January 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,...

Perks of Being a Spare Bed

June 28, 2018

Want the Fringe to Love You? Volunteer!

The Fringe has the coolest volunteers! Photo by Deandra Atmojo.

The Fringe has the coolest volunteers! Photo by Deandra Atmojo.

Volunteers have been a big part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s success for the past 34 years. We couldn’t do it without you! Along with supporting a great Festival, you get a Fringe t-shirt, snacks and refreshments in the Volunteer Centre, an invitation to our Volunteer Appreciation Party, discounts on select year-round shows, and of course, the Volunteer Rush Pass, which lets you see any Fringe show that’s not already sold out!

Sounds great, right? It’s an amazing way to get work experience, improve your communication skills, make new friends, and to support local theatre!

Volunteers take on a variety of roles during the Festival. You can sell tickets, bartend at the Phillips Fringe Bar, take photos, or even drive people and supplies around to BYOV venues. And if you’re not sure what position you’d like best, that’s okay too—we have just the job for you! Because we have a lot of different volunteer positions available, you’re sure to find a role that fits you. All you have to do is register on MyVolunteerPage.com. And if you’re a returning volunteer, you’ll need to update your profile on MyVolunteerPage.com too.

We can’t wait to celebrate the Festival with you!

Calling All Spare Beds!

Fringe artists from out-of-town like the cast of Birdmann need a place to sleep! Photo by Al Ricard.

Fringe artists from out-of-town like the cast of Birdmann need a place to sleep! Photo by Al Ricard.

Do you want to help the Fringe while wearing your pajamas? Is your spare bed calling for an artist’s warm body?

You can help us by giving our artists a place to sleep from September 4-18, 2018! Many artists come to Vancouver by way of other Fringes and festivals in North America, making for a busy and tiring summer on the road. Whether you have an extra bed, a pull-out couch, or an air mattress, giving them a place to sleep at night is one less thing for them to worry about!

When you sign up to billet an artist, we’ll match you with someone who’s suited to you and your home. Billet hosts are responsible for providing artists with semi-private/private spaces to sleep, access to a shower and kitchen, and the freedom to come and go as they need. Some billet hosts also provide food and transportation for the artists and socialize with them, but this is up to you. So whether you’re a night owl who likes their sleep or a morning person who wants to hang out with their guest artist, we’ll find your perfect match!

“But what’s in it for me?” you may ask. As a thank-you to opening your homes to Fringe artists, we offer billet hosts a Volunteer Rush Pass, which allows free admission into any show that isn’t already sold out, or 10 Exchange Vouchers, which are good for any regular Fringe performance. Plus, you get to meet cool artists who have fantastic tour stories, earn heaps of good karma, and our love and gratitude! Billet hosting is a unique opportunity to support the Fringe by providing artists a safe and comfortable space to catch some zzz’s before their next show. Interested? Sign up now!

Be There or Be Square! Fringe AGM and Program Guide Launch Party on July 30

Jimmy gives a rousing welcome to the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society's members. Photo by Philip Dovey.

Jimmy gives a rousing welcome to the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society’s members. Photo by Philip Dovey.

Do you want to discuss and vote on issues that are important to the Vancouver Fringe Festival? Do you also want to get your hands on the 2018 Program Guide before anyone else? You can by attending the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society’s Annual General Meeting and Program Guide Launch Party on Monday, July 30, 5:30pm at Backstage Lounge! If you purchased and activated a Membership at the 2017 Fringe Festival, then you are a Member and eligible to attend and vote during the AGM.

After the AGM, join us in celebrating the launch of the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival Program Guide Launch Party, which starts at 7:30pm! RSVP here.

We’ll send you more details in the next newsletter. In the meantime, save the date!

Celebrate World Fringe Day!

World Fringe Day is coming up in less than two weeks, on July 11, and we need your help celebrating this wonderful occasion! In 2017, Fringe Festivals around the world marked the first-ever World Fringe Day in honour of the Edinburgh Fringe’s 70th anniversary. What started out as eight theatre groups performing on the fringes of the Edinburgh International Festival is now a worldwide phenomenon with more than 200 Fringe Festivals across the globe. Not bad for (almost) 71, right?

So here’s what we want you to do: if you have a Vancouver Fringe story you’d like to share, let us know on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or via e-mail using the hashtag #StartedAtTheFringe! We will be sharing your stories on July 11 and then leading up to and during the Festival. We loved reading the responses over at the Toronto Fringe’s Twitter, so we’re excited to see what you’ll share with us!

