End of the World? Or Just the Beginning?

The Fringe Cabaret: End of the World Party

The end is nigh. But a team of Fringe artists and friends have gotten together to help us laugh it off at the upcoming Fringe Cabaret on January 20 at Studio 1398!

Fringe Cabaret artist

Some of the Fringe Cabaret artists!

Featuring more than 15 artists, including Fringe Festival alumni Tara Travis (Til Death: the Six Wives of Henry VIII), Jayson McDonald (Giant Invisible Robot), Andrew Bailey (Me, the Queen, and a Coconut), Jeff Leard (The Show Must Go On), and Mark Hughes (Tragedy + Time Served = Comedy), and hosted by Sydney Hayduk (Village Ax) and featuring house band, The Hugs (aka Tristan Helgason and Fraz Weist), the Cabaret takes on the end of the world—it’s bound to be an apocalyptic good time!

Pull up your boot straps and dust off your radiation suits. Come on down for leg shaking dance moves, eye popping spectacles, and gut busting shenanigans in an evening of comedy, storytelling, magic, circus, burlesque, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and more!

Check out the full lineup of artists and get your tickets now!

The first 20 people through the door will get a FREE picture of David Suzuki looking disappointed.

Cultchivating the Fringe Winner, The Fighting Season, Opens at The Cultch

One of the Fringe’s goals is to create opportunities for artists to showcase their work and to help them to grow as artists. One way we do this is by partnering with organizations to showcase Fringe shows after the Festival—and The Cultch partnered with us to do just that. Every year, folks from The Cultch select a show to win the Cultchivating the Fringe Award and that show is rewarded with a run at The Cultch! During the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival, The Cultch selected Bleeding Heart Theatre’s The Fighting Season, and the time has come! The Fighting Season will be on at The Cultch’s Vancity Culture Lab January 10-21.

Inspired by his father’s deployment in Afghanistan, Sean Harris Oliver’s searing play investigates the Afghan war through the eyes of a Canadian field medic, a doctor, and a recovery room nurse. The show is dark, but as Colin Thomas pointed out in his review, “it doesn’t feel like bullshit” and it’s a “cause for celebration.”

For a taste of the show, check out this video trailer. And find tickets to the show here. You can even use promo code FringeXCultch to get 25% off tickets to performances January 10–17! The code is only valid till January 17, so act fast!


Speaking of playwright and Fringe alumni, Sean Harris Oliver—Sean is also the co-playwright (with Raes Calvert) of REDPATCH. Part of the Theatre Wire season, REDPATCH will be on April 12-16 at Studio 16. Hardline Productions, who is producing the play about a Metis soldier who volunteers to fight in World War One, is currently fundraising for the production. Check out the videos to learn more about the show and the development of the play. And consider making a donation today!


Confessions of a Donor: Thomas Lightburn

Thomas Lightburn

Thomas Lightburn in front of a poster of Sequence 8, a show he produced.

Our donors are some of the most interesting people. Recently, we sat down for lunch with Thomas Lightburn, who’s a donor, former Board Member, and who is currently producing The 7 Fingers’ Cuisines and Confessions, on January 25-29 at the Vancouver Playhouse.

Thomas majored in theatre at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. While there, The Living Theatre, a politically avant-garde company, passed through town and offered him work. Thomas toured with them as an electrician for six-weeks on the show Paradise Now, which used a three-level set and would often end in arrests for indecent exposure.

Years later, Thomas turned to producing, which began with the Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music. He told us that the show was first put on as part of the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in London in 1999—but they didn’t have the rights to the songs or the film. Thomas was able to secure permissions to the music from Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company—and through a connection at Twentieth Century Fox, secured permission to show the film before its New York debut.

He’s currently producing the kitchen themed circus show Cuisines and Confessions. Thomas met members of The 7 Fingers, many of whom formerly worked with Cirque du Soleil, when he was producing a show in a Spiegeltent set up under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. He learned that they’d never produced a show in English Canada—and Thomas got to work on helping them achieve their goal. Thomas points out that a benefit of working with circus is that the shows can be marketed across borders. There is little speaking and hence no language barrier. Check out the video here and find tickets to the show now.

Over the years, Thomas has worked in theatre and film, but he’s also taken time out to support arts organizations like the Fringe, which he describes as “helping emerging artists” and a Festival that “spurs the enthusiasm of the audiences for theatre.” Thomas points out that, “I like the feeling around the Fringe. It’s a positive grassroots event”—which is why he continues to be a donor.

Do you love the feel of the Festival? Do you want to support emerging artists? Make a donation today and help us prepare for the 2017 Festival! You don’t even have to be a theatre aficionado like Thomas!

Still Room for More Fringe Artists!

Show specific

Peripeteia in Ron Basford Park was a Site-Specific show at the 2016 Festival! Photo by Bruce McPherson.

The Mainstage Lottery has come and gone and the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category is nearly full, but that doesn’t mean your chance to be part of the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival is over! Here’s a quick overview of how you can squeak under the wire and be an artist this year.

Dramatic Works Series
Applications open January 11
Sponsored by the Lochmaddy Foundation, these Mainstage venue spots include the technician, basic lighting, and sound. Artists must use a previously produced script classified as a Drama by the publisher with two or more actors. New this year, the playwright must be of Asian decent. Find more information here.

Site-Specific Shows
Applications open January 11
Site-Specific applicants provide their own venue, technician, lighting, and sound. Site-Specific shows must be created for their space and may not take place in a traditional theatre or makeshift theatre (like a church basement or hall). Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis if their sites are within walking distance of Granville Island or Havana Restaurant and meet the criteria of the Site-Specific Program. Find more information here.

Almost Full…
Applicants must have secured a pre-approved venue before they apply with the Fringe. For a list of pre-approved venues, including fees, and more information on the application process, click here. Note that Havana Theatre and Arts Umbrella are no longer accepting applications. The Firehall Arts Centre, however, still has space.

Advance Theatre: New Works by Women
Submission Deadline: February 15
Produced by Ruby Slippers Theatre in partnership with Equity in Theatre, the Advance Theatre series will showcase dramatic readings of five new plays written by Canadian women playwrights, all directed by women, at the Fringe Festival in September. This is a curated process for women playwrights and directors living and working in Canada with priority given to diversity. For information on how to submit your script, click here.

Site-Specific Mentorship Program with The Only Animal
Details coming soon! Information will be posted here once details are confirmed.

Fringe Partners