What's Up Weekend Two: Time 2 Party

It wasn't just cold season that made Weekend One so sick, and we've got even more good stuff coming your way for Weekend Two. Next up, we've got three more awesome hosts, another go at Friday Night Flicks, and a sweet closing night party.


Hosts

Thursday October 19: Two Kind Boys

2 Kind Boys with 2 Cool Plaques. Photo Courtesy of Two Kind Boys & the Prix Rideau Awards

2 Kind Boys with 2 Cool Plaques. Photo Courtesy of Two Kind Boys & the Prix Rideau Awards

Matt Hertendy and Matt Venner AKA Two Kind Boys create theatre that aims to tell "compelling, honest and relatable stories," and by gosh are they ever kind while doing it. Their work has been seen at the Youth Infringement Festival, Fringe Festivals across the country, Fresh Meat 5, and oh yeah, they snagged up a couple of Prix Rideau Awards along the way. We couldn't be more stoked to have them guide us through Thursday night.

Friday October 19: Mekdes Teshome

Photo Courtesy of Mekdes Teshome. Badass Attitude also Courtesy of Mekdes Teshome

Photo Courtesy of Mekdes Teshome. Badass Attitude also Courtesy of Mekdes Teshome

One of our favourite people on the planet, Mekdes is a local actor-director who has appeared at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, with A Company of Fools, at the Gladstone Theatre, and is excited to step into the world of film with her production company, Holy President Productions. She performed in The Ghomeshi Effect, which was recently nominated for the Capital Critics' Circle award for Best New Play. You may also recognize her from being our #official Fresh Meat 6 hand model. NBD. You can follow her @mektesh across channels.

Saturday October 21: AL Connors

Closing Night Host & DJ Extraordinaire

AL looking very cool next to some very cool lights (which he also designed, also very cool). Photo courtesy of undercurrents and the Ottawa Fringe.

AL looking very cool next to some very cool lights (which he also designed, also very cool). Photo courtesy of undercurrents and the Ottawa Fringe.

You may know AL from his 2017 Ottawa Fringe Best of Fest show AL Connors, DJ Detective. You may know him as the sound designer for the GCTC's recent You Are HappyYou may know him from Crush Improv. You may know him from his years-long mainstay status with A Company of Fools. You may know him from that time he left the Canadian Improv Games and you might have honestly thought something really tragic had happened to him by the level of heartfelt posts on the interwebs. The reality is, AL has been an actor, improviser, director, designer, producer, and all-around amazing guy in Ottawa for a long time. He is currently the theatre manager at the Gladstone Theatre, and oh yeah... Did we mention he's a friggin professional DJ?!

AL will be rocking double duty on closing night as both our hosts and our party DJ as we rock the night away. 


Closing Night Party

We've got AL Connors on beats, we've got snacks, and we've got the festival bar open until 1am.

Let's say goodbye to Fresh meat 6 by turning it up to 11, ya dig?

Photo Courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival.

Photo Courtesy of the Ottawa Fringe Festival.


Friday Night Flicks: Theatre Outlaws + $5 Tall Cans

If you missed it the first time around, Theatre Outlawsthe short documentary about Fresh Meat, Ottawa theatre, and a life in the arts, by our bud Jonah Allingham will be screening at 6:00 and 6:30 on Friday October 20.

There will be beer. And guess what, Jonah will be there, too, trading his A's for your Q's.

Check out the trailer for Theatre Outlaws, here.

Check out the trailer for Theatre Outlaws, here.


And of course, we're still rocking Dominion City, Buchipop, and our fresh as fudge lineup:

First Row L to R: Helen Thai + Franco Pang (In-between), Kristina Watt (Holding Mercury), and Madeleine Hall (Folie).

Second Row L to R: Mitchel Rose (Folie), Kelsey Rideout (a n X i e t y w o m X n), Geoffrey Dollar (InSight), and Liam Mooney (Metaverse - In the Little Black Box).

All photos thanks to LOG Creative Bureau.


Fresh Meat 6 Weekend Two runs Thursday October 19 - Saturday October 21, so catch it before it's gone.

Tickets available online and at the door. Doors at 7, shows at 7:30.

Love,

Fresh Meat

 

 

Review Roundup → Weekend 1

Fresh Meat 6 got off to a roaring start this past weekend. Two out of three nights sold out, smashing our attendance records left right and centre. Five mainstage shows premiered as well as the first shorter-than-short piece in our Little Black Box.

Reviews hit the stands over the weekend, and we've compiled them for you here. We'd love to know what you thought, too. Let us know in the comments what your Fresh Meat 6 favourites are so far and get your tickets for weekend 2 before it's too late. 

Photo by Ming Wu

Photo by Ming Wu

Capital Critics Circle
Reviewed by Laurie Fyffe

Excerpt: "[Michaela] Steven’s writing is a double-edged sword; Beer Buddies emerges as a complex and well-imagined assault on the conventions of storytelling that skips and jumps across the waters of a dark pond like the perfect tossing stone." Read the full piece here.

Photo by Ming Wu

Photo by Ming Wu

Apt613
Reviewed by Livia Belcea and Mer Weinhold

Excerpt: "Le Crip Bleu was bold, upbeat, cleverly comedic and engaging. [...] This performance transcends abilities, sexual orientation and gender to showcase a simple and universal concept: two people who want each other." Read the full piece here.

