Found Festival 2018: surprising finds, unexpected encounters

Miranda Allen and Samantha Jeffery in Whiskey Barrel, Found Festival 2018. Photo supplied.

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

Found, the festival that’s all about the find — art and artists in places you never expected to run into them — is back this weekend in Old Strathcona for a seventh annual edition.

It’s all about the experimental, surprising encounters between artists and audiences. Festival director Beth Dart has assembled them and, as she’s said, “once you take theatre out of theatres, you erase the normal rules.”

Have a peek at five intriguing Found finds: 

Meet Me Under The Gnarly Tree, Cardiac Theatre at Found Festival 2018. Photo supplied.

Meet Me Under The Gnarly Tree: And speaking of mysterious encounters in places you never anticipated … a scroll through Tinder, an escalating flirtation, a first date. Harley Marison’s new site-specific theatre piece explores that tense and thrilling human experiment — on location. The production from Cardiac Theatre (The Listening Room, Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes), one of Edmonton’s most inventive indies, takes you to Rollie Miles Athletic Field (Calgary Trail and University Avenue).

Whiskey Business: I feel sure you will never have seen anything like this theatre/ escape arts fusion, a nerve-wracking combo, as billed, of “whiskey, stunts, violence, suspense, comedy: what could go wrong?” Since there will be a live under-water escape from a locked whiskey barrel, there can be no idle theatre chatter about stakes. In fact, you may need a wee dram from Strathcona Spirits (the location),  just to steady your nerves. Actor/escape artist Miranda Allen stars with Samantha Jeffery. Mike Kennard of Mump and Smoot directs. Tickets are pay-what-you-will.

Crime scene simulation, young man lying on floor

Off’d On Whyte: An Old Strathcona Murder Mystery: A prominent businessman has been iced, and there are suspects and clues everywhere in Old Strathcona, every hotel, every bar and bistro. The audience is under the gun, so to speak, to find the perpetrator, in 90 minutes. Created by the newly formed Fox Den collective, led by Carmen Nieuwenhuis, Jessy Ardern, Sarah Feutl. Location: various, along Whyte Ave. 

On The Margin: Elise Jason’s site-specific theatre piece, takes us through the river valley. It’s standing in for Banff National Park, 1982, and Jill’s disturbing vision of a man clutching a beer bottle as he emerges from his old Chevy. Where’s Jill after that? Jason developed the piece as Common Ground Art Society’s 2018 Fresh AiR artist in residence. Meet at Saskatchewan Drive and 104th St.   

Nâsipewin: The title means “going down the hill to the river” in Nehiyawin. And in Jordan Koe’s Found encounter, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. It’s a sound art performances of field recordings taken in the river valley in order to create a sonic history of Indigenous people and settlers there. Meet at Saskatchewan Driver and 105th St.

And there’s much more — theatre, music, poetry, visual arts — on location(s). Found Festival 2018 runs July 5 to 8 in Old Strathcona. HQ is just behind the Backstage Theatre at the ATB Financial Arts Barns. Tickets, show information, and full schedule for Found are available at commongroundarts.ca 

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