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Access at undercurrents

On This Page

  • What is the undercurrents Festival?
  • Access Statement
  • Land Acknowledgement
  • Pre Show Announcement
  • Ticket Information
  • Access Policies 
  • Festival Access Guide – How to get here
  • Plain text schedule
  • Accessible Performance Listing

Click here to read this page as a PDF.

Click here to read this page as a Google Doc.

What is the undercurrents festival?

This is the Ottawa Fringe’s winter festival. This festival showcases original theatre created by local, national and international artists. This year we have a mainstage series, which takes place in the Arts Court Theatre and Club SAW. And we have a Discovery series that features shows that are works-in-progress and are around 45 minutes long. The discovery series, which takes place in the Arts Court Studio is a chance for you to see something an artist is working on and for them to try out their material in front of you.

Access Statement

We have been working to address Access at our festival. When we first started out, “accessible” meant “affordable”. We have that part covered by keeping ticket prices low and offering a Pay-What-You-Choose model to make the event as inviting as possible for our audiences. We believe that everyone has a right to enjoy theatre.

The festival organizers are committed to giving a platform to diverse voices and bodies on our stages. We also are working to ensure you feel welcome in our spaces. How? In 2020 to 2021, we worked with an Ottawa-local Accessibility Coach. This work focused on education for the staff and best practices in marketing, communications, artist liaison, and accessible show presentation tools… among others. Our journey to make our festival more accessible continues with staff attending workshops, and training, as well as welcoming ongoing feedback from audiences, like you.  

But real talk: we’re still learning. And we’re probably going to make some mistakes. We want to get better and feedback from people like you is only going to make our festival better. Is there something you think we could be doing? Something we should stop or change how we are doing?

You can share your feedback with us in two ways:

1. Anonymous feedback form. To submit through our google form click here.

2. Email our Access Coordinator:

Access Coordinator

If you have questions or suggestions regarding accessibility protocols while you’re at the festival, you can contact Drea (she/her). She is the Access Coordinator of the undercurrents festival. You can contact her by email or in person during the festival. She will respond to all questions within 48 hours. 

Drea’s self-description: She is a white woman with two-tone blue rectangular glasses. Usually, she wears her light brown, long curly hair down or up in a ponytail/bun. Often seen wearing a colourful scarf. She will also be wearing a staff Fringe lanyard. 

Conversation starter: You can tell her anything to do with your pet(s)!

Land Acknowledgement

Ottawa Fringe recognizes the privilege to be operating and performing on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg. We recognize the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island who had been thriving on this land for centuries. We also recognize Canada’s history of colonization and the ongoing violence against Indigenous peoples and their culture. As guests on this land, we promise to walk gently and with respect. 

To the past, present and future caretakers of Turtle Island, Chi-Miigwetch.


*Anishinabeg = means “the people” in Ojibway.
*Indigenous people = a group term for the many First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people living and thriving on Turtle Island (also known as North America).

Click here to view the access guide.

Pre-show announcements

Hi and welcome to undercurrents 2023, presented by Ottawa Fringe. 

Ottawa Fringe recognizes the privilege to be operating and performing on the unceded traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabeg. As guests on this land, we promise to walk gently and with respect. To the past, present and future caretakers of Turtle Island, Chi-Miigwetch. We encourage you to join us in learning more about the land that you’re on. You can start by visiting 

The lineup at undercurrents this year explores a vast landscape of theatre work in storytelling, political movements, and clowning. Join us in diving into stories of love, racism, climate change, cultural identity, the housing crisis and… singing nuns. We invite you to be curious and to join us for all that undercurrents has to offer.

Undercurrents tickets are sold at a “Pick Your Price” model. Did you know you can see the entire festival for $50?

Head to for the full lineup and to purchase tickets, or visit one of our friendly box office staff. 

A huge thank you to our partners and funders at

  • Ontario Arts Council
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • City of Ottawa
  • Canadian Heritage 
  • Apartment 613
  • Dominion City
  • And last but not least to the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Re-engaging Audiences Fund for Professional Arts Presentation Organizations who funded the bilingual festival this year.

A reminder that for the safety of performers, staff, and patrons, masks are required for all staff and audience members attending undercurrents.

Please turn off your cell phones and enjoy the show! 

Bonjour et bienvenue à undercurrents 2023, présenté par Ottawa Fringe.

Ottawa Fringe et undercurrents reconnaissent le privilège d’opérer et d’interpréter sur le territoire traditionnel et non cédé du peuple Algonquins Anishinabeg. En tant qu’invités sur cette terre, nous promettons de marcher doucement et avec respect. Aux gardiens passés, présents et futurs de l’île de la Tortue, Chi-Miigwetch. On vous encourage à apprendre au sujet de la terre que vous habitez. Commencer en visitant 

Cette années, undercurrents explore un vaste paysage de travail théâtral dans le domaine du conte, du mouvement politique et du clown. Joignez-nous à plonger dans des histoires d’amour, de racisme, de changement climatique, d’identité culturelle, de crise du logement et… de religieuses qui chantent. Nous vous invitons à être curieux et à nous rejoindre pour tout ce que undercurrents a à offrir.

Les billets undercurrents sont vendus selon un modèle « Choisissez votre prix ». Saviez-vous que vous pouvez voir tout le festival pour 50$?

Visitez pour la programmation complète et pour acheter des billets, ou approcher un membre de notre équipe billetterie.