Photo by Ming Wu

Photo by Ming Wu

Alt.theatre
Reviewed by Jonas McLean

Excerpt: "It’s easy to agree that LGBT+ inequality remains a global problem in 2017, but harder to take an honest look at our own neighbourhoods as [Honey Dew Me] does." Read the full piece here.

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See you next weekend!

Love,
Fresh Meat

What's Up Weekend One: Hosts, Flicks n' Booch

Weekend one is just around the corner. Now that we're all good and full of turkey, let's talk about that's up this weekend at Fresh Meat: We've got our hosts, we've got Friday Night Flicks (featuring $5 Tall Cans of Dominion City), and we've got Buchipop. Let's dive right in.


HOSTS:

Thursday October 12: Deborah Ring

Promo image for Deb Talks. Not an actual photo of Deb.

Promo image for Deb Talks. Not an actual photo of Deb.

Local improviser, comedian, writer and all around funny person Deborah Ring graced us with her original creation TEAD Talks at Fresh Meat 5, which went on to be performed at the Ottawa Fringe Festival as Deb Talks. That show was billed as "ideas not worth spreading," but we think Deb's got some "talent definitely worth seeing". She also teaches classes at the Improv Embassy, if you want to learn to be half as cool as her. Spoiler: it's impossible.

Friday October 13: Catriona Leger

Catriona kicking some theatre butt at the 2017 Ottawa Theatre Challenge. Photo courtesy of A Company of Fools.

Catriona kicking some theatre butt at the 2017 Ottawa Theatre Challenge. Photo courtesy of A Company of Fools.

Artistic director of the most Foolish theatre company in town, Catriona is also a director, actor, theatre educator and local khaleesi. A friend of the fest for many years, we can't wait to have her guide you through your fresh meat experience. 


Saturday October 14: Leslie Cserepy

The only difference between Leslie and Saint Nick? They both bring as much joy to people, but Leslie is real. Photo courtesy of Outtake Improv.

The only difference between Leslie and Saint Nick? They both bring as much joy to people, but Leslie is real. Photo courtesy of Outtake Improv.

A local improviser, actor, and cast member of the improv troupes Outtake Improv and Slow Burn, Leslie also often performs with Eddie May Murder Mysteries. You may have seen him in A Company of Fools' A Midsummer Night's Dream this summer, or you may have seen him in your own midsummer night's dreams, as well.


Friday Night Flicks: Theatre Outlaws + $5 Tall Cans

Fresh Meat started 6 years ago in a coffee shop, with little more than a dream and a can-do attitude, by a ragtag group of theatre hopefuls. Our bud, Jonah Allingham was one of those hopefuls. Last year, he popped by our fifth birthday party to shoot a documentary short film about Fresh Meat, Ottawa theatre, and what it takes to make a life in the arts.

Every Friday of the fest, we'll be screening Theatre Outlaws between 5:30 - 7:00.

Check out the trailer for Theatre Outlaws, here.

Check out the trailer for Theatre Outlaws, here.

Oh yeah and did we mention $5 Tall Cans of Dominion City? Movie night just got better.

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Treats: Buchipop

Local, tasty, fresh - are we describing Fresh Meat or Ottawa's hippest bevvie company, Buchipop?

What's your fave flav? Photo courtesy of Buchipop.

What's your fave flav? Photo courtesy of Buchipop.

We are so stoked to be serving up this delicious bubbly at Fresh Meat 6. A great option if you're not a fan of beer, a non-drinker, are gluten free, or just want a delicious friggin' sip of something that's as good for you as it tastes.


And of course, we've got our fantastic lineup: 

First row, L to R: Marc-André Charette & Anie Richer (La Disparation [She's Gone]), Luke Brown & Kyle Cameron (Honey Dew Me), Frank Hull & Alan Shain (Le Crip Bleu).

Second Row, L to R: Lauren Cauchy, Alli Harris & Amanda Locan (Badges), Michaela Steven (Beer Buddies), and Gabrielle Lazarovitz (I'm Not a Doctor Sleep Clinic - in the Little Black Box).


Fresh Meat 6 Weekend One runs Thursday October 12 - Saturday October 14, and we'll be back the next weekend, too.

Tickets available online and at the door. Doors at 7, shows at 7:30.

Love,

Fresh Meat

Putting Our Meat Where Our Mouths Are: Diversity and Inclusivity at Fresh Meat 6

If - a year ago - you asked someone to describe Fresh Meat, they’d probably say something along the lines of “local festival of new experimental theatre creations in Ottawa.” And, if we’re being honest, like most things in theatre, they’d probably also describe it as white AF.

One year ago, we announced our lineup for Fresh Meat 5 and were so proud, amazed, and excited about the local artists we would be able to showcase in that year’s festival. We also realized something else. We were part of the problem.

Fresh Meat started six years ago with six artists trying out some new plays in the back of a coffee shop. We made about a hundred bucks. Now, we’re a nationally-recognized theatre festival, featuring 10 local companies every year. We’ve housed over 50 world premieres, our shows have gone on to play across the country, and we’ve put $20,000 directly into the hands of artists.

We got bigger, we got better, and the same sh*t isn’t good enough anymore.

So this spring we made a big stink about diversity and inclusivity in the Ottawa Theatre Community (and our part in it) and held a Digital Town Hall to try and figure out how to do something about it. Because, well… We were part of what stunk to begin with.

You talked, we listened, and we’ve made some big changes. We’ve changed our application and selection processes, and are committed to our new ethno-cultural mandate:

“Fresh Meat is committed to inclusive programming that reflects the breadth, depth, and intricacies of Ottawa’s unique cultural makeup. We encourage submissions from artists who identify as members of underrepresented communities, a concept we leave open for those artists to self-define, as we strive to create a truly inclusive environment.”

