August 2020


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Fringe Monsters and Queens

January 28, 2020

BYOV Applications Now Open!

Description: Larry (played by Candice Roberts, a dark-haired white woman wearing a dark grey coverall, white run-down sneakers, a headband, and a paper beard) sits on a lawn chair with a guitar on his lap. An open beer can sits on the cup holder. Larry tries to play the guitar, looking off in the dance with an intense look. Caption: Be like <em>Larry</em> and perform at the Fringe through the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category! Photo by Al Ricard.

Be like Larry and perform at the Fringe through the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category! Photo by Al Ricard.

Want to be part of the Fringe but you missed the Mainstage Lottery application deadline? Didn’t get drawn? Or are you far down on the waitlist? Don’t fret—you can still be part of the Festival by bringing your show to one of our pre-approved venues in the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) category!

These venues provide more opportunities to be part of the Festival by negotiating with the Fringe to keep rental costs for artists and the administrative capacity manageable. You can secure a spot by applying directly to these venues, which have varying criteria and processes, and then apply to the Fringe after you’ve been accepted to the venue! Note that Carousel Theatre is no longer accepting applications. For more information on the venues, the application process, and more, visit the Fringe website.

If you’re looking for more ways to put on a show at the Fringe, the Site-Specific and Dramatic Works categories are still accepting applications. And if you’re a female-identifying Indigenous playwright or director, you can apply to Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women until February 15. You can find more information here.

Apply for the Fringe BIPOC Subsidy + Welcome the Newest Members of the EDI Committee

Description: a side-by-side collage of Ladan Sahraei and Parker Johnson's photos. At the left is Ladan, a person of Persian descent. They have short black hair and wear glasses, smiling at the camera. They are wearing a blue-green shirt and wearing a red hoodie. They are holding up a 2015 Fringe Program Guide, half of which is cropped from the photo. At the right is Parker Johnson, a man of African descent. He is bald and wears glasses, smiling at the camera. He wears a long-sleeved maroon shirt. Caption: Welcome the newest members of the Fringe's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee: Ladan Sahraei and Parker Johnson! Photo of Ladan by Clayton Wong.

Welcome the newest members of the Fringe’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee: Ladan Sahraei (left) and Parker Johnson (right)! Photo of Ladan by Clayton Wong.

Are you a racialized Artist* who identifies as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour)—with possible intersectionality in living with a disability, LGBTQ+, d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Blind/Low Vision—applying in the BYOV and Site-Specific categories? The Fringe is now offering an opportunity for Artists to apply for a subsidy for the $55 application fee!

The Fringe launched the application fee subsidy program for BIPOC Artists at the Fringe 101 information session in the fall. You can read more about the results of this inaugural program in the Mainstage category here. If the BIPOC Artist’s project was not selected in the Mainstage Lottery, then the subsidy can also be applied in the BYOV and/or Site-Specific applications. If you have questions about the BIPOC Artist subsidy, or would like to learn more about the Fringe’s Diversity Program, contact Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Director Siobhan Barker (who’s leading the program) at equitydirector@vancouverfringe.com.

Furthering this initiative was the EDI goal of growing the internal working group by welcoming two new BIPOC members of the Fringe’s EDI committee: group facilitator, mediator, intercultural educator, and organizational change specialist Parker Johnson, and Ladan Sahraei, who is the first Deaf filmmaker in Iran. Learn more about the Fringe’s ongoing EDI work by signing up for the newsletter or visiting the Fringe website.

*The Artist must be the creative team lead in the application. We consider a “creative team lead” to be the creator/producer of work, or a team member whose creative leadership is integral to the production of the show. In most cases, this person would be the primary or secondary contact listed in your application.

Create a Play in 48 Hours

Description: A pink post-it posted on a mirror, with "What are we trying to say?" written on it. In the blurred background are four people from Dope Hearts Theatre, standing close to each other. The room that they're standing in has white walls and grey concrete-looking floors, a silver pipe running across the ceiling. They're lit by the fluorescent lamps in the room. Caption: Dope Hearts Theatre figure out what they want to say in their 2019 Theatre Under the Gun show. Photo by Monster Theatre.

