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Geocaching Applications and Hugs

February 20, 2019

More Ways to Fringe

Two women standing outdoors. A blonde woman is at the front, standing inside a tire swing, holding the chains and looking forlorn.  A darker-haired woman is standing a few feet behind, looking down, her hands clasped loosely together. Caption:  FIX was one of the Site-Specific shows at the 2018 Fringe. Photo by Al Ricard.

FIX was one of the Site-Specific shows at the 2018 Fringe. Photo by Al Ricard.

Calling all potential Fringe Artists! Still looking for a way to be part of the 2019 Festival? We have good news for you: there’s still a few ways you can get involved!

Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV): Some of our pre-approved venues are still taking applications! Check out Arts Umbrella and our new BYOV, What Lab, who are taking applications until March 30 and February 22, respectively. Remember to note their venue specifications and seating capacities to see if they will fit your show. And don’t forget to apply to the venue first, and then to the Fringe, after the venue has accepted you!

Dramatic Works Series: Supported by the Lochmaddy Foundation, this Mainstage venue provides a space for Fringe Artists to produce dramatic work with two or more actors. Showcased at the Vancity Culture Lab, Artists may not apply with their own script. Applications will open on March 4 and will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Click here for more details.

Site-Specific Shows: Have an idea for a show that doesn’t occur in a traditional theatre setting? Is your potential venue within walking distance of Granville Island or Havana Theatre on Commercial Drive? Then apply to put on a Site-Specific show! Applications open March 4 and will be accepted on a first come, first served basis—as long as they meet our criteria and are close to the abovementioned venues. Click here for more information.

If you have questions about applying for the Fringe, please contact Samantha Kannegieter at administration[at]vancouverfringe[dot]com.

Catch You Later, Kathy!

There’s a little sadness in the Fringe office these days. That’s because our longest serving employee, Kathy Costello, is retiring from her role as Finance Manager.

Kathy started at the Fringe in 2006 during a tumultuous time in the organization’s history. The Fringe was lacking funds and according to former Executive Director, David Jordan, who started just months before Kathy did, he “didn’t know much about finance management in that first year, but Kathy taught me the basics which served me so well in years to come—she truly was a kind of artist.”

Although she always swore that “math is not my thing,” Kathy contributed greatly to getting the Fringe back on its feet, all while working here part time, and part time at a law office. The Fringe must always have been a laugh in comparison. Our Communications Director, Debby Reis, recalls the snickering that ensued after Kathy had to write off the purchase of a “Lovin’ Lamb Blow-Up Doll,” which was part of a Fringe Award.

Kathy also did a lot of crafting on behalf of the Fringe. If you’ve seen staff photos or some of our social media posts—you likely saw some of Kathy’s handiwork, including papier-mâché chickens, white “surrender” flags, hearts made from old Fringe tickets or even older Fringe Membership badges.

In the coming months, we expect Kathy to have more time for her favourite hobby—geocaching. She loves it so much, that one year, for Staff Fun Day, she created a geocache challenge just for us around Granville Island.

Kathy will certainly be missed, but our new Finance Manager, Jennifer Kasun, brings her own spark to the team! Jen has worked with the Fringe as our Count Room Manager for the last two years, so she’s no stranger to the Finance department, and we’re thrilled to welcome her in this new role! And on that note, we also want to introduce our new Marketing Manager, Zoe Zhang. She most recently worked as the Asia Marketing Coordinator for the Kay Meek Centre, where she also conducted outreach to the Chinese community! Welcome aboard, Jen and Zoe! And Kathy, we hope to see you around the Festival having fun and seeing all the shows.

Take a look at some snippets from Kathy’s retirement party below, where we sent her on a scavenger hunt to find Jimmy. And for even more photos, go check out our Instagram page!

Kathy receives the first clue in her retirement party scavenger hunt.
Doing the puzzle...
Oh! It's Jimmy! Kathy found three more clues before leading her to her retirement gift, a Jimmy etched in wood as well as a Fringe hoodie!
Fringers making funny faces for Kathy's retirement lunch.

The Theatre Scene

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

Talking Stick Festival
February 19-March 2
Various Locations Across Vancouver
Now in its 18th year, Talking Stick Festival is noted as being the premier, multidisciplinary Indigenous Arts festival in North America. With this year’s theme of hən̓əm̓stəmxw tə syəθ (“Using Tradition”), their events showcase the diversity of theatre, dance, music, film, and other artistic disciplines in traditional and contemporary formats. Check out their festival program guide here.

Poly Queer Love Ballad
March 5-10
SUM Gallery
After their successful sold out, critically-acclaimed run at the 2018 Fringe, Sara Vickruck and Anais West are back with their award-winning show, Poly Queer Love Ballad, this time as part of the Queer Arts Festival! This 2018 Fringe New Play Prize-winning show is an intimate, edgy musical merging slam poetry with catchy pop-folk tunes. Nina, a polyamorous bisexual poet, meets Gabbie, a monogamous lesbian songwriter, at Cafe Deux Soleils. With two microphones, a loop pedal, and array of instruments, they struggle to reconcile their fierce mutual attraction with their opposing perspectives on love.

