Preview: Undercurrents Theater Festival,  February 7-17 2018

Preview: Undercurrents Theater Festival, February 7-17 2018

Undercurrents theater festival

February 7-17 2018

Arts Court – Daly Street, Ottawa

The 2018 undercurrents runs from Wednesday, February 7 until Saturday February 17. It’s the winter festival of the Ottawa Fringe, but unlike the summer festival, this one is curated by the festival itself. Once again it’s looking like they’ve done a great job.

I’ve done up a brief synopsis of each piece below. and there are also talk back nights and other events.

My festival top picks are

Luna Allison’s The Shit Show,  and

Jamie Morse’s Indigenous Walks


Full schedule and box office/ticket information at bottom of page.


The Pipeline Project

75 minutes

by Sebastien Archibald, Kevin Loring & Quelemia Sparrow

(Vancouver, British Columbia)

A comedic, and provocative take on the politics going on around Canada’s oil industry.



Forstner & Fillister Present: Forstner & Fillister In: Forstner & Fillister

by David Benedict Brown,Will Somers & Madeleine Boyes-Manseau

(Ottawa, Ontario)

70 minutes


Join these two brothers, also woodworkers, who will teach you how to build a dining room table. If they can agree with each other about what to do next.



Little Boxes

by Gabrielle Lazarovitz & Brad Long

(Ottawa, Ontario)

65 minutes

Paul and Lauren are two highly educated, underemployed suburbanites, face a moral dilemma on their way home.


The Twilight Parade

by Nadia Ross with the people and puppets of Wakefield, Quebec and area

(Wakefield, Quebec)

70 minutes (PG 10+)

Puppets! Residents of a small village gather to discuss their community water well, “…and begin to understand the larger forces at play that erode the threads that hold communities together.” As it’s PG 10+, this is a great chance to bring the kids!

This grass-roots production included the contributjon of over 70 artists and residents of all ages from Wakefield and the Outaouais region.



How to Disappear Completely

by Itai Erdal, James Long, Anita Rochon & Emelia Symington Fedy

(Vancouver, British Columbia)

60 minutes

A lighting designer documents his mother’s final days. “Deeply profound and surprisingly funny,” according to the website. And though I’m not a lighting designer I’ve been in a similar situation and can understand how it can be both of those things.



The Shit Show

by Luna Allison

(Ottawa, Ontario)

25 minutes


I missed Allison’s 2011 “Falling Open,” and you probably did as well because it was staged in a bedroom, so space was limited. Don’t know about you, but I won’t miss this work-in-progress. And not just because there are probably going to be fart jokes. After all, as the novel Ulysses shows, a well place fart joke can also be great (f)art.


Snack Music

by Ginette Mohr, Elliott Loran, Andrew G. Young & Ingrid Hansen

(Toronto, Ontario)

45 minutes (all ages)

Part house party, part improve and part storytelling as this show brings a member of the audience up to tell a story from their lives, recreated with puppets made from kitchen tools as well as fruts and vegetables.



Indigenous Walks

by Jaime Koebel

(Ottawa, ON)

120 minutes (all ages)

This is a guided walk-and-talk through downtown Rideau and the Byward Marktet, showcasing stories, treasure and people presented by experienced guides from different Indigenous Nations.


New Play Tuesday


featuring new works by Ottawa playwrights, including Katrina Wong, Pierre Brault, and Joanne John


undercurrents 2018 festival schedule

Box office information


Brendan McNally is a contributor to and locally based writer who has a script writing credit for the recently released movie Hot Knives.

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