We’ve got a responsibility as the only curated local theatre festival programming entirely new works to make sure that our lineup makes space for creators and creations that don’t always get space.

Let’s be honest. We’re still not perfect, we’re not solving all the world’s problems with one Digital Town Hall. But let’s just say, looking at last year’s lineup and festival to this year’s… We’re really f*cking stoked.

THE PEOPLE

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This year, as part of our application process (which was blind-juried), folks were able to self-identify (or not) as members of underrepresented communities in their application. Approx 60% of applicants did.

And of our lineup, 9 of our 10 mainstage productions are created by members of underrepresented communities. 90%. That’s pretty darn good.

If you’re thinking that that’s not fair either, that there’s a 30% discrepancy the other way now, well… umm… Yeah, here’s the thing:

We literally don’t care. 100% of opportunities are available 100% of the time to people who don’t self-identify as members of underrepresented communities. That’s what it means to be not underrepresented: it means to be represented.

We’re making space for people where there isn’t, usually. We’re cool with that. Actually, we think it’s pretty dope.

THE PRACTICES

You know how some people say that you learned everything you need to know in Kindergarten? Well, in Kindergarten we learned that if not everyone is having fun, then it’s not fun for anyone.

If Fresh Meat isn’t a safe and accessible place everyone, then it’s not a safe and accessible space for everyone.

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We chatted with some folks at SummerWorks and the National Arts centre about how to make that happen. We’re making changes this year, and we’re hoping to get better every since year.

We’ve got a page up on our website all about Accessibility at Fresh Meat, with info about ticketing, accessible seating, companion seating, access to the building, parking, and transit, gender neutral bathrooms, access to water, a sober space and rest area.

We are, of course, always still learning, so if we’ve missed anything, you can always shoot us an email at info@freshmeatfest.com.

THE PERFORMANCES

After the Town Hall, we found that a lot of the stories we heard – both in this year’s festival applications, and in our own lives – have to do with who we are and where we come from.

At Fresh Meat 6, each and every show tackles that question. There’s question of identity, yes – but we’ve all got a story. We all come from somewhere, and we’re all going somewhere. And we’re all asking ourselves those same questions.

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Guess you’ll just have to come see some shows to find out the answers, huh?

With Love,

Fresh Meat

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Fresh Meat 6 runs for two weekends from October 12–21 at Arts Court Studio (2 Daly Avenue). Tickets cost $10–20 online. Visit freshmeatfest.com for the 2017 lineup and schedule.

From Fresh Meat to Fringe

From Ottawa's Freshest Theatre Festival to its Largest, alums of Fresh Meat have a long history of taking their babies from our stage to the Fringe's, and this year is no different.

Three shows that premiered at Fresh Meat 5 have been extended into full-length format and will be gracing the stages of the Fringe this year: Deb Talks (Deborah Ring),  Space Jameration: A Stand-Up Special (Slippery Slope Productions) and Ethel (Aplombusrhombus).

Appearing as TEAD Talks in Fresh Meat 5, Deb Talks is the full-length version of the ever funny Deborah Ring's hilarious foray into "ideas not worth spreading."

With multiple characters, each with their own strong opinion, and an even stronger way of sharing it with you, Ring takes the audience on a hilarious and wild ride with the "the most non-expert experts" in Deb TalksDEB Talks 2017 is sketch comedy all about the spirit of radically thoughtless ideas.

People have said nice things about Deb: “Ring is deadly funny”, “seriously funny” and she “must have sketch comedy built into [her] DNA.”

Deb Talks plays in Venue 5. Info here.

In addition to ticking our fancies, Greg Houston - a mainstay in the Ottawa comedy community - is serving up Space Jameration: A Stand-Up Special! A hilarious examination at why Space Jam is the one movie to rule them all (are we mixing references here?), Houston will make you laugh, make you think, and make it all feel better.

Produced by Slipper Slope Productions, Space Jameration premiered at Fresh Meat 5, and in it, Greg Houston founded a generation. Somewhere between Gen X and the Millennials (and not the Pepsi Generation) is a silly, quirky group, known as the Space Jameration.

“Houston is definitely funny – great laughs.” -New Ottawa Critics
“Houston earns many laughs with his self-deprecating sense of humour.” -On Stage

Every show Houston will be joined by a special guest: Deborah Ring, Lauren and Amanda Do It, Crush Improv, Tavis Maplesden, Laura McLean, and more!

Space Jameration: A Stand-Up Special plays in Venue 1. Info here.

Last up, having premiered at Fresh Meat 4, Aplombusrhombus' Ethel is the full-length extension of Madeleine Hall's show of the same name.

Last year, Aplombusrhombus made us laugh, cry, and hug each other in public, with their show Cardinal, for which they took home the Fringe Festival's Emerging Artist Award (and they also took home our hearts), and was described as “Powerfully affecting” by the Ottawa Citizen, and “Brilliant,” by the New Ottawa Critics..

A unique blend of storytelling and movement, inspired by the profound hugeness of one tiny person.

“Language and movement oscillate between moments of controlled chaos and precise finesse.” -New Ottawa Critics
“Phenomenal.” -On Stage
“Beautiful.” -Capital Critics

Ethel plays in BYOB B. Info here.

There are tons of shows at this year's Fringe that have had Fresh Meat's grubby little paws all over them.

