Start Your Fringe Right

A Theatre Buffet on Opening Night

Try a little bit of everything at the Fringe with The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All! In 2018, Ms. Beatrice Haven from Is That How Clowns Have Sex? A One-Woman Queer Clown Sex Ed Show answered the audience’s burning questions about the birds and the bees. Photo by Julie De Sousa.

And now, for some breaking news: tickets for Opening Night featuring The Georgia Straight Fringe-For-All on September 4 are sold out! If you’re lucky enough to have your tickets, then at 7:00pm this Wednesday, get ready to chat with your fellow Fringers while feasting on some hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Dockside Restaurant, The Keg, and hummus from Habibi’s! Create some customized phone wallets with MAKE while sipping the newest drinks from the award-winning Georgian Bay Spirit Company. If you didn’t get to try their Strawberry Smashed Soda, Smashed Tea, and Cranberry Gin Smash at the Program Guide Launch Party, then you’ll definitely want to make merry with these newest drinks at Opening Night!

At 8:00pm sharp, have a taste of Theatrically Delicious shows during the Fringe-For-All hosted by Abdul Aziz and Davey Calderon as Ate Dean Aiden Vanité Ethan Yo-Yo Kaldereta the First! Sit back, enjoy, and take notes as 40 Fringe Artists convince you why you should see their shows—all in two minutes or less!

And if you didn’t get a ticket but still want a sampling, don’t worry—we’ll be live-tweeting so you won’t miss a thing!

Go to Cuba With the Fringe Raffle

Have a chance to enjoy this relaxing sunset in Havana by buying a Fringe Raffle ticket today!

Need to unwind after 11 days of Fringing? How about a week-long adventure to Cuba courtesy of Finisterra? This trip can be yours for only $10 through the Fringe Raffle! You and a friend can enjoy an amazing trip to the captivating city of Havana for four days, where you can take in the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and unique architecture. Then, you’ll be taken to the beach for a few days, where you can soak up the sun and enjoy a few days frolicking in the water! 

But if you don’t win the Grand Prize in the Raffle, Finisterra can design a custom trip that’s just for you, whatever your travel style is! Want to indulge and learn about local cuisine while you’re on tour? They’ve got a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Need a trip that would be fun for both the toddlers and teenagers in your family? They’ll make it happen. Not only are they passionate about creating tours that are flavoured to your taste, but they are also conscientious about travelling sustainably and responsibly for the long-term benefit of local people by supporting small, local businesses for your travels.  

To get a chance at this wonderful Cuban trip crafted by Finisterra, stop by the Raffle Tent, the Phillips Fringe Bar, or find one of our wonderful Raffle Ticket Sellers around the Festival! Tickets are $10 each or $20 for three tickets. The Raffle Draw will be held on September 15 at 10:00pm during Awards Night at Performance Works on 1218 Cartwright Street. You don’t have to be present—the Fringe will be in touch if your name is drawn! 

Check out the Fringe Raffle’s rules and regulations here.

The Fringe Box Office Opens Tomorrow!

Get your tickets from the lovely staff at the Fringe Box Office and they’ll give you the latest scoop on the Festival’s hottest shows! Photo by Al Ricard.

If you’ve been waiting to buy tickets from an actual person, then we’ve got great news for you: the Fringe Box Office opens tomorrow, September 3! Whether you want to buy tickets, pick up your Frequent Fringer Cards and Memberships, or just want to get the scoop from Box Office Associates, the Fringe Box Office has got you covered. You can find them at 1398 Cartwright Street aka the “Fish Bowl” from 4-9:00pm on weekdays, and from noon-9:00pm on weekends till the end of the Festival on September 15.

Rushing to a venue and can’t swing by the Fringe Box Office? Don’t worry because you can also buy tickets from our lovely Fringe volunteers, who are now able to accept cash AND credit cards at the venues!

If you’re looking to save some money, make sure to check out half-price performances! These are labelled in the Program Guide with the ½ symbol next to the half-price performance (also have a look at the article on “Updates” below for half-price performances that have been added since the Guide was printed.

Please note that there will be no refunds or exchanges once a ticket has been purchased.

For more information about our tickets or passes, visit the Fringe website!

Show Updates

Attention, Fringers! Make sure to pay attention to these changes happening during the Festival.

