Vancouver Fringe Festival 2014: Brian’s Picks

In just one week the 2014 Vancouver Fringe Festival will descend upon the city for 11 frenetic days. Hundreds of artists will congregate on Granville Island and in venues across the city to present a dizzying roster of more than 700 performances.   This staggering volume and variety, paired with a lottery-based selection system, mean every performance attended is a roll of the dice. Some will be riotously entertaining, some profoundly moving, and some inevitably cringe-inducing. Fringe is a theatrical smorgasbord of possibility and discovery.   Each year, LMPR’s Brian Paterson combs through the program guide to select five highlights from the festival. With just a handful of words and one small image, these shows particularly piqued his interest and will see him take the plunge:   Industry: The Food Must Go Out Fringe is brilliant for taking theatre to places we normally wouldn’t encounter it. This year, shows will run in alleyways, boats, playgrounds, and more. This work- which uses Edible Canada Bistro as its stage- is especially intriguing.    Created and performed by a duo of veteran Fringe comedians and food servers, the piece promises to amplify and satirize the inherently dramatic experience of restaurant work.   Bonus points for being at least partly auto-biographical – a Fringe hallmark.   Jem Rolls Attacks the Silence Seeing a truly gifted spoken word poet is an intoxicating experience. It’s unlike any other form of theatre. Through percussive, rhythmic performance the word is transformed into something weightier and more powerful, imbuing a single performer on a bare stage with the emotional impact of a Mahler symphony.   Jem Rolls is an international Fringe legend, whose latest show has built a great head of steam as it travels East through Canada’s network of Fringe festivals.   Expect humorous anecdotes, heavy human insight, a razor sharp mind, and crackling poetic bravado.   Peter n’ Chris and the Kinda OK Corral Disclosure: This pick isn’t entirely chosen from the guide: I’ve seen these two previously. The experience remains the hardest I have ever laughed at a show (that ‘can’t-catch-your-breath, starting-to-get-worried’ type of laughter).   Peter n’ Chris are masterful physical performers who joyfully skewer dramatic conventions and genre tropes in odd-ball, over-the-top, meta-theatre adventures.   Few artists have as much fun performing as Peter n’ Chris, and their enthusiasm is positively infectious.   The Chariot Cities For a few years it seemed that Fringe musicals had to be campy send-ups (ideally of a popular film). These have their place, but they skip over the emotional depth accessible by the form.   Audiences seeking musical theatre have options this year, but The Chariot Cities is particularly promising. It follows a broken and dysfunctional family of musicians, taking the 70′s folk era as its inspiration, and sports a line-up of serious local talent.   Anticipate raw emotion and beautiful song.   Caws & Effect It’s a beautiful thing to be in dumbstruck awe of fellow human being’s imagination. Mind of a Snail’s contribution seems like an excellent opportunity to seek out this experience.   Made lovingly by hand, their grand-scale shadow puppetry promises to take us into the world of crows with projections, masks, and an original score. I pick it hoping to feast my eyes on unprecedented sights.     The Vancouver Fringe Festival 2014 Program Guide is now available so that audiences can plan their own theatrical expeditions.   We’d love to hear about your own discoveries and adventures- feel free to share your picks and reviews in the comments or tweet using the #VanFringe hashtag so that we can follow along!      

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THE VIRTUAL STAGE

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FOOTLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY

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CAROUSEL THEATRE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

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Q&A: Shona Wercholuk

Communications Coordinator Shona Wercholuk is the newest member of the LMPR team. With a background in arts administration, public relations, and a passion for Vancouver’s independent music scene, she looks forward to sharing the news and stories of our diverse clientele.   Tell us about yourself & how you got into arts marketing.   I’ve always loved writing, and knew I wanted a career that was heavily involved in the craft but also knew I didn’t want to be a novelist. Due to this love I got a Bachelors degree in English from UBC and then immediately started working at Arts Umbrella. The arts have always been a hobby of mine, but it wasn’t until my work at Arts Umbrella that a passion to work in the arts really flourished.   I also soon realized that I really enjoyed working with people and began a search for a career that could combine all three of these interests. I recently completed SFU’s Public Relations Certificate program, which aligned me with the right tools to get started in public relations. I was then lucky enough to find a career that combined my love for the arts and public relations. Where is the best place you have travelled & why?   This is a really tough one! Because of my dad’s job, I have travelled a lot; I was fortunate enough to grow up all over the world as a result of that. As a child, I spent most of my upbringing in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and the city will always be very near and dear to my heart.   I would have to say our family trip to Austria was my absolute favourite though. We went in December, a time of year I  love, and the country was absolute breathtaking. It was the epitome of Christmas- and full of authentic markets with the most wonderful handmade trinkets. It was a place and a feeling I will never forget.   What was the first show you remember seeing as a child?   Shania Twain. I was 8 years old and we were living in Australia at the time. I remember feeling very proud I was seeing a Canadian perform in a different country.    If you could grab a coffee with one artist – living or dead – who would it be and why?    After reading some of the Bronte sisters works, I developed a fascination for them, but particularly with Emily. There’s very little published information about her, so I would really love to pick her brain. Although she was said to be very shy, so who knows how much she would say.   What are you most looking forward to in your new role at LMPR?   There’s so much! I’m really excited to be working with some seasoned professionals as it allows for a great learning experience. I’m also excited about all of the amazing clients I’m able to work with and help market in new and creative ways. But the most exciting thing for me has to be the fact that everyday I am able to explore my creativity in some way.   Lighting Round!   Morning person or night owl? Night Owl   Drink of choice? A cold glass of bubbly   Truth or dare? Truth   Favourite book? The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde   Best Movie? The Little Mermaid (I can’t help it!)   Power of Flight or Invisibility? Invisibility  

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Online Marketing Case Study: Theatre Under the Stars

The Client For nearly 75 years, Theatre Under the Stars has brought soaring works of song & dance to the crown jewel of Vancouver – Stanley Park. So much more than just a night at the theatre, TUTS interweaves a kaleidoscope of elements – setting, scenery, concessions, and quality art – into a fun, encompassing experience that is much greater than the sum of its parts.   The Campaign Laura Murray Public Relations was hired to provide a full-scale marketing and communications campaign for their 2014 presentations of Shrek: The Musical and Legally Blonde: The Musical.   In addition to publicity, promotions, advertising, social media, and consulting, LMPR provided a multi-platform digital advertising campaign to drive awareness and sales.    Campaign Components The online marketing campaign used a variety of tools to reach potential audiences at various stages in the purchase process.   A search campaign delivered sponsored Google results to local individuals searching for entertainment options and to international audiences researching visits to Vancouver:           On Facebook, campaigns ran in the newsfeed of Lower Mainland individuals who had expressed interests in musicals, theatre, Disney films, outdoor cinema, and similar activities – or who had attended TUTS in past seasons:         Using the Google Display Network, various sized banner ads reached desktop, laptop, and mobile users on a network of more than 30,000 websites. The ads were served to individuals whose browsing history indicated an interest in the performing arts- or who had previously visited the TUTS website:           On YouTube, a 0:15 commercial ran before the videos of individuals who expressed an interest in musical theatre or previously visited the TUTS website:   Theatre Under the Star’s 2014 Season opened last night (July 15) with Shrek: The Musical and continues with tonight’s opening of Legally Blonde: The Musical. The productions alternate evenings until August 23.   For tickets & info, visits tuts.ca.  

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