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.


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.


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.


Fresh Meat


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


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



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!

Fresh Meat


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.


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.




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.


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.


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. &nbsp;(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.


Fresh Meat



The third instalment of the TACTICS series, Perfect Pie by Judith Thompson and produced by Cart Before the Horse Productions is OPENING TONIGHT and runs till March 19th at Arts Court. Click here for the Facebook event info.

Pictured L t R: Megan Carty, Sheena Turcotte, Erica Anderson,&nbsp;Gabbie Lazarovitz, and some fierce effing lighting.

Pictured L t R: Megan Carty, Sheena Turcotte, Erica Anderson, Gabbie Lazarovitz, and some fierce effing lighting.

Produced by and featuring Fresh Meat 3&4 alum Megan Carty's Cart Before the Horse Productions along with Fresh Meat 4 alum Gabbie Lazarovitz this heavy-hitting show is sure to pack a punch. 

GETTING DOWN TO BRASS TAX: All performances are Pay-What-You-Can at the door for students and the run also features PWYC matinees at 2pm. That's right. PAY WHAT YOU CAN, PEOPLE. Tix here: http://artscourt.ca/events/perfect-pie/ 

Synopsis: In this contemporary Canadian ghost story, Patsy’s childhood friend Francesca returns to a town that left her for dead. Buried memories and secrets slam into the present at Patsy’s very foundations are rocked by the past, and the two of them come together to confront the terrifying incident that tore them apart years ago.

Four fabulous women in the unforgiving terrain that is the hell-sphere of Winter in Ottawa. Metaphor for the show? You'll have to see it to find out.

Four fabulous women in the unforgiving terrain that is the hell-sphere of Winter in Ottawa. Metaphor for the show? You'll have to see it to find out.

A little about the folks: Cart Before the Horse is committed to exploring the authentic teenage voice, with the goal of inspiring dialogue amongst young people and exploring how their world has been expressed by playwrights in contemporary theatre. Founded by Ottawa born and based emerging artist, Megan Carty, the company mounted its first production in January 2014 to sold-out houses and rave reviews. Their adaptation of Joan Macleod’s The Shape of a Girl was awarded a Spirit of the Capital Youth award, remounted for anti-bullying month, and went on to tour high schools and universities in the Ottawa and Gatineau area.

Reviews and Awards for The Shape of a Girl:

2014 Spirit of the Capital Arts and Culture Award for Megan Carty

“The Shape of a Girl is a provocative one-woman show sure to impress…keep an eye out for some of these actors on our stages in the future.” –Brian Carroll, Apartment613

“Thanks to the heartfelt performance of Megan Carty and the strength of her chorus, Shape of a Girl is a show that takes hold of you, innocently at first, and doesn’t let go. I have a strong appreciation for challenging, visceral theatre, and Shape of a Girl delivered on that.” –Allan Mackey, Onstage Ottawa

“This is a show not only about the hugely important issue of youth bullying but it is also a coming of age story for Braidie who is ultimately faced with a difficult decision that requires courage, compassion, and maturity to make. The ending was shocking and beautiful, a perfect denouement to an already captivating and stirring production.” –Caitlin Oleson, New Ottawa Critics

“Megan Carty is just a stunner as Braidie, pulling off a seriously impressive performance in this challenging 80-minute show.” –Kevin Reid, The Visitorium

Everyone wants a piece of Patsy's pie. And so do we.

Everyone wants a piece of Patsy's pie. And so do we.

PERFECT PIE runs March 11 - 19 at Arts Court, click here for tickets: http://artscourt.ca/events/perfect-pie/

Flying the Nest: 3 Fresh Meat alums @ UNDERCURRENTS 2016

Did you know that the Ottawa Fringe (for which you can still put your name in the lottery until Dec 1st!) produces a winter festival?

Of course you did, because you're hip, cool, and in the know about all the local artsy business in town, so you're already thinking about UNDERCURRENTS, happening February 10 - 20, 2016 whose chill tagline is "Theatre below the mainstream."