Dope Hearts Theatre figure out what they want to say in their 2019 Theatre Under the Gun show. Photo by Monster Theatre.

What kind of show would you create if you were given only 48 hours to whip it up? Find out by joining Monster Theatre‘s fast and furious play creation competition, Theatre Under the Gun!

Ready to pull the trigger? Theatre companies (old and new), artist collectives, ad hoc groups, or individuals interested in collaborating with new artists are welcome to apply. All you have to do is fill out the application form by February 7. After six groups have been selected, they will be given an inspiration package—which can be anything from a music box, to a portrait of horses, to a small toilet—on April 19 and given 48 hours to create an original piece of theatre, which they’ll present on April 21 at Performance Works.

Want all the theatre and none of the deadlines? You can also buy tickets to Theatre Under the Gun now, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy what these theatre groups dream up in their race against the clock!


In Memoriam: Michelle Williams

Description: Three Fringe volunteers smiling for the camera at the Revue Stage. On the table is a Program Guide and the cash box. The two volunteers on the left are of Asian descent, wearing grey hoodies on top of their blue Fringe volunteer shirts. They are seated close together. On the right is Michelle Williams, an Indigenous woman, standing, wearing a blue cap, a headset, and a maroon hoodie. Her hand rests slightly on the folding chair of the volunteer to her left. Caption: Michelle Williams was a Fringe staple for many years. Her presence will be missed dearly at the Festival. Photo by Clayton Wong.

Michelle Williams (right) was a Fringe staple for many years. Her presence will be missed dearly at the Festival. Photo by Clayton Wong.

We are so sad to hear about the passing of our dear friend Michelle Williams. Michelle was a true Fringe fan and part of the Fringe family. She volunteered with the Festival for many years, starting as part of the site crew in 2012, and taking on bussing, security, and venue captain duties over the years. She was a friend to staff, artists, and other volunteers. She was truly a Fringe staple and we will miss her dearly.

The Fringe’s Site Coordinator, Mitchell Ingram, remembers Michelle fondly, saying, “She was a passionate lover of all things theatre, and a great asset to the community as a whole. Squiggles (which was Michelle’s nickname) will be missed.”

The Fringe sends so much love to her friends and family. She will always be remembered by all of us, and we will keep Michelle in our hearts forever.

The Theatre Scene

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

Carmen Aguirre’s Anywhere But Here blends dark comedy and magical realism to tell the story of a family’s quest for home.

God is a Scottish Drag Queen, The Second Coming
January 31
Surrey Arts Centre
Fringe veteran Mike Delamont is back to impart some divine wisdom in God is a Scottish Drag Queen 2. In the years since the first show began, God has travelled the world with all new rants to share, and questions to answer.

Anywhere But Here
February 4-15
Vancouver Playhouse
Catch the world premiere of Carmen Aguirre’s Anywhere But Here, which you may remember from the 2016 Advance Theatre series at the Fringe! In 1979, a family drives back towards Chile from Canada. With past, present, and future encircling their journey, this profoundly poetic story is about the universal quest for home—in whatever form that takes.

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
January 21 – February 9
Various Venues
Now in its 16th year, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival is back to showcase three weeks of visionary, genre-bending, and multidisciplinary live performances! And PuSh has a treat for Fringers—get 15% off any of these shows that they specially selected for Fringe fans, by using the code PUSHFRINGE. Shows include Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, written by Hannah Moscovitch (you may remember her from her work in The Russian Play, which was featured in the 2019 Fringe!), and Frontera, a multimedia performance guided by ideas on borders and surveillance.

2020 Lottery Results Are In!

December 19, 2019

A man with a full white beard and a red Santa hat giving the thumbs up sign while holding up a tote bag with the Fringe Festival logo on it.: Richard Lett in his Santa hat was in the room when he won a spot in the Mainstage Category Lottery! Photo by Bruce McPherson Photography.

Richard Lett in his Santa hat was in the room when he won a spot in the Mainstage Category Lottery! Photo by Bruce McPherson Photography.

