Phoenix at the Phringe

With a comprehensive, hands-on theatre program like the one here at UVic, it’s no wonder the Victoria Fringe Fest once again features scores of productions with our students and alumni involved. Whether acting, writing, directing, designing or managing backstage, our students seem to be everywhere! (We’ve also added the Phoenixers who are part of the Vancouver Fringe, too.)

enews-bannerThis year, three shows in the Victoria Fringe Festival got their start as Student Alternative Theatre Company productions: Negative Colours, Footprints and A Play, or Something Like It. (SATCo is an independent part of the Theatre department that presents eight short plays each school year.) This year there are over 62 UVic theatre students and graduates involved in the Victoria Fringe! Here’s a breakdown of who’s doing what:

A Play OrA Play or Something Like One (Silent Zoo Productions)
Metro Studio – Venue 3
A play centering around self indulgence. Following six characters: a modern day Hippolytus, a female sex addict, a hopeless romantic, an anti-everything man, a depressed alcoholic, and a delusional optimist. Caught in a web of hypocrisy and conflicting opinions each character expresses something they hold meaningful. Like the perfect pair of breasts . . . and other pressing matters. Written and directed by Frances Melling, Co-directed by Josh Turpin with designs by Erin Osborne and Levi Schneider; featuring Danielle Florence, Francis Melling, Ian Simms, Joanne James, Kaeden Derksen, Kevin Eade and Melissa Taylor, with stage management by Becca Jorgensen.

ave-q-smus1-160x160Avenue Q School Edition (SMUS Musical Theatre Workshop)
St. Michael’s University School – Venue 8
Winner of the Tony “Triple Crown” for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, Avenue Q is part flesh, part felt, and packed with heart. Avenue Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it’s clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. To gether, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life. Directed by Cam Culham.
Note: this is a high-school version of the show suitable for all ages, adapted from the original material by the show’s creators.

Can We FLyCan We Fly? (Blindfolded Theatre Company)
Westbay Walkway in Esquimalt
This inaugural piece is a collaborative work of physical theatre attempting to find balance between nature untamed and domestication. When humans have an incessant need to control their world, who suffers? Who fights back? We need to fly, but with strange forces opposing us, can we? Directed by Levi Schneider & company. Created & designed in collaboration by the cast and crew included Colette Habel, Nikola Whitney-Griffiths, Markus Spodzieja, Hayley McCurdy with Assistant Director/Creative Liaison Staci Sten.

FablesFables, Fools and Fantasy (Story Theatre)
FamilyFest Fringe Venue
Performers prepared to tell almost any old story in the repertoire of familiar fables and folk tales. A simple set and a few costumes allow for all kinds of stories to be presented. Also stories made up on the spot, a few games and some music. You never know what will happen next! Family fun!! Written/Created by Jim Leard and company.

FootprintsFootprints (Noonan Theatre) Metro Studio – Venue 3
“If I go forward, I’ll risk being annihilated by a land mine. If I follow the footprints back, they’ll punish me. Who knows, they might even shoot me.” Lost in a minefield, a deserting soldier looking for answers relives the pain of repressing his sexuality and love for a childhood friend and fellow solider. Written/Created and directed by Molly Noonan featuring Chelsea Keene, Will LaFrance, Taylor Lewis, Anne McGladdery and stage management by Drew May.

JudgementJudgement Day (New Blood Theatre)
Maritime Museum of BC (Bastion Square)
The Earth was destroyed and 7 billion souls remain to be sorted. With over 4200 religions to choose from, who could possibly take on that job? Enter the Courtroom of the Afterlife, where bureaucracy meets hilarity in the contradictory realm of faith and logic. Written/Created by Robin Gadsby, directed by Kieran Wilson, designs by Neil Ferguson featuring Sarah Cashin, Alex Frankson, Robin Gadsby, James Roney, Kieran Wilson with stage management by Tannis Perry.