Merci aux organisations suivantes pour leur soutien financier et leurs partenariats

  • Ontario Arts Council
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • City of Ottawa
  • Canadian Heritage 
  • Apartment 613
  • Dominion City
  • Et le Fonds du Canada pour la présentation des arts du département Patrimoine canadien qui a financé le festival bilingue cette année.

Un rappel que pour le bien-être des artistes, du personnel et du public, le port d’un masque est obligatoire  quand vous assister à un spectacle undercurrents.

Veuillez svp éteindre vos téléphones portables et bon spectacle!


Tickets for the event are a Pick-Your-Price Model. HST is included in the prices. Choose the price the best suits your needs, no questions asked. 

  • $5
  • $20
  • $50 
  • $75 (eligible for a tax receipt) 
Box Office Hours– box office is open 30 minutes before show time. 
Latecomer policy

All mainstage shows allow people who might arrive late into the theatre up to 15 minutes. There are seats set aside for them that are near the back of the theatre so that the least amount of disruption happens while the show is going on. 

Unfortunately, Discovery series performances are unable to accommodate late comers due to the layout of the room.

Show Transcripts

The transcript or script of the show provides details about what the show will be like. The transcripts are available for free and are for personal use only. I can request a transcript for a show I have a ticket for through this google form here or by emailing 

Access Assistance

If you would like assistance with purchasing advance tickets before the festival begins, you may email Unfortunately, we don’t have a phone for the box office at this time. If the online booking process is inaccessible you can also email us to reserve your tickets via email. Once confirmed by a staff member that ticket will be reserved for you up to 10 minutes before the show begins. If you haven’t come to pay for your ticket(s) at that time they will be released for others to purchase them.

Access Policies

Attendants/ Personal Support Workers/ Respite Workers
Attendants are welcome to join you and we offer them complimentary tickets. In order to reserve tickets together please arrange in advance with

Attendants/ Personal Support Workers/ Respite Workers
Guide dogs are welcome in all our venues. 

Wheelchair and Scooter Parking
We welcome people who use assistive devices. If they use a wheelchair please make a note and alter the technician in the Theatre or Studio or SAW studio that a seat will need to be removed if the person would like to transfer to a seat. 

We also allow people to park their scooters in the hallway and sit in the seats in the theatre space. 

Volunteers are prepared to assist with parking requests.

Scent Free
We have recently instituted a sent-free environment for our staff and visitors. Please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes, and other scented products during your festival visit.

Show Transcripts
This year we are providing audiences with transcripts for every show presented in the 2022 undercurrents festival, on an as-requested basis. To request a transcript please email

Note: Protecting artistic integrity is of utmost importance, this is shared with you for your personal use only. We kindly ask that you don’t save or share the document. The transcript will be sent to your email as a read-only link. It will be available 24-hours before the performance and will expire 24-hours after the performance date.

Refunds & Reimbursement
If you purchase a ticket to a performance and discover that it is not accessible for you please call or email the box office and we will refund your tickets.

Sensory Backpacks
What is a Sensory Backpack? These are small kits with a few tools to support people with sensory processing needs. These tools can be used to calm and/or stimulate the senses.

Box Office has two (2)  backpacks available to borrow free of charge, to help make your festival experience as enjoyable as possible. You will leave a piece of personal identification with the box office staff and will get it back when you return the backpack. Backpacks are available by first come first served.

What you will find in the backpack:

  • Fidget toy
  • Soft toy
  • Ear defenders

Plain Text Schedule

For a plain text Google Doc version of the festival schedule please click here

Accessible Event Listing


We are working on making our performances more accessible and have categorized shows to the best of our knowledge. If you purchase a ticket to a performance and learn that it is not accessible to you, please email and we will work together to resolve the issue.

Content Notes

Content notes provide more details about what to expect. These notes highlight elements of a performance that audience members might like to know. These can include but are not limited to flashing lights, loud noises, violence, sexual violence, mental health themes etc. Notes will be available on each show’s webpage, as well as at the box office.

Accessible Show listings at the undercurrents

ASL Interpreted Shows 

These shows are interpreted into American Sign Language, this is to support Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing (HoH) or neurodiverse audience members. The interpreters will be on the side of the stage offering interpretation. 

  • Pest Me Pet Me- Sunday Feb 12 at 2:30 pm 
  • Would Virginia Woolf…. Friday, Feb 17 at 7 pm 

Non-Verbal Performances: 

These productions are not in English or French and offer more physical storytelling. Audiences attending these performances should be able to understand them using visual cues. 

Shows under this category: 

  • Small Tortures (I Love You) | Atelier
  •  ‘Qi Gongidaa! | Arts Court Studio
  • Beth-Anne | Arts Court Theatre

Storytelling Performances:

This performance doesn’t rely on visual cues to follow the action or meaning of the performance. You can understand this performance through verbal and sound cues. 

 Shows under this category: 

  • Ça rime avec vinaigre | Arts Court Theatre
  • Lena | Arts Court Theatre
  • Why Worry about their futures | Arts Court Theatre 
  • Dressed as People | Arts Court Theatre
  • New Play Tuesday | Studio Event 

Captioned Performances:

These performances are translations of spoken French into English text.  

English Captioned Performances: 

  • Friday, Feb. 10 9:00 pm Ça Rime Avec Vinaigre | Arts Court Theatre
  • Saturday, Feb. 11  2:30 pm Ça Rime Avec Vinaigre | Arts Court Theatre 
  • Saturday, Feb 11 7:00 pm Léna | Arts Court Theatre
  • Sunday, Feb 12 4:30 pm  Léna | Arts Court Theatre