Shoutout to Gregg Clark (Communications Manager at the Ottawa Fringe) for these trill festival guides/knowing how to make a font upside down.

Shoutout to Gregg Clark (Communications Manager at the Ottawa Fringe) for these trill festival guides/knowing how to make a font upside down.

But what you might not know is that three Fresh Meat alumni will be gracing the Undercurrents stage. Egodeath Theatre, F&F Theatre, and Resounding Scream Theatre will all be keeping Undercurrents fresh this year. Keep on readin' on to find out more.


Resounding Scream Theatre //

Stephanie Henderson and Catherine Ballachey //

Ottawa/Vancouver //

Eight tickets available per performance


How many times have you looked at your phone today? Checked a text or sent one? Updated your status on Facebook? Read a Buzzfeed listicle? At the bus stop, waiting in line at Starbucks, even while walking to work or out with friends. How many missed connections, opportunities and relationships does this create? Listen to Me is an opportunity to step away from digital personas. To allow for possibility.

Audiences join an exclusive "speed-dating event" in the Arts Court Studio. Guests will speed-date the performers in pursuit of conversation that heads into deeper waters than just smalltalk. But the audience member always has the upper hand. The choice of how much to engage, or divulge, is always in your control.


"Visitors should also expect surprises and broken expectations. A conversation can begin with date-like small talk, but could (and will) suddenly turn on its head, submersed in an existing relationship." –Boaz Joseph, The Surrey Leader

We couldn't not include this rad pic of Resounding Scream's  Joseph and Amarise &nbsp;from Fresh Meat 4. Pictured L to R (Back): Danielle Savoie, Jake William Smith, Chandel Gambles, and (Front) Alain G. Chauvin.

We couldn't not include this rad pic of Resounding Scream's Joseph and Amarise from Fresh Meat 4. Pictured L to R (Back): Danielle Savoie, Jake William Smith, Chandel Gambles, and (Front) Alain G. Chauvin.




F&F Theatre //

Will Somers, David Benedict Brown, and Melanie Karin Brown //

Ottawa //

PWYC Admission

Fresh Meat-ers Will Somers and David Benedict Brown (under the direction of Melanie Karin Brown) lookin' oh-so-charming.

Fresh Meat-ers Will Somers and David Benedict Brown (under the direction of Melanie Karin Brown) lookin' oh-so-charming.


Forstner and Fillister are brothers. Forstner and Fillister are woodworkers. They want to teach you what they know. They know a great deal. You are very lucky to have them here to teach you. Forstner knows a great deal more than Fillister. Fillister is happy to be here.

The brothers do their best to lead you through a woodworking lesson... but anger and jealousy get in the way. Love is a lot like furniture: is it worth the effort to fix it?

Learn basic woodworking skills, maybe even touch a power tool or two. Just be sure to get out of the way before the insults and wood chips start to fly!

N.B. Advance tickets are not available. PWYC admission at the door.


"Pure entertainment... Forstner & Fillister prevails. The use of real tools on stage is dangerous enough to be exciting."

–Brie McFarlane, New Ottawa Critics

"Impressive talent and a whole lot of funny." –Kevin Reid, The Visitorium

"A very funny and very well executed show... A very good comedy, definitely worth seeing."
–Rajka Stefanovska, Capital Critics' Circle

New Play Tuesday //

Norah Paton //

Egodeath Theatre //

Ottawa //

One in a series of new works in-development for Undercurrents

Pictured: Norah Paton kicking butt on the Fresh Meat 4 stage. (Photo Credit: MJ Gervais)

Pictured: Norah Paton kicking butt on the Fresh Meat 4 stage. (Photo Credit: MJ Gervais)

Theatre under the mainstream is all about encouraging new and innovative theatre creation (just like another little festival we know...) which is why their New Play Tuesday initiative is so exciting!

