July 2019


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End of the World? Or Just the Beginning?

January 10, 2017

The Fringe Cabaret: End of the World Party

The end is nigh. But a team of Fringe artists and friends have gotten together to help us laugh it off at the upcoming Fringe Cabaret on January 20 at Studio 1398!

Fringe Cabaret artist

Some of the Fringe Cabaret artists!

Featuring more than 15 artists, including Fringe Festival alumni Tara Travis (Til Death: the Six Wives of Henry VIII), Jayson McDonald (Giant Invisible Robot), Andrew Bailey (Me, the Queen, and a Coconut), Jeff Leard (The Show Must Go On), and Mark Hughes (Tragedy + Time Served = Comedy), and hosted by Sydney Hayduk (Village Ax) and featuring house band, The Hugs (aka Tristan Helgason and Fraz Weist), the Cabaret takes on the end of the world—it’s bound to be an apocalyptic good time!

Pull up your boot straps and dust off your radiation suits. Come on down for leg shaking dance moves, eye popping spectacles, and gut busting shenanigans in an evening of comedy, storytelling, magic, circus, burlesque, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and more!

Check out the full lineup of artists and get your tickets now!

The first 20 people through the door will get a FREE picture of David Suzuki looking disappointed.

Cultchivating the Fringe Winner, The Fighting Season, Opens at The Cultch

One of the Fringe’s goals is to create opportunities for artists to showcase their work and to help them to grow as artists. One way we do this is by partnering with organizations to showcase Fringe shows after the Festival—and The Cultch partnered with us to do just that. Every year, folks from The Cultch select a show to win the Cultchivating the Fringe Award and that show is rewarded with a run at The Cultch! During the 2015 Vancouver Fringe Festival, The Cultch selected Bleeding Heart Theatre’s The Fighting Season, and the time has come! The Fighting Season will be on at The Cultch’s Vancity Culture Lab January 10-21.

Inspired by his father’s deployment in Afghanistan, Sean Harris Oliver’s searing play investigates the Afghan war through the eyes of a Canadian field medic, a doctor, and a recovery room nurse. The show is dark, but as Colin Thomas pointed out in his review, “it doesn’t feel like bullshit” and it’s a “cause for celebration.”

For a taste of the show, check out this video trailer. And find tickets to the show here. You can even use promo code FringeXCultch to get 25% off tickets to performances January 10–17! The code is only valid till January 17, so act fast!


Speaking of playwright and Fringe alumni, Sean Harris Oliver—Sean is also the co-playwright (with Raes Calvert) of REDPATCH. Part of the Theatre Wire season, REDPATCH will be on April 12-16 at Studio 16. Hardline Productions, who is producing the play about a Metis soldier who volunteers to fight in World War One, is currently fundraising for the production. Check out the videos to learn more about the show and the development of the play. And consider making a donation today!


Confessions of a Donor: Thomas Lightburn

Thomas Lightburn

Thomas Lightburn in front of a poster of Sequence 8, a show he produced.

Our donors are some of the most interesting people. Recently, we sat down for lunch with Thomas Lightburn, who’s a donor, former Board Member, and who is currently producing The 7 Fingers’ Cuisines and Confessions, on January 25-29 at the Vancouver Playhouse.

Thomas majored in theatre at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. While there, The Living Theatre, a politically avant-garde company, passed through town and offered him work. Thomas toured with them as an electrician for six-weeks on the show Paradise Now, which used a three-level set and would often end in arrests for indecent exposure.

Years later, Thomas turned to producing, which began with the Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music. He told us that the show was first put on as part of the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in London in 1999—but they didn’t have the rights to the songs or the film. Thomas was able to secure permissions to the music from Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company—and through a connection at Twentieth Century Fox, secured permission to show the film before its New York debut.

He’s currently producing the kitchen themed circus show Cuisines and Confessions. Thomas met members of The 7 Fingers, many of whom formerly worked with Cirque du Soleil, when he was producing a show in a Spiegeltent set up under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. He learned that they’d never produced a show in English Canada—and Thomas got to work on helping them achieve their goal. Thomas points out that a benefit of working with circus is that the shows can be marketed across borders. There is little speaking and hence no language barrier. Check out the video here and find tickets to the show now.

