The Vancouver International Film Festival (@vancouverfringe) is well underway celebrating it’s 28th year of theatre for everyone! From September 6-16th, 2012 Vancouver Fringe is featuring over 754 performances at theatres around Vancouver.
Kicking off with their opening gala this past Thursday, the Fringe festival is estimated to draw over 30,000 spectators over the duration of it’s 11 day span.
The Vancouver International Fringe Festival, produced annually by the First Vancouver Theatrespace Society, is BC’s largest theatre festival and North America’s most international Fringe Fest. This year’s Fringe Festival will feature over 754 performances by 97 groups over 11 days, and is expected to attract over 30,000 attendees.
(Photo credit: Vancouver Fringe)
What makes them Fringe might you ask?
Fringe Festival shows are chosen in a non-juried lottery, allowing us to to present a wide variety of performances to the public. Yes, it’s true, we literally draw the shows out of a hat! Additionally, the Artists receive 100% of regular box office revenues generated during the Festival.
In keeping with the idea of “Fringe,” there are two venue options for artists. “Mainstage” venues are allocated by the Festival organizers. Venues include some of Vancouver’s best theatres including the New Revue Stage, Performance Works, and the Waterfront Theatre, all situated in and around Granville Island. Artists can also “Bring Their Own Venue” (BYOV) which has resulted in plays being performed in non-conventional locations such as a boat, a tree, a fire escape, and the back of a bicycle!
Just hearing about this wicked festival now? Don’t worry you aren’t too late! Take a look at their website for event details and get those tickets for your events of choice before they sell out!
Don’t have a program? No sweat, check out their online interactive guide to search for and choose a performance to attend.
Make sure to hashtag
#vanfringe and share your Vancouver Fringe experiences.
Program guide highlights
Opening Night: September 4
On Tuesday, September 4, it all starts with â€•The Big Bang at the Fringe Festival’s Opening Night. David C. Jones, host of OUTtv’s Tops and Bottoms, will return to play hostâ€”and also serve himself up as an auction itemâ€”while Elias Arjan, performance auctioneer, will encourage audience members to bid in the live and silent auctions. There will be over $20,000 worth of amazing items and experiences up for grabs including a Cancun getaway, a Jasper Ski Adventure, WestJet flights, and a night with the Georgia Straight’s theatre critic, Colin Thomas. Opening Night will also showcase
vignettes from God is a Scottish Drag Queen, Guernica, Bookworm, Underbelly, and 2011 Pick of the Fringe winners Peter â€˜n Chris and Wonderheads’ Loon.
Fringe-For-All: September 6
Due to popular demand this fast and furious preview event is back! The Fringe-For-All will be hosted by David C. Jones (yes, the Fringe has a crush on this funny man) and every Fringe artist will get a chance to perform the best two minutes of their show in hopes they’ll get circled in program guides.
Fringe Escort Service
Just one more way to help people pick from the vast selection of shows at the Fringe, we’re introducing the Fringe Escort Service! Our Escorts see tons of shows every year. Just meet at the Info Centre and our Escort will pick out a show and accompany the group to it, all the while sharing tips and tricks on how to navigate the Festival. Check the Fringe program guide for Escort Service hours. The Escort Service is free but regular ticket prices and Membership Policies apply.
The Fringe is even bigger with 97 shows! Fringe favourite, Tara Travis returns with Til Death Do We Part: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and yes, she plays all seven characters! All the way from Japan comes the Ryuzanji Company with their rendition of Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards, an avant-garde Japanese opera. Squidamisu Theatre, take on George F. Walker’s six-play cycle, Suburban Motel, with 66 performances in a room at the Waldorf Hotel. Former Blue Man, John Grady, shares the story of Abby, his sheep dog, in Fear Factor: Canine Edition, which will â€•leave you with a broken heart according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Plus, William S. Burroughs inspired 2011 Georgia Straight Critics’ Choice Award Winner Jayson McDonald in Underbelly, you’ll get a sex lesson like never before in Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque, and the War of 1812 comes to life with you and your iPod as the stars in The 1812 Event. All this, and so much more!
