GEARING UP FOR THE FRINGE: Crowds line up in Inglewood for a show at the Calgary Fringe Festival. The 2012 line up was released this week and online ticket sales start July 1.
Photo by Janet St Germain courtesy of Calgary Fringe Festival
Get ready for some uncensored, no-holds barred, theatre! The Calgary Fringe Festival announced their line up this week and it’s going to be a wild ride full of physical theatre, comedy, avant-garde stories, family friendly fare and charming tales.
According to Michele Gallant the “Fringe Mom”, Festival Director and Producer, right now there are 32 plays announced with more to be added over the next few days. Tickets go on sale July 1 and the Festival runs August 3 though 11.
“[We] only have two criteria [for performers]… they have to give plain disclosure of what their show is about and don’t break the law,” she explained. “You can go to town. It’s uncensored theatre and it’s up to the artists what they do.”
This is the seventh year for the Calgary Fringe Festival and it has grown by leaps and bounds. The 2012 line up features more artists in more venues, all within walking distance in Inglewood.
“We’re test running Folk Festival’s new Festival Hall for them,” said Michelle. “We’re testing for kinks and placing recommendations. We’re so excited to have them on board.”
Michele also praised the merchants of Inglewood for their support and said many have offered up whatever space they could to host more performances.
“They’re so supportive of us,” she said. “It’s our fifth year in Inglewood and every year it gets stronger and stronger. It’s just so cool to have that relationship. There’s such support. It’s the really great thing about Inglewood. It’s all in walking distance.”
With the added venues, more artists can take part and Michele figures there will be 36 performances booked by the end of the week.
And this year expect to see a lot of physically demanding performances filled with dance, acrobatics and movement.
“There always seems to be a trend,” explained Michele. “There seems to be a lot of acrobatic, physical theatre. It’s kind of neat to see that trend.”
Shows like Aerial Allusions, Little Lady, Loon, Orchestrated, She Has a Name, The Ballad of Herbie Cox, and The Last Man on Earth all feature physical theatre this year.
The Calgary festival belongs to the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals and is governed by their principles including 100 per cent of ticket revenue is returned to the artists. Ticket prices vary from between $10 to $15 ($8.50 to $13.50 going to the artists and a $1.50 service charge) and are set by the performers. According to Michele last year a show made an average of $2100, all going to the artists. Spots are also filled by draw or first come first serve. This year they had over 100 performers apply for the 23 lottery spots.
The Festival also uses a Fringe Button system (and has since 2007) which act as a membership badge. To get into a show you have to have one and at $5 each the money goes towards covering the costs to put on a performance so the artists don’t have to.
Michele recommends buying tickets for any performance you really want to see early – they’re hoping to sell 80 per cent of the tickets online or at the Info booth (which will be located at the corner of 9th Ave and 12th Street during the festival) with 20 per cent being sold at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain. Shows do sell out, but retaining tickets for the door gives everyone a fair chance.
“If you want to line up and wait, there’s a chance you’ll get in. But I always tell people get there an hour before,” she said.
And if the show you want to see sells out, you can always walk to another, suggested Michele.
“Sample a couple of shows. It only takes about an hour a show and you usually see something pretty amazing. Because the artists are not censored or told what to perform it’s their baby and it shows,” she said. “It’s anything goes theatre.”
Even though it’s “uncensored”, Michele emphasized that there is something for every one, from adult fare to kiddie shows.
“This truly is anything goes,” she said. “Go see something you’ve never seen before. If you’ve never seen spoken word, go for it. If you’ve never seen dance theatre, go see it. Make a day of it.”
“The Hoodwink” (a new work from Calgary) is written and stars Melanee Murry as Albie Davis – a performer with a heart of soul and a unique blend of “outspoken word, creative freedom and righteous take on pop culture”. She must make a choice that might take her to fame, disaster or just the love of her life. Directed by Nicole Zylstra, “The Hoodwink” is rated 13+ for mature content and tickets are $15.
2 to Django (Burnaby, BC) celebrates the life of jazz legend Django Reinhardt as written, directed and staring Colin Godbout – an incredibly talented guitarist playing some of the most intricate songs ever written. 2 to Django is rated for general audiences and tickets are $10.
Aerial Allusions (a new work from Walnut Grove, California) is a blend of dance, comedy, drama and physical theatre starting Azana Pilar Phillips and Jaz Morneau. The two combine dance, clown and theatre to show humanity through the eyes of women versus men. Aerial Allusions is rated 15+ for mature content/nudity and tickets are $15.
