Announcing Uno Fest 2012 – 15th anniversary

I wonder if the arts administrators at Intrepid Theatre knew in 1997 that they were in the process of creating what has become the longest running solo performance festival in North America– Uno Fest, Canada’s Singular Live Theatre Event.

This year Uno Fest runs May 24th – June 3rd inVictoria, BC.

“We have an extraordinary lineup planned to mark Uno’s 15th anniversary,” says Intrepid Theatre’s Janet Munsil, Artistic Director and festival curator, “Great live shows, a new work series, performance and writing workshops to help local artists develop new skills, and the launch of Press>Play, a series of four audioplays that we have commissioned as part of the Victoria 150 Anniversary Celebrations…and there’s one special announcement yet to come (very soon) about a headlining performer who’ll be giving his Victoria fans an exclusive peek into his solo show in progress.”

I look forward to enjoying artists I know from their regular performances in Victoria, and, as always, am excited to meet artists who are new to me.

I’ve annotated some listings – it is not a mark of preference, but simply due to the fact that I have seen the performers.

Carmen Aguirre (Nightswimming, Vancouver) – Blue BoxCBC’s Canada Reads winner Carmen Aguirre’s show about her remarkable experiences as a brave daughter of the Chilean resistance.

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Julia Mackey (Vancouver)  Jake’s Gift. 5th anniversary! This Jesse-nominated production premiered at Uno in 2007 and has gone on to tour to every part of Canada.

Mackey has the uncanny ability to morph physically before your very eyes – alternating back and forth between World War II veteran Jake, a man in his 80s, and Isabelle, a curious 10 year old French girl. I’ve seen Jake’s Gift at least three times. My father was a vet; Mackey’s show has helped me to connect to his lived experience.  Her unsentimental and natural treatment does great honour to our veterans.


Hawksley Workman (2b theatre company, Halifax NS) The God that Comes 

(a work-in-progress)

The God that Comes is a concept album for the stage featuring music and performance by Hawksley Workman. This new solo work tells the story of the Greco-Roman god of wine Bacchus (or Dionysus) and uses Euripides’ The Bacchae as a primary source. This solo performance fuses the chaotic revelry of a rock concert with the intimacy of theatrical storytelling.

Deborah Dunn (Trial & Eros, Montreal) – Four Quartets. Deborah Dunn (Elegant Heathens) returns to the Metro with this beautiful dance piece performed to the music of T.S. Eliot’s poetry.

Meagan O’Shea (Stand Up Dance,Toronto) – The Atomic Weight of Happiness. Interdisciplinary dance artist and Dora Award nominee Meagan O’Shea returns to Uno Fest with her show about global warming and achieving inner peace – complete with laughter-powered lighting.

Michael Delamont (Victoria) – God is a Scottish Drag Queen. Winner Best Solo Show, Victoria Fringe 2011.

Michael Delamont is well-known to Victoria and Vancouver Island audiences for his long-standing association with Atomic Vaudeville, his performances in The War of 1812 (Random Selection of Chairs), Oklahoma! (Chemainus Theatre Festival) and his solo shows (A One Night Stand with Mike Delamont).

He has created memorable characters over the years, but none compares to God!

Here’s God musing on Mayan 2012.

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Trent Baumann (Australia) – The Birdmann. Co-winner Best Comedy, Victoria Fringe 2011.

Trent Baumann was a quirky treat at the 2011 Victoria Fringe Festival. His interpretation of vaudeville for the 21st century is a delight and decidedly different.


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Dave Morris (Victoria) – Photo Booth.Co-winner Best Comedy, Victoria Fringe 2011.

Dave Morris is a….. spoken word artist, improv class teacher, creator of live improvised “in the style of” theatre, stand up comedian, and master improviser. His latest effort features “snapshots” from a photo booth as themes for his improvised show. It will be different every night – and therein lies the magic.

Julian Cervello (Victoria) – Canterbury Cocktails. Winner Best Spoken Word, Victoria Fringe 2011.

Who knew that a play about Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, entirely in Middle English, would take the Victoria Fringe Festival by storm? Or that there was an audience for such a play?  Cervello is a gifted mimic, creating a multitude of characters (with their prerequisite peculiarities and tics) easily – to the great delight of all. We may have studied Chaucer, but did we enjoy it?  After Cervello’s show, you can say – “Yes!”

Erin Fleck (Toronto)  Those Who Can’t Do… this provocative new play about the challenges facing a high school sex ed teacher was a hit this season at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto.

Andrew Bailey (Victoria) – The Adversary. The latest show from the acclaimed monologist of Scrupulosity, Limbo, and Putz – Based on his 2011 Uno Works show Diamond Tiaras in the Gutter.

I admire Andrew Bailey’s honesty and his ability to unravel the complexity of human character with humour, wit and great intelligence.

Press>Play Four short site-specific audio plays exploring historic Victoria locations, created by local playwrights and musicians, to be experienced by the solo audience member on personal audio players or cell phones. Part of the City ofVictoria’s 150th Anniversary through the Addressing Arts and Culture program, made possible by the Greater Victoria Spirit Committee and the Dept. of Canadian Heritage.

Uno Works – shows in development

Missie Peters (Victoria) – Where’s My Flying Car?!

Civil servant by day and spoken word tour de force.  Missie’s Public Confessions of a Public Servant premiered to enthusiast audiences at the 2010 Victoria Fringe Festival.

She was the VicSlam Team Slam Master, organizer of Poetry in the Raw and The Gentlemen’s Poetry Show, is the founder of the Victoria Spoken Word Festival, a performer with Paper Street Theatre,  and a very popular MC at Pecha Kucha Night and numerous other cultural events.  Her writing is crisp and clean and true.

Katrina Kadowski (Victoria) – Cougar Annie Tales

I don’t know Katrina Kadowski, but, coming from the West Coast of Vancouver Island, I do know Cougar Annie, and can’t wait to hear this version of her story.

Constance Cook (choreography) / Alisoun Payne (performer) – I Be Caribou

Workshops by

  • Nicolle Nattrass
  • Dave Morris
  • Meagan O’Shea

Ticket are available through Ticket Rocket,  a 5-show pass is $65.00. Tickets go on sale in late April/early May. You can sign up for Intrepid’s enews to receive updates on Uno Fest.

If you’d like to volunteer for UnoFest, please contact Samantha Gough at Intrepid Theatre.

Intrepid Theatre’s Uno Fest is made possible with the support of CRD Arts Development, The Department of Canadian Heritage, BC Arts Council, The Province of British Columbia, The City of Victoria and the Canada Council for the Arts

About @lacouvee

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