Over the years, Thomas has worked in theatre and film, but he’s also taken time out to support arts organizations like the Fringe, which he describes as “helping emerging artists” and a Festival that “spurs the enthusiasm of the audiences for theatre.” Thomas points out that, “I like the feeling around the Fringe. It’s a positive grassroots event”—which is why he continues to be a donor.

Do you love the feel of the Festival? Do you want to support emerging artists? Make a donation today and help us prepare for the 2017 Festival! You don’t even have to be a theatre aficionado like Thomas!

Still Room for More Fringe Artists!

Show specific

Peripeteia in Ron Basford Park was a Site-Specific show at the 2016 Festival! Photo by Bruce McPherson.

The Mainstage Lottery has come and gone and the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category is nearly full, but that doesn’t mean your chance to be part of the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival is over! Here’s a quick overview of how you can squeak under the wire and be an artist this year.

Dramatic Works Series
Applications open January 11
Sponsored by the Lochmaddy Foundation, these Mainstage venue spots include the technician, basic lighting, and sound. Artists must use a previously produced script classified as a Drama by the publisher with two or more actors. New this year, the playwright must be of Asian decent. Find more information here.

Site-Specific Shows
Applications open January 11
Site-Specific applicants provide their own venue, technician, lighting, and sound. Site-Specific shows must be created for their space and may not take place in a traditional theatre or makeshift theatre (like a church basement or hall). Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis if their sites are within walking distance of Granville Island or Havana Restaurant and meet the criteria of the Site-Specific Program. Find more information here.

Almost Full…
Applicants must have secured a pre-approved venue before they apply with the Fringe. For a list of pre-approved venues, including fees, and more information on the application process, click here. Note that Havana Theatre and Arts Umbrella are no longer accepting applications. The Firehall Arts Centre, however, still has space.

Advance Theatre: New Works by Women
Submission Deadline: February 15
Produced by Ruby Slippers Theatre in partnership with Equity in Theatre, the Advance Theatre series will showcase dramatic readings of five new plays written by Canadian women playwrights, all directed by women, at the Fringe Festival in September. This is a curated process for women playwrights and directors living and working in Canada with priority given to diversity. For information on how to submit your script, click here.

Site-Specific Mentorship Program with The Only Animal
Details coming soon! Information will be posted here once details are confirmed.

Totally New Randomness and A Happy New Year

December 16, 2016

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Christmas and Hanukkah are almost here… and so is New Years and other holidays too! Hopefully you’ll have some time to spend with friends and family, take a trip, or simply enjoy a bit of solitude in the coming weeks. Whatever you’re doing, those of us at the Fringe and Theatre Wire want to wish you season’s greetings and a happy New Year!

Jimmy and all the Fringe staff wish you Happy Holidays!

Jimmy and all the Fringe staff wish you Happy Holidays!

Thanks to all of you who made it to the Fringe’s holiday celebration with the Lottery Party and A Peter n’ Chris-tmas Carol. It was wonderful to laugh at Christmas and to see so many Fringers. A special shout out to Joanna and Heather who took advantage of our VIP tables with treats and Emelle’s Catering to have their birthday parties!

Still thinking about Christmas presents? Theatre Wire Gift Vouchers make a great gift for theatre lovers and those who may be new to theatre. Gift Vouchers can be purchased in any amount (individual tickets start at $23 and Subscriptions start at $59). Once you’ve purchased a Voucher it can be used towards any show in the 2016/17 Theatre Wire Subscription Season. Gift Vouchers are printable so you can write the gift amount and a personal message on, it! Buy your Gift Vouchers here.

Happy Holidays!

From TYA to Totally Offended: Fringe Lottery Results

Another Fringe Festival Lottery has come and gone—this one with more artist applicants than ever before, a record 285! Despite the huge number of applicants, the Lottery itself went quickly with Executive Director, David Jordan, dressed as “Father Fringemas” drawing names out of Santa hats lovingly monitored by Board Members, Gerry Keane, Claudia Sjoberg, and Leslie Carty.

Before drawing names though, we accepted the winners of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals touring lottery who selected Vancouver, including Australian puppeteer Lana Schwarcz who toured with a show about cancer last year, science comedian Tim X Lee, and Ingrid Hansen, who is probably best know for her hit show, Little Orange Man.

 lee williams boudakain and co-creators Anoushka Ratnarajah and Kamee Abrahamian, will present their new show Boxes, about a family immigrating from Lebanon, at the 2017 Fringe.

