Members of Impulse Theatre host the Peek Fest in November to give audiences a first glimpse into works in development. Photo contributed

JANIS LA COUVEE: An even dozen festivals a thrill for theatre goers

Monday’s arts columnist looks at the various theatre festivals on the calendar

Janis La Couvee

Monday columnist

Many people are familiar with the Victoria Fringe Festival or Belfry Theatre’s SPARK Festival, but did you know about Impulse Theatre’s Peek-Fest or Puente Theatre’s WorldPlay?

There are actually 12 theatre festivals yearly in the Capital Region:

Catch the last play reading in Puente Theatre’s WorldPlay 2018 a festival of staged readings of plays from around the world. Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman, directed by Matt McLaren is at the Belfry Theatre studio May 6. puentetheatre.ca

Reader’s Theatre Festival, Saturday, May 12 is an evening of play readings by thespians both young (students from Monterey middle school), and more experienced. Over the past few years it’s also been an opportunity to see new work from local playwrights. Langhamtheatre.ca

Intrepid Theatre’s Uno Fest, North America’s longest running solo theatre festival (21 years!), returns May 9-19. New this year – a guest Indigenous curator and the Family Fest Series, presented in partnership with Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People. Expect the unexpected. Intrepidtheatre.com

Join Kaleidoscope Theatre for the sixth annual Family Theatre Festival, in new locations at the Belfry and Fernwood Square June 10/11 and on the Westshore at Westhills June 16. Kaleidoscope.bc.ca

Intrepid Theatre’s OUTstages (June 19-25) is one of Canada’s only queer theatre festivals and brings some of the most exciting shows and queer artists from across Canada to Victoria, plus new work from BC playwrights, free pre-show lobby talks and free tickets for queer youth under 25.

The Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival, now in their 28th season, stage The Tempest directed by Chelsea Haberlin and Pericles directed by Bard on the Beach co-founder Christopher Weddell. July 3-28 at Camosun College Lansdowne Campus with performances offsite – the Tempest at Saxe Point Park in Esquimalt, Aug. 2-4. vicshakespeare.com

Theatre SKAM’s 10th annual family-friendly SKAMpede is July 13-15 on the Galloping Goose Trail, starting from the HUB on Harbour Road.

This small batch theatre festival features short works from local and international artists and companies. Ride your bike, walk, rollerblade or ride your mobility scooter; bring the family or friends. skam.ca

Intrepid Theatre has been producing the Victoria Fringe Festival since 1986. Join fellow Fringe fanatics Aug. 22-Sept. 2 for some of the most original and innovative work from seasoned veterans of the Fringe circuit, emerging artists, inspired locals and international touring companies.

With more than 50 shows to choose from, there is certain to be something for everyone. Intrepidtheatre.com

Victoria’s newest theatre festival is Impulse Theatre’s Peek-Fest (Nov. 19-25) for emerging performing artists. The festival offers exciting new looks at work in development from some of the province’s most innovative creators, while seeking to grow the artistic development of local artists through showcases and workshops. Impulsetheatre.ca

In 2019 look for the Belfry Theatre’s SPARK Festival and the Canadian College of Performing Arts TD Festival of New Works, both in March, and Paper Street Theatre’s Improv Festival in April.

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