Artists are invited to present a reading of a new work in-development, and this year Ottawa's own Norah Paton is one of those shooting starts to be selected.

Keep your eyes peeled for more info.

The 6th annual Undercurrents Festival is brought to you by the Ottawa Fringe, featuring the best contemporary theatre from local and visiting artists.

The festival runs February 10 - 20, 2016.

Since 2011, undercurrents has brought to stage 11 world premieres. Festival partner and founders GCTC hosted from 2011–2014.

The 2016 line-up, tickets and passes are available at www.undercurrentsfestival.ca

Thank You and Good Night

Isn't it funny to think that just two weeks ago, we were having our opening night party to launch our lil' baby festival into the world? To release it, with eager eyes and hungry hearts, into your wonderfully open arms?

And since the festival wrapped up last weekend, we don't think that it's a coincidence that Adele released that new heart-breaking song about having to accept moving on, pretty much as soon as the festival was over.

Pictured: Adele crooning about exactly how we feel now that the festival is over. Props to Canadian director Xavier Dolan for what is possibly the best sad music video ever. ©Believe Media/Sons of Manual/Metafilms

But Adele is onto something. We're not saying "goodbye," we're saying "Hello from the other side,"  but most of all, we are saying THANK YOU.

So a big, sloppy, sappy THANK YOU to you: our audience. Fresh Meat 4 was by far our strongest year in terms of attendance, ticket sales, and support for artists. And that success was, in no small part, thanks to you. We can't tell you how much to means to have wonderful people in the city come out and support new and innovative theatre creation. Seriously: thank you.

But like we said, this is not goodbye. If you want to stay in touch with us until next year, like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FreshMeatTheatreFestival/?fref=ts), follow us on Twitter (@FreshMeatFest) and on Instagram (@freshmeatfest) for all the latest updates and all the worst puns.

Keep an eye out for #freshmeat5.

Until next time, 


Fresh Meat

Preview: HOSTS, WKND 2

Hey - remember us?

We're hoping everyone had a ~blast~ last weekend, and we can't believe that the SECOND WEEKEND OF THE FESTIVAL IS ALMOST HERE!

We're so excited, and we just can't hide it, so to ease the transition into this weekend's festivities (starting tomorrow - eep!!) here is a quick preview of our hosts for the second weekend:


Pictured: The photo Andrew supplied us with, which seems to be taken directly out of that time I had a dream where I lived in the '50s, wore hoop skirts and used expressions like "well, I'll say!" What I'm saying is he's a dreamboat.


Born in Kingston, Ontario, Andrew moved to Ottawa in 1991 to study industrial Design at Carleton University. During this time, he contributed to the Ottawa Citizen's comics page with a weekly strip entitled "Off The Wall" which was published from 1993 to 1997. A number of his comics were printed in newspapers across North America through King Features Syndicate. Andrew followed his love or cartooning and was accepted into the Television Animation program at Algonquin College where he graduated with Honours in 1997.

After graduating, Andrew began working in television with a number of local animation studios and continued his freelance design and animation work with studios in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. Currently, Andrew resides in Ottawa, Ontario, where he continues to work as a visual artist and freelance designer. Andrew also contributes a regular newspaper column to the Ottawa Citizen newspaper that uncovers local history mysteries. 



You don't need to choose a snack when your the King.


Pictured: Catriona Leger, having what seems like the world's most intense phone call.


A theatre professional for the past 20 years and an omnivore since birth, Catriona is delighted to be back hosting Fresh Meat once again.  On the new creation front, she enjoys her role as co-producer for subDevision, bringing site specific works to unlikely, far out places, and, on the old school front, she equally enjoys being co-Artistic Director of a Company of Fools, bringing Shakespeare to Ottawa's diverse community.  Catch her production of Love's Labour's Lost at Academic Hall for the U of O Drama Guild November 3-7th.  For more detailed rumours and truths about Catriona's past, present and future, feel free to chat with her in person, do a creepy online search or follow her on Twitter:  @catrionaleger


S&V chips, and any kind of sour gummy and/or zingy zaps. So tangy, so crunchy.


