Operatic Ghosts and Dogs
‘Tis the season to start Fringing! Although the Vancouver Fringe is still a few months away, Orlando Fringe’s launch on May 14 officially marked the beginning of Fringe season. Vancouver, Orlando, and about 30 other Festivals are part of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, which means that there are a lot more Fringe Festivals happening over the summer before we kick things off September 5!
This also means that many Fringe Artists will start touring the circuit, taking their shows from city to city in the US and Canada. From Orlando, six shows will be staged in different Festivals before arriving in Vancouver: Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me but Banjos Saved My Life (which was here last year!), Operatic Panic Attack, Crazy for Dick Tricks: A Dirk Darrow Investigation, You Belong Here, Didn’t Hurt, and The Immaculate Big Bang. And did you know that Fringe Artists don’t have to perform the same show on their Fringe circuit tour? This is the case for Squirrel Suit Productions, DK Reinemer, bike circus, and Chicken for Supper Productions.
With months of Festivals ahead of us, you’re probably bound to stumble upon a Fringe during your summer travels! And while we wait for September, let’s have some fun with CAFF’s #RandomFringeTitle generator. Check out our Twitter feed and Facebook page to see what Fringe staff and fans have been sharing! Also check out the full list of CAFF Member Festivals here, and make sure to follow us on Twitter, where we’ll be sharing reviews of shows that will be making their way to Vancouver in September!
The Vancouver Fringe is turning 35 this year. That’s three and a half decades of Fringey theatre in Vancouver! It seems like just yesterday when the first Fringe Festival opened in the parking lot of an IGA in Mount Pleasant. While some things have changed and some have stayed the same, one thing’s for sure: the Fringe has grown since 1985!
Celebrate this milestone by raising $35,000 during the 35 for 35 campaign. You can help the Fringe reach the goal by donating on the website. Your donation will support emerging artists, make the Fringe accessible, and amplify our equity, diversity, and inclusion work, among other things. A $500 donation has kicked off the campaign, and now it’s up to Fringers like you to raise $34,500 more! As a token of our gratitude, we will feature your name at the Donor Booth during the 2019 Fringe, and you’ll be invited to a donor-exclusive event where you’ll meet fellow Fringe donors and be treated to a private performance by a Fringe Artist!
Get to know the ghosts of East Vancouver in an all-new edition of Fake Ghost Tours at this year’s rEvolver Festival! From May 30 until June 2, join “identical” twin brothers and ghost hunters Abdul Aziz and Shawn O’Hara as they take audiences on a real walking tour with “real” ghost stories.
Lauded by Vancouver Presents as a “fresh and welcome respite,” Fake Ghost Tours came about as a result of two friends trying to make each other laugh.
“[W]e were walking around Victoria one afternoon and joking around about how, if ghosts were real, most of the ghosts that exist were probably just regular boring people,” Abdul recalls. Their roving show has since been staged at the Vancouver and Victoria Fringes.
For Abdul, the best part of every show are the unscripted parts where they field questions and interact with passers-by, creating a unique experience for every audience. One memorable instance during their run in Victoria was when a Chinatown resident dressed up in a Halloween costume and jumped out at the tour group during the show.
“We incorporated it into the tour and had a fun time over the rest of the show making call-backs and jokes about the overzealous and attention-seeking demon who haunted Chinatown,” he says.
Audiences can expect the same irreverence, interactive sense of fun and playfulness that drew audiences to their hit Fringe show. And perhaps a potential cameo from one of the ghosts that haunt The Cultch.
“We don’t just try and make people laugh, but we also try to cultivate that feeling of irreverent fun that we all share with our friends in those rare moments late at night when someone says something so wild and hilarious that 15 minutes of uncontrollable giggling ensues,” Abdul says.
Get your tickets for Fake Ghost Tours here, enjoy the tour, and cross your fingers that the ghosts at The Cultch don’t haunt your dreams!
The Fringe office is bustling with new people! We’re very excited to have on board new and familiar faces: Siobhan Barker, Megan Lai, and Hillary Kaplan. And we’re still looking for more people to join our team!
If you love designing and marketing, you can apply now to be our Junior Designer! This volunteer is responsible for designing and producing marketing collateral, editing photos, and helping with marketing initiatives, including social media. To apply, e-mail your resume and cover letter by Sunday, June 2.
Siobhan Barker is one of the latest additions to our Fringe family as the new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director. She has been previously involved in the Fringe as a performer for a few shows and as a volunteer! Outside the office, Siobhan runs nutrition and wellness programs, facilitates professional development for organizations, and is also a writer and singer. She’s looking forward to seeing as many shows as she can in this year’s Festival!
Megan Lai joins us this year as the Artist Services Coordinator. When she’s not in the office, you can find her a stone’s throw away at the Vancouver TheatreSports, where she works as the Sound and Lighting Improviser and Stage Manager, and where she performs in improv shows regularly! She’s excited to be involved in the Fringe from the Festival side of things and see how everything comes together!
You may recognize Hillary Kaplan, who was involved in the Fringe last year as our Volunteer Supervisor and is coming back as Assistant Volunteer Coordinator! Also a producer for Burn in the Forest, she’s looks forward to getting to know all the Fringe volunteers, saying “I love being around all the volunteers talking about all the shows they’ve seen, what they’re going to see, how everyone just lives and breathe Fringe for 11 days. When it was over, it felt like I had just come back from summer camp and had to readjust to The Real World.”
Lastly, we’d like to welcome Neelix, the Fringe’s official Morale Officer! He’s a year and a half old shepherd mix who comes to us all the way from Texas. This cuddly dog loves carrots, apples, cheese, and pepperoni sticks, going out for walks and playing with his canine friends at the dog park. He’s excited to steal the heart of every human who walks through our office doors!
Just a taste of what Vancouver has to offer in the way of Theatre!
May 22-June 2
rEvolver Festival is back for another year! Upintheair Theatre’s annual theatre festival features adventurous, high energy, and sophisticated new work by emerging companies and artists. If you want to see familiar Fringey faces, catch Kanon Hewitt (Fireflies), June Fukumura (Perfect Strangers), Tai Amy Grauman (You Used to Call Me Marie), After Party Theatre (Lady Parts), and Davey Calderon (Brave Space) in their newest shows! And if you missed Awkward Hug, Fake Ghost Tours (which the Fringe is presenting!), and Surveil at the 2018 Festival, now’s your chance to see them. Check out the whole lineup here.
May 24-June 7
rice & beans theatre’s latest show, Chicken Girl, might just have the answer to the perpetual question, “why did the chicken cross the road?” Follow the eponymous protagonist as she goes on a surreal adventure to uncover her Uncle Chan’s mysterious disappearance, a homesick intergalactic rock star struggling to reconcile with estranged family, and an anxiety-ridden submariner as they recruit an anthropomorphic cat to settle and old score.
Vancouver International Children’s Festival
May 27-June 2
Various Venues on Granville Island
Get the kids in your life hooked on theatre by attending the Vancouver International Children’s Festival! Make sure to check out Iron Peggy, a multimedia feast that uses live performance, animation, video, and shadows to tell the story of a young girl’s personal victory and First Nations participation during World War I. Buy tickets here and take a look at all the shows that are part of the Festival here.