Bad Girls (Calgary) is a collection of one act plays from Glamorgan Productions celebrating dangerous women with stories of “mirth, mystery, mayhem and murder.” Starring Wendy Froberg, Allisha Pelletier, Kearstin Plemel, Serena Snively. Directed by Robert J. McLaughlin, Bad Girls is restricted (18+ no minors allowed) and tickets are $15.
Big in Germany (a new work from Toronto) is an ode to Canadian rock and can be called a screwball bromantic comedy. Alex and Bruce (played by playwright Rob Salerno and an actor yet to be cast) are rock stars in Germany but nobodies back home in Canada. Alex hashes a scheme to launch them to stardom or burn out spectacularly but secrets emerge that could tear the duo apart. Big in Germany is rated 14+ for mature content and tickets are $15.
Breathe Normally (a new work from Seattle, Washington) stars two renowned solo performers Keira McDonald and James Judd who have joined together to share tales of their hilarious misadventures whist globetrotting. Breathe Normally is rated 14+ for mature content and tickets are $15.
Burnt at the Steak (New York City) is a one woman portrayal of 18 characters though a combination of dance, song, comedy and improv written and starring Carolann Valentino. Directed by Scott Newborn, Burnt at the Steak is rated 15+ for mature content and tickets are $15.
Criminal Genius (Calgary) is written by George F. Walker and stars Keith Kollee, Patrick Fitzsimmons, Sara Deabler, Dan Gibbins. Rolly and Steve are small time father-son criminals hired to pull off a simple job that spirals into a family mob war thanks to glitches, screw-ups and a lack of $40. Criminal Genius is directed by Dan Gibbins, is rated 14+ for mature content and tickets are $15.
Does This Turn You On? (a new work from Calgary) is a lighthearted look at sexual fetishes using the traditions of vaudeville, cabaret, clown and sketch comedy. Written, staring and directed by Val Duncan and Celene Harder, the co-creation will be celebrating its premier at the Calgary Fringe. Does This Turn You On? is rated 18+ (no minors) and tickets are $10.
Guys in Disguise Classic: The Silver Anniversary Edition (a new work from Calgary) features Justine Tyme and Mr Terri Stevens, two of Canada’s foremost female impersonators. Watch as they transform into Julie Andrews, Reba McEntire, Annie Lenox, Cher and more. Guys in Disguise is rated 14+ for mature content and tickets are $15.
Hideout (a new work from Calgary) is a one man show starring Brett Dahl as Lee, who is afraid of ghosts, zombies and his mom. “Society is scary. Today it gets worse.” Hideout is directed by Matt McKiney, written by Andrew Torry, is rated 14+ for mature content and tickets are $13.
How to Not Get Laid (a new work from Calgary) is written and starring Matt Dewald as a guy who just can’t get it right in the dating scene. “Just follow our instructions to ensure you never get laid.” How to Not Get Laid is directed by Juan Delgado, is rated 18+ for mature content and tickets are $14.
Little Lady (a new work from Las Vegas) stars Cirque Du Soleil performer Sandrine Lanfond in a dark yet comedic fable about society’s obsession with image using physical theatre, dance and clown. Little Lady is rated for general audiences (6+) and tickets are $15.
Loon (Portland, Oregon) is a new work by last year’s Calgary Fringe Festival’s Best of the Fest winners Wonderheads and uses mask theatre to tell a love story between a man and the moon. Loon is rated for general audiences (12+) and tickets are $15.
(This is the performance I’m most excited about and will probably sell out so get your tickets early.)
Melody Moore (a new work from Ottawa) is written and starts Richard Hanna as Tommy Moore, a pocket-sized Irish patriot trying to crack into British high society using his pen and harp. Melody Moore is directed by David Brown, is rated 14+ for mature content and tickets are $12.
Naked Improv (a new work from Calgary) is a collaborative work about stripping down the performance in an cabaret style improv show. Starring Rick Hilton, Stephen Kent, Heather Falk, Mat Mailandt, Laura Hildebrandt, Ryan Pilling, Kent Mackay, Anne McMaster, Ryan Hildebrandt, Dave Duncan, Matt McKinney and guest artists, the group has been working on new formats and techniques since the winter. Naked Improv is rated for general audiences (14+) and tickets are $10.
Orchestrated (a new work from Kamloops, BC) is written and directed by Cayman Duncan and is about how perspective can reveal mixed messages and uses music and movement to do so. Orchestrated is rated 14+ for mature content and tickets are $15.
Peter ‘n Chris and the Hungry Heart Motel (Vancouver) is written by Chris Wilson and Peter Carlone and their previous works have been nominated for Best Comedy at the Just for Laughs festival. The CBC called them “sharp, fresh and extremely funny.” Hungry Heart Motel is rated PG (12+) for cartoonish violence and tickets are $15.
Polar Shift (a new work from Calgary) is a Christmas story with a twist written and starring Matt McKinney and directed by Joshua Dalledonne. Santa Claus is coming and he’s after corporate America. Polar Shift is rated for general audiences and tickets are $15.
Power | Play (Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts) is a choose your own adventure play where the audience decides what happens next in an intimate journey into sex itself. Written and starring Cameryn Moore, directed by Elizabeth DuPré, Power | Play is restricted (18+ no minors allowed) and tickets are $15.
Preparation Hex (New York City, New York) is written and stars monologist Bob Brader in a hemorrhoid tale and love story to get the girl. Directed by Suzanne Bachner, Preparation Hex is rated 16+ for mature content and tickets are $13.
Push in Case of Emergency (a new work from Calgary) is a story where two strangers meet in an elevator and the cast uses vignettes to explore what it means to discover the truth. Written and directed by Kyle Schulte, Talore Peterson and Brett Gartley, Push in Case of Emergency is rated 18+ for mature content and tickets are $12.
Redheaded Stepchild (Toronto) is about Nicholas who is about to face down the biggest boy in grade six. He wants to skip school but his stepmom says no. 2010 SummerWorks Emerging Artist Award Winner, Redheaded Stepchild is written and stars Johnnie Walker, is directed by Morgan Norwich, is rated for general audiences (12+) and tickets are $12.
She Has a Name (Calgary) stars Evelyn Chew, Carl Kennedy, Alysa van Haastert, Glenda Warkentin, and Sienna Howell-Holden in a legal drama about a lawyer who poses as a john to build a case against a brothel suspected of trafficking girls from Bangkok. Written by Andrew Kooman, directed by Stephen Waldschmidt, She Has a Name is rated 14+ for mature content and tickets are $15.
Temple of Khaos (a new work from Toronto) is a collaborative comedy cult cabaret about a ritual offering to primordial god Khaos. Starring, written and directed by Nicole Ratjen, Amy J. Lester, Kristian Reimer and Daniel Nimmo, Temple of Khaos is rated for general audiences (12+) and tickets are $12.
The Ballad of Herbie Cox (a new work from Melbourne, Australia) is a mixture of dance, music and storytelling where professional dancers Victoria Chiu and Roland Cox use movement to tell a story of heart, hardship, death and new life. Directed by Jonno Katz, The Ballad of Herbie Cox is rated for general audiences and tickets are $15.
The Bro Show (Winter Garden, Florida) stars brothers Chase and Ross Padgett in a two man sketch comedy show, is rated 15+ for mature content and tickets are $13.
The Good, The Bad and the Stupid (a new work from San Francisco, California) is performed by award winning clown ensemble Pi: The Physical Comedy Troupe and brings the wild west north. The Good, The Bad and the Stupid stars Tyler Parks, Andrew P Quick, Leah Gardner and Bruce Glaseroff, is rated for general audience (3 to 333) and tickets are $15.
The Hefner Monologues (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware) is a spoken word performance starring and written by John Hefner about his first love, heartbreak and visit to the Playboy Mansion. Directed by Lydia Ballard, The Hefner Monologues is rated 16+ for mature content and tickets are $12.
The Last Man on Earth (Toronto) is a story of the Devil and his minion who plot to corrupt the last vestige of innocence on earth in the style of a silent film. Put on by the Keystone Theatre Ensemble, The Last Man on Earth stars Sarah Joy Bennett, Dana Fradkin, Stephen LaFrenie, Phil Rickaby and musician David Atkinson, is rated PG for flirty pie eating and tickets are $15.
The Three L’s (a new work from Calgary) is based on the premise of being able to say anything you want to someone who hurt you and is performed by people with mixed abilities. Using comedy and improvisation, Mike Keir, Damon Lawson, Danielle Konoff, Anne-Ina Mitchell, Diane Heemsherk, Richard Pepler and Carmen MacDonald star in an emotional journey to find the humour in life. The Three L’s is rated PG and tickets are $12.
Trashman’s Dilemma (a new work from Toronto) stars Eric Bleyendall, Michael Hogan and Andrei Preda in an epic story of two Battlefield Custodians who are confronted by a black-hole’s solitary inhabitant. Written and directed by Bruce Gooch, Trashman’s Dilemma is rated 13+ for mature content and tickets are $12.
The Calgary Fringe Festival is also looking for volunteers, everything from box office to billets for the artists and Michele recommends heading to their website to find out more.