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February 2020

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  • Ain't True & Uncle False

    Buy tickets Vancouver Fringe and Paul Strickland Presents present:Ain't True & Uncle FalseMarch 26-28, 2020The...
  • Theatre Under the Gun

    Buy tickets Vancouver Fringe and Monster Theatre present:Theatre Under the GunApril 21, 2020Performance Works,...

The Sound of Site-Specific Sisters

February 19, 2020

How to Cultchivate Big Sister

Description: Naomi Vogt, the actress in Big Sister, is in the centre of the photo, staring wide-eyed at the camera. She holds a lollipop in her hand. She's surrounded by candies, childhood photos in frames and albums, and greeting cards. Caption: Don't forget to buy your tickets to Big Sister, winner of the 2018 Cultchivating the Fringe Award! Photo by Bold Rezolution

Don’t forget to buy your tickets to Big Sister, winner of the 2018 Cultchivating the Fringe Award! Photo by Bold Rezolution.

For Big Sister’s upcoming run at The Cultch from February 19-29, actress Naomi Vogt can say whatever she wants.

That’s because Deborah Vogt, her sister and playwright of this Cultchivating the Fringe-winning show, won’t be sitting in the audience this time, unlike when Big Sister first hit the Fringe in 2018.

“Since I will be so far away, […] there’s a chance I’ll never hear it. Of course, this is terrifying in many ways, but I trust her. I’ve learned to trust her a lot more over the process of creating this show,” Deborah says.

As Big Sister turns its gears to opening night at The Cultch, Deborah is excited to share the show’s growth since it premiered at The Revue Stage, which includes collaboration with artists to create a bigger and better show, and to share it with new audiences.

“I know it was hard for some of our friends and family to sit through some of the show because of how blunt and honest we are about our childhood, but the ability to connect with them and strangers who have gone through a similar experience–either with siblings or with weight loss–feels amazing. I have had people tell me that they went home and called their estranged sibling right after seeing the show,” she says.

Beyond the opportunity to showcase Big Sister and hone their craft beyond the Festival by being part of The Cultch’s current season, the Cultchivating the Fringe Award has given Deborah the confidence to call herself a writer.

She says, “I know that doesn’t sound huge, but whenever I used to meet someone, I would bashfully introduce myself as an “aspiring writer.” […] I don’t know what the word is for someone that is in between emerging and established, but thanks to the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, I feel close to that category.”

If you’d like to see this Big Sister, which Vancouver Presents praised for being “bold, brave, and beautiful,” don’t miss out on this exciting show and get your tickets to see it at The Cultch now!

Application Updates

Description: Three cast members from the show "The Russian Play" pose in front of the camera. On the right is a blonde man in a white shirt and a beige scarf around his neck, playing the guitar. In the middle is a woman, similing, her hair in a wrap, clasping her hands together. Behind him is a man who's frowning at the camera. He's wearing a thick, furry winter hat, and a coat. Caption: The Russian Play was one of the shows in the Bring Your Own Venue category in the 2019 Fringe! Photo by Sarah McNeil.

The Russian Play was one of the shows in the Bring Your Own Venue category in the 2019 Fringe! Photo by Sarah McNeil.

Procrastinating on that Fringe application? Hit that send button soon, because there’s not much time left!
Applications for the BYOV category are still open! While Havana Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, and Carousel Theatre are full for 2020, What Lab, and PAL Studio Theatre are still accepting applications. You can find more details on how to apply for these venues on the Fringe website. Remember: applicants must be accepted by the venue before they apply to the Fringe.

If you’d like to put on a show outside of a traditional theatre environment, the Site-Specific category is also still taking applications! Applicants in this category must provide their own venue, technician, lighting, and sound. You can learn more about this category, including details on how to apply, on the Fringe website.

Please note applications for Advance Theatre and Dramatic Works Series are now closed.

And if you’re a racialized Artist who identifies as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and are the creative team lead for a show, don’t forget that the Fringe is offering an opportunity for Artists to apply for a subsidy for the $55 application fee. You can find more information on the BIPOC application fee subsidy here.

The Theatre Scene

Just a taste of what Vancouver has to offer in the way of Theatre!

Description: Quelemia Sparrow looks as if she's sitting on a floor. Her photo is at a slight angle, her head also slightly tilted to the side. She's wearing an orange dress and looks at the camera with a neutral expression. Caption: Catch Quelemia Sparrow's Women of Papiyek at the Talking Stick Festival's Indian Acts: Staged Readings! This show was featured in the 2016 Fringe's Advance Theatre.