In no particular order:

This year's Fringe is going to be fun, fab, and f*cking awesome. As always.

See you in the beer tent.

Love,

Fresh Meat

Digital Town Hall on Diversity and Inclusivity: Now Open

We're keeping our promises. We want to be better, and we need your help: welcome to Fresh Meat's Digital Town Hall on Diversity and Inclusivity.

We want to have an open, honest, and constructive conversation about how we can make Fresh Meat a safer and more representative space, in order to serve the needs of the Ottawa theatre community. But having an IRL Town Hall meeting can be tough. Not everyone can get the time off work to participate, not everyone has the means of transportation to attend, not everyone can easily access the location.

So we're moving our Town Hall online. No need to show up at a specific time or place, we're moving the discussion right into your hands.

For the next two weeks you can participate in the conversation by:
- Completing the questionnaire here: http://www.freshmeatfest.com/townhall
- Emailing us at info@freshmeatfest.com with "Town Hall" in the subject line
- Participating in our live chat via Google Hangout on Saturday April 15th from 4pm - 7pm.

For transparency's sake, all contributions (which can be anonymous, if desired) to the conversation will be collected and published.

The Town Hall closes on Sunday, April 23. It's open now.

Come on in <3

Under Where? Two Fresh Alum Pieces at undercurrents Feb 8-18

Fresh Meat Alums, Madeleine Hall (producer of Fresh Meat and Co-AD of Aplombusrhomus), Kevin Reid (of the Visitorium and Strange Visitations), and Norah Paton (of Egodeath) are keeping things meaty at this year's undercurrents with two shows: Faster Than The Speed of Dating from Hall and Reid, and Burnt from Paton.

Local cuties Madeleine Hall and Kevin Reid can't believe that their Fresh Meat and Fringe hit Faster Than The Speed of Dating has come all the way to undercurrents. But we certainly can. Photo: MJ Gervais

Local cuties Madeleine Hall and Kevin Reid can't believe that their Fresh Meat and Fringe hit Faster Than The Speed of Dating has come all the way to undercurrents. But we certainly can. Photo: MJ Gervais

undercurrents runs Feb 8-18 at the beloved Arts Court, featuring the best and brightest of theatre under the mainstream, both locally, and across the country. There are tons of panels, readings, and FREE EVENTS happening over the ten days, too.

Norah Paton stares us down something fierce in her show Burnt, which appeared at Fresh Meat as Burnt Out. And yeah, she's this friggin' cool in real life. Photo: Christopher Snow.

Norah Paton stares us down something fierce in her show Burnt, which appeared at Fresh Meat as Burnt Out. And yeah, she's this friggin' cool in real life. Photo: Christopher Snow.

Both of these shows had their beginnings at Fresh Meat 3, and Faster Than The Speed of Dating has been getting juicy at Fringes across the country, and Burnt has been slow-roasting in the under development program.

We can't wait to see these lil babies take the mainstage at undercurrents. Tickets and info are available here, and another reminder, that thanks to the fresh folks at Fringe, all student tickets to undercurrents are PWYC at the door. 

So get out here, let's get over winter, and let's get undercurrents.

Love,

Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat Faves Get Wild in Montreal

Fresh Meat 5 alums Kate Smith and Will Somers are getting jiggy with our friends in la belle province during the 20th anniversary Wildside Festival at the Centaur Theatre in Montreal, OPENING TONIGHT.

Smith and Somers really take the cake.

Smith and Somers really take the cake.

The duo will be performing their Fringe hit Hootenanny! a show about famed Australian children entertainers who are on their farewell tour - but only one of them knows it. Full of catchy songs, video segments and mature content, this hilarious romp is on during the ten hottest days of winter at the Wildside Festival in Montreal.

Smith and Somers made Fresh Meaters laugh and cry with their respective pieces Burger King Lear and Pierre Brault and will surely do so again with Hootenanny!

Hootenanny! is :

Presented by Smith & Somers (Ottawa, ON)

Written by Kate Smith & Will Somers
Directed by Patrick Gauthier
Dramaturged by Melanie Karin Brown
Lighting/Projection Design by Seth Gerry
Video Design by Cory Thibert
Costume Design by Sarah Waghorn

Tickets on sale now.

Love,

Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat 5 Review Roundup

Fresh Meat 5 has officially come to a close and the last of the reviews have hit the "stands" so to speak. Whether you're aching to know what you missed, or just want to re-live the magic, we've rounded them all up for you to pour over on this dreary Monday. Thank you once again to The New Ottawa Critics, The Capital Critics Circle and On Stage for their speedy and comprehensive coverage.  Y'all are the best best best.

Weekend 1

Space Jameration

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Written & performed by Greg Houston

From the New Ottawa Critics: "Houston is definitely funny - there are some great laughs."

From the Capital Critics Circle: "His autobiographically based piece, quite witty at times, hovers in a no-man’s land between stand-up and storytelling."

From On Stage: "Houston earns many laughs with his self-deprecating sense of humour."

Created by Monica Bradford-Lea, Even Gilchrist, Cullen Elijah McGrail & Franco Pang
Performed by Monica Bradford-Lea, Even Gilchrist & Cullen Elijah McGrail

From the New Ottawa Critics: "while it’s already enjoyable, it also carries a lot of potential still waiting to be unlocked by these talented young performers."

From the Capital Critics Circle: "amusing and well-timed."

From On Stage: "There is a definite sense of the clown in their childlike and comical antics, and of all the acts performed that night, this is the concept I would like to see expanded into a full length production."

