Fringe festival brings back theatre, dance, comedy

A festival slated to hit the stage later this month promises something for everyone, according to organizers.

The second-annual Hydra Festival begins on May 23 and wraps up June 1.

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Featuring 11 shows, each performed three times, the festival will show “a little bit of everything,” according to organizer Aaron Shufletoski.

“Last year, we had shows ranging from serious theatre to abstract theatre, dance, comedy, music — anything you could imagine,” he told KTW.

“This year is similar.”

Each performance will take place at the Black Box Theatre inside the Old Main building on the campus of Thompson Rivers University.

Shufletoski said the venue provides a perfect setting for the shows.

“All the shows are fairly sparse for sets — quick to set up and take down. Most of them are around a half-hour, 45 minutes long.”

A production of Chimera Theatre, Hydra Festival is very much a local event. Shufletoski said nearly every performer lives in Kamloops, and the three who don’t are city ex-pats.

One of those former Tournament Capital performers is Devon More. She found success at last year’s Hydra Festival and then took her show on the road, crossing Canada on the fringe circuit.

More is doing the same thing this year. Her show, Hits Like a Girl, will be Hydra Festival’s first full performance on opening night.

Shufletoski said the local angle is something Chimera is particularly proud of — and something that distinguishes Hydra Festival.

“It’s just amazing to see what talent there is hidden in Kamloops,” he said.

“If you go to something at the festival and you didn’t know what it is, I think you might be pleasantly surprised. It’s kind of mind-blowing, in a way, that Kamloops locals can come up with this.”

And it’s not just plays. Shufletoski said organizers are trying to bring more of a festival feel to this year’s event.

“Besides the shows we’re trying to get the whole festival component,” Shufletoski said. “So there are workshops, too, and a festival lounge.”

More information, including a festival schedule and ticket pricing, can be found online at

Shufletoski said 50 per cent of revenue goes to the artists and the other half covers overhead.

“It’s a real grassroots festival,” he said.

“We don’t have any big corporate sponsorship. It isn’t presented by BCLC or something. This is all coming from the performers themselves, and some goodwill from TRU.”

© Kamloops This Week


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