Catch Quelemia Sparrow’s Women of Papiyek at the Talking Stick Festival’s Indian Acts: Staged Readings! This show was featured in the 2016 Fringe’s Advance Theatre.

Talking Stick Festival
February 18-29
Various locations across Vancouver
The premier festival on Indigenous performance and art is back this year with the theme Chén̓chenstway: Upholding Each Other, Lifting Each Other Up! Catch Quelemia Sparrow’s Women of Papiyek, which you may have seen in Advance Theatre in 2016, in Indian Acts: Staged Readings. Also, Fringe veteran Nyla Carpentier is hosting an evening of spoken word in From Talking Stick to Microphone.

Sound of the Beast 
February 19-23
Progress Lab 1422
Catch Belladonna the Blest/Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, emcee and director of the award-winning 2019 Fringe show, in this one-person show where she shares stories of coming up in Toronto’s budding hip-hop scene, the intersections between conscious rap and political activism, and the sacrifices we make for the things we believe in.

Inheritance: a choose-your-own-adventure experience
March 3-15
ANNEX Theatre
Presented by Touchstone Theatre and Fringe alumni Alley Theatre, Inheritance is a daring, interactive play like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Set on a vast, rural estate, three characters race to claim the property. The audience must decide how the rest of the story unfolds.

Fringe Monsters and Queens

January 28, 2020

BYOV Applications Now Open!

Description: Larry (played by Candice Roberts, a dark-haired white woman wearing a dark grey coverall, white run-down sneakers, a headband, and a paper beard) sits on a lawn chair with a guitar on his lap. An open beer can sits on the cup holder. Larry tries to play the guitar, looking off in the dance with an intense look. Caption: Be like <em>Larry</em> and perform at the Fringe through the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category! Photo by Al Ricard.

Be like Larry and perform at the Fringe through the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category! Photo by Al Ricard.

Want to be part of the Fringe but you missed the Mainstage Lottery application deadline? Didn’t get drawn? Or are you far down on the waitlist? Don’t fret—you can still be part of the Festival by bringing your show to one of our pre-approved venues in the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category!

These venues provide more opportunities to be part of the Festival by negotiating with the Fringe to keep rental costs for artists and the administrative capacity manageable. You can secure a spot by applying directly to these venues, which have varying criteria and processes, and then apply to the Fringe after you’ve been accepted to the venue! Note that Carousel Theatre is no longer accepting applications. For more information on the venues, the application process, and more, visit the Fringe website.

If you’re looking for more ways to put on a show at the Fringe, the Site-Specific and Dramatic Works categories are still accepting applications. And if you’re a female-identifying Indigenous playwright or director, you can apply to Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women until February 15. You can find more information here.

Apply for the Fringe BIPOC Subsidy + Welcome the Newest Members of the EDI Committee

Description: a side-by-side collage of Ladan Sahraei and Parker Johnson's photos. At the left is Ladan, a person of Persian descent. They have short black hair and wear glasses, smiling at the camera. They are wearing a blue-green shirt and wearing a red hoodie. They are holding up a 2015 Fringe Program Guide, half of which is cropped from the photo. At the right is Parker Johnson, a man of African descent. He is bald and wears glasses, smiling at the camera. He wears a long-sleeved maroon shirt. Caption: Welcome the newest members of the Fringe's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee: Ladan Sahraei and Parker Johnson! Photo of Ladan by Clayton Wong.

Welcome the newest members of the Fringe’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee: Ladan Sahraei (left) and Parker Johnson (right)! Photo of Ladan by Clayton Wong.

Are you a racialized Artist* who identifies as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour)—with possible intersectionality in living with a disability, LGBTQ+, d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Low Vision—applying in the BYOV and Site-Specific categories? The Fringe is now offering an opportunity for Artists to apply for a subsidy for the $55 application fee!

The Fringe launched the application fee subsidy program for BIPOC Artists at the Fringe 101 information session in the fall. You can read more about the results of this inaugural program in the Mainstage category here. If the BIPOC Artist’s project was not selected in the Mainstage Lottery, then the subsidy can also be applied in the BYOV and/or Site-Specific applications. If you have questions about the BIPOC Artist subsidy, or would like to learn more about the Fringe’s Diversity Program, contact Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director Siobhan Barker (who’s leading the program) at equitydirector@vancouverfringe.com.