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Created & performed by Kate Smith
Directed by Madeleine Boyes-Manseau

From the New Ottawa Critics: "Burger King Lear is a Whopper of a good time."

From the Capital Critics Cricle: "The show, which is delightfully ridiculous and wholly engaging, has a serious intent: to make you see the gross and wasteful disregard of animal life that is the heart of the fast-food industry."

From On Stage: "It's hard not to love."

Created & performed by Jordan Moffatt, Hayley Robateau & Christian Glas

From the New Ottawa Critics: "a hilarious balance of improvised and scripted comedy that profits from the skill with which it straddles this boundary."

From the Capital Critics Circle: "It’s funny, fast and damn near flawless."

From On Stage: "hard to not compare their act to great sketch comedies like Monty Python’s Flying Circus."

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Written & performed by Kevin Reid

From the New Ottawa Critics: "Its greatest strength lies in its profound reflection on death and how humans process such an event."

From the Capital Critics Circle: "[Kevin Reid] is a compelling, sympathetic teller with a nice sense of his and life’s absurdities and vulnerabilities.

From On Stage: "concise, polished, funny when it needed to be, sad when it should be, and kept you wanting to hear just what happened next."

Weekend 2

Pierre Brault

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Written & performed by Will Somers

From the New Ottawa Critics: "Somers is a talented musician and storyteller, and uses these skills to reveal a vibrant core at the heart of this production that has a lot of room to grow."

From the Capital Critics Circle: "the performance manages to churn up a strange reality about our nature as humans: We are constrained by solipsism, and yet, measure our actions through the eyes of others. A cruel truth."

 

 

"OH NO!" said the parrot

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Written & directed by Mitchel Rose
Performed by Mitchel Rose & Madeleine Hall

From the New Ottawa Critics: "Creating a universe in which humor and horror exist on the same spectrum, this piece exists in a certain state of unreality that is guaranteed to keep you entertained."

From the Capital Critics Circle: "The stand-out of the evening... the performance calls to mind the cartoonish antics of Scooby-Doo, the physical high jinks of I Love Lucy and the strange, surreal tension of David Lynch."

From On Stage: "It’s Mitchel Rose who steals the show when he finally makes his much anticipated appearance. While his appearance is rather strange, it does serve as the cherry on the top of this absurdist play."

Crow's Nest

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Co-written & performed by Jake William Smith
Co-written & directed by Danielle Savoie

From the New Ottawa Critics: "Jake William Smith brings an excellent persona to the character of Crowhurst, with the wide eyes and dazzling smile that makes every successful con man so appealingly ‘trustworthy.’"

From the Capital Critics Circle: "Smith’s charisma as Crowhurst manages to sell the story."

From On Stage: "While the comedy is welcome in a performance such as this, it makes the story hard to track. It’s hard to tell what’s significant and what is merely comic relief."

TEAD Talks

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Written & performed by Deborah Ring
Directed by Gabbie Lazarovitz

From the New Ottawa Critics: "Ring nails the style and atmosphere of a TED Talk perfectly and each character carries their own distinct lecture style."

From the Capital Critics Circle: "Ring is deadly funny and brings audiences to the brink of discomfort, where all the best comedy lives."

From On Stage: "[Ring] is so adept at adopting these personae that she can take those jokes that seem funny from the pure shock of them and carry them to the point where they are no longer a laughing matter.

Created & performed by Matt Hertendy & Matthew Venner

From the New Ottawa Critics: "Two Kind Boys really do understand the format and aim of the Fresh Meat Festival...they embrace whole-heartedly the weirdness of this idea they came up with."

From the Capital Critics Circle: "Hertendy and Venner are advantaged by their awkward physical presences on stage, and this show will undoubtedly give you the giggles."

From On Stage: "While there are plenty of laughs to be had in this performance, it’s one that will make you regret drowning out bits of rare narration from “the chair” and will leave you feeling more than a little unsettled at its conclusion…"

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

Photo by LOG Creative Bureau

What's Up Weekend Two: Even More of That Good Good

It's the week of Weekend Two. Let's go out with a bang.

Of course, we'll be seeing some great stuff from (L-R), Will Somers, Madeleine Hall and Mitchel Rose, Danielle Savoie and Jake William Smith, Deborah Ring, and Matthew Venner and Matt Hertendy, who are all looking crisp thanks to LOG Creative Bureau.

Here's what else you can expect.


Hosts

Thursday October 20 - Patrick Gauthier

Quintessential Pat. Courtesy of the Ottawa Citizen

Quintessential Pat. Courtesy of the Ottawa Citizen

Festival Director of the Ottawa Fringe, playwright, director, performer, co-founder of undercurrents, and guy who knows insane amount about baseball, Pat is launching us right back into Weekend Two. Pat is our jump cut right back into the action, and we love him for it.

Friday October 21 - THUNK! Theatre

Karen and Geoff of THUNK! scouring the globe for anyone cuter than them. Spoiler alert, they come up empty. Courtesy of Andrew Alexander for Herd Mag.

Karen and Geoff of THUNK! scouring the globe for anyone cuter than them. Spoiler alert, they come up empty. Courtesy of Andrew Alexander for Herd Mag.

No strangers to Fresh Meat, THUNK! Theatre, comprised of Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride have been kicking it with us for a while, with pieces such as Far & Near & Here (pictured above) starting off at Fresh Meat and making it all the way to undercurrents, and other non-Fresh-Meat pieces having been featured at the Fringe, at SubDevisions, and much much more.