NegativeNegative Colours (Upward Spiral Theatre)
Langham Court – Venue 5
How can an artist move forward with doubt and uncertainty? Observe how various definitions and opinions of ‘unfinished’ work can impact an artist’s struggles and attempts to return to past ambitions. Can the support and opposition of others lead someone to the exploration of the past that many seem to forget? Written/Created and directed by Rain Mair featuring Bethany Heemskerk, Brianna McCready, Nicholas Yee with designs by Blair Moro, Meaghan McKale, Levi Schneider, Emma Dickerson and assistance by Victoria Stark, Drew May, Chw Yu and Becca Jorgensen.

NetNet (ODW Poductions) Event Centre – Venue 1
“Make your moments extraordinary.” Isabelle, Ashley and Sam are best friends. Sam is dating Ashley’s brother, Jon, who used to—maybe—hold a torch for Isabelle. All’s well until they’re roped into an obligation 30th anniversary party. In this modern day comedy of manners, everyone tries to make their moments count in a quest for love, friendship, and incriminating photographs. Co-Produced by Mika Laulainen featuring Alysson Hall and Lucas Hall.

Something LikeSomething Like A War (Ocean Bloom Productions)
Metro Studio – Venue 3
Baseball legend Ty Cobb treated both ball and life as if he were going into combat every day. Here we meet the controversial Georgia Peach in all his notoriety, along with the people, events, and culture that helped create him. He was, said one sportswriter, “a mass of paradoxes with a life that reads like a Gothic horror tale.” Directed by Brian Wrigley.

ClanThe Clan Resilience: It’s all in our nature (Impulse Theatre) Discovery Coffee (664 Discovery Street)
Impulse Theatre is taking over a parking lot with this site-specific surreal piece. Two animals make a deal with two witchy sisters to gain what they need to survive, but what are they prepared to lose? A myriad of genres with live music, masks, dance and theatre, this is a fringe experience you are guaranteed to remember for years to come. And at the Vancouver Fringe: See Impulse Theatre’s Shattered, which debuted at Intrepid Theatre’re UNO Fest last spring. Written/Created by Andrew Barrett and ensemble. Directed Andrew Barrett with designs from Paphavee Limkul, Jonathan Maxwell, Halley Fulford, featuring Andrew Barrett and Sarah Sabo.

Mr KThe Occupied Mind of Mr. K (DaVinci’s Kitchen Dramatick Theatre Productions Companie)
Metro Studio – Venue 3
From the creators of last year’s hit Awkward Hangouts of History comes a riotous, unnerving black comedy of the supernatural and the “one percent.” Jobless programmer Vijay deadbeat friend Dylan, and psychic meditation guru Pericles conceive a novel solution for their economic woes: to take over a recently deceased billionaire’s “vacant” body and gain control of his business empire. By John Demmery Green, originally directed by Molly Noonan, featuring Randi Edmundson, Graham Roebuck and Alex Carson.

Show MustThe Show Must Go On (Random Samples Collective)
Wood Hall – Venue 4
Snow covered mountains, semen soaked hotel rooms, pee covered gymnasium floors, homicidal drug dealers, 3 actors, 1 van, 186 shows, 7 568 kilometres of road. Based on true stories submitted by touring children’s theatre performers spanning the past thirty years. From the creator of the Fringe hit Gametes and Gonads. Written/Created and performed by Jeff Leard.

TrunkTrunk! (Kerploding Theatre) FamilyFest Fringe Venue
Daisy and Oliver depart on a thrilling adventure with the help of a magical toy trunk and a singing dragon. Trunk! will draw you in to a world full of possibilities with toe-tapping musical numbers and an array of silly characters. Inspired by stories written by children from all over Victoria, this family-friendly play is full of childhood imagination.
Written/Created by Molison Farmer and the ensemble. Directed choreography by Molison Farmer with music by Francis Melling and designs by Breanna Wise and Chelsea Graham and stage management by Harriet Best featuring Kaeden Derksen, Julie Forrest, Haley Garnet, Kathleen O’Reilly, Kale Penny, Veronique Piercy and Francis Melling.