From left to right: Fringe Board Member Leslie Carty, Playwrights Theatre Centre’s Associate Dramaturg mia amir, who presented the Fringe New Play Prize, winners Anoushka Ratnarajah and lee williams boudakain, and David Jordan as Santa.

We were also happy to announce the winner of the Fringe New Play Prize! Selected by Playwrights Theatre Centre, lee williams boudakain and co-creators Anoushka Ratnarajah and Kamee Abrahamian, will work with a dramaturg from Playwrights Theatre Centre leading up to the production of their show Boxes, about a Lebanese family and their relationships with each other, at the 2017 Fringe.

In the coming months we will be learning about the artists who were drawn for the remaining spots. There is certainly a wide range in the ones we’re looked up so far! HeARTbeat Theatre Productions focuses on Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) and they’ve applied with the show The Secret of Castle Othrenee. Meanwhile, on the other side of gamut, Naked Empire Bouffon Company is in the Fringe again! The last time they were in Vancouver with You Killed Hamlet, many people were offended and walked out of their show—a fact that the Georgia Straight’s Colin Thomas gleefully wrote about in his review.

We can’t wait to see how the 2017 Festival comes together! See the full list of accepted artists (and the waitlists) here.

Thank you to everyone who attended and thank you to Paper-Ya, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Big Rock Urban Brewery, Theatre Wire, the Cinematheque, and Vancouver TheatreSports League for providing prizes for the people who came to the party!

Other Ways of Becoming A Fringe Artist

In Case You’re Too Far Down On The Waitlist

The Fringe Lottery has come and gone and if you are far, far down the waitlist, you may be wondering: How can I still be part of the 2017 Festival?

Trent Baumann in his show I Forgot to Fly Today

Trent Baumann’s I Forgot to Fly Today was a Site-Specific show at the 2016 Vancouver Fringe. Photo by Mike Vlasman.

Consider applying as a Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) artist! Pre-approved venues, include Havana, Carousel Theatre, and others are now accepting applications for rentals, which is the first step to being a BYOV artist. Check out all the details here.

Other categories, including Site-Specific and the Dramatic Works Series information can be found here. We can’t wait to see all the shows that come together to make the 2017 Festival!


New Year, New Name!

Our Executive Director, David Jordan, was really happy when the official name change document arrived in the mail!

Our Executive Director, David Jordan, was really happy when the official name change document arrived in the mail!

It’s almost 2017! Along with a new year, we have a new society name!

We’ve recently changed our society’s name to better reflect the organization’s work through Theatre Wire and the Fringe. We are now the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society! Our Vision is: Theatre for Everyone! And Our Mission is: Cultivating artists and audiences to create an open and vibrant independent theatre community.

And did you know that that the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society is a charity? The Society creates opportunities for artists through the Fringe Festival and through Theatre Wire. Be part of the Society and support artists by making a donation—and don’t forget to make your donation before midnight on December 31 so you can receive a 2016 tax receipt!

PS. Since you’ll be donating to the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society, you’ll be able to take advantage of Fringe Benefits—including access to the exclusive donor box office so you can avoid the line at the 2017 Festival! Find more information and make a donation today!

Save The Date: Fringe Cabaret on January 20!


The Fringe Cabaret start January 20th!

The Fringe Cabaret is on January 20!

Do you need more Fringe in your life? Well you’ll soon have another opportunity to see Fringe performers with the Fringe Cabaret! Hosted and coordinated by Fringe Festival alumni Jeff Leard (The Show Must Go On, The Jupiter Rebellion: A Zach Zultana Adventure), Sydney Hayduk (Village Ax), and Fraz Wiest (Fraz vs The Future), the Fringe Cabaret will feature them and other Fringe artists performing skits and stories in cabaret style. Check it out on January 20, which will have the theme: the end of the world (guess who’s getting inaugurated that day). Buy your tickets here!

In the meantime, here’s the description that Jeff, Sydney, and Fraz sent our way:

Welp, it’s been a good ride but this is it, the end of the world is upon us! Take a break from stocking canned goods and celebrate with your favourite Fringe artists as we turn back the clock on… everything! So pull up your boot straps, dust off your radiation suits, and come on down for all the leg shaking dance moves, eye popping spectacle, and gut busting shenanigans the endless wasteland has to offer.

The first 20 people through the door will get a FREE picture of David Suzuki looking disappointed.