2020 Lottery Results Are In!

This past Thursday, December 12, the Fringe once again relied on the anti-curation method of selecting shows to be part of the Mainstage Category at the 2020 Vancouver Fringe Festival. This year, the Fringe combined the Lottery with the annual Fringemas gathering! Between draws, the night was peppered with performances from stand-up comics Matty Vu, Andrea Jin, Gina Harms, and Rachel Schaefer, in addition to our host Emma Cooper’s gags, and rounded out with a spectacular set from Lil Clitty.

A few Lottery spots were reserved for the winners of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festival (CAFF) Touring Lottery winners. As a member Festival, we hold spots for artists who apply via CAFF and go on to tour the Fringe circuit all summer long. This year, stalwarts Jem Rolls and Paco Erhard will be joined by Sydney Hayduk (who performed alongside Jeff Leard in Angels & Aliens) and Joanna Rannelli of Power Pause Productions who was part of the 2019 Dramatic Works Series with The Most Massive Woman Wins.

The draw always goes fast! We started with the International category. This small grouping will see the return of Gemma Wilcox (The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over, Magical Mystery Detour) and Weeping Spoon Productions (The Ballad of Frank Allen, Zack Adams: Love Songs for Future Girl).

The North American category sees applications from artists across Canada (excluding BC) and the USA. Selected were favourites, Martin Dockery (Delirium, The Bike Trip) and Pucking Fuppets, aka Adam Francis Proulx who won the Public Market Pick of the Fringe in 2015 for Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets. We are happy to welcome new faces, including Hannah Kim, whose show is You Can Call me Yoko Ono, and Melanie Moseley, who plans to bring us Sexology: The Musical!

Finally, the most exciting part of the evening, the Provincial category! The room was full of hopefuls, eagerly waiting to see if their name would be drawn. Some familiar artists were drawn, including Joylyn Secunda (The Moaning Yoni), Direct Theatre Collective (Hysteria), and Shawn O’Hara (Field Zoology 101, Fake Ghost Tours). But everyone was especially excited when Richard Lett’s name was drawn because he was in the room! Richard was part of the Fringe in 2016 with Sober But Never Clean.

We’re also super excited to share the results of the inaugural year of our equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) project’s applications fee subsidy for racialized artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Colour (BIPOC). The Fringe received 44 applications from artists whose core creative team identify as BIPOC. Of those, 10 artists were drawn in the Lottery! We’re excited to see volunteer Maya Mojtahed with her company Persian Arts and Literature Association, and Laura Fukumoto, who co-wrote the 2019’s Where the Quiet Queers Are (which was also a TD Fringe Forward Award runner up). Overall, the Fringe is proud to say that 29% of the Lottery winning artists this year identify as being from various underrepresented communities. The Fringe will be continuing its EDI work, moving closer towards the Fringe Vision of Theatre for Everyone.

For full Lottery results, including the waitlisted artists, click here.


A woman wearing black pants and a black shirt sings passionately into a microphone on a stage. The 2020 Fringe New Play Prize winner is JK JK and here's one half of the team, khattieQ, performing a song from Catalina La O presenta: Ahora Conmigo, which will be presented at the 2020 Fringe Festival! Photo by Bruce McPherson Photography.

The 2020 Fringe New Play Prize winner is JK JK and here’s one half of the team, khattieQ, performing a song from Catalina La O presenta: Ahora Conmigo, which will be presented at the 2020 Fringe Festival! Photo by Bruce McPherson Photography.

Announcing the 2020 Fringe New Play Prize Winner!

The Fringe has again partnered with Playwrights Theatre Centre (PTC) to present the Fringe New Play Prize, and this year’s winner is JK JK, aka Jenny Larson and khattieQ, whose show Catalina La O Presenta: Ahora Conmigo, will be part of the 2020 Vancouver Fringe!

PTC selects the winner of the prize from a slew of submissions and the winner receives a free Mainstage spot at the 2020 Festival, the design and execution of a development process for the play with PTC’s Project Dramaturg Joanna Garfinkel, and a free spot in PTC’s how-to-produce-theatre seminar series Block P (which is accepting submissions to participate till January 20!).