LightningWhere Have All The Lightning Bugs Gone? (Star Star Theatre) Fairfield Hall – Venue 6
“How are you?” “Good. How’re you?” “Good.…” When was the last time you had this exact conversation? This week? Today? Two strangers in a park take a chance, skip the small talk, and because they do, they actually get to meet. A sweet one act that hails the bravery of striking up a conversation with a pretty girl, the tumultuous adventures of make believe, and the magic of first loves. Artistic Producer, Mika Laulainen.

ImprovYou Had Me at Improv (Singles Awareness Theatre)
Langham Court – Venue 5
Warning: This show may induce serious side effects such as gut busting, uncontrollable guffaws, knee-slapping, and in severe cases, piddling your pants. Your risk may increase if you have a good sense of humour. This magical sketch comedy performance is created by the cast using pixie dust, luck, and the tears of a baby sloth. Written/Created by Amy Culliford and Blair Moro, including Logan Mitev, Hayley McCurdy, Markus Spodzieja, Allyson Leet, Kathryn Taddei, Amy Culliford and Blair Moro.

Peter n ChrisPlus, the Fringe FundraiserPeter N’ Chris Explore Their Bodies (Peter N’ Chris)
Phoenix alumni, dynamic comedy duo and the featured presenters of last year’s Spotlight on Alumni show Peter N’ Chris and the Mystery of the Hungry Heart, return to Victoria to perform their newest hit show that’s winning awards across the Fringe circuit. This is a fundraiser for Intrepid Theatre on September 4 & 5 at Metro Studio. They’re also doing a show with Vancouver improve troupe Hip.Bang on September 2 & 3 at the Event Centre. And at the Vancouver Fringe, you can see Explore their Bodies and their newest show, Peter N’ Chris Give it a Shot. Written/Created and performed by Chris Wilson and Peter Carlone.

—Adrienne Holierhoek

UVic filmmakers win new prize

Fine Arts staffer and busy local filmmaker Dan Hogg—together with fellow UVic Writing grads Jeremy Lutter and Ben Rollo (the team behind 2011’s charming short Joanna Makes A Friend)—have been announced as one of the three latest recipients of the Harold Greenberg Fund’s Shorts-to-Features program. Their latest short film is called Gord’s Brother, which Hogg will produce, with Rollo writing and Lutter directing.

Dan Hogg (left) and Jeremy Lutter

Dan Hogg (left) and Jeremy Lutter

Hogg (NSI Drama Prize and Movie Central Script to Screen winner) and Lutter (NSI Drama Prize winner) most recently collaborated on the short film Floodplain, based on a short story by fellow Writing grad and rising novelist D.W. Wilson. Like Joanna before it (penned by Movie Central Script to Screen winner Rollo), Floodplain was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

As reported by local Times Colonist film writer Michael D. Reid, the trio have received $30,000 in funding and a broadcast commitment to air Gord’s Brother on The Movie Network and Movie Central premium pay television networks. Also in the works is an additional $10,000 commitment to develop the shorts into potential features. Hogg, Lutter and Rollo are one of three winning teams in the NSI’s Shorts-to-Features program, which is designed to encourage rising Canadian filmmakers.

Ben Rollo

Ben Rollo

Gord’s Brother is described as a “10-minute fantasy” in which “the protagonist discovers his baby brother is a monster, forcing him to visit the City of Monsters, where lessons are learned.” Gord’s Brother is also already shortlisted in the Hot Shot Shorts contest, sponsored by Vancouver’s Celluloid Social Club, as one of five finalists to pitch for a prize of $10,000 and in-kind services.

