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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 
  • Access-friendly Performance List

Click here to read this page as a PDF.

Click here to read this page as a Google Doc.

What is the undercurrents festival?

Produced by Ottawa Fringe, our winter festival showcases the best original theatre created by local, national and international artists.

2021 Festival Online Edition

undercurrents usually takes place in Ottawa’s downtown core at Arts Court. Since we are unable to gather in-person, we will be hosting the 10-day festival online.

More access information about our streaming platform is coming soon.

Access Statement

We have been working to address Access Points 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.

24 years later, “accessibility” means much, much more. 

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 attendees feel welcome into our spaces. How? 2020-2021, we are working with an Ottawa-local Accessibility Coach. This work is focused on education for the staff and best practises in marketing, communications, artist liaison, and accessible show presentation tools… among others. 

We have to say a special thank you to our Access Points Advisory Committee, a working group made up of consultants living and working within the Ottawa DisArts community. Their commitment is essential to our work towards engaging artists and patrons of all abilities.

But real talk: we’re still learning. And we’re probably going to make some mistakes. We want to get better and feedback from the community is only going to make our festival better. Is there something you think we could be doing? Something we should absolutely not be doing? 

Share your Feedback

1. Anonymous feedback form: , OR 

2. Email our Access Coordinator:

Access Coordinator

If you have questions or suggestions regarding accessibility protocols while you’re at the festival, look for Brit Johnston (she/her). She is the Associate Festival Director of undercurrents. 

Brit’s self-description: Hi! My full name is Brittany, but I like to be called Brit. I am originally from Serpent River First Nation in Northern Ontario. I am 5’2, with medium length dark brown hair, and almost black eyes. 

Conversation starter: Talk about cats or plants!

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).

Pre-Show Announcement

All shows will have a pre show speech given by festival staff.
A plain text version of the pre-show speech will be available soon… stay tuned!


Pick Your Price

undercurrents tickets are sold on a “Pick Your Price” model at $5, $20, $50, $75, or $100 ($100 tickets come with a $50 tax receipt).

Choose your own price, no questions asked.
HST are included in all prices.  Service fees may apply.

Buy Tickets Online

With the festival being online, all tickets can be purchased on the show page, visit to choose the show you would like to view. 

You can also find show times and purchase tickets by visiting the festival schedule (

Box Office Hours

This year there will be no physical Box Office for undercurrents.  However you can call 613-765-5555 during festival hours for assistance:

March 1-9, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
March 10-20,  3:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Access Assistance

If you would like assistance with purchasing advance tickets before the festival begins, you may email, or call 613-765-5555 extension 1 (leave a voicemail and a staff member will call you back.) 

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, or call: 613-765-5555 extension 1.

Show Transcripts
This year we are providing patrons with transcripts for every show presented in the 2021 undercurrents festival, on an as-requested basis. This option can be selected when you purchase your ticket to the show. You can also add on a transcript by clicking here.

Note: Protecting artistic integrity is of utmost importance, you may not 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.

Ottawa Fringe has implemented a self-description policy for it’s staff. Opening remarks / pre-show announcements will always include the host’s self-description. 

All extra events including workshops and roundtable discussions will ensure speakers participate in this practise. 

Though it is not required, we are encouraging undercurrents artists to consider incorporating this practise into their shows.


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.

ASL Interpreted Performances

Ethel, by Aplombusrhombus

Run time: 50 minutes, Rated PG
* ASL interpretation is available for all performances. 

Being Coloured/Colourful in a Black and White World, by Jacqui Du Toit

Run Time: 75 minutes, Rated G
* ASL interpretation is available for all performances. 

No More Mr. Rice Guy, by Franco Pang 

Run: 45 