Fringe Onsite Program
A giant leap towards the Fringe’s commitment to artist development happens through the Fringe Onsite Program. Fourteen artists were chosen on a first come, first served basis to be mentored by Kendra Fanconi, the Producing Artistic Director of renowned site-specific theatre company, The Only Animal, and the Fringe’s Executive Director, David Jordan, in the creation of site-specific theatre pieces that will debut at the Fringe. Fringe Onsite Shows take place in unusual locations on Granville Island including the Kid’s Tugboat (Pirates?), Ocean Concrete’s maintenance building (Smudge), and a roving play where audiences will learn how to commit crimes (Felony).
Free Performances on the Peter Lehmann Wines Stage at the St. Ambroise Fringe Bar at AGRO CafÃ©
Everybody loves free! Every night of the Fringe Festival there will be live music, DJs and performances of all types on the Peter Lehmann Wines Stage! From the pop collective, Bleating Hearts and Discorder Magazine’s July/August cover stars Hot Panda, to Improv Channel Flipping with comedians Riel Hahn and Ian Boothby, a Haiku Slam Competition, and the return of Sara Bynoe with her infamous Say Wha?!, there’s something to please everyone. Plus with Food Carts, AGRO’s
Fringe Fries, and activities every night, the Fringe Bar is the place to be, before, between, and after Fringe shows! Please note the Fringe Bar is a licensed venue. Sorry, no minors.
For artists and those who want to be artists, the Fringe hosts two workshops on improv skills with James Gangl (Sex, Religion, & Other Hang-Ups) and a master class on puppetry and physical theatre with The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, who the CBC calls â€•splendidly freaky puppet masters, and mask aficionados, Wonderheads (Loon). Plus there’ll be plenty of lively discussions about musicals, sexuality in theatre, what a Fringe documentary film might look like, and the Playwrights Theatre Centre’s Flying Start Program will be announced! For details visit vancouverfringe.com/workshops.
Food Bank Donations
The Fringe has partnered with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society (GVFBS) to help feed the 25,000 people who visit Food Bank depots weekly. Fringe artists keep 100 per cent of their regular box office revenue and some have chosen to donate three per cent of sales from all their shows to the Food Bank. Look in the Fringe program guide to find which shows are designated Food Bank shows. Plus, the way into the Fringe Awards Night is by making a cash donation to the GVFBS.
Fringe Awards and Closing Night Party: September 16
Not only will the Public Market Pick of the Fringe Awards be announced, but the Cultchivating the Fringe Award, the Joanna Maratta Award, and the Talk of the Fringe Award return to help the Fringe’s emerging artists take their work to the next level. We’re also pleased to announce a new Site-Specific Award to recognize the best use of a non-traditional or site-specific venue! And we’ll be announcing and exciting new award in collaboration with the Playwright’s Theatre Centre! The Awards will be held at Performance Works with an after-party at the St. Ambroise Fringe Bar at AGRO CafÃ©.
Public Market Pick of the Fringe and the Pick Plus: September 19-23
Now bigger than ever, the Public Market Pick of the Fringe will include 10 shows! Presented by the Granville Island Public Market, the Pick is the last chance to see the hottest shows of the Festival. Audiences rate the shows they see during the Festival, making up a shortlist for our judges to choose from. Find out who the winners are at the Fringe Awards Night on September 16 and tickets go on sale that night at midnight. The Fringe will also host the Pick Plus! This year the Fringe is proud to present a special workshop performance of Fringe darlings TJ Dawe and Kahlil Ashanti’s newest work, PostSecret. Based on PostSecret.com and featuring never-before-seen postcards, the workshop performances are only $10 and will be held on September 22 and 23 at 2:00pm. Partial proceeds from PostSecret go to support the Vancouver Fringe Festival and tickets are on sale now!