And in other associated news, Rollo is currently writing the screenplay for a feature-length version of Joanna Makes a Friend. Meanwhile, Hogg continues to develop and write his Movie Central Script-to-Screen development program winning creature feature, Rip My Heart Out.

Hogg is also the current president of the board of directors for CineVic, the longstanding local artist-run cooperative dedicated to “facilitating the expression of unique, innovative voices in the ever-evolving language of film.” And CineVic will be screening the winners of their annual Reel-to-Reel Music+Film Challenge at the Vic Theatre at 7:30pm Sunday, September 8—which includes a short film set to the music of “In This Light,” a piece by School of Music staffer Kristy Farkas.

New student positions at Legacy Gallery

Looking to gain professional experience in an art gallery while you study? UVic’s Legacy Art Gallery is seeking workstudy students to act as Curatorial Assistants for the 2013-14 academic year.

gallery prep

Writing student Rowan Grant preps the Maltwood Gallery for an incoming exhibit

Four exciting positions are open for students interested in exhibitions, programs and collections research: exhibit preparator, digital media, publicist, research. And while the positions are primarily based at downtown’s Legacy Gallery at the corner of Yates and Broad streets, some work will occur on campus.

What kind of student are they looking for? Second year or higher is preferred, says Caroline Riedel, Curator of Collections for the University of Victoria Art Collections, but department doesn’t really matter. “This summer, we had a Writing student, a History in Art student and a student in the Cultural Resource Management program,” she says, “so it could be someone with multidisciplinary talent.”

Is experience necessary? “Previous experience isn’t technically required, but is always an asset,” says Reidel. “That could mean web design, digital photography skills, communications writing, graphic design, experience with installing exhibits or handling artwork, cataloguing . . . it all depends on the position.”


History in Art student Emerald Johnstone-Bedell (left) and Culture Resource Management Program student Lesley Golding (right) prepare a Maltwood exhibit

UVAC has funding available for 175 hours per position, at the standard workstudy rate of $11 an hour. Anticipated tasks will include assisting with grant proposal writing, content research and exhibit design development, cataloguing art and artifacts, developing publicity materials, writing media releases and designing posters, among other duties. Students will also be expected to work Saturdays and one weekday afternoon, to accommodate gallery hours (10am to 4pm Wednesday to Saturday).

Highlights of UVAC’s upcoming exhibit season include Paradox, new work by Department of Visual Arts professors at the Legacy, The Art of the Book—a juried exhibition of books as art objects by members of the Canadian Book Artists and Bookbinders Guild—plus Shakespeare’s Big Books, an exhibition of Shakespeare’s iconic first folios as part of a citywide collaboration including UVic, the Victoria Symphony, the Belfry Theatre and the Greater Victoria Public Library.


Lesley Golding installs the upcoming Maltwood exhibit “Coalescence: Bridging Contemporaneity & Tradition”

Also coming in January 2014 is The Big Button Blanket Project. Participants will create the world’s largest button blanket in this project by Carolyn Butler Palmer, the Williams Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest. Created by designer and artist consultant Peter Morin with elder button blanket makers in Victoria and UVic students at First People House, this project will allow elders to share their knowledge and stories of button blankets with the student participants. The exhibition will also feature historic button blankets, photographs and other related material. The blanket will be danced by performance artists Morin and recent Governor General’s Award winner Rebecca Belmore—a former Audain Professor in UVic’s Department of Visual Arts—in January 2014.

To be eligible for the positions, students must be approved for the workstudy program through the UVic Student Awards and Financial Aid Department. Please check the SAFA website for the application form and further information. Positions will be posted here on September 4th. To apply, send your resume and cover letter to Curator of Collections Caroline Riedel at by Friday, September 27th. Late applicants will not be considered. The first round of interviews will be held in October.

“It usually takes a while for students to even know that work-study is there and find us,” chuckles Reidel, “so this is just another way to get those applications in sooner and get up to speed sooner.”