2021 Nanaimo Fringe

Tickets can be purchased online by following the links below, or in person at The Port Theatre Box Office or the outdoor Fringe Festival Hub!

Fringe Festival Hub

Fitzwilliam Gate in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

  • Tickets & Festival Passes
  • Festival Info
  • 50/50 raffle
  • Merch

August 12-22nd | Hours: 11am-6pm

Fringe Beer Garden

Gallery Row in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter | 19+

  • Mobile Longwood Brewery truck
  • 50/50 raffle
  • Patrons must respect Fringe performances taking place on the Gallery Row outdoor stage during beer garden hours.

Friday, August 13 & 20th | Hours: 1-9pm

Saturday/Sunday August 14-15th & 21-22nd | Hours: 3-9pm

Fringe Ticketing

  • ALL PATRONS ARE REQUIRED TO PURCHASE A ONE-TIME $5.00 FRINGE FESTIVAL BUTTON TO SEE ANY SHOWS (available at the Fringe Hub and at the door). Proceeds support the operating costs of the festival
  • In-person shows: $12.00^
  • On Demand streamed shows: $8.50^
  • Festival Pass: Save big and see any 5 Fringe shows for just $50.00^. Pass can be used for yourself, or bring along a friend!
  • Artists receive 100% of their box office revenues; to protect artist income, all ticket sales are final.

^plus applicable fees.

Shows at the Port Theatre

125 Front Street, Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fringe Festival Preview Night

Let’s kick off the festivities with this FREE event, compiling 5 minute teasers from each Festival show, with Dana Doucette as your MC!

The Great Might-Have-Been

David Heyman, Victoria

40 Mins | Suitable for all ages , with recommended age of 8+

From the winner of the 2020 audience “Pick of the Fringe”, comes a Staged Reading of an original musical about a Scottish woman in the 1890s who nearly won Canadian women the right to vote. 

Friday, August 13th 3pm
Saturday, August 14th**8pm
Wednesday, August 18th8pm
Friday, August 20th5:30pm
Saturday, August 21st5:30pm
Sunday, August 22nd3pm
** Livestream

Wings Over Water: A Diaspora Bird Dance

Anjalcia Solomon & Chantal Gering, Vancouver

60 Mins | Suitable for all ages , puppetry etc.

A play, a poem, a dance, and a dream, of longing for a home once forgotten. Wings Over Water captures the tensions of diaspora. In this play we meet seven characters, real and mythical. Each of them representing the spirit of ancestors incarnate as migratory birds. In this experimental production combining spoken word, contemporary dance, live music, and puppetry. 

Sunday, August 15th3pm
Tuesday, August 17th**5:30pm
Thursday, August 19th3pm
Friday, August 20th8pm
Saturday, August 21st3pm
Sunday, August 22nd5:30pm
** Livestream

Domesticated Disputes

Material Theatre, Winlaw

60 Mins | 16+

Evelyn is a Perfect Housewife, stewing in her own repressed juices.  Unconsciously frustrated by the dreary duties of domestic life, she discovers, in the course of her chores, deep, mysterious, primal urges, and struggle as she might to stay spic & span, shit gets dirty. A one-woman play in a neo-bouffon universe, Domesticated Disputes explores the wild impulses lurking under the carpet of even the most perfect home. 

Friday, August 13th 8pm
Saturday, August 14th**5:30pm
Sunday, August 15th5:30pm
Wednesday, August 18th5:30pm
Thursday, August 19th8pm
Friday, August 20th*3pm
* ASL available | ** Livestream

A Conversation in the Night

Daniel Puglas, Nanaimo

60 Mins | 16+

After trying to leave town in the night, Ash gets confronted by her old friend Grace. After a night fuelled by alcohol, emotions, and secrets they must ask themselves one question. Is this the last time they’ll see each other?

Friday, August 13th 5:30pm
Saturday, August 14th*3pm
Tuesday, August 17th**8pm
Wednesday, August 18th3pm
Thursday, August 19th5:30pm
Saturday, August 21st8pm
* ASL available | ** Livestream

Shows at the OV Arts Centre

25 Victoria Road, Nanaimo

Hegnimwaal: Based Off the Enclosed Assembly Manual of the Same Name

Andrew Fraser, Victoria

35 mins | 13+

In today’s (read: yesterday’s) world of hardship and strife, nothing helps rest the body and calm the mind like a good night’s sleep. And what’s more restful and calming than building a bed on a Friday night? This one-person comedic DIY show will guide you through the missing pieces, opaque instructions, and existential dread that comes packaged with every piece of Swedish furniture.