One thing that’s been constant throughout the Fringe’s 35 years is its unpredictability. From what shows apply to the lottery, to what shows get drawn, and which shows actually perform in the Festival—Fringers can always expect the unexpected!

Unfortunately, this means that some shows have also had to withdraw from the Festival since the Program Guide was printed: Babel-o-drome, The Present Imperfect, and One Man Avengers.

There are a few other updates to be aware of. There is an additional performance of Try to Remember at PAL Studio Theatre on September 15 at 6:15pm. Select performances for the following shows are also cancelled: The Immaculate Big Bang at False Creek Gym on September 5 at 6:45pm; Dion Arnold: How I Killed My Nan at Dockside Lounge on September 11 at 8:00pm; and The Woman Who Borrowed Memories at PAL Studio Theatre on September 15 at 6:15pm.

Other changes in the Festival you need to know about are that all Advance Theatre shows are Low Vision Friendly. Old-ish‘s ASL-interpreted performance will be on Friday, September 13 at 7:45pm at Havana Theatre, and Monica vs. The Internet: Tales of a Social Justice Warrior will have an ASL-interpreted performance on Sunday, September 15, at 3:15pm. Also, VocalEye’s live described performance of Perv Hunters will be on Sunday, September 15, at 1:10pm at Waterfront Theatre.

And if you’re looking to save some cash, be sure to take note that the following shows now have half-priced performances! LIGHTS! CAMERA! ODD JOBS? on September 5 at 6:15pm and on September 12 at 10:15pm; Thumbtacks on September 5 at 8:00pm; AI Love You at September 6 at 5:00pm; Legend of the Frozen Trees on September 6 at 6:45pm; Pieces of Eight on September 6 at 10:05pm; Conduit on September 7 at 1:10pm; and Lift on September 8 at 2:15pm.

Remember to check out the daily Fresh Sheet on our website and around the Festival for additional updates!

Mentoring Artists at the Fringe

In addition to giving Artists a platform to perform at the Festival every year, the Fringe provides mentorship opportunities so Artists can sharpen their skills. Through Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women and the Dramatic Works Series, Artists can learn by doing—and you can see their great works in action!

Check out Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women at False Creek Gym! This series features dramatic readings of five new plays from female-identifying playwrights from September 9-13.

In partnership with Ruby Slippers Theatre and Playwrights Guild of Canada, Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women features dramatic readings of five new plays by female-identifying playwrights. Presented as 1:30pm matinees from September 9-13 at the False Creek Gym, this year’s plays touch on connections across borders, languages, generations, and death: ūtszan by Yvonne Wallace, which unravels the protagonist’s lifelong path to learn and think in her Ancestral first language, Ucwalmicwts; Sis Ne’ Bi-Yiz: Mother Bear Speaks by Taninli Wright, inspired by the Wet’suwet’en playwright’s true story of finding her own voice as she grapples with racist systems and intergenerational traumas; Occupational Hazards by Roneen Marcoux, where cocktail waitresses at different points in their jobs navigate the drink-pushing business; we the same by Sangeeta Wylie, which is based on a true story about Vietnamese oceanic refugees; and Fling by Melody Anderson, where two sisters, Lynnie and Barb try to get truths from their father, who suffers from dementia. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, with a suggested price of $5 to $10, and are cash only at the door. Check out the full schedule here.

Make sure to grab your tickets to the shows featured in the Dramatic Works Series, which will be playing at the Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch!

Showing at The Cultch’s Vancity Culture Lab, the Dramatic Works Series seeks to boost dramatic content at the Fringe by staging the works of published playwrights. Generously supported by the Lochmaddy Foundation, the Dramatic Works Series is an opportunity for Fringe Artists to be mentored by an experienced theatre artist. Under the mentorship of Métis theatre artist Raes Calvert (Hardline Productions, Redpatch), this year’s lineup includes six productions that are sure to excite audiences: a stage production of Jacob Richmond’s Legoland, which is about two siblings whose lives change after the hippie colony they were raised in gets busted for being the largest marijuana grow-op in Saskatchewan; the premiere of Two Modern Noh Plays by Yukio Mishima, in which the controversial Japanese playwright challenged traditional Noh Theatre conventions; a unique audience experience in 4.48 Psychosis where playwright Sarah Kane’s poetic account of clinical depression is revealed; a haunting and empowering exploration of perceptions of body image in The Most Massive Woman Wins; a sharply written story of two guards on duty at the Taj Mahal in Guards at the Taj; and creating a definitive work for an extraordinary setting in the Tony Award-winning play, Red. For the full schedule of the Dramatic Works Series, click here.