Pictured: Kate, feat. those baby blues piercing enough to write a Lionel Richie-style song about.


Kate Smith is a performer and Co-Artistic Director of Skeleton Key Theatre, an Ottawa-based independent theatre company that focuses on immersive theatrical experiences.  She most recently appeared as Annie in the dark musical comedy HOOTENANNY! with past Fresh Meat alum Will Somers.  She also co-created two pieces for subDevision 2015, an event that she co-founded and organizes.  

Her work with Skeleton Key Theatre has been presented at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, the In The Soil Festival (St. Catharines), the undercurrents festival,  and all iterations of site-specific event subDevision.  Kate spent four years training and working in Halifax, NS, before returning to her hometown of Ottawa in 2007.  Since that time she has performed with a number of local companies, including: Third Wall Theatre (Top Girls), A Company of Fools (Richard III in Bouffon), Gruppo Rubato (Airport Security, Snapshot), The Magnetic North Theatre Festival (The Rideau Project: The Rhyme of the Nicholas Street Gaol, subDevision), SevenThirty Productions (Iron, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and The 39 Steps for which she was nominated for a Prix Rideau Award), and the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival (A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Othello), among others.  Kate is currently working on an outdoor ambulatory family show calledSwan River, as well as preparing to tour HOOTENANNY! this summer.  Coming soon: HOOTENANNY! 2 (+1)… Working title, but you get the idea.


S&V chips and milk chocolate. Classic.

Pictured: Kate Smith and Will Somers taking the cake in their dark musical comedy HOOTENANNY! This picture is so good, we just couldn't resist.

In addition to these three unstoppable hosts, we've got lots of exciting programming lined up for the final weekend of Fresh Meat 4.

Come on people, let's make it count.


Fresh Meat

Preview: HOSTS, WKND 1

There are 6 days until the festival. Plenty of time to stress-eat your own weight in Thanksgiving turkey (or Tofurkey, if that's your thang) because you're freaking out that there are only 6 DAYS UNTIL THE FESTIVAL.

To calm you (read: us) down, we've put together a little preview of our hosts, specifically for our first weekend (with info on the second weekend to come!). Just imagine these wonderful and charismatic people soothing your worries in dulcet tones. Or holding you gently, again, if that's your thang.


Pictured, Top to Bottom: Emily Carvell (Festival Director), Madeleine Hall (Media and Marketing Manager) and Mahalia Golnosh Tahririha (Box Office Manager and Resident Gremlin). Not pictured: Us freaking out about 6 DAYS TILL FEST.


Emily Carvell and Madeleine Hall have been running Fresh Meat/the world for the last few years, and helping local theatre artists come into their own in the process. In an effort to continue this trend of community outreach, and in a recent effort to give back, they recruited local theatre wannabe Mahalia Golnosh Tahririha as part of the team for the inaugural year of their "Street Meat" program, aimed at helping wandering youths of Ottawa find a place in the theatre community. They are letting her sell the tickets. 


Jalapeno Cheetos and Jolly Ranchers. Holla.


Pictured: Paul's professional wresting alter ego: Paul "Danger" J. Piekoszewski. The J also stands for danger.

Pictured: Paul's professional wresting alter ego: Paul "Danger" J. Piekoszewski. The J also stands for danger.


Paul J. Piekoszewski is an actor, writer, and producer. He is a co-founder Elgin Street Improv, performing regularly at LIVE! on Elgin. He is also the founder of Morning Person Theatre, whose Fan Fiction nights have earned both acclaim and disgust. Their original plays, “Night Rangers” and “Knife 2: The Re-Slashening”, are both appearing December 2015.


Salt and Vinegar chips, baby.


Pictured: Greg whispering sweet nothings into that flower. What we wouldn't give to be that flower, amirite?


