Trent Baumann performs in the play I Forgot to Fly Today during Fringe Festival.

Trent Baumann performs in the play I Forgot to Fly Today during Fringe Festival.

Nanaimo Fringe Festival features comedy, drama and drag

NANAIMO - Fringe Festival runs Aug. 11-21 at Harbour City Theatre and the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

A man wakes up.

He puts on his suit and heads to his office job.

It’s just another typical day.

Inside his mind motivational sayings keep playing: ‘You can do anything you want to do’.

Yet, as the day continues, something changes. He starts to question his place in the universe and chooses to have the day of his life.

His journey is explored in the whimsical and freeing comedic world created by Trent Baumann.

Baumann performs as the man during the premiere of I Forgot to Fly Today at the Nanaimo Fringe Festival.

“We always have this pressure on us to be happy,” said Baumann. “There is pressure on us to do our best and follow our dreams. What’s most enjoyable to people … is to just be.”

Baumann tells the man’s story through witty one-line jokes and visual imagery.

It was inspired by one of his original acts from a circus school he created almost 15 years ago.

“It’s kind of been a lifetime in the making,” he said.

He also wanted to create it to share the message that people shouldn’t put so much pressure on themselves when it comes to living their lives.

“I tell it in a comical, light-hearted, visual way,” said Baumann.

He uses balloons that begin to expand around him to illustrate a key philosophical theme.

“To show that while the universe is expanding, so is our consciousness,” said Baumann.

He has liked being humorous since he was a child. His mother was Irish and was “quite witty” and his father was a hard-working man who had a lot of pressure on him, said Baumann.

This atmosphere created a dichotomy in his life.

“It is a bit of a collision of dark and light and finding the wonder in that,” said Baumann.

He studied with the circus in his home country of Australia, learning the basics of juggling and object balancing.

Baumann has received numerous awards at Fringe Festivals around the globe.

Nanaimo’s Fringe Festival runs Thursday (Aug. 11) to Aug. 21 and features eight plays chosen by luck of the draw, with a total of 48 showings.

People who attend the shows can also gather during the event at the Fringe Hub, which is being held at the Nanaimo Bar, located at 75 Front St. On festival days the venue will be open until 1:30 a.m. There is live entertainment and people are encouraged to write a message on the Fringe Festival’s Wall of Love.

An awards party is being held at the Nanaimo Bar on Aug. 20. The event starts at 10:30 p.m. and the audience favourite award will be handed out at 11 p.m.

Attendees must make a one-time purchase of a $5 button and wear it to shows to gain admittance. The buttons are available at the door of any of the events.

Tickets are $12 per show or $40 for a five-show pass and are available at Fascinating Rhythm, at the door or

A FREE PREVIEW night is being held on Wednesday (Aug. 10) at Harbour City Theatre, 7 p.m. The event features a sample of shows.

BUSTED, written by Nanaimo’s Samantha Pawliuk, is a mashup of drag performance and theatre. The show contains course language and sexual content. It shows at Harbour City Theatre Aug. 12 at 5:30 p.m., Aug 13 at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 14 at 2:40 p.m., Aug. 19 at 10 p.m., Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. and Aug. 21 at noon.

NOIR-ISH, written by Nanaimo’s William Anderson, is a comedy about a wannabe actor who gets swept into a mystery. The play is for all ages. It shows at Harbour City Theatre Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 14 at 5:20 p.m., Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.. Aug. 19 at 8 p.m., Aug 20 at 1:30 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 5:45 p.m.

BELLE PARIS is a comedy about a mime who dreams of making it big. The play is for ages 12 and over. It shows at Harbour City Theatre on Aug. 11 at 6 p.m., Aug 12 and 9:30 p.m., Aug. 18 at 8 p.m., Aug. 19 at 6 p.m., Aug 20 at 7:50 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 3 p.m.

I FORGOT to Fly Today is an all-ages comedy written by Trent Baumann. It shows at Harbour City Theatre on Aug. 11 at 8 p.m., Aug. 12 at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 13 at 3:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Aug. 14 noon and 8 p.m.

THE WILDERNESS and Wonder of Georgia O’Keeffe, written by Nanaimo’s Margaret Murphy, explores O’Keeffe’s life. The adult drama shows at the VICC Aug. 11 at 8 p.m., Aug. 12 at 8 p.m., Aug. 13 at 2 p.m., Aug 14 at 1:15 p.m., Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. and Aug. 19 at 8 p.m.

MURDER BLOOD Bear Story is a comedy and drama for ages 13 and over. It is about a character named Blue who is searching for happiness. It shows at the VICC on Aug. 12 at 6 p.m., Aug. 13 at 8 p.m., Aug. 14 at 4 p.m., Aug. 20 at noon, Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 1:30 p.m.

LEGENDS OF CANADA is a comedy celebrating Canada’s historical figures and places. It shows at the VICC on Aug. 12 at 10 p.m., Aug. 13 at 4 p.m., Aug. 14 at 6:40 p.m., Aug. 19 at 6 p.m., Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 4:15 p.m.

KEATS: A One-Man Play, written by Qualicum Beach’s Caleb Williamson, is a drama for all ages. It shows at the VICC on Aug. 11 at 6 p.m., Aug. 13 at 6 p.m., Aug. 18 at 8 p.m., Aug. 19 at 4 p.m., Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

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