The quirkiest, funniest, absolute bestest duo will be guiding us through Friday night.

Saturday October 22 - Emily Pearlman

Emily Pearlman seen here, almost as excited as we are for her to host. Courtesy of Ottawa Citizen.

Emily Pearlman seen here, almost as excited as we are for her to host. Courtesy of Ottawa Citizen.

Emily is no stranger to Fresh Meat either. She's also a playwright, performer, director, Co-Artistic Director of Mi Casa Theatre, and all-around theatre super hero. Up next, she'll be bringing back the much-loved Countries Shaped Like Stars as part of Fringe Encore's #Fringe20 series. In between doing all of these amazing things, she'll be with us to party our little butts off for closing night. Don't miss it. 


Beats - Closing Night

The human "Ah ha!" of DJ's, AL gon party. We all gon party. Courtesy of Ottawa Citizen.

The human "Ah ha!" of DJ's, AL gon party. We all gon party. Courtesy of Ottawa Citizen.

Once again DJ AL Connors is gonna give us some sweet sweet beats for our closing night party.

Party featuring Dominion City Brewing Co, as always.


Ancillary Programming - Weekend Two

7 Minutes in Heaven - Created and Performed by Madeleine Boyes-Manseau

An intimate, 7-minutes performance, for one person in a closet. Need we say more?

Come check out Mado's daring and creative piece before the shows, after the shows, and during intermission.


Weekend Two is gonna be killer. Tickets and Lineup. Let's do this thing.

Love,

Fresh Meat

What's Up Weekend One: Hosts, Parties, Ancillary Programming, and that Sweet Sweet Ice Cream

It's officially here. The week that ends with a weekend of Fresh Meat 5. And it feels good.

So what can you expect?

Besides these fresh faces (belonging R-L to Greg Houston, Monica Bradford-Lea, Even Gilchrest, Kate Smith, Hayley Robateau, Jordan Moffatt & Kevin Reid respectively, with photo cred as always to LOG Creative Bureau) Here's a few more things you can expect during Weekend One.


Hosts

Thursday October 13 - Norah Paton

Taken for Fresh Meat 4's Stephen and Me. It's clear how much Norah loves Stephen, and how much we love Norah.

Taken for Fresh Meat 4's Stephen and Me. It's clear how much Norah loves Stephen, and how much we love Norah.

The one-woman-tour-de-force behind Egodeath, Norah has been at the helm of such projects like Fresh Meat 4's Stephen and Me, The Reproductive Life Cycle of a Flower, Around Miss Julie, Royal Jelly, and so much more. Her work has been featured at Fringes all around the country, Undercurrents, and of course, Fresh Meat. Norah will be ushering us gently into our Opening Night, we couldn't trust anyone else in the world with our grand debut into 5-dom. We're excited for her to be our guide/sherpa/spirit guide into Fresh Meat 5.

Friday October 14 - Gabbie Lazarovitz

Gabbie looking fierce. Taken fiercely from Gabbie herself.

Gabbie looking fierce. Taken fiercely from Gabbie herself.

Gabbie is an actor, singer, director, and all around Queen. She performed in last year's Rideau Award Winning Perfect Pie, acted as Assistant Director on the GCTC's (also Rideau Award Winning) Butcher, and splits her time between the major Canadian cities, performing and creating with some of the coolest theatre kids in town(s). That's how friggin' rad she is.

Oh, and did we mention she is a personal shopper and professional cookie baker?

That's right. Cookies. COOKIES. C O O K I E S. 

Keep an eye out for the Official Fresh Meat Vegetarian Selection: Gabbie's Cookies.

Saturday October 15 - Ray Besharah and Dave Benedict Brown

Ray and Dave. Taken in the wild.

Ray and Dave. Taken in the wild.

Ray and Dave are just two dudes trying to make it in the world. Oh, and they're incredible improvisers, performers, creators, and people. Neither of these guys are strangers to Fresh Meat, and their passion project, the sketch show Dicky Dicky (promo photo above) has been a hit at the Ottawa Fringe, and is evolving through Theatre 4.669's creation lab into a full-length piece.

We love these guys because  they can look you dead in the eyes, with the gentlest of gazes, while simultaneously making you pee your pants laughing. The guys in Dicky Dicky are our Picky Picky of the litter. 


Grub - Opening Night

Meow. Moo Shu is where it's at.

Meow. Moo Shu is where it's at.

Opening Night, AKA our 5th Birthday party will feature:
Beer by Dominion City Brewing Co, meaty snacks by Seed to Sausage, and sweet treats by Moo Shu Ice Cream. That's right: brews, charcuterie and mini cones. FRIGGIN' MINI CONES.

Tickets to opening night are available online and at the door, with doors at 7pm. Everyone is also more than welcome to the opening night party at 10pm. Entry is free.


Beats - Opening Night

DJ AL Connors. A hand-painted portrait of what we think AL's aura exudes.

DJ AL Connors. A hand-painted portrait of what we think AL's aura exudes.

AL Connors. Everyone's favourite improviser, funny-guy, educator of young minds, performer in parks, and that guy who blew up the internet in Ottawa a little while ago when he left the Canadian Improv Games and everyone on Facebook thought he may have died.

He's also one of the best DJ's in town. Come kick things off with us, AL, and his sweet beats for our opening night party. Again, entry at 10 is free.

Let's dance our faces off.


Ancillary Programming - Weekend One

Darkness - Directed by Julie Le Gal, and performed by John Doucet & Manon St Jules

Y'a rien de plus mystérieux que l'obscurité, rien de plus intime que nos moments partagés sans lumière. Une voix basse, des chuchotements, l'inconnu... Te veux-tu en savoir plus?