Born in Scarborough, Greg Houston left the Game behind at the tender age of 4. He moved with his parents (because he felt sorry for them) to Muskoka. He was raised a cub scout and a beaver and left Muskoka as soon as possible. Ottawa is where he landed. The Nation's Capital! The Big Beaver Tail! The City Fun Forgot! Well no longer is it the city not fun with Greg Houston in it. And he's doing comedy whenever possible. He'll host and MC events, he'll do stand up anywhere, he'll keep wearing glasses because he needs those to see. 

Magazine launch parties, fashion shows, corporate comedy shows, comedy clubs, dive bars, the back of a bus - wherever there is an opportunity he'll perform for you. Just don't feed him pizza after midnight...

Smart and hip - Greg Houston wows audiences with his silly observations about daily life in the Capital. A cleaner comedic approach gives him the ability to perform to any crowd and bring them along for a roller coaster ride of laughs.


Greg doesn't play by society's rules. Snax are for punx.

Besides these five ~dreamboats~, we've got tons more lined up for both weekends, including 3 more fabulous hosts. Stay tuned.


Fresh Meat

Opening Night, Baby

It's just about two weeks away from the festival, and we can't wait. We just can't.

We're too excited about what we've got lined up for you, we're ready to showcase our fresh-faced baby angels to the world, and we want you to be there for it.

Since we're so excited, we got to thinking: what's better than an opening night? An Opening Night Party.

On Thursday, October 15th at 7pm, the doors to Fresh Meat 4 will open, and we will all be there, happy to be together, and happy to be happy.

Our beautiful sponsor Dominion City will be wetting our whistles, as per usual, and we've got some ooh-la-la worthy ancillary programming coming to you brought to you by the ineffable Danica Olders and Laura Acosta, with their piece Van Go:

Wondering what's going on in this photo? Come check out Van Go on opening night!

Their piece is an omnipresent version of the gallery and the artist; the feeling you get when arguing, “what came first, chicken or egg?” The gallery model is transformed into a performance, in which the audience, oblivious at first, is not a viewer, but also a part of the work itself. A combination of projections and performers dressed in colorful wearable sculptures will create the Van Go Experience.

If that ain't enough to get your butts out to come and party with us, local music curatorial guru DJ Rosstronica will be spinning beats all night, to keep us boogie-ing.

Nothing g-Ross about our friend, Rosstronica

So come on out, let's dance, let's drink, let's be merry, and most of all, let's support some rad f*cking local theatre on opening night.


Fresh Meat


Theatre Creation Workshop: BEGIN ANYWHERE, With ANDY MASSINGHAM

Here at Fresh Meat, we love all things new, innovative, creative, daring, and well... fresh.

That's why we're so glad to have to have paired up with local artiste-extraordinaire Andy Massingham for the second instalment of his three-weekend series of acting workshops, entitled The Acting Animal.

The man himself, Mr. Massingham performing in his Dora Award-winning creation Rough House.

Photo credit to Nicole Stamp at blogTO, April 16, 2008.

The second workshop of the series coincides, entitled Begin Anywhere with the first weekend of Fresh Meat, with the workshop running October 17 - 18.

The workshop info reads:

Workshop 2 – Begin Anywhere – Theatre Creation
October 17–18, 2015 10:00am–4:00pm
Ideas are contagious and you have millions of them, so let’s get to work and spread them around! Judgement and pressure free, the focus here is on creative flow and getting creativity on its feet and into action.
We will draw on diverse influences such as painting, sculpture, literature and music as well as personal history and stream of consciousness to create wholly organic theatre pieces.
This workshop will examine the process rather than the result. You will find the unique storyteller within you and share it with others.
Materials will be provided. Bring along your own writng materials, please.
Price: $100.00
To register contact: Andy Massingham

In partnership with Andy, we're stoked to offer half price tickets to Fresh Meat on the night of Saturday October 17th, to any and all who participate in Andy's workshop.

It's a great way to take in some local theatre while also focussing on getting your own creative juices pumping.