Need more inspiration? Last year, we celebrated World Fringe Day by asking Fringe alumni to film themselves talking about their favourite memories from the Fringe, and why they love the Festival. Check out their responses here! We’d love to hear from you!

Last call for the Giving Challenge!

There's still time to help us win $10,000! Photo by Chris Shrubsall.

There’s still time to help us win $10,000! Photo by Chris Shrubsall.

Do you want to donate to the Fringe AND help us win $10,000? There’s still time—but not much!

There’s only two more days left in this year’s Great Canadian Giving Challenge! You can help the Fringe enter a draw to win $10,000 (thanks to the GIV3 Foundation!) by donating a minimum of $3 through our CanadaHelps or GivingChallenge page. Donate now—you only have until June 30, 2018, at 11:59:59pm Pacific Daylight Time!

But there’s more: if you donate $25 or more, we’ll show you some love in the Program Guide AND on donor recognition boards at the Festival. We’d like to thank everyone who donated to us in the Giving Challenge so far. Every dollar you donate gives us a better chance of winning the draw!

Dramaturgy with Music in Mind

The Fringe New Play Prize, awarded in partnership with Playwrights Theatre Centre, provides dramaturgical support, creation and rehearsal space, and a Fringe Mainstage spot! This year, Anaïs West and Sara Vickruck received the award for their slam poetry musical, Poly Queer Love Ballad! In this Dispatch, Anaïs and Sara chat with dramaturg Joanna Garfinkel about building a musical as they gear up for Poly Queer Love Ballad’s premiere at the Fringe.

Anaïs West and Sara Vickruck are the 2018 winners of the Fringe New Play Prize and will be part of the Fringe Mainstage this September!

Joanna: I have had the great fortune to be working with Anaïs West and Sara Vickruck on Poly Queer Love Ballad since November. This process has combined script sessions, studio workshops and music development, and has allowed me the opportunity to draw from my music and poetry past(s) as well as from my current collaborative model of dramaturgical development.

It’s been so gratifying to work with Anaïs and Sara and their play that presents a queer narrative with great jokes, songs that won’t get out of your head, and a frankly sexy vision frequently dismissed from the mainstream lens of womens’ relationships.

How to build a musical:

Sara: With “Alternative Lifestyle Haircut,” I was fooling around with genres and had been watching a Jack Johnson riff on Youtube. Playing off that sound, I came up with a smooth melody feel. The chorus came first: (sings) “oooh girl,” and then developed a bit of the verse…it was trying to fit all these ideas we wanted, in the melodic form we had. Then, Anaïs and I collaborated on the lyrics.

Anaïs: We asked “how do we put important narrative points in, apart from the fun queer culture part?” and we sat in a room and asked “what about this rhyme?” And bounced them off each other.

Click here to read the more about their thoughts on building a musical, the relationship of slam poetry to songwriting and playwriting, and collaboration, and links to some of the songs that will be part of the show.

See you at the Fringe!

Brewing Up the Festival

June 1, 2018

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge!

Help the Fringe take off! Photo of 2017's Rocketman and Beano by Bruce McPherson.

Help the Fringe take off! Photo by Bruce McPherson.

Thinking about donating to the Fringe? Now’s the time!

For as little as $3, you can help the Fringe during this year’s Great Canadian Giving Challenge, a national contest that benefits registered Canadian charities. Donate between now and June 30, 2018 at 11:59:59pm Pacific Daylight Time through our page at GivingChallenge or CanadaHelps. Every dollar you donate automatically enters the Fringe into a draw to win $10,000 courtesy of GIV3 Foundation!

But that’s not all–if you donate $25 or more, your name will be highlighted in the Fringe Program Guide and on donor recognition boards at the Festival!

And while the Fringe is still a few months away, it’s important to know that donations are invaluable to making sure the Fringe continues to fulfill the vision of “Theatre for Everyone” year after year. Your support directly affects hundreds of artists that create and perform in the Festival, as well as the thousands of patrons who see their shows. Every dollar counts–especially since every dollar you give can help us win $10,000!

A New Beer Partner & Returning Partners Support the Fringe

Party with us at the Phillips Fringe Bar!

Party with us at the Phillips Fringe Bar!

