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July 18, 2018

Get Your Fringe On

Keep your options open with a Frequent Fringer Card! Photo by Roman Bartos.

Keep your options open with a Frequent Fringer Card! Photo by Roman Bartos.

Calling all Fringe bingers and bingers-to-be! Frequent Fringer Cards are now available! Good for four, 10, or 30 shows, Frequent Fringers mean you can keep your options open! The Cards are good for up to two people, with no more than two uses per performance. The best part? You can save up to $180 and 100% of the proceeds from Frequent Fringer Card purchases go directly to the Artists!

BUT! Frequent Fringer Cards are limited and always sell out, so get yours now!

Frequent Fringer 4 : Get 4 performances for $40
Frequent Fringer 10: Get 10 performances for $90
Frequent Fringer 30: Get 30 performances AND one Fringe Membership for $270

Once you purchase your Frequent Fringer Cards, and after tickets go on sale August 8, you can book your show tickets online or in person at the Fringe Box Office (opens September 4)! Or if playing the Fringe by ear is more your thing, you can also use your Frequent Fringer Card at the door. The Cards can be used at any regular Fringe shows but are not valid at special events like the Georgia Straight Fringe-for-All or the Artists’ Cabaret. Cardholders and their guests must each have their own Fringe Membership Card. And please note that Memberships and Frequent Fringer Cards are non-transferable!

Reminder: Fringe AGM and Program Guide Launch Party!

Sneak peek from the 2018 Program Guide!

Sneak peek from the 2018 Program Guide!

Ready or not, the Fringe will come! Come on down to the Backstage Lounge on July 30 for the Program Guide Launch Party at 7:30pm (doors at 7:00pm). And if you attended the 2017 Fringe Festival and activated a Membership, we want to see you at our Annual General Meeting, starting at 6:00pm, just before the Launch Party!

After the AGM, get a first look at what’s happening at the Fringe this year as we launch our 2018 Program Guide! Can you spy with your little eye what our theme and cover art is for this year? Eeny-meeny-miny-moe your way through the shows, Phillips Fringe Bar lineup, workshops, special events, and more! Join us for a throwback to old-school Fringe with Drag Bingo, hosted by the legendary Jaylene Tyme. We have more prizes and surprises in store for you, so don’t miss out on this party!

RSVP now. Please note that Backstage Lounge is accessible for wheelchair and mobility aid users. See you there!

Help the Fringe Out!

Volunteers have been a big part of the Fringe's success for over three decades now! Photo by Deandra Atmojo.

Volunteers have been a big part of the Fringe’s success for over three decades now! Photo by Deandra Atmojo.

We recently celebrated hitting an important milestone (200 volunteers) in the lead up to our goal of 500 volunteers and we’re looking for more helping hands for the Festival!

Volunteers make the Fringe a success every year by helping the Festival in different ways: selling tickets for shows, keeping the Phillips Fringe Bar safe and fun, coordinating Front of House activities, and more! Volunteers get a lot of great perks from the Fringe, including a Volunteer Rush Pass, which lets you see any Fringe show that’s not sold out. Check out our volunteer positions to see what role fits you best! And when you’re ready, register on MyVolunteerPage.com or update your profile if you’re a returning volunteer.

And if you want to help out the Fringe but volunteering your time isn’t feasible, you can host an Artist in the comfort of your home from September 4-18! Billet hosts provide touring Fringe Artists a semi-private/private place to sleep, access to a shower and kitchen, and the freedom to come and go as needed. Sign up to host an artist and we’ll match you with someone who fits you and your living space. In return, billet hosts get a Volunteer Rush Pass or 10 Exchange Vouchers (which are good for any regular Fringe performance).

If you’re interested, sign up to volunteer or billet now!

See Theatre All Year Long!

We know you love binging on theatre during the 11-day Fringe, but did you know the Fringe also runs Theatre Wire, which brings you Fringey, independent, and local theatre year-round? And we’ve just announced next season’s shows!

Missed Habitats at the 2017 Fringe? You have one more chance to see them at Pick Plus!

Missed Habitats at the 2017 Fringe? You have one more chance to see them at Pick Plus!