Rohit Recommends…

Undecided what shows to watch during the Festival? Why not see what Fringe veteran Rohit Chokhani has to recommend?

With 101 shows to choose from, choosing which Fringe shows to watch over 11 days of the Festival can seem like a daunting task. But who can give recommendations better than Rohit Chokhani? This Jessie Award-winning director launched his theatre career at the Fringe, where he continues to experiment with new ideas, concepts, and projects. Bombay Black by Anosh Irani, which he produced and directed as part of the Dramatic Works Series in 2017, will be remounted this fall with an all-new cast and upgraded production design! Presented in partnership with Theatre Wire, make sure to mark your calendars from November 1-3 and come see it at the York Theatre.

As the Festival draws closer, we asked this Fringe veteran to tell us his Top 10 Must-See Shows! After flipping through the Program Guide, he listed shows that stood out for him immediately. Visit Rohit’s website to see his Top 10 Picks for the Fringe!

Meet the TD Fringe Forward Award Contenders!

The Fringe is proud to present the TD Fringe Forward Award in partnership with Neworld Theatre and generously supported by TD Bank Group!

As part of furthering the vision of “Theatre for Everyone” and supporting and making space for more diverse voices in the Festival, the Fringe is very proud to present the TD Fringe Forward Award in partnership with Neworld Theatre! Generously supported by TD Bank Group, this new award honours a production that centres the work of Artists from historically marginalized communities and approaches the work from a place of authenticity. For its first year, 16 shows are vying for the Award, which includes a performance opportunity, rehearsal space, mentorship, and cash for future development.

The contenders include My Name is SUMIKO, June Fukumura’s clown show that blends Japanese stereotypes and serves up a zany, East-meets-West comedy about life, death, and love; Two Modern Noh Plays by Yukio Mishima by Midtwenties Theatre Society, which stages two controversial works from the infamous Japanese playwright; Monica vs. The Internet: Tales of a Social Justice Warrior by Monica Ogden, a solo show that sheds light on activism in the age of the internet, mixed-race identity, white feminism, and other social justice-related issues; and Borderline A**hole by Julie Gieseke, a solo show that navigates mental health labels and their stigma from an LGBTQ+ perspective.

Additionally, there’s R’n’J: The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Roz and Jules by Stolen Cactus, a tragicomedy adventure that explores an alternate ending for Romeo and Juliet; Josephine by Lil Theatre Company, a one-woman biographical musical about Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar; and tadpole: the last episode by THEATRECORPS, which navigates mental illness in the context of realities; and The Moaning Yoni by Joylyn Secunda, a solo show where she takes on 17 characters through songs, dances, and stunts to talk about her asexuality.

There’s also Those Who Can’t by Jill Lockley, a comedy that follows the story of Principal Penny, who’s desperate to find a substitute teacher for a group of sixth-grade students who are determined to hurt every teacher who steps through the door; Mx by Lili Robinson, which cracks open notions of mixed-race, Black, and Queer identity through the lens of a character stuck in-between by incorporating elements of clown, bouffon, and mythology from the African Diaspora; Dissection of a … Mixed Heritage Woman by Nyla Carpentier, where she unravels and weaves together family and personal stories, poetry, dance, and a bit of song to explore where her mixed heritage is pulling her; and Pretty Beast by Kazu Kusano, a solo comedy show that talks about growing up in a dysfunctional family and using humour as a survival tool in a sexist Japanese society.

Rounding out the list of contenders for the TD Fringe Forward Award are Rape is Real & Everywhere by Emma Cooper and Friends, a stand-up comedy show performed by rape survivors; Guards at the Taj by South Asian Canadian Histories Association (SACHA), which is about two Imperial Guards standing on duty at the famed Taj Mahal in 1648; Red Glimmer by Dusty Foot Productions, an absurd sci-fi dramedy about a woman who involuntarily takes an all-inclusive internal trip after a deep depression; and Where the Quiet Queers Are, which uses choral music, a cappella soundscape, and spoken poetry to explore how queer people find family in a transient city.

Get your tickets to these shows today on the Fringe website, and find out who wins the first-ever TD Fringe Forward Award at Awards Night on September 15!