We don't want to keep you in the dark. Our ancillary offering for Weekend One, Darkness, will be taking place pre- and post-show, as well as during intermission.

Allons-y, mes amis.

Love,

Fresh Meat

The Other Other White Meat

Wednesday morning, we launched our lineup for Fresh Meat 5. Scrolling through our lineup, I was struck by how amazing our local artists are, how proud I am to be a part of this festival, but I was struck by something else, too. Something really obvious:

This year’s festival is really fucking white. And I’m not just talking about the t-shirts.

And this matters. Representation, inclusivity, visibility, diversity, these aren’t just buzzwords. We’re putting together a festival to support local artists who tell stories, create worlds, and hold a mirror up to our own lives. And what we say in those stories, what we make in those worlds, who we see in those mirrors: they’re important. We’re not trying to shoot an ad for Swedish furniture where everyone can look the same and it’s no big deal. It matters.

Some of you have brought this to our attention (and I’m sure many more of you noticed it – it’s pretty hard to miss) and we want you to know that we hear you. We thank you. We’re listening.

So much of being a good ally is listening; so much of Not Being A Jerk is recognizing when something is amiss, and that hell – you might've had a hand in its amissness.

And we’re not going to placate you by getting defensive and cowering behind the fact that we do, in fact, have an (admittedly and pitifully small) number of artists of colour involved in the festival, myself as producer, included. I’m not going to hold up our LGBTQA+ artists, for whom we arguably offer up better representation, as bastions of visibility for all under-represented communities, without even beginning to mention the intersectional nature of the way that LGBTQA+ artists of colour might feel about the lineup.

I’m not going to hold these people up as straw men or tokens. I’m not going to do that to them, I’m not going to do that to myself, and I’m certainly not going to do that to you.

The percentage of artists of colour involved in this year’s festival is congruous with the percentage of applications we received from artists of colour: small. But that’s not a defense. It’s a problem. It speaks to a larger issue within our regional arts community: we can’t just say “we programmed fewer artists of colour because we received fewer applications from artists of colour." We have to realize that we receive fewer applications from artists of colour because these artists face systematic and institutional barriers to accessing the arts at every step of the way. Starting with high school drama class, to after-school theatre projects, to post-secondary training, to grant applications. On a larger scale with bigger festivals, regional theatres across the country, to the ever-present whiteness of Hollywood and other story-telling goliaths. And finally to festivals like ours: we can do better. We need to do better.

So with that in mind, we are renewing our resolve to conduct better outreach to under-represented communities, and building stronger relationships with artists of colour, and those from under-represented communities.

And we don’t just want to pay lip service. So we’re not going to put changing things off until next year’s festival. The kind of inclusivity and representation we want to take part in starts now: we're researching the kind of concrete steps we can take towards building a safe, and truly inclusive, space. We want actions, not empty labels. To start, we are going to take a leaf out of Equity's book: with every general call made through CAEA the company is required to state its ehtno-cultural mandate or make an ethno-cultural casting statement. Fresh Meat is researching and working on a new ethno-cultural mandate, aimed at encouraging members of under-represented communities to apply to the Festival. We are also researching ways in which we can more effectively and efficiently reach out to those communities. 

We open-heartedly welcome community engagement, and want to move together towards building a safe space. If you have insight to share, please contact us at info@freshmeatfest.com. We'll listen and do our part to renew our zeal towards inclusivity, representation, and visibility. 


Let’s all Not Be Jerks together.


With love, as always,

Fresh Meat

FRESH MEAT 5 IS LIVE: Tickets and Lineup

We're so excited to share the lineup for Fresh Meat 5.

Oct 13-15 & 20-22 at Arts Court Theatre.

Tickets                          Lineup                      Schedule

$20 General Admission, available online and at the door.

$10 for students, at the door only.

See below for our killer lineup. It's lit.

Love,

Fresh Meat


WEEKEND 1: OCTOBER 13 - 15


Greg Houston Comedy: Space Jameration 

created and performed by Greg Houston


Second Step: S.S. Lightbulb

created by Monica Bradford-Lea, Even Gilchrist, Cullen Elijah McGrail & Franco Pang

performed by  Monica Bradford-Lea, Even Gilchrist & Cullen Elijah McGrail


Skeleton Key: Burger King Lear

written and performed by Kate Smith

directed by Madeleine Boyes-Manseau


Plants: Three

created and performed by Hayley Robateau, Jordan Moffatt & Christian Glas


Strange Visitations: Unzipping the Cat

written and performed by Kevin Reid (pictured below)


Additional programming: Darkness by John Doucet, Julie Le Gal & Manon St. Jules


WEEKEND 2: OCTOBER 20-22


Will Somers: Pierre Brault

written and performed by Will Somers

directed by Nick Di Gaetano


Aplombusrhombus: "OH NO!" Said the Parrot

written and directed by Mitchel Rose

performed by Mitchel Rose and Madeleine Hall


Rapscallion Diversion: Crow's Nest

written and performed by Jake William Smith

written and directed by Danielle Savoie


Deborah Ring: TEAD Talks

written and performed by Deborah Ring (pictured below)

directed by Gabbie Lazarovitz


Two Kind Boys: Boy vs. Chair

created and performed by Matt Hertendy and Matthew Venner


Additional programming: 7 Minutes in Heaven by Madeleine Boyes-Manseau


We told you it'd be lit.