Furthering this initiative was the EDI goal of growing the internal working group by welcoming two new BIPOC members of the Fringe’s EDI committee: group facilitator, mediator, intercultural educator, and organizational change specialist Parker Johnson, and Ladan Sahraei, who is the first Deaf filmmaker in Iran. Learn more about the Fringe’s ongoing EDI work by signing up for the newsletter or visiting the Fringe website.

*The Artist must be the creative team lead in the application. We consider a “creative team lead” to be the creator/producer of work, or a team member whose creative leadership is integral to the production of the show. In most cases, this person would be the primary or secondary contact listed in your application.

Create a Play in 48 Hours

Description: A pink post-it posted on a mirror, with "What are we trying to say?" written on it. In the blurred background are four people from Dope Hearts Theatre, standing close to each other. The room that they're standing in has white walls and grey concrete-looking floors, a silver pipe running across the ceiling. They're lit by the fluorescent lamps in the room. Caption: Dope Hearts Theatre figure out what they want to say in their 2019 Theatre Under the Gun show. Photo by Monster Theatre.

Dope Hearts Theatre figure out what they want to say in their 2019 Theatre Under the Gun show. Photo by Monster Theatre.

What kind of show would you create if you were given only 48 hours to whip it up? Find out by joining Monster Theatre‘s fast and furious play creation competition, Theatre Under the Gun!

Ready to pull the trigger? Theatre companies (old and new), artist collectives, ad hoc groups, or individuals interested in collaborating with new artists are welcome to apply. All you have to do is fill out the application form by February 7. After six groups have been selected, they will be given an inspiration package—which can be anything from a music box, to a portrait of horses, to a small toilet—on April 19 and given 48 hours to create an original piece of theatre, which they’ll present on April 21 at Performance Works.

Want all the theatre and none of the deadlines? You can also buy tickets to Theatre Under the Gun now, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy what these theatre groups dream up in their race against the clock!

 

In Memoriam: Michelle Williams

Description: Three Fringe volunteers smiling for the camera at the Revue Stage. On the table is a Program Guide and the cash box. The two volunteers on the left are of Asian descent, wearing grey hoodies on top of their blue Fringe volunteer shirts. They are seated close together. On the right is Michelle Williams, an Indigenous woman, standing, wearing a blue cap, a headset, and a maroon hoodie. Her hand rests slightly on the folding chair of the volunteer to her left. Caption: Michelle Williams was a Fringe staple for many years. Her presence will be missed dearly at the Festival. Photo by Clayton Wong.

Michelle Williams (right) was a Fringe staple for many years. Her presence will be missed dearly at the Festival. Photo by Clayton Wong.

We are so sad to hear about the passing of our dear friend Michelle Williams. Michelle was a true Fringe fan and part of the Fringe family. She volunteered with the Festival for many years, starting as part of the site crew in 2012, and taking on bussing, security, and venue captain duties over the years. She was a friend to staff, artists, and other volunteers. She was truly a Fringe staple and we will miss her dearly.

The Fringe’s Site Coordinator, Mitchell Ingram, remembers Michelle fondly, saying, “She was a passionate lover of all things theatre, and a great asset to the community as a whole. Squiggles (which was Michelle’s nickname) will be missed.”

The Fringe sends so much love to her friends and family. She will always be remembered by all of us, and we will keep Michelle in our hearts forever.

The Theatre Scene

Just a taste of what Vancouver has to offer in the way of Theatre!

Carmen Aguirre’s Anywhere But Here blends dark comedy and magical realism to tell the story of a family’s quest for home.

God is a Scottish Drag Queen, The Second Coming
January 31
Surrey Arts Centre
Fringe veteran Mike Delamont is back to impart some divine wisdom in God is a Scottish Drag Queen 2. In the years since the first show began, God has travelled the world with all new rants to share, and questions to answer.

Anywhere But Here
February 4-15
Vancouver Playhouse
Catch the world premiere of Carmen Aguirre’s Anywhere But Here, which you may remember from the 2016 Advance Theatre series at the Fringe! In 1979, a family drives back towards Chile from Canada. With past, present, and future encircling their journey, this profoundly poetic story is about the universal quest for home—in whatever form that takes.

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
January 21 – February 9
Various Venues
Now in its 16th year, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is back to showcase three weeks of visionary, genre-bending, and multidisciplinary live performances! And PuSh has a treat for Fringers—get 15% off any of these shows that they specially selected for Fringe fans, by using the code PUSHFRINGE. Shows include Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, written by Hannah Moscovitch (you may remember her from her work in The Russian Play, which was featured in the 2019 Fringe!), and Frontera, a multimedia performance guided by ideas on borders and surveillance.