingent on funding and are subject to change.
Last week Sharon Sutherland asked you to join her in ensuring that the future of the Fringe is as welcoming, vibrant, and inclusive as possible. When you Spring for the Fringe by March 31, you’ll not only be investing in that future, you’ll be supporting the Fringe today!
We know some artists experience barriers to participating in the Fringe. Our upcoming Diversity and Inclusivity Project will develop strategies to identify barriers and reduce or eliminate them—however the work we’re doing today is crucial for artists, theatre, and the arts in Vancouver and beyond, and this work needs your support!
Through several ongoing and successful partnerships, programs, awards, and mentorships, the Fringe supports many artists every year. The work the Fringe does is valued by the arts community—emerging artists seek us out, we’ve been embraced by the LGBTQ+ community, and we are one of the few performing arts categories that have achieved gender parity! For 33 years we’ve made it possible for artists to produce and present their work, and made it accessible to everyone! One of those partnership programs is the Fringe New Play Prize, which will allow playwrights Anoushka Ratnarajah, Kamee Abrahamian, and lee williams boudakian to present their work at the 2017 Fringe.
Please make a donation to the Fringe today so the Fringe can continue to support artists like Anoushka, Kamee, and lee, and to support even more artists year after year!
The Fringe has always been a place for artists to learn and to develop shows for audiences that embrace creative risk. Since 2013 the Fringe has partnered with Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC) on the Fringe New Play Prize. PTC selects a script and provides dramaturgical support to the emerging playwright while the Fringe reduces the barriers to participating by waiving the Mainstage artist fee. We asked PTC Associate Dramaturg, mia susan amir, to tell us about this year’s winning play and about the playwrights. She sat down with Anoushka Ratnarajah, one of the three co-playwrights, and they shared the following:
(Untitled) Boxes is the interdisciplinary and intergenerational performance, currently in development by this year’s Fringe New Play Prize winners, Anoushka Ratnarajah, Kamee Abrahamian, and lee williams boudakian. The piece explores the lives and relationships of the Berberian family. Anahit, the family’s matriarch and cultural keeper of knowledge, is in her late 80s and living with Alzheimer’s and Cancer. She has entered the last days of her life, and her illness has progressed to the point that she needs additional care. For the first time in many years, her only daughter and three grandchildren find themselves in the family home again. Marked by generational differences and the impacts of displacement, gender, sexuality, and the desire to love each other, their stories reveal a family’s fight to grow closer to one another in the face of great loss and the myriad experiences that threaten to pull them apart.
Since January the team, along with the support of PTC Associate Dramaturg, mia susan amir, has been engaged in an incredible journey of creative excavation that has particularly focused on: developing the characters who populate (Untitled) Boxes; generating an extensive family history as ties to the political and cultural moments in which the piece takes place; exploring the role of myth in the narrative fabric of their work; considering form; and finding the arc of the story itself.
Experimentation, listening, and emergence are perhaps the most defining words for their development process, thus far.
During a recent generation and devising meeting in Portland, the team entered some new territory in regards to content. Some of their most potent discoveries explored:
• grief and the loss of cultural memory resulting from generational divides, geographic displacement, and the particular impact faced by women and queer folks—as holders of cultural knowledge—after experiences of violence
• the role of reinventing cultural connections, identity, and belonging in the wake of this loss; including
• the invention of a new canon of myths from the perspective of the diasporic mixed-race characters in this piece, whose histories were lost, or were rewritten from a colonial perspective, or were never written at all because they were carried orally
(Untitled) Boxes will be part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival in September, 2017 .
“How do I get the media to cover my show?”
“How do I write a press release?”
“If I only spend money on one publicity tactic, what should it be?”
These questions and more will be answered by Deb Pickman at Hot Copy: a Publicity Workshop for Fringe Artists and Creative Types on Tuesday, March 28 at the Big Rock Urban Brewery & Eatery Boardroom from 7-9:00pm (310 W 4th Ave, Vancouver).
Following the workshop, you’re invited to stay for networking with your fellow artists in the Lounge—where it’ll be Happy Hour with beverages starting at just $4—and the Fringe will buy some pizza to share!
Deb is a Fringe veteran who co-created, performed in, and publicized noted and notorious Festival hits for over a decade before going on to become a specialist in publicizing the arts. In addition to being the Communications and Marketing Manager for the Arts & Culture District at UBC, Deb is co-artistic director and ensemble member of the Vancouver theatre company shameless hussy productions. Click here to learn more about Deb Pickman.
This workshop is free for artists participating in the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival and $10 for everyone else. Please RSVP to publicity[at]vancouverfringe[dot]com as space is limited. Unfortunately the Boardroom is not wheelchair accessible, however the Lounge is. **If you are unable to attend due to physical accessibility, we’ll be making alternative arrangements asap. Please connect with the Fringe’ Communications Director, Debby Reis at publicity[at]vancouverfringe[dot]com for info.
Following the workshop (starting at around 9:00pm) will be our Artist Mixer/Mingler, which is free! This part of the event is intended to connect those already involved in a Fringe show, and those who want to be. Come meet your fellow Fringe Artists, your potential new team members, and Fringe staff. There will be pizza!
Theatre lovers all over the globe celebrate World Theatre Day every March 27 by sharing and promoting the art form they love. The International Theatre Institute (ITI) created World Theatre Day in 1961 and one of they ways the Day is celebrated is by sharing the World Theatre Day message. The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres has posted a distinctly Canadian message by Gilles Poulin‑Denis, the artistic director and co-founder of Productions 2PAR4 and the newly appointed artistic director of Zones Théâtrales.
Gilles’ message encourages theatre makers and goers to push the boundaries of what theatre is—something the Fringe is happy to support!
“For a number of years, theatre has been pushing out of its conventional frame. … It even exists outside the confines of the theatre walls: in the streets during in situ performances, in our earphones during audio plays and even within our computers and our smart phones. If stories can cross time, from Sophocles to Shakespeare to Jordan Tannahill, the way to tell them is ever changing: forms are limitless and processes are in constant evolution. This is what makes theatre an art that is truly alive, that is continually reinventing itself and offering a reflection on its time and its society.”
This year, we invite you to celebrate World Theatre Day with a special deal on upcoming Theatre Wire shows! See more theatre yourself and share this deal with your theatre loving friends, or those who may be new to theatre!
From now till midnight on World Theatre Day (March 27), take advantage of “Early Bird Subscription Pricing”—even though it’s late in the season! These deals usually end in July, but for the next few days, you’ll get 30% off when you select tickets to three or more shows! Choose from Generation Post Script, Funny Music Weirdo, The Canada Show, and the Fringe Cabaret: After Dark.
Generation Post Script
Just two generations into the future and what’s left of humanity survives in space stations in orbit around an uninhabitable Earth. A misfit group of college students of the “post script” generation—the first to be born in space—bond over their shared anxieties.
Funny Music Weirdo
Chase Padgett, creator and star of 6 Guitars and Nashville Hurricane, swings for the fences with an hour of comedy showcasing music, characters, stories, and his own personal take on why Crossfit is cruel and unusual punishment.
Fringe Cabaret: After Dark
Fringe alumni are back for another cabaret full of the wicked, mischievous, racier side of the Fringe that only comes out… after dark.