We’re offering up two package options that’ll help you save some cash. There’s the Theatre Wire Package and there’s the SeeMore Theatre Series Package!

The SeeMore Theatre Series includes five theatre companies that are part of the theatre residency program at the ANNEX. See all five shows for just $99! These include Hardline ProductionsTom at the Farm, Pi Theatre’s Hir, Delinquent Theatre’s Never the Last, rice & beans theatre’s Chicken Girl, and Alley Theatre’s #whatnow. Click here to read all the show descriptions and to purchase your SeeMore Theatre Series Package!

The Theatre Wire Package offers up to six shows—choose three or more and your tickets will be discounted by 30% (if you purchase by August 8. After August 8, Theatre Wire Packages will be discounted 20%). These shows include Kahlil Ashanti’s Razor, Aenigma Theatre’s The How and the Why, Affair of Honor’s Soul Samurai, Mike Delamont’s God is a Scottish Drag Queen: A Christmas Special, Monster Theatre’s Theatre Under the Gun, and Zee Zee Theatre’s Dead People’s Things. Click here for more details on the Theatre Wire Package and for show descriptions.

But wait! There’s more! We’ve just added Pick Plus shows to the mix! Pick Plus shows are hand-picked Fringe shows that have been popular in past years or other Fringe Festivals that we just need to see! These one-night-only performances happen in the week following the Fringe Festival in September. You can now include Pick Plus shows as part of your Theatre Wire Package! This year’s Pick Plus shows are 50 Shades of Vinyl – A Canadian Parody (formerly known as 50 Shades of Dave), The Birdmann FINALE, Habitats, and Kahlil Ashanti’s Basic Training.

Make room for theatre in your life all year long! Visit TheatreWire.com for more info and make sure to check back in case more shows are added!

The Fringe at the Jessie Awards

Some of our Fringe staff were all dressed up for the Jessies! From left to right: Laura, Jess, and Angie. Photo by Robyn Kurtz.

Some of our Fringe staff were all dressed up for the Jessies! From left to right: Laura, Jess, and Angie. Photo by Robyn Kurtz.

The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards celebrate excellence in Vancouver’s professional theatre community. The 36th awards ceremony returned to its theatrical roots, taking place on July 16 at Bard on the Beach in the BMO Mainstage in Vanier Park. We want to congratulate all the Jessie nominees and winners, especially those who are Fringe alumni!

Fringe alumna Chelsea Haberlin, who you may remember from our site-specific program Onsite, and her work with ITSAZOO Productions, took home the award for Outstanding Artistic Creation in Theatre for Young Audiences for her work in Green Thumb Theatre and Neworld Theatre’s Jabber.

Mind of a Snail’s Multiple Organism won awards in the Vancouver and Orlando Fringes, and now they have a Jessie under their belt! They garnered this year’s Critic’s Choice Innovation Award, which awarded two winners for the first time—the other being Universal Limited’s Japanese Problem.

Fringe regular Rohit Chokhani (Bombay Black) was awarded the Vancouver Now Representation and Inclusion Award for his work in “encouraging the inclusion of Indigenous and diverse voices in theatre and dance, and… creat[ing] works of theatre that communicate South Asian perspectives to a wider audience.”

Two Fringe Artists were also recognized for their potential: Tai Amy Grauman, whose show, Her Name Was Mary was part of the 2017 Fringe, garnered the Sam Payne Award for the Most Promising Newcomer. Genevieve Fleming, this year’s Dramatic Works mentor, was awarded the Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director. We’re excited to see more work from them in the future!

Devon More, whose one-woman show Berlin Waltz played at the 2016 Fringe, won the Gordon Armstrong’s Playwright’s Rent Award. Designed to “mark how hard it is to buy precious time to write,” More was nominated by Fringe regular TJ Dawe for her work in coordinating the Way Off Broadway performance series in New Westminster, and for helping other playwriting artists develop their own work. She’s back at the Fringe this year with Flute Loops, a “subatomic pop opera where anything can happen does!”

You can check out the full list of nominees and winners on the Jessies’ website. We’re proud have so many artists use the Fringe as a springboard for their careers, and to see these theatre artists’ achievements honoured!

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!