We’re excited to welcome Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. as our newest Partner! They are ardent supporters of the arts, partnering with various festivals across BC—and they’re no strangers to the Fringe—they have been supporting the Victoria Fringe Festival for 10 years! Phillips describes themselves as “a group of beer-loving adventurers, dedicated to exploring every corner of the craft beer frontier” and we are thrilled that Phillips is joining us as our exclusive beer sponsor!

We are also happy to welcome back Partners who added a lot of pizazz to last year’s Festival: our Presenting Partners, the Georgia Straight and TD Financial; Blenz Coffee, where you’ll be picking up your Program Guide soon; Dockside Restaurant and The Keg, who fed us mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres on Opening Night; PrintPrint.ca and Thunderbolt Sign, who helped us with signage and passes; Road 13 Vineyards, who kept the drinks flowing; Hardbite Chips, who provided delicious snacks for our volunteers and for purchase at the Fringe Bar; and Boston Pizza, who turned our Volunteer Appreciation Party into a pizza party!

Stand by for more announcements about this year’s Partners in upcoming newsletters!

Fringe-ifying the Jessie Awards

Congratulations to all our Jessie-nominated Fringers! Clockwise from left: Six Fine Lines, The After After Party, and Multiple Organism.

Congratulations to all our Jessie-nominated Fringers! Clockwise from left: Six Fine Lines, The After After Party, and Multiple Organism.

Since 1982, the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards have celebrated the best of Vancouver theatre. Named after Jessie Richardson, who spent more than four decades contributing to the growth and vitality of the Vancouver theatre community, this year’s nominations were announced on May 27. We’re proud to see so many familiar Fringe names among them!

Notable Fringe-related nominations include Katey Hoffman and Cheyenne Mabberley of The After After Party, who were nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble. In 2016, The After After Party won multiple Fringe Awards, including the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, the Critics’ Choice Award, and the Public Market Pick of the Fringe.

Two shows from the 2017 Festival have been nominated for the Critic’s Choice Innovation Award: Multiple Organism from Mind of a Snail and Level-Headed Friends ProductionsSix Fine Lines. Six Fine Lines is described as “part-gameshow, part-memoir, part-house party” and was a favourite amongst critics during the Festival. Multiple Organism won the Artistic Risk Award, the Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Award, the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, and the Public Market Pick of the Fringe Award in 2017—and they just won the Edgy as Fuck Fabby Award at the Orlando Fringe Festival.

Alley Theatre, who you may recall from 2014’s Little One, which was part of the inaugural Dramatic Works Series, was nominated for The Ridiculous Darkness in the Significant Artistic Achievement Award category for outstanding work involving and engaging distinct communities from the Lower Mainland for cross community outreach connection and performance—as well as being nominated for a Critic’s Choice Innovation Award in partnership with Neworld Theatre.

Fringe regulars Tara Travis and Ryan Gladstone also got nods for their work in Monster Theatre’s Who Killed Gertrude Crump? Tara Travis is nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actress, and for Significant Artistic Achievement with Dusty Hagerüd. Ryan Gladstone is in the running for Outstanding Direction, as well as for Outstanding Artistic Creation alongside Bruce Horak for The Canada Show.

There are a few more familiar Fringe names nominated too, which is no surprise as the Fringe is a launching pad for so many theatre artists!

Congratulations to all the nominees! To see the full list of nominees, check out the Jessie’s website. You can also buy your tickets for the Awards Ceremony, which will take place at the BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park on July 16.

The Theatre Scene

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

Victim Impact
June 8-17
The Cultch
Theatre Conspiracy is taking Victim Impact to the stage! This Fraudcast untangles the largest Ponzi scheme in BC history, were over 200 people were ripped off in the scam involving over $110 million.

Fringe alumna Ren Kennedy is directing I Am Not a Girl. Photo by Joel Fraser.

Fringe alumna Ren Kennedy is directing I Am Not a Girl. Photo by Joel Fraser.

June 15-24
Russian Hall
Join the Fringe’s Generation Hot program mentors, The Only Animal for Slime’s world premiere! Co-produced by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, audiences join 100 animals, seven young translators, scientists, and suits at the 3rd Annual SLIME Conference, where everyone faces the threat of the insatiable creature, SLIME.

I Am Not a Girl
June 21-26
The Cultch
I Am Not a Girl follows the story of Erica as she becomes Eric, and the various physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual challenges of transitioning. Written by Fringe donor William Hubbard and 2016 alumna Ren Kennedy (from Mrs. Barbour’s Daughters, who is also directing this show), I Am Not a Girl is Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Production Society’s first stage production.