I mean, come on, who can say no to these baby blues? 

Andy "Dreamboat" Massingham, as pictured in the Yukon News, credit: Chris Oke, 2008.


Fresh Meat

Hi, we like you. Come work with us. (A call to VOLUNTEERS)


We’ve seen you around here; you’re hard not to notice. I hope that’s not too forward of us to say, but how could we not?

I mean, it’s you, after all.

The one with the killer haircut, the disarming smile, the love for local theatre, the passion for giving to the community, and that sweet sweet ability to show up on time and follow through on your obligations. So yeah, we see you. And we want to see more of you

We were thinking that, maybe we could all get to know each other a little bit during the weekends of October 15 – 17 and 22 – 24? Anything you want. You know, ushering, ticket taking, bartending, anything. Whatever you’re into, we just want to spend some time with you and get to know you a bit better.

We're not asking for much, there are no minimum number of shifts required, and we'd treat you to a beer, some shows, and a whole lotta love.

Come on, you know you want to.

Here, take our email: info@freshmeatfest.com and drop us a line if you're as into this as we are. Send a message to Mahalia with "Volunteer" in the subject line, and we'll see where things take us.

We like you. Come work with us.


Fresh Meat


"It's our party, we can do what we want."

- Miley Cyrus

PIctured: Miley at her freshest, reminding us to party our butts off.

The Fresh Meat 4 LAUNCH PARTY is just days away! Featuring our unbelievable sponsors, Dominion City Brewing Co., and Seed To Sausage General Store, the official launch of Ottawa's Freshest theatre festival will be taking place at House of Common (11b Fairmont Ave, in Hintonburg) from 5-8pm on Friday, September 18th.

Check out our Facebook event for all the sweet deets, and for a v. important youtube clip of Bambi (but let's not talk about the ending of that movie, ok?). 

Entry is free, but donations to keep our festival fresh, our beer pouring, and our meat sizzling is very much encouraged. The featured companies will be unveiled, dope beats will be mixed live (none of which will be Miley), and lots of juicy meat puns will be all up in your grills.

Bring a friend, and bring your fiercest self. We know we will #mileyforever.


Fresh Meat


Where Are They Now? A Very Special Artist Feature: JONAH ALLINGHAM

Fresh Meat founder and musician-turned-actor-turned-musician Jonah Allingham is returning to Ottawa this week to play a show with his awesome new band The Budds. We persuaded him to take a break from his rocking life in Toronto to sit down and catch up with us. Get the juicy details below, and don’t miss The Budds, Fun Fact and Caveman Techno on Thursday September 3rd at Avant-Garde Bar.

 Fresh Meat: Tell us why you started Fresh Meat:

Jonah Allingham: Soooo about 4 years ago I was like "whoa there is some rad DIY theatre in Ottawa being made by emerging artists with no money, but it's not really a scene yet". So I figured we should make it a scene and started up the first Fresh Meat Theatre Fest. We ran in like a rock show and just threw a bunch of young theatre companies together at a bar and gave them total creative control. I produced it for three years and did shows with my own company Backpack Theatre each year. Now it's like a big thing and I couldn't be more of a happy papa.

FM: What are you up to these days?

JA: Soooo I'm kind of a total jabroni cause I moved to Toronto. Things are good, I'm going to film school and I play in the craziest rock band in the city. We're called The Budds and we play psychedlic garage rock, all our songs are about drugs, girls, and growing up and people just go insaaaane at our shows. Oh waaaait, if you're in Ottawa you can see us on Thursday (Sept 3)! We're playing at the Avant Garde with the awesome touring funk band Fun Fact. There will be sweat, there will be dancing, there will be rock n roll. It's PWYC. Be theeeere.

Pictured: Jonah (right) with bandmates Chris and Alex "Drumming Is My Life" Shackleton&nbsp;

Pictured: Jonah (right) with bandmates Chris and Alex "Drumming Is My Life" Shackleton 

FM: if you were a kitchen item, implement, or appliance what would you be?