Saturday, August 14th7pm
Sunday, August 15th12pm
Wednesday, August 18th4:30pm
Friday, August 20th*7pm
Saturday, August 21st7pm
Sunday, August 22nd12pm
* ASL available | Stream August 19th: 7pm

Built Different

Connor Runnings, Nanaimo

35 mins | 12+

After the death of their childhood Behaviour Consultant, four autistic young adults get together for a night of reconnecting, reflection, and hard truths.

Friday, August 13th2pm
Saturday, August 14th*4:30pm
Sunday, August 15th7pm
Wednesday, August 18th7pm
Saturday, August 21st12pm
Sunday, August 22nd4:30pm
* ASL available | Stream August 17th: 7pm

A Bunch of Things

Willem Roelants, Nanaimo

35 mins | 16+

A Bunch Of Things is a show from a guy who isn’t great at anything, but wants to do everything. He may seem unprepared, but that’s nothing a good sales gimmick and some crowd work can’t fix. And, the show’s going to happen, one way or the other. Come watch Willem Roelants try to keep it together for as long as he can.

Friday, August 13th4:30pm
Saturday, August 14th8:30pm
Tuesday, August 17th7pm
Thursday, August 19th4:30pm
Saturday, August 21st4:30pm
Sunday, August 22nd2pm
Stream August 18th: 7pm

Working Hypothesis

Short Sleeve Productions, Qualicum Beach

60 mins | 10+

What happens when we die? We’re told to ‘go towards the light’, but what if there is no light? Are heaven and hell even real? What about purgatory? Does God actually exist? These are all questions that Archie has never really considered. Until now, when an unexpected event suddenly makes them painfully and acutely relevant.

In this one-person play, Archie explores the mysteries of what happens when our mortal bonds are loosened and we travel to the great beyond. 

Friday, August 13th7pm
Sunday, August 15th2pm
Thursday, August 19th2pm
Friday, August 20th*4:30pm
Saturday, August 21st8:30pm
Sunday, August 22nd7pm
* ASL available| Stream August 15th: 7pm

Confessions of A Spooky Mind

Evil Boy Theatre, Nanaimo

60 mins | 10+

A cat and mouse game between a detective and a killer.

Saturday, August 14th2pm
Sunday, August 15th4:30pm
Tuesday, August 17th4:30pm
Thursday, August 19th7pm
Friday, August 20th8:30pm
Saturday, August 21st2pm
Stream August 20th: 7pm

Outdoor Shows in the Old City Quarter

“River: a Metaphor” | performed at Gallery Row

Joy and Company, Nanaimo

60 mins | 6+ (please be advised that any minor patrons must be seated outside of the licensed Beverage Garden, as directed by Festival ushers.)

Truth is layered over by a shifting cultural context of women’s lives gone wrong and Nature desecrated.  Ultimately we must always ask questions or we lose control of our lives and the environment suffers. The River is a metaphor for our lives and how we interact with Nature.  

Friday, August 13th2pm
Saturday, August 14th*7pm
Sunday, August 15th4pm
Friday, August 20th6pm
Saturday, August 21st4pm
Sunday, August 22nd7pm
* ASL available

“Merlin Cosmos Live from Club Cludgy” | performed at Gallery Row

Michael B Ross, Vancouver

60 mins | 11+ (please be advised that any minor patrons must be seated outside of the licensed Beverage Garden, as directed by Festival ushers.)

A one man Comedy Magic Show.

Friday, August 13th6pm
Saturday, August 14th4pm
Sunday, August 15th7pm
Friday, August 20th2pm
Saturday, August 21st7pm
Sunday, August 22nd4pm

Forum Theatre | performed at Gallery Row

FREE | Community Participants, Nanaimo

2 hours | 16+ some themes explored in the plays may be upsetting for younger patrons.

Newcomers to Nanaimo explore themes of belonging in two short Forum Theatre plays, devised throughout a workshop series presented by Pacific Coast Stage Co. in partnership with Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society.

Two interactive performances facilitated by Larissa Coser at the Nanaimo Fringe Festival outdoor stage in Gallery Row. Audience participation is central to this revolutionary style of theatre from Brazil, so step into the action and inspire change!


