‘River: A Metaphor,’ ‘Wings Over Water: A Diaspora Bird Dance,’ ‘Built Different’ and ‘The Great Might-Have-Been’ (clockwise from top-left) were among the plays staged during the 2021 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. Submissions are now open for this year’s event. (Photos courtesy Forest Ferns Photography)

‘River: A Metaphor,’ ‘Wings Over Water: A Diaspora Bird Dance,’ ‘Built Different’ and ‘The Great Might-Have-Been’ (clockwise from top-left) were among the plays staged during the 2021 Nanaimo Fringe Festival. Submissions are now open for this year’s event. (Photos courtesy Forest Ferns Photography)

Submissions now open for this year’s Nanaimo Fringe Festival

International artists once again welcome to apply as travel restrictions have loosened

The Nanaimo Fringe Festival is seeking submissions and this year that invitation is once again being extended to theatre artists from outside the province.

Local, national and international playwrights of all levels of experience have until March 31 to apply to be considered for the 2022 Nanaimo Fringe Festival, which runs from Aug. 11 to 21. This year marks the return to out-of-province performers, as COVID-19-related travel restrictions have been eased. Candidates my apply even if their plays are unfinished.

“They don’t even have to have a script yet,” said Tamara McCarthy, associate artistic producer. “Just a premise and a working title and $25.”

Eleven productions will make it into the festival, with half the spots reserved for performers from the mid Island. The remaining spots will be split between Canadian and foreign plays. McCarthy said the Fringe Festival is ideal for theatrical newcomers.

“This is a great opportunity to get your feet wet into the Fringe or into emerging theatre arts and so I would strongly encourage people to apply,” she said. “We have producers here in town that are able to provide some support and advice if people are first-time Fringers and we have a really supportive audience and volunteer base.”

Plays will be presented in two indoor venues and this year for the second time an outdoor venue will be available as well. Last year plays were staged in the Gallery Row area in the Old City Quarter and McCarthy said there wasn’t much street noise and the weather was co-operative.

“Our artists that worked outdoors all gave really great feedback and really enjoyed performing outside,” she said. “So we had a great response overall, I think, from both the artist and the audience.”

Thanks to City of Nanaimo funding, for the third year the Pacific Coast Stage Company, which runs the Nanaimo Fringe Festival, will be holding its three-week forum theatre workshop and presenting its final performance at Fringe.

“That’s where we have newcomers to Canada and to Nanaimo working on original work that challenges racism and stereotypes of immigrants…” she said. “So this is a wonderful opportunity for them to be able to speak their stories and be heard and supported through our Fringe festival.”

For more information and to apply to the Nanaimo Fringe Festival, click here.

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