Local acts get in on the Fringe in Port Alberni

People whose names you might not expect to see associated with the arts are stretching their talents at the Fringe Festival June 21-23.

Sculptor Jason Titian will try his hand at performing this weekend at the Alberni Valley Fringe Festival.

The Fringe Festival has given local performers a stage to expand their creativity and the 10 Port Alberni-based acts have not disappointed.

A well know sculptor in native art in Port Alberni, Jason Titian, is presenting a play at the Fringe Festival this weekend.

The Birth of Releasing Light Kreations is a one-man theatrical performance where Titian is impersonating different characters— with impressive papier-mâché masks he made himself—who are leading him on a spiritual journey toward inner peace though his life experiences.

This presentation is a deep monologue of the Spirit who guides every being to achieve greater spirituality in their lifetime, answering troubling questions each of us might have. Through each event in life, we are guided but we have to be able to listen to the sometimes-faint messages murmured by the Spirit, says Titian.

Through this storytelling, Titian wants to show and share the Nuu-chuh-nulth cultural diversity; he wants —for his first time on the scene as a storyteller—to share his aboriginal culture and spirit. Bettina Thomas will also be on scene helping Titian in his presentation.

You can see The Birth of Releasing Light Kreations at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday, June 22 at 4 p.m. and Sunday, June 23 at 2 p.m.

Another transformation taking place onstage involves Jen Fisher-Bradley. Even though she is mostly known for her political views as well as nick-named the “seeds lady” for her urban farming, Fisher-Bradley felt the push to write her play, Connections, as—like she said—theatre is often a great way to pass on a message.

In this fictional story, Fisher-Bradley wants to show us empowerment and the urge to do something for our planet and, more importantly, for our food.

Fisher-Bradley presents a real-life problem in a different way: seeds are vital for our future economy and survival in our valley and everywhere else in the world.

Connections is a real Fringe Festival play as it combines the unusual, the unconventional, the different with a real message to the world.

Fisher-Bradley says she enjoyed writing her first play; she also painted the big Blue Buddha featured in her piece on a huge canvas, connecting with people. She found in Emma Robinson, Stephany Grover and John Milne an extraordinary team of actors both new and veterans to help her pass the message.

Fisher-Bradley took such great pleasure writing this play that – maybe – we will be blessed with a sequel, a Connections 2, for the next Fringe Festival.

You can see Connections at the Capitol on Friday, June 21 at 5:45 p.m. and Sunday, June 23 at 3 p.m.

Melanie Anderson is no stranger to the stage in Port Alberni, having appeared or assisted in numerous productions with Portal Players Dramatic Society. She brings the one act play Ballerinas back to the stage—this time with a twist.

Elliot Drew, Brent Ronning and Peter Wienold will be the ballerinas in white tutus in this version.

For the Fringe Festival and in her first time directing a play, Anderson wanted to do something different to make her audience laugh. So, she decided to modify Ballerinas, a play written by Don Nigro—casting three men in the lead. This was a project she had in mind for more than two years, Anderson said.

Anderson said she enjoyed greatly her first time directing a play with those three seasoned actors and directors, a play that might be somewhat different from the original but that will no doubt bring a new dimension to what could be a ballerina in a man’s body.

Ballerinas is a black comedy, under 20 minutes, filled with good laughter.

Before the play, the Stages show entitled The Southpaw from Free to Be You & Me will make an awesome opening to this unusual comedy.

Ballerinas plays on  Saturday, June 22 at 9 p.m. and Sunday, June 23 at 6 p.m. at the Capitol.