  • Ammar Alfakosh
  • Bryony Dixon
  • Jeong Seon Lee
  • Josephine Burgess
  • Joy Dubé
  • Myriam Verzat
  • Nabil Sayes
  • Usman Hafeez
Tuesday, August 17th7pm
Wednesday, August 18th7pm

Festival Wrap Karaoke Night + Audience ‘Pick of the Fringe’ at Gallery Row

FREE, Sunday August 22nd @ 8:30pm.

Vote for your favourite 2021 Fringe show and celebrate alongside the winner and other Fringe artists at our Festival Wrap Karaoke event in Gallery Row, hosted by Dana Doucette.


Digital Only shows from National/International Artists unable to join us in person for 2021. These offerings will be available to stream ON DEMAND via the PortTheatre.com for the full 10 day duration of the festival.

Dear Donald/Dear Hillary (Their Secret Correspondence)

Sally Vahle | 60 minutes

The play takes liberties, for laughs, with the biographies of the famous political rivals. What if they were assigned to be pen pals as second-graders? In their heretofore undiscovered personal letters spanning half a century, right up to November 2020, we see their awkward friendship wax and wane in letters that borrow liberally (not conservatively) from Trump and Clinton’s actual public dialogue. You might be surprised who gets the last word!

The play is unapologetically satirical, comedic, biting, surprising, engaging and cathartic. The audience is invited to ride a roller coaster of laughter, surprise revelations, and will be struck by the universality of the ideas the play explores. Further musing about larger ideas around status, male and female power, and the responsibility of how we, as people, empower certain dynamics to evolve and occur will likely be topics of post-show conversation among those who go on the journey of Dear Donald/Dear Hillary (Their Secret Correspondence).


Chelsey Fawcett, Calgary | 43 minutes

Haram is the journey of one woman’s spiral downward as she tries to become a belly dancing superstar in a fictionalized shisha club. The story celebrates the artistry of belly dance, while also exposing the audience to much darker experiences that the performer endures. The list of what a dancer will do to be in the limelight continues, and the play questions the intersections of sensuality vs. sexuality in our hyper-sexualization of women in the performing arts.

Compiled of real stories from belly dancers all over the world – specifically from dancers working the beltline of clubs between Detroit Michigan and Toronto Ontario. These stories are woven into a fictionalized Canadian location and are performed through the fictional character Candace – who also goes by the stage-name “Laila”. Candace tells the story of how her supportive club owner (Mo) sells his club (“Habibi’s”) to a ring leader of a local mafia branch, who uses the club for money laundering and illegal activity. Candace’s life changes from one of a liberated female entertainer, to that of a dancer fighting for her freedom. The cycle of abuse becomes apparent when the audience discovers that the dancer is held in her hotel room against her will as a de facto slave. This uniquely Canadian story is unlike any other that has graced the stage in the world.

Tango in the Dark

PointeTango | 60 minutes

Award-winning dance company, PointeTango, heats up your screen with “Tango in the Dark”, an original hour-long dance film created during the Covid-19 pandemic. PointeTango’s sultry duo will wow you with fantastic lifts, exciting spins and the passion of Argentine tango with a unique twist: tango on pointe! Using original music composed by the Payadora Tango Ensemble, as well as contemporary and traditional themes, your senses will be delighted by an award-winning show that lights the way through the shadows and mysteries of Buenos Aires and tells a story of two dancers moving to the rhythms of the city night. 

The creation of “Tango in the Dark”, began in Buenos Aires, during the autumn of 2019 and continued with film production in Canada in the summer of 2020. The global pandemic led to ongoing and changing restrictions which affected the performance and creation process. PointeTango dancers, Erin Scott-Kafadar and Alexander Richardson spent several months in strict lockdown in Buenos Aires, Argentina before returning to Canada. Despite the restrictions, Erin and Alexander continued to dance and adapted from performing live to creating digital content. Partnering with the talented musical quartet of the Payadora Tango Ensemble meant recording and filming their music in their separate homes. Since its digital world premiere in February 2021, ‘Tango in the Dark’ has premiered in international festivals and enjoyed rave reviews and awards.

Directed by: Alexander Richardson
Featuring PointeTango dancers: Erin Scott-Kafadar and Alexander Richardson
Choreography and video editing: Alexander Richardson
Cinematography: Jacob Marsh

Music by Payadora Tango Ensemble:
(Music produced, engineered and mixed by Drew Jurecka)
Rebekah Wolkstein: Violin / Voice
Drew Jurecka  Bandonéon / Voice 
Robert Horvath  Piano
Joseph Phillips  Double Bass / Guitar