Fresh Meat is a pop-up creative playground, where local theatre makers are given a unique opportunity to test new ideas in front of an audience. Each year, a fresh crop of Ottawa theatre artists are invited to create and premiere original 20-minute performance pieces at our two-weekend festival in October. We present ideas that are original and innovative, and that test the traditional boundaries of theatre. Fresh Meat participants have premiered works in a variety of genres, including dance, poetry, burlesque, clown, pantomime, performance art, standup, sketch comedy, storytelling, and many more.
Founded in 2012, Fresh Meat has given life to over 70 20-minute world premieres and paid out more than $40,000 to local creators in direct exchange for their work. By giving artists a place to experiment, Fresh Meat plays a key role in the steady stream of exciting new work being created in Ottawa. Seedlings planted at Fresh Meat have grown into full length productions and have been produced at venues and festivals across the country, including undercurrents, The National Arts Centre, The Gladstone Theatre, national Fringe festivals and more. Others live their three nights at Fresh Meat and are never seen or heard from again. Both are equally valuable outcomes when creating from a place of pure experimentation and play.
Fresh Meat supports and showcases a diverse group of local artists each year by providing an accessible platform on which to create and perform new, innovative short works. The festival brings together local artists of all backgrounds, theatrical practices, and levels of emergence, and makes space for the lived experiences of all Canadians.