Catalina La O Presenta: Ahora Conmigo, draws inspiration from Puerto Rican musical legends Myrta Silva, Lucecita Benitez, and Yolandita Monge. This interactive, bilingual cabaret performance is part (physical) clown show, part punk rock performance, y todo emoción performed by khattieQ.

Catalina La O’s mother is lost, unable to join her in Puerto Rico for the finale taping of Catalina’s one-hour TV program, “Ahora Conmigo.” Then a destructive hurricane hits Puerto Rico and throws Catalina into her darkest hour. Emerging from the aftermath, wet and wounded, Catalina seeks refuge in her television studio. Though her backing band and television crew have all gone missing, Catalina believes her beloved audience still survives. She sings and performs to them and to herself, sharing stories and songs of heartbreak, resistance, and survival.

Congratulations to the artists! Everyone at the Fringe is excited to see your show next September!

Other Ways of Being an Artist

A collage of three stacked images. Top: Outside of the Firehall Arts Centre. Middle: Inside the Havana Theatre, showing the mural painted behind the seating area. Bottom: A dock leading out to the middle of a duck pond, outside on a sunny day. Didn't make it as an artist through the Lottery? One of these spaces could still be your venue! From top to bottom, the Firehall Arts Centre, Havana Theatre, and the duck pond on Granville Island.

Didn’t make it as an artist through the Lottery? One of these spaces could still be your venue! From top to bottom, the Firehall Arts Centre, Havana Theatre, and the duck pond on Granville Island.

So you’re way, way down on the waitlist for the Mainstage Category, or maybe you missed the deadline. Do not be discouraged! There are other ways you can still be a 2020 Fringe Artist!

Applications for the Site-Specific Show Category are now open! Site-Specific shows are created for their space and may not take place in a traditional theatre environment. Site-Specific applicants provide their own venue, technician, lighting, and sound. The location of these shows must be pre-approved by the Vancouver Fringe. For details, click here.

Dramatic Works:
Applications for the Dramatic Works Series are now open! Love drama? This is for you. Sponsored by the Lochmaddy Foundation, Dramatic Works Series Artists must apply with a published dramatic script that is between 30-100 minutes in length with two or more actors. Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis, pending eligibility. Learn more details and apply here. 

Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV):
The BYOV Category won’t open till January, but you can find some info here. Keep in mind that you must apply to a pre-approved venue and be accepted by them before you apply to the Fringe. Each pre-approved BYOV has its own application process. Visit our BYOV info page for pre-approved venue information here. But please note that this information has not been updated for 2020. We will update this page early in January.

Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women:
Ruby Slippers Theatre, in partnership with the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Playwrights Guild of Canada, and Savage Society proudly present Advance Theatre! Presented as dramatic readings, Ruby Slippers Theatre will select five scripts by women-identified playwrights. Submissions are being accepted until February 15, 2020. Click here for more info.

Donate Now for a 2019 Tax Receipt

It’s your last chance to snag a 2019 Charitable Tax Receipt! Donate to the Fringe by 11:59pm on December 31! Donations of $25 or more are tax deductible.

For more information or to donate click here. Or, if you’re interested in some sweet perks like t-shirts, VIP tickets, and more, click here to receive a reduced tax receipt in exchange for benefits!

Thanks Thunderbolt Sign!

A flyer featuring various deals on banners, trade show displays, etc. Need signage? Thunderbolt Sign is offering Fringers a deal!

Need signage? Thunderbolt Sign is offering Fringers a deal!

Fringe Sponsors are great! Thunderbolt Sign has been a Fringe sponsor since 2016, helping us make banners and all sorts of signage, including Buzz Boards! Did you write a review of the shows you saw on a Buzz Board this year? Equipped with felt pens, Buzz Boards were located in the Fringe Hub by the Box Office and outside the Phillips Fringe Bar.

If you’re a business owner or need a sign for any purpose, Thunderbolt Sign is offering you a great deal now through January 14! Check out the deals here and connect with our pal Carl Rivera. Thanks Thunderbolt Sign!