Meet the Fringe’s New Executive Director!
President Sharon Sutherland and the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society Board of Directors are proud to announce that Rohit Chokhani will be joining the Fringe as the new Executive Director.
Rohit is the founder of Diwali in BC, Project SAT (South Asian Theatre), and the co-creator of the Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts. He is a multi-Jessie Award winning producer and leader—including a recipient of the Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award. Rohit has worked with many established Vancouver theatre organizations including The Cultch, Bard on the Beach, urban ink productions, and Touchstone Theatre. But it all started at the Fringe.
“When I first immigrated to this country, my first opportunity and success in the performing arts came through the Vancouver Fringe Festival,” Rohit said. “Little did I know that a few years later, I would have the honour of leading one of my favourite festivals.”
In 2011, Rohit served as production manager on Siddhartha: A Journey Home, a site-specific production at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden that took home the Talk of the Fringe Award. 2015’s Mrs. Singh & Me, that he co-produced at South Asian Arts, won the Public Market Pick of the Fringe Award, and in 2017, Rohit directed Anosh Irani’s Bombay Black as part of the Fringe’s Dramatic Works Series. Bombay Black went on to win the Public Market Pick of the Fringe Award, was remounted at the Firehall Arts Centre, the Evergreen Cultural Centre, and TheatreOne in Nanaimo, and was voted one of the top 20 shows on Vancouver stages in 2017 by the Georgia Straight.
The Fringe’s hiring committee, made up of Fringe Board Members, alongside community representatives Nyla Carpentier (Dissection of a … Mixed Heritage Woman; Pow Wow Dancer), Parker Johnson (Facilitator, Mediator, and Intercultural Educator at Elevate Inclusion Strategies; Fringe EDI Committee Member), and Anoushka Ratnarajah (Setting Bones; Artistic Director, Out On Screen) reviewed more than 50 applications from across North America and selected Rohit as the new Executive Director.
“It is worth stating that even before I start, our team at the Fringe, our performing arts industry at large, and our community of global citizens have been challenged with this recent pandemic. My heartfelt support goes out to anyone and everyone affected by this,” Rohit said. “I look forward to working with our team of hard-working staff, board members, donors, volunteers, artists, and the extended performing arts community. We are resilient, currently online, and will soon be back making Theatre for Everyone in physical spaces!”
The Fringe is thrilled to have Rohit, who brings a myriad of experiences leading organizations, especially festivals, and a long-standing history of advancing EDI work—making him ideally suited to step into this pivotal role.
Now more than ever, it is important to support the arts in Vancouver. With no shows, possible declines in funding, and sponsors shutting down, organizations like the Fringe are relying on Fringe family like you to stay alive. To do this, we ask you to become a monthly donor.
Monthly donations are easier on your bank account (smaller amounts spread out over the year), impossible to forget, and are the one thing the Fringe can count on in times of chaos. Whether it’s $5, $15, or $50 a month, a monthly donation allows the Fringe to plan for the future by knowing that your support is on its way. Please consider becoming a monthly donor today to ensure the Fringe can continue to provide financial opportunities for artists for years to come.
Already a monthly supporter? THANK YOU!! Honestly, your support is a huge part of what is allowing us to keep planning this year’s Festival. If it is possible for you, we ask you to consider increasing your monthly donation by $10/month. This small increase, the cost of a couple of coffees, would make a huge difference in this difficult time.
You can find more information about the monthly donor program (and sign up) here or you can e-mail Chelsey Stuyt at chelsey[at]vancouverfringe[dot]com, who will be happy to help you. Thank you so much for everything you do to support the Fringe! Stay safe!
That’s because Monster Theatre and the Fringe are proud to bring you Theatre Under the Gun: The Social Distancing Edition! Everything will be the same(-ish) as it was last year: six Vancouver theatre groups will receive an inspiration package on April 19—which can include anything from a cabbage to a small toilet—and perform their time-pressured works on April 21 online. Get your pay-what-you-can tickets on Theatre Wire and tune in to see how inventive these groups can get with the challenge of not being in the same room!
And if that’s not Fringe-y enough, wait till you meet the Artists, many of whom you might have seen in the Fringe and previous iterations of Theatre Under the Gun!
The House Collective is home to Jackie Blackmore, Sara Bynoe, Nita Bowerman, and Donna Soares, who you may recognize as former front of house managers at a few of our Granville Island venues! Plus Sara Bynoe hosts and produces our Theatre Wire video series; and Nita Bowerman and Jackie Blackmore did Fringe shows back in 2011 (wreckage) and 2013 (Strapless), respectively.
Dusty Foot Productions was part of the 2019 Festival with the show Red Glimmer. Also, you may remember Marguerite Hanna, who played Superstar in Chicken Girl, which was part of Theatre Wire’s 2018-19 season!
Lastly, Colour Sound Lab features Tara Travis, who has been in so many Fringe shows over the years. You may recognize her as being our Program Guide cover model in 2016!
To ensure that you see these Fringe veterans in action online, get your tickets now at Theatre Wire!