It’s one of our favourite things to do each year in September: giving folks a preview of the theatre buffet happening at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. District Local is once again hosting our preview picks, so jump on over to their website to read the full article.
Alright, let’s get Fringing!
Image: Christache Ross/Vancouver Fringe Festival
Fringe Official: SELF-ish Playwright and Assaulted Fish member Kuan Foo joins Vancouver Fringe board of directors
He’s performed at the Fringe. He’s written a Fringe play. What’s left but to join the Fringe?
On July 25, 2019 Kuan Foo was officially voted in as a member of the Vancouver Fringe Theatre Society‘s board of directors. He joins a stellar company of dedicated theatre advisors that include president Sharon Sutherland, vice-president Claudia Sjoberg, treasurer Jai Djwa, secretary Robyn Kurtz, as well as Lesley Carty, Lee-Lyn Gan, Nancy More, Jennifer O’Leary, Jim Sibley and Katia Tynan.
Over the last few years, Vancouver Fringe has made equity, diversity and inclusion a priority at the festival. Their vision is “Theatre for Everyone”, but they recognize that not all voices are heard and not all members of the community are represented on stage at the Fringe. They see the unique role they can play in advancing equitable, diverse, inclusive theatre for all, and have not only committed to this direction but are also encouraging meaningful dialogue and doing active outreach. Visit their EDI page to learn more about their work in this area.
As a former policy lawyer in the area of equity and diversity and in his current professional role as an accessibility advisor for students, Kuan brings a unique lens and wealth of expertise to the Vancouver Fringe. And let’s not forget his cheery disposition and stunning good looks!
Congratulations to Assaulted Fish member, Kuan Foo, on the upcoming debut of his latest play, Blood Makes Noise! Kuan is one of seven playwrights featured in Pork Filled Productions‘ staged play reading festival, “Unleashed! New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century“, taking place in Seattle, Washington from October 30 to November 4, 2017.
About Blood Makes Noise:
It’s not quite a zombie apocalypse, more of a zombie annoyance. Across the country, a small number of corpses have mysteriously reanimated and quietly gone into hiding. But what happens when these “After-Lifers” try to step out of the shadows and join the rest of humanity? Is being dead a barrier to getting a life?
Date: Saturday, November 4, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Theatre Off Jackson, 409 7th Avenue S in Seattle’s International District
Cost: US$6 (plus service/venue fees)
Directed by May Nguyen. Featuring performances by Virginia Marie Gabby, Rachel Guyer-Mafune, J. Edward Lee, Mario Orallo, and Michael Yichao.
Blood Makes Noise is Kuan’s second play to premiere on stage this year (making it 2 for 2 in terms of his new year resolutions.) In July, his first play Self-ish debuted at the Toronto Fringe Festival to solid reviews. Self-ish starred fellow Fish member Diana Bang with Assaulted Fish alum Dawn Milman as director.
Kuan will be in esteemed company at Unleashed: he shares an afternoon double bill with sketch comedy veteran and Pork Filled producer Roger Tang and his play, Dawn of the She-Devil of the China Sea.
About Unleashed and Pork Filled Productions:
Pork Filled Productions celebrates playwrights of color with Unleashed! New Pulp Stories for the 21st Century, a staged reading festival of seven new plays, produced in association with the Theatre Off Jackson, October 30 to November 4, 2017 at the Theatre Off Jackson (409 7th Ave. S. in Seattle’s International District).
From steamy nightclub noir, to sword and sorcery on the high seas, to imaginative science fiction exploring DNA technology and implanted memories, Unleashed helps give a voice to playwrights of color who want to break through the rigid norms and expectations of mainstream theater. With a diverse selection of Korean American, Chinese American, Chinese Canadian, and African American playwrights, Unleashed will showcase the wildly creative and outside-the-box stories that often get overlooked from writers of color.
Spinning off from the long running sketch comedy group the Pork Filled Player, Pork Filled Productions stretches the boundaries of Asian American theatre. Reflecting the imagination and creativity of modern Asian American artists, Pork Filled Products redesigns traditional Asian American theatre to embrace the full spectrum of genres, from steampunk (The Clockwork Professor and The Tumbleweed Zephyr by Maggie Lee), to supernatural comedy (Big Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love by Prince Gomolvilas), to racial identity farce (Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang), to even Kung-fu zombie Shakespeare (Living Dead in Denmark by Qui Nguyen).
Regular followers of our site will know that we are huge fans of Seattle playwright Maggie Lee. Her latest series of plays, including “The Clockwork Professor” and “The Tumbleweed Zephyr,” take place in the steampunk world of New Providence. Last week, we caught her latest, “A Hand of Talons,” and we are happy to report, it is her best one yet.
Although third in the series, “Talons” actually takes place years before the two previous instalments and tells the origin story of a character, Wilhemina Yao, who was alluded to but never actually seen in “The Tumbleweed Zephyr.” Unlike the previous plays, which were rollicking capers involving dimensional hopping and train robbery respectively, “Talons” is a smaller-scale character study that takes place entirely in one room (granted, a room with multiple entrances, both secret and not so secret). This is easily the most focussed and tonally dark of any of the New Providence plays with several characters meeting horrible fates (some of which may include death) but there is still plenty of humour and fun. The cast is uniformly strong top to bottom, but special mention must be given to Stephanie Kim-Bryan as Wilhemina who navigates the most complicated character arc of the series so far with great aplomb and to Jen Ruzumna who provides most of the comic relief as the cynical Bernadette. The direction is tight and the set and costumes instantly conjure up the alternate reality of New Providence, part-western, part-Victorian, yet strangely familiar.
“A Hand of Talons” runs for one more weekend at the Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle’s International District. For showtimes and tickets click here.