JA: I would be a bottle of Jack Daniels.

FM: Speaking from your experience as an artist, how do you think Fresh Meat impacts the local community?

JA: Fresh Meat exposes independent theatre to a diverse crowd. This is not just for the grey hairs, everybody can enjoy it. It's not museum theatre, it's a night out. It exposes indie theatre to the O-Town masses. It brings theatre to non theatre people. 

FM: What’s your favourite thing about Fresh Meat?

JA: Fresh Meat is important because it gives artists a voice. It is very rare for an arts event to trust their artists to just do whatever the fuck they want. And that's where the magic happens. The coolest thing is you don't even have to be sure it will work, because who cares?? Theatre should be punk/DIY as fuck and Fresh Meat makes it so.

FM: Of course, how do you like your meat? (Veggie-friendly answers accepted.)

JA: I love my meat.

Touché, Jonah. Touché.

The Budds play Avant Garde Bar Thursday September 3rd at 10pm. Pay what you can at the door.


Where Are They Now? Artist Double Feature: MEGAN CARTY & TESS MC MANUS

Local tour-de-forces and Fresh Meat alums Megan Carty and Tess Mc Manus are teaming up for a wicked double bill at Theatre Underground's event PAIRED UP: You Didn't Ask To Be Here & Donkey Derby this September. So we figured what's a better way to catch up with these two dynamos than a double feature?

Megan Carty is no stranger to Fresh Meat; in the past year she has shared two current works-in-development with the festival: Me and My Monster and The Gold One. Most recently Megan performed as Baby Bridget in Jan Irwin's stage adaptation of Up to Low. She is currently performing in Theatre Wakefield's production of A Bridge to the Past, a musical revue about the history living in the Gatineau Hills. Up next: Charlie in the world premiere of Theatre Underground's You Didn't Ask to be Here by Allan Mackey.

Tess Mc Manus had been working in the Ottawa arts community for a few years when, on a fateful night at the Fringe beer tent (RIP),  she was approached by Fresh Meat founder Jonah Allingham and asked to take part in the festival's very first incarnation. It was during that Fringe circuit that Donkey Derby first galloped (if donkeys can be said to gallop?) onto the scene, and the show is back in its newest form in Theatre Underground's double bill.

Read our juicy interview with these two below, and don't miss PAIRED UP: You Didn't Ask To Be Here & Donkey Derby (Sept 11 - 13, Avalon Studio @ 738A Bank, 25$).

The latest offering from our two wunderkinds.

Fresh Meat: DIY Theatre Fest: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started with Fresh Meat.

Megan Carty: My first engagement with Fresh Meat was last fall. I had recently taken the summer lab intensive at One Yellow Rabbit in Calgary so I was very jazzed about creating my own experimental theatre. I was currently developing a one-woman physical theatre/verbatim piece called Me and My Monster for which Fresh Meat was the perfect platform. The experience with the festival was so tremendous and it was a gift to have a supportive platform to share art straight from my heart. For that reason, I decided to participate in Fresh Meat's Weekend Inventive the following winter with The Gold One.

Tess Mc Manus: Before Fresh Meat came along, I was fascinated with theatre creation - but it was something I'd never tried before. Knowing that that was where my interests lay, I joined a few touring shows on the Fringe circuit to get a better idea of what was being created across Canada at the grassroots level. I watched upwards of 70 shows, and the more I watched, the more confident I felt that I could create something, too. So the following year I threw together a humble attempt at a solo show called Donkey Derby, which toured the Fringe circuit, gaining critical acclaim and was encouragement for me to keep creating.

On that circuit, I was approached by Jonah and Tony. Less than a month before the very first Fresh Meat, I was performing Donkey Derby in Edmonton, and started working on the new show. That year, I offered up Tales She Tells, and the next year came Who Will Separate Us? The festival was a perfect platform to try out both: two brand-new ideas, and the barebones of could-be shows.