Four stacked photos. Top photo: a naked woman sitting sideways, her body mostly in shadow. A projector sits between her legs. Middle left: a man flanked between two boxes, one floating on top while he seems to hold the other one. Middle right: two blonde women standing next to each other; the one on the left strums a guitar and bites the right one's shoulder; the woman on the right holds a notebook in both hands. Bottom photo: an Indigenous woman speaks/sings into a microphone, pointing to outside of the frame. A couple of trees can be seen in the shot.  Caption: A lot of exciting theatre is happening in Vancouver, including some of your Fringe favourites!

A lot of exciting theatre is happening in Vancouver, including some of your Fringe favourites!

Awkward Hug
March 14-15
Havana Theatre
Winner of the BC Touring Council Award at the 2018 Fringe, this show is back for two nights only at the Havana Theatre! Directed by Linnea Gwiazda, Awkward Hug sees Cory Thibert embodying his 19-year-old self as he uncovers the truth behind what sets his family apart. This coming-of-age story with a twist explores how having parents with disabilities challenges what a ‘normal’ family can look like.

Multiple Organism
March 19-30
Vancity Culture Lab
If you missed Multiple Organism at the 2017 Fringe, don’t fret—here’s another chance for you to see this Mind of a Snail creation! Winner of many awards including the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, Multiple Organism is a genre and gender-bending surrealist comedy for adults about having a body and how our body is seen by others. Expect bizarre and hilarious nudity using the body as a projection surface, plus colourful shadow puppetry projections, and an original musical soundtrack.

Theatre Under the Gun may not have dead bodies… but the Fringe will!

January 30, 2019

A**holes, Chocolate, and Necrophilia:
2019 Lottery Results

Three stacked photos. Top: Two men stand with a box filled with ping pong balls between them, one holding the box, the other recently having drawn a ball: Fringe Bar Manager, Ian Wardle and Raffle Coordinator, Raes Calvert draw balls at the Fringe Lottery Party. Middle: Two people stand at a microphone, talking about their play: PTC Fringe New Play Prize winner Lili Robinson and producer Shanae Sodhi tell us about Mx, the show they're bringing to the 2019 Festival. Bottom: A man in a black jacket and glasses speak into a microphone. Local artist Nathan Narusis thanks the Fringe for the opportunity to put on his show after having his name drawn. All photos by Bruce McPherson.

Top: Fringe Bar Manager, Ian Wardle and Raffle Coordinator, Raes Calvert draw balls at the Fringe Lottery Party. Middle: PTC Fringe New Play Prize winner Lili Robinson and producer Shanae Sodhi tell us about Mx, the show they’re bringing to the 2019 Festival. Bottom: Local artist Nathan Narusis thanks the Fringe for the opportunity to put on his show after having his name drawn. All photos by Bruce McPherson.

The luck of the draw has decided—for the 35th year—which Artists are going to be on the Fringe Mainstage yet again!

On Monday, January 14, Katie-Ellen Humphries from the 2018 Public Market Pick of the Fringe winning show, The Lady Show, welcomed everyone to the Lottery Party at The Backstage Lounge and opened the event with her own comedy act. Before drawing names, Executive Director Laura Efron announced the winners of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals’ touring lottery–who are guaranteed spots in a minimum of five Fringes on the circuit, and selected Vancouver. These include Fringe alumni Bill Santiago, who’s returning with The Immaculate Big Bang, and Squirrel Suit Productions’ Carlyn Rhamey, who’s stepping on the stage again with a yet-to-be-titled show.

The International category got the (literal) balls rolling. Rob Gee, who was at the 2018 Fringe with Forget-Me-Not: An Alzheimer’s Whodunnit, is coming back to the Fringe Mainstage with Kevin, King of Egypt! We also look forward to welcoming Exit Productions, who specialize in game based theatre, with How We Think We Think!

New and familiar faces from the North American category will be performing on the Mainstage this September. Gemma Wilcox from 2018’s Magical Mystery Detour will be back with a show called Blood, Bones, and Chocolate, while The Coldharts from 2015’s Edgar Allan are returning with The Unrepentant Necrophile. We’re looking forward to have Vancouver Fringe first-timers, such as Julie Gieseke with Borderline A**hole and Lil Theatre Company with Tymisha Harris: La Baker Cabaret.

We were also excited to introduce the winner of the Fringe New Play Prize! Selected by Playwrights Theatre Centre, multidisciplinary theatre artist Lili Robinson and producer Shanae Sodhi got on stage to talk about how her upcoming show, Mx, which explores what it means to be mixed-race and Black in today’s world. She will be receiving dramaturgical support from PTC and a guaranteed spot in the 2019 Fringe Mainstage!

We ended the party by drawing the Provincial category! Everyone cheered on Publius Productions’ Nathan Narusis, who was the only winning local artist in the room that night. The comedy show Rape is Real and Everywhere will also be coming to the Mainstage for the first time after a successful national tour in 2017. Familiar faces like Nyla Carpentier (21st Century Tricksters), Shawn O’Hara (Field Zoology 101), and O Albatross’ Cory Thibert (Awkward Hug) will return to the Fringe this September.

