The Sound of Site-Specific Sisters

How to Cultchivate Big Sister

Description: Naomi Vogt, the actress in Big Sister, is in the centre of the photo, staring wide-eyed at the camera. She holds a lollipop in her hand. She's surrounded by candies, childhood photos in frames and albums, and greeting cards. Caption: Don't forget to buy your tickets to Big Sister, winner of the 2018 Cultchivating the Fringe Award! Photo by Bold Rezolution

Don’t forget to buy your tickets to Big Sister, winner of the 2018 Cultchivating the Fringe Award! Photo by Bold Rezolution.

For Big Sister’s upcoming run at The Cultch from February 19-29, actress Naomi Vogt can say whatever she wants.

That’s because Deborah Vogt, her sister and playwright of this Cultchivating the Fringe-winning show, won’t be sitting in the audience this time, unlike when Big Sister first hit the Fringe in 2018.

“Since I will be so far away, […] there’s a chance I’ll never hear it. Of course, this is terrifying in many ways, but I trust her. I’ve learned to trust her a lot more over the process of creating this show,” Deborah says.

As Big Sister turns its gears to opening night at The Cultch, Deborah is excited to share the show’s growth since it premiered at The Revue Stage, which includes collaboration with artists to create a bigger and better show, and to share it with new audiences.

“I know it was hard for some of our friends and family to sit through some of the show because of how blunt and honest we are about our childhood, but the ability to connect with them and strangers who have gone through a similar experience–either with siblings or with weight loss–feels amazing. I have had people tell me that they went home and called their estranged sibling right after seeing the show,” she says.

Beyond the opportunity to showcase Big Sister and hone their craft beyond the Festival by being part of The Cultch’s current season, the Cultchivating the Fringe Award has given Deborah the confidence to call herself a writer.

She says, “I know that doesn’t sound huge, but whenever I used to meet someone, I would bashfully introduce myself as an “aspiring writer.” […] I don’t know what the word is for someone that is in between emerging and established, but thanks to the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, I feel close to that category.”

If you’d like to see this Big Sister, which Vancouver Presents praised for being “bold, brave, and beautiful,” don’t miss out on this exciting show and get your tickets to see it at The Cultch now!

Application Updates

Description: Three cast members from the show "The Russian Play" pose in front of the camera. On the right is a blonde man in a white shirt and a beige scarf around his neck, playing the guitar. In the middle is a woman, similing, her hair in a wrap, clasping her hands together. Behind him is a man who's frowning at the camera. He's wearing a thick, furry winter hat, and a coat. Caption: The Russian Play was one of the shows in the Bring Your Own Venue category in the 2019 Fringe! Photo by Sarah McNeil.

The Russian Play was one of the shows in the Bring Your Own Venue category in the 2019 Fringe! Photo by Sarah McNeil.

Procrastinating on that Fringe application? Hit that send button soon, because there’s not much time left!
Applications for the BYOV category are still open! While Havana Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre, and Carousel Theatre are full for 2020, What Lab, and PAL Studio Theatre are still accepting applications. You can find more details on how to apply for these venues on the Fringe website. Remember: applicants must be accepted by the venue before they apply to the Fringe.

If you’d like to put on a show outside of a traditional theatre environment, the Site-Specific category is also still taking applications! Applicants in this category must provide their own venue, technician, lighting, and sound. You can learn more about this category, including details on how to apply, on the Fringe website.

Please note applications for Advance Theatre and Dramatic Works Series are now closed.

And if you’re a racialized Artist who identifies as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and are the creative team lead for a show, don’t forget that the Fringe is offering an opportunity for Artists to apply for a subsidy for the $55 application fee. You can find more information on the BIPOC application fee subsidy here.

The Theatre Scene

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

Description: Quelemia Sparrow looks as if she's sitting on a floor. Her photo is at a slight angle, her head also slightly tilted to the side. She's wearing an orange dress and looks at the camera with a neutral expression. Caption: Catch Quelemia Sparrow's Women of Papiyek at the Talking Stick Festival's Indian Acts: Staged Readings! This show was featured in the 2016 Fringe's Advance Theatre.

Catch Quelemia Sparrow’s Women of Papiyek at the Talking Stick Festival’s Indian Acts: Staged Readings! This show was featured in the 2016 Fringe’s Advance Theatre.

Talking Stick Festival
February 18-29
Various locations across Vancouver
The premier festival on Indigenous performance and art is back this year with the theme Chén̓chenstway: Upholding Each Other, Lifting Each Other Up! Catch Quelemia Sparrow’s Women of Papiyek, which you may have seen in Advance Theatre in 2016, in Indian Acts: Staged Readings. Also, Fringe veteran Nyla Carpentier is hosting an evening of spoken word in From Talking Stick to Microphone.

Sound of the Beast 
February 19-23
Progress Lab 1422
Catch Belladonna the Blest/Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, emcee and director of the award-winning 2019 Fringe show, in this one-person show where she shares stories of coming up in Toronto’s budding hip-hop scene, the intersections between conscious rap and political activism, and the sacrifices we make for the things we believe in.

Inheritance: a choose-your-own-adventure experience
March 3-15
ANNEX Theatre
Presented by Touchstone Theatre and Fringe alumni Alley Theatre, Inheritance is a daring, interactive play like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Set on a vast, rural estate, three characters race to claim the property. The audience must decide how the rest of the story unfolds.