Starr Muranko performs the Raven Spirit Dance during Nanaimo Fringe Festival at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Starr Muranko performs the Raven Spirit Dance during Nanaimo Fringe Festival at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Fringe creates community dialogue

NANAIMO - Theatre event features local, national and international productions.

The footsteps Abraham was following stop.

Now stranded alone in the minefield he wonders what direction to go.

He’s trapped.

The feeling of no escape starts to gnaw at his mind and repressed feelings from his past begin to resurface.

For years he’s hidden who he is. He’s repressed his sexuality and feelings of unrequited love for a childhood friend and the love of a fellow soldier come to life in his mind.

Abraham is a character from the play written by Molly Noonan and one of 10 performances being shown as part of Nanaimo’s Fringe Theatre Festival, Aug. 13-25.

The idea for Noonan’s play, called Footsteps, began six years ago while she was watching an episode of M*A*S*H. During the episode a person found their way out of a minefield by following a set of footprints. It made Noonan wonder what would happen if the footsteps stopped.

She said feelings of being trapped is often how some people feel about their sexuality. She said many people feel like they are not able to talk about it to their friends and family.

“I’ve seen the pain it causes,” she said.

During the play people meet Abraham, played by Taylor Lewis, and relive moments in his life through flashbacks.

This year the Fringe Festival partnered with Crimson Coast Dance to highlight the organizations Infringing Dance Festival.

Chelsee Damon, festival producer, said a fringe festival belongs to the community and it becomes what the community wants. She said when people become engaged and participate in activities, such as the ones hosted at the Fringe Hub, it enhances the experience. The Fringe Hub is being hosted at The Vault this year and people are encouraged to hang out before and after shows meet the actors and audience members to share their experiences.

“Fringe Festival is about bringing people together, sharing things and creating a dialogue and letting people become engaged,” said Damon.

This year’s Fringe Festival has eight theatre performances, two dance performances and one workshop, presented by Crimson Coast Dance Society.

Fringe shows are decided by a lottery draw to ensure their is no bias or censorship.

For more information about the Nanaimo Fringe Festival please go to

THEATRE PERFORMANCES run Aug. 13-25 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre and Nanaimo Museum. Tickets range from $7-$14 and are available at the door or people can purchase a festival pass, five shows for $45. A preview night to view samples of the shows is Tuesday (Aug. 13) at The Vault, 8-10 p.m. Admission $10. People who watch the shows can also attend free after parties Aug. 14-18 and 21-24 at The Vault. A wrap up party is being held at The Vault Aug. 24, starting at 8 p.m.

WOLF TREK: Alone in the Woods follows the true story of a man with a broken arm, trekking through a subarctic wood buffalo park surrounded by wolves and bears, and what drives him onward. Tickets $12. G.

MISS VIKKI … REVEALED is a comedic musical that reveals the incredible and intimate details about drag queen Miss Vikki Smudge. Tickets $12. PG.

DISSOLVE stars Emmelia Gordon. The one-woman show discusses the difficult topics of drink spiking and drug facilitated sexual assault. Tickets $14/students and seniors $10. PG.

FABLES, FOOLS AND FANTASY allows the audience to chose which stories and characters they want to learn about. It features a troupe of actors who recreate Aesop’s fables and folklores on stage. Tickets $12, children under 13, $7. G.

A CRACK IN MY REALITY is a drama about a songwriter  careening through mid life who realizes she put a wedge in her reality so she can’t go home. Tickets $12/students and seniors $10. 18+.

CALL MR. ROBESON takes audience members on a journey through the life of African-American actor and singer Paul Robeson. Tickets $12. PG.

PARADISE IS JAGGED features dance numbers and visual effects as one actor portrays several characters as they seek redemption in heaven and on Earth. “War, disease and religious corruption haunt soldiers, lovers and men of God as they vie for a piece of paradise.” Tickets $12/students and seniors $10. PG.

FOOTPRINTS follows the tale of a deserting soldier lost in a minefield as he searches for answers and begins to relive the pain, through a series of flashbacks, about his repressed sexuality and unrequited love for a childhood friend and fellow soldier. Tickets $12. PG.

TRANSCULTURALISM IN ART  MAKING and Watching is a discussion with crimson Coast Dance Society’s Holly Bright about seeing many sides to questions and adapting a chameleon sense of self without losing one’s cultural centre. Free admission. PG.

RAVEN SPIRIT DANCE presented by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation is a traditional cultural dance told through a contemporary voice. Tickets $12. PG.

THE POETRY OF JAPANESE BUTOH DANCE: Still Snowing is a performance choreographed and danced by Nanaimo’s Genevieve Johnson. Tickets $12. PG.

LANDSCAPE UNDER SKIN Theatre Workshop with Genevieve Johnson. Learn how butoh dancing helps the mind perceive the body in a new way. Admission by donation. PG.