Thanks to everyone who partied with us, and especially to the comedians and storytellers who took the stage with their acts between draws: Fringe alumni Fatima Dhowre (The Lady Show) and Al Lafrance (I Think I’m Dead), and local comedians Matty Vu and Carmelahhh.

See the whole line up of artists (and the waitlists) here. And save the dates to see it all, September 5 to 15, 2019.

Two New Reasons to Apply for a Bring Your Own Venue

Can you still be part of the Fringe even if you missed the Mainstage Lottery application deadline? Or if you’re way down on the waitlist? The answer is: YES!

Two stacked photos of our two new pre-approved BYOVs! Top: An empty theatre space with theatre lights, black curtains, and an open window showing skyscrapers is PAL Studio Theatre. Bottom: An empty room painted white with two small windows at the far end is What Lab.

Our two new pre-approved BYOVs! Top: PAL Studio Theatre. Bottom: What Lab.

Pre-approved Bring Your Own Venues (BYOV) are currently accepting applications! These venues have worked with the Fringe on rental costs for artists and to ensure the Festival has the capacity to include them, while giving artists more opportunities to be part of the Festival: Arts Umbrella, Carousel Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, and Havana Theatre. BYOV applicants must apply directly to these venues, which have their own criteria and process for accepting shows. Once an artist has been accepted by a venue, they can then apply to the Fringe as a BYOV artist!

But we have even better news: we’re excited to announce that we have two new pre-approved BYOVs! What Lab in East Vancouver and PAL Studio Theatre in the West End are now accepting applications for BYOV shows! As with our other pre-approved venues, you must apply to them directly. Go to our website for more details on these new locations.

The Site-Specific and Dramatic Works categories will open later this February. In the meantime, if you’re a playwright or director who identifies as a woman, genderqueer, on the femme spectrum, or as nonbinary, there’s still time to apply for Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women! Advance Theatre submissions are due February 15.

Theatre Under the Gun’s Fringe Connections

A collage of 14 faces of Fringe alumni. From left to right, top to bottom: Valerie Cotic, Al Lafrance, Jeff Leard, Corey Thibert, Devon More, Chris Ross (in yellow circle), David Bloom, Travis Bernhardt, Matthew Kowalchuk, Omari Newton, Claire Love Wilson, Jackie Blackmore, Keara Barnes, and Amy Shostak.

Fringe alumni are all over Theatre Under the Gun this year! From left to right, top to bottom: Valerie Cotic, Al Lafrance, Jeff Leard, Cory Thibert, Devon More, Chris Ross (in yellow circle), David Bloom, Travis Bernhardt, Matthew Kowalchuk, Omari Newton, Claire Love Wilson, Jackie Blackmore, Keara Barnes, and Amy Shostak.

If you love the unpredictable nature of the Fringe, then you’re going to love how unpredictable Theatre Under the Gun is going to be!

With an inspiration package that may include random items such as a cabbage, a badly painted portrait, or an inflatable snowman—and only 48 hours to create a show using those items—seven Vancouver theatre groups will perform their time-pressured creations on February 9 at as part of Theatre Under the Gun. Get your tickets here and get ready to be surprised!

Sounds Fringe-y enough? Wait til you meet the artists, many of whom you’ll recognize from past Fringe shows!

Chris Ross and Travis Bernhardt of the 2017 Public Market Pick of the Fringe winning show, Chris & Travis, are teaming up with five other artists to compete as We Are An Ad Hoc Group.

Tight Corset Theatre Company’s most recognizable face is Jackie Blackmore, whom you may recall as one-fifth of Strapless from the 2013 Festival.

2017 Fringe hit, Almost a Stepmom’s Keara Barnes will be competing with her team, Your Favourite People.

Sour Dog Theatre features Claire Love Wilson, who was part of our DareU Program in 2015, and Amy Shostak, was in the 2018 Fringe show, Gossamer Obsessions.

Palimpsest’s participants include former Fringe staffer, Matthew Kowalchuk as well as David Bloom who was in the Fringe’s 2016 sleeper hit, The Nether, and then again in 2018’s Blackbird.

Speaking of Blackbird, it was directed by Omari Newton, who’s competing in Theatre Under the Gun with his newly founded theatre company, Dope Hearts Theatre.

And finally, there’s the all Fringe-star team, Cause for Concern. You may recall Al Lafrance from our last Lottery Party! He was also in the 2018 hit, I Think I’m Dead. Jeff Leard was key to the Fringe Cabaret Series in 2017/18, not to mention his 2016 show The Jupiter Rebellion: A Zach Zultana Adventure, among others. Valerie Cotic made an appearance in Mars at the 2015 Fringe. Devon More was in 2016’s Berlin Waltz and in 2018’s Flute Loops. And rounding out the team is Cory Thibert, whose 2018 hit, Awkward Hug, won the BC Touring Council Award.

Regardless of who you’re cheering for, there’s a Fringe connection—and they’re super talented! All the more reason to come see their talents in action at Theatre Under the Gun on February 9! Tickets are just $25. Don’t forget, this is a one night only event!