In case you missed it:

Tickets                          Lineup                      Schedule

 

FRESH MEAT 5 TICKET GIVEAWAY

We've got three poster designs in the wild, all courtesy of the majestic LOG Creative Bureau. Snap pics of all three, tag us @freshmeatfest and be entered into a draw to win two tickets to opening night (October 13). 

Full lineup will be announced here on September 14. 

Happy hunting!

Love,
Fresh Meat

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: We Need[le] You

We need your help.

You're the thread that keeps us together.

You're the [sausage] link that keeps this chain strong.

So if you're free on October 13 - 15 & 20 - 22, we're gonna need[le] you.

Come volunteer with us.

Shoutout to Log Creative Bureau, as always.

If you're interested in supporting local independent artists, and wanna be around for the freshest festival in town, send an email to Mahalia at info@freshmeat.com with "VOLUNTEER" in the subject line. Meat puns encouraged, but not required.

Love,

Fresh Meat

Save The Date: Oct 13-15 & 20-22 <3

Let's make plans. And not those "oh, maybe let's get coffee soon" plans you make at the end of a party with someone you sort-of know when you know full well you're never going to.

We want to know you. We want to see you. Soon.

THE DEETS:

FRESH MEAT 5 WILL BE HAPPENING OCTOBER 13-15 & 20-22 IN THE ARTS COURT STUDIO.

LINEUP TO BE ANNOUNCED ON SEPTEMBER 14TH.

Big ups as always to the folks at LOG Creative Bureau for keeping these dogs hot.

So maybe let's get coffee. Maybe let's get a beer. But for sure, let's get fresh.

See you soon, bbz.

Love, 

Fresh Meat

Coming Soon: Fresh Meat 5 (We're really freakin' excited)

It's officially only a few months until Fresh Meat 5, and even if we might want to play it cool, let's be real: we're really freakin' excited.

Year 5 is a big year for us. We've got a new look, and maybe even a new 'tude to go with it. But just like Jenny from the Block, no matter where we go, we know where we came from:

Did you know that in the past 5 years, we've hosted over 40 world premieres, put >$13,000 into the hands of local artists, and hosted shows that have gone on to be showcased at the Ottawa Fringe, Undercurrents, and the National Arts Centre?

Needless to say, we're pretty stoked to do it all over again.

Without spilling the beans, we've got our lineup, baby.

We've got 10 local companies, some new, some less new, and all powerhouses in their own right. Plus we've got a few surprises for you in there, too.

So come October, let's you, us, and maybe even Kristen Wiig (get at us, Lorne Michaels) come along for our freshest adventure yet.

Love,

Fresh Meat

From Fresh Meat to Fresh Face on the GCTC Stage: Tony Adams Meets the Queen OPENING TONIGHT

The Great Canadian Theatre Company's latest offering, Janet Wilson Meets the Queen is bringing a certain fresh face to Ottawa's largest English-language regional theatre company's mainstage: Fresh Meat alum TONY ADAMS is making his GCTC debut in this world premiere, written by Beverley Cooper and directed by Andrea Donaldson, Associate AD of the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.

Fringe Fest sweetheart, here is Tony pictured at last year's festival with another Fringe mainstay: delicious delicious beer. (Photo by Andrew Alexander)

Fringe Fest sweetheart, here is Tony pictured at last year's festival with another Fringe mainstay: delicious delicious beer. (Photo by Andrew Alexander)

A frequent performer in, and former producer of the Fresh Meat DIY: Theatre Festival, and Co-Artistic Director of May Can Theatre (lead by himself and other Ottawa theatre darlings, Madeleine Boyes-Manseau and Cory Thibert), Tony is no stranger to Ottawa stages, even if this is his first time rocking the GCTC mainstage. His work with May Can has toured Fringes across the country, the undercurrents festival, and their breakaway show, Happiness™ has played at Montreal's Wildside festival, and is slated for Vancouver's rEvolver festival this fall.

Pictured L to R: Tony Adams, Tony Adams' wig, and Katie Ryerson, in Janet Wilson Meets the Queen. (Photo by Andrew Alexander)

Pictured L to R: Tony Adams, Tony Adams' wig, and Katie Ryerson, in Janet Wilson Meets the Queen. (Photo by Andrew Alexander)

The show is opening TONIGHT - with a sold-out crowd, no less - and has already been extended past its original run, with performances until May 8th, 2016.

TICKETS ARE EXPENSIVE, HOW DO I GET ONE: The GCTC always hosts a PWYC matinee, the first Sunday of a run, meaning that this Sunday, April 24th's 2pm show will have all remaining tickets available at the door for sale at a PWYC rate! Additionally, all rush tickets (all tickets remaining for sale on the day of a performance) are $33 standard, or $15 for all full-time students, with ID. Regular tickets are available between $38 - $55, more info here: http://www.gctc.ca/plays/janet-wilson-meets-queen

YAS QUEEN (photo courtesy of the GCTC)

YAS QUEEN (photo courtesy of the GCTC)

All of the usual Fresh Meat sarcasm aside, we're really proud of our boy, Tony. We can't wait to see what he does up there on the big ol' mainstage.

Stay tuned, as we're gonna catch up with Tony real soon, to see what big and exciting things he's been up to, so check back in the near future if you'd like to hear from the artist himself. We also want to see if he's taken to wearing puka shells and shades indoors, or if that's just a character thing.

Until then, stay fresh, and let's get out and support our boy.

Love, 

Fresh Meat