FM: What does your Fresh Meat project look like now?

Tess Mc Manus: Tales She Tells has undergone so many levels of evolution it's remarkable. The first, its premiere at Fresh Meat 1, where I tried to cram a lesson in Celtic Mythology and two epic stories into 15 minutes. The second, I toured the Ottawa, Regina, Winnipeg, and Edmonton Fringes in its full-length version. Of course, in Regina I got into a bike accident and broke my jaw, so my amazing stage manager Lydia Riding continued on with the tour, learning an 8 000 word solo show and an Irish accent in less than a week (she makes it look so easy). For the third, I was approached by the Artistic Director of the Ottawa Storytellers to book the show at the NAC's 4th Stage. It went up as Straight From The Harp, featuring a harpist and a soprano, and was a promotion of Irish culture as the original script had intended. Now, in its fourth incarnation, on Oct 2nd at the Richcraft Theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre, it will feature storytelling and the harp. With every new rendition, it's getting better and better.

Tales She Tells  will be going up Oct 2nd a the Shenkman Arts Centre, link here:  http://shenkmanarts.ca/en/calendar_calendrier/october_octobre_2015/tales_she_tells/index.htm.  Photo Credit: Allan Mackey  

Tales She Tells will be going up Oct 2nd a the Shenkman Arts Centre, link here: http://shenkmanarts.ca/en/calendar_calendrier/october_octobre_2015/tales_she_tells/index.htm. Photo Credit: Allan Mackey

FM: Megan, any upcoming performances?

Megan Carty: Of course! I always have a project on-the-go, be it acting, producing, or creating. It's through theatre that I aspire to tell stories that resonate with me on a personal level. Right now I'm involved in Bridge to the Past by Ian Tamblyn and directed by Mary Ellis with Theatre Wakefield!

Running until August 31st, link here: http://www.theatrewakefield.ca/en/bridge-to-the-past/

The experience with the [Fresh Meat] festival was so tremendous and it was a gift to have a supportive platform to share art straight from my heart.
— Megan Carty

FM: If you were a kitchen item, implement, or appliance, what would you be?

Megan Carty: A waffle maker.

Tess Mc Manus: A spoon.

FM: Speaking from your experience as an artist, how do you think Fresh Meat impacts the local community?

Megan Carty: It's an amazing way to bring likeminded emerging theatre creators together in a supportive and fun environment. New work is so important to the development of Ottawa's arts scene and this is exactly what this festival is all about!

With Fresh Meat, it’s cooperating instead of getting competitive. It’s a shift from the Fringe model of ticket sales and bums in seats. When an audience member attends Fresh Meat, all the participants win. It’s awesome.
— Tess Mc Manus

Tess Mc Manus: In addition to a strong local artist presence, Fresh Meat is a launching pad for those artists. And in order to be considered a launching pad, the presence of highly regarded individuals working in theatre in the city should be in attendance as well. That is to say that staff from the National Arts Centre, Ontario Arts Council, Canadian Council for the Arts, etc could see potential in somebody or a show and shed light on next steps or even pick up some shows.

FM: What's your favourite thing about Fresh Meat?

Megan Carty: I love that I can take huge risks without fear. Fresh Meat celebrates process, and for that reason I can create far out of my comfort zone.

Tess Mc Manus: The void of competition. With Fresh Meat, it's  cooperating instead of getting competitive. It's a shift from the Fringe model of ticket sales and bums in seats. When an audience member attends Fresh Meat, all the participants win. It's awesome.

FM: Of course, how do you like your meat? (Veggie-friendly answers accepted)

Megan Carty: I am a vegan, but I am a huge fan of the roasted Portobello mushroom burger.

Tess Mc Manus: Juicy.

PAIRED UP: You Didn't Ask To Be Here & Donkey Derby plays at the Avalon Studio (738A Bank) September 11 -13, tickets for 25$: http://theatreunderground.com/