Uno festival brings experience

Big name performers included in this year’s lineup

Hawksley Workman is among the performers at this year’s Uno Festival.

Intrepid Theatre’s 15th annual Uno Festival is set to hit Victoria stages starting on May 24 and running to June 3, bringing with it vibrant solo works and groundbreaking theatrical programs.

Acts ranging from monologues to dance to standup comedy will be showcased in the festival, which started originally as an offshoot of the Fringe Festival.

Artistic director and festival curator Janet Munsil has been there from the beginning, first as a general manager and now in her current position.

“Victoria doesn’t get a lot of exposure to touring companies from other parts of Canada and the U.S. and elsewhere,” Munsil said. “So this is a chance to bring some people to town. It’s also an opportunity for local artists to develop new work.”

Among this year’s notable performances is Carmen Aquirre’s Blue Box, a one-woman show about “love, lust and revolution.” Aguirre is based in Vancouver and is the most recent winner of the CBC’s Canada Reads prize for her novel Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter.

“She’s a very charismatic performer. It’s exciting to have her here,” Munsil said. “I’ve seen her perform other solo pieces of her own, so it’s great to get in on this show when it’s relatively new.”

A late addition to the festival is Hawksley Workman, who will be performing his work-in-progress concept album for stage The God that Comes. The work is the eccentric songwriter’s take on the story of Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine.

Brand new to the festival this year is the Press>Play project. For this personal, experiential theatre event  four site-specific audio plays will be available to download from the Uno Festival website. Once loaded on a cell phone or personal audio player, the participant will go to a specific location in downtown Victoria and listen to the play unfold as they are guided through its real-life locations.

“A story will unfold that will actually take the audience member down different streets, through buildings that people might not normally go into,” Munsil said. “They get to actually experience the place where they are as the set for the play that they’re listening to.”

Audio equipment will be available from the festival for those without their own. Press>Play launches at the beginning of the Uno Festival and will run through until the end of the Fringe Festival, towards the end of the summer.

For a full schedule, go to Intrepidtheatre.com.

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