March 2019

  • Fringe News

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Be the Fringe. Love the Fringe. Wear the Fringe.

February 9, 2017

Flying Dinosaurs Wearing Jammies

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!

Love to Love You Fringers!

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!

Fringe Comedy Legends Bundle

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!

Bring the Fringe to Your Workplace!

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.

Motorino and G Adventures

Tubify came on as a new sponsor in 2016, providing a cash donation and in-kind (delicious freezies for our volunteers and artists). Could your company sponsor the Fringe? Photo by Bruce McPherson.

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.

Join the Fringe’s Board of Directors

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.

Boards Member

Board Members Andrew Westman (left), Bob Wang (centre), and Fringe Executive Director David Jordan (right) at the 2016 AGM. We’re currently recruiting for more Board Members! Photo by Bruce McPherson.

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.

Calling Potential Fringe Artists!

There are still a few options available to people wanting to be artists at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival! Could you fit the parameters we’re looking for?

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.

Diane Brown (right) receiving the Bra D’Or Award, presented by Carmen Aguirre (left), whose script, Anywhere But Here, was part of the Advance Theatre Series in 2016. Photo by Wendy Tsui.

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.


The site-specific show Smudge took place in a garage during the 2012 Vancouver Fringe. Photo by Gaelan Beatty.

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.

End of the World? Or Just the Beginning?

January 10, 2017

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.