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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.
Don’t let the worst Vancouver winter ever keep you from leaving the house! Granville Island’s Winterruption Festival is on next weekend and we’re part of it with the Pajama Men’s Pterodactyl Nights! For three nights only, laugh at the absurdity of the void—which is why Shenoah Allen, one half of the Pajama Men, makes theatre. Meanwhile, the Pajama Men’s other half, Mark Chavez really wants you to buy tickets and has even made a list of reasons you’ll regret not buying them.
It’s been 10 years since the Pajama Men performed in Vancouver (at the Fringe with Stop Not Going, and The Best of the Pajama Men). Don’t go another decade without seeing them!
While you wait for the show to open, check out this original two-minute film crowned the winner of Soho House’s “House Shorts” Competition 2012 starring the Pajama Men (along with Laura Haddock). Or read up on the Pajama Men in this recent feature in the Vancouver Sun!
Pajama Men’s Pterodactyl Nights is on February 16-18 only! Buy your tickets today!
As our Valentines gift to you (we love theatre lovers!) we’ve made a Fringe Legends of Comedy Bundle! Save money and feel no shame—take one sweetheart to all three shows, take a different sweetheart to each show, or see them on your own! Buy tickets to Pajama Men’s Pterodactyl Nights, Chase Padgett’s Funny Music Weirdo, and Monster Theatre’s The Canada Show and you’ll automatically save 30% on all three shows!
Monster Theatre, Chase Padgett, and the Pajama Men have all had hits at the Fringe over the years. The last time the Pajama Men performed at the Fringe, they were audience favourites, Chase Padgett won multiple awards for his 6 Guitars back in 2013, and Monster Theatre is a perennial favourite—but The Canada Show first appeared on the Fringe circuit in 2001.
If you love the Fringe, you’ll love the Fringe Legends of Comedy Bundle! Select at least one ticket to each show before February 18 (your last chance to catch the Pajama Men) and the discount will apply automatically! Plus, since the Bundle is also a Theatre Wire Subscription, you can take advantage of the perks that come with being a subscriber!
Happy Valentines Day theatre lovers!
The Fringe is currently looking for new sponsors to support the Festival and its artists. Could the company you work for be a sponsor? Businesses that are able to offer cash or in-kind (or a combination of both) donations are all welcome at the Fringe! Companies that support the Fringe don’t necessarily have to be related to theatre or the arts. That’s where you come in. You come to the Festival and you know how much fun it is. You’re our best ally in explaining to your employer why the company should support the Fringe.
Not sure if your company would be a good fit? Shear Comfort sponsors the Fringe through a donation to support our volunteer program. Meanwhile G Adventures donates one of their vacation packages that we raffle off. So while sustainable adventure tours and high quality car seat covers have nothing to do with theatre, they both support the emerging artists that use the Fringe to showcase their work.
To top it all off, your connection to a new Fringe sponsor could garner you a Frequent Fringer 10 Card! See 10 shows at the 2017 Festival for free! Or bring a friend and see five together! For more information on sponsoring the Festival, click to see what we offer our sponsors, or contact Cherine Amr, our Sponsorship Manager at cherine[at]vancouverfringe.com.
Love the Fringe? Show your love by helping us find new board members for the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society’s Board of Directors! You’ll get to see behind the curtain and help the Fringe operate, grow, and thrive.
We are seeking up to three general board members to strengthen the current board. We are seeking a wide range of skills in this recruitment cycle; a general board member, a new board secretary, and an assistant for our current treasurer. We are also looking for someone to assist the board on space planning and architectural issues.
We encourage submissions from people with a broad range of backgrounds including, but not limited to: age, race, ethnicity, ability, gender, and sexuality. If you or someone you know is interested in this awesome opportunity to embrace the arts please email jim.sibley[at]gmail.com for details.
Generation Hot: Waterborne: An extension of 2016’s Generation Hot program, the 2017 mentorship program will focus on climate change issues with a focus on water. Mentorship will be led by The Only Animal, Vancouver’s premier site-specific theatre company, over a five-month period leading up to the Fringe. Youth artists (17-24 years old) of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome to apply! Click here for details and to apply. Applications will be accepted till February 28.
Advance Theatre: New Works by Women: The Fringe has partnered with Ruby Slippers Theatre and Equity in Theatre to present Advance Theatre, dramatic readings of five new plays written by Canadian women playwrights, all directed by women, over five days during the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Want your play to be included? Send your play synopsis and a maximum 10-page script excerpt to diane[at]rubyslippers.ca by February 15. Click here for more details on the Series.
We’re so proud to work on Advance Theatre with Ruby Slippers’ Diane Brown, who just won The Bra D’Or Award from the Women’s Caucus of Playwrights Guild of Canada. They commended Diane, saying, “Over the last 26 years, Diane Brown has consistently championed works by women. As Artistic Director of Ruby Slippers Theatre, Diane has an extensive history of showcasing works by women in her regular programming. She also created and initiated both the Advance Theatre: New Works by Women five-day festival and the Femmes Fatales Series, where women perform their own work. Diane’s fundamental commitment to, and record of, producing outstanding plays created by women, makes her very worthy of this award.”
Dramatic Works Series: Supported by the Lochmaddy Foundation, the Dramatic Works Series is a space in the Fringe for previously published work. This year the Dramatic Works Series will spotlight Asian playwrights or playwrights of Asian descent. Artists of all backgrounds who are interested in producing and directing under-represented stories as part of the Dramatic Works Series will be mentored by Sherry Yoon, the Artistic Director for Boca del Lupo, on how to sensitively and effectively produce work from non-Eurocentric backgrounds. Applications are being accepted on a first come, first served basis. Click here for information, guidelines, and to apply.
Site-Specific Shows: There are still a few spots left for site-specific productions at the 2017 Festival! Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis if sites are within walking distance of Granville Island or Havana Restaurant. Site-Specific Shows must be created for their space, and may not take place in a traditional theatre. For information on what site-specific theatre is, click here, and to apply to put on a site-specific show at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival, click here.