Fringe Festival features SFU stars

Photo courtesy of Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Every year the Vancouver Fringe Festival gives artists the opportunity to showcase their art in some of the zaniest and most interesting venues throughout Vancouver. Many SFU students and alumni join in on the action, showcasing their incredible talents in unique ways. This year, the list of shows that feature SFU peeps within their casts and crews is massive. Here is a brief rundown of the 13 shows that highlight SFU talent.

From the creative mind of Elysse Cheadle comes hoof, a fascinating and funny piece inspired by the melding of art and animal. In an interview with The Peak, Elysse let us in on the three year process it took to create hoof. The cast and crew of the production are made entirely of past and present SFU students, making this movement-based production work onstage and off.

Cheadle described the show as “a physical theatre performance where we have layered the behaviours and traits of hoofed animals on top of domestic human situations.” It will incorporate the styles of “soap opera, melodrama, and clown” with the much more animalistic tones of “farmyard behaviour” to create an extremely unique comedy, said Cheadle.

The show is based around a central image that inspired the creation of the piece, Cheadle said, that of “a really long table with a bunch of women [. . .] with their hands on [the table], in the shape of hoofs.” As well, said Cheadle, pastoral paintings and portraiture helped to create the characters that will take shape at the Waterfront Theatre. hoof promises to be an interesting and hilarious remount featuring the stellar talents of SFU students.

The Dudes of My Life, performing at Studio 16, features actress and writer Christina Andreola, an SFU alumna. The show also features other SFU students and alumni in the crew, including director Deneh’Cho Thompson, stage manager Emily Neumann, sound designer Tegan Wahlgren, and dramaturge Daniel Borzillo.

The show tells a tale of parental and cultural pressure on a single 26-year-old Italian girl trying to navigate herself through life and love. Andreola said that the inspiration from the piece came from a date gone sour, “where the person I was on a date with accidentally sent a text message to me, instead of his roommate,” stating that he was unsure if he wanted to keep seeing her.

From that misstep in love came this one-person show, which will be performing its remount with “more stories and more anecdotes; it’s a lot more personal this year,” says Andreola. This extremely relatable, comedic production promises to be authentic and thoroughly entertaining.

Also featuring SFU talents is The Traveller by Garibian Productions. Written by current SFU student Daniel Morton, this play will be performing at the Havana Theatre. Based on his personal experiences and the stories he heard while travelling, this modern moral play has a much more sombre tone. The piece’s inspiration is the quest that some travellers have to find “something more real, darker, more grittier, more dangerous than the next person […] to see the world for its ugly side,” said Morton.

This one-person show is formatted to feel like a conversation between the traveller and the audience, creating a very “multi-dimensional piece, featuring storytelling, music, and poetry,” said Morton. “It’s almost a ghost story,” stated Morton, “dark and fun at the same time,” like a fairy tale by the brothers Grimm. This performance has already shown at the Victoria Fringe Festival, and is now coming back to Vancouver.

Small Town Hoser Spic, being put on by Rice & Beans Theatre, is a one-man show written and performed by Pedro Chamale, an SFU alumnus with a BFA in Theatre Performance. The show was inspired by Chamale’s life experiences being a person of Hispanic descent who grew up in small town Northern BC. Performing at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre, it shows the struggles Chamale faced finding a sense of home, national identity, and culture.

Starstuff: Per Aspera ad Astra, also by by Rice & Beans Theatre, is a story that follows the character of Thomas Malinsky, a pilot on a journey in a one-person spaceship. SFU alumnus Derek Chan is part of this production also performing at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre, telling a story about exploring the unknown, and the meaning of connection in the modern age.

A Quiet Place by Psyche Theatre features direction by SFU alumna Kaylin Metchie. This show, part of the Vancouver Fringe Dramatic Works Series, features only two actors who face a daunting challenge. Two amnesiacs find themselves in a room with no door, one chair, and one light bulb, and what ensues makes up this story. It can be seen at the Cultch’s Vancity Culture Lab.

SFU student Luciana D’Anunciacao will be featured in An Empty House (Full of Air). This movement-based piece being performed at the Pandora Park’s Field House explores the use of space in a household setting. It is sweet and comedic, and intends to look into the concept of partnership in performing.

Dating for Dumb Heads features SFU alumnus Jim Sands, an East Vancouver based storyteller, musician, and clown. Performed in the False Creek Gym, Jim will play Hansel, who is searching the internet for love during cascading global crises.

From Amleth Productions comes Just Watch Me: A Trudeau Musical, featuring SFU alumnus Daniel McLeod. Showing at the Pacific Theatre, this narrative is based on a true story of a teacher fired in the 1970s in BC for speaking out. Time travel, singing, and politics come together to create this fascinating production.

SFU alumnus Matt Clarke will be directing Love is for Superbeasts, performing at Studio 16. The show by Little Mountain Lion takes an interesting approach in an attempt to understand the mind of a murderer: it features the chance to join both the media and academics to meet two “actual” serial killers to learn all about them.

Mrs. Singh & Me is a production being put on by the South Asian Arts Society, featuring SFU alumnus Rohit Chokhani. This unique, dark comedy performing at the Cultch’s Historic Theatre follows the story of Mrs. Kuldeep Singh, who has been kidnapped by a man named Raj.

From The Troika Collective, founded by SFU alumna Aliya Griffin comes Olya the Child, which also features actors and fellow SFU alumni Jessica Hood and Rachelle Miguel. Showing in the Emily Carr Parkade, this production follows the stories of an adopted child from Russia, and a Canadian woman.

Pipef@%! by The Uninvited Guests explores the multimedia side of theatre and performance. Featuring SFU graduate Valerie Christiansen, this production explores recent environmental concerns occurring in BC, as well as the interactions between economic classes in society.

The Vancouver Fringe Festival runs from September 10 to 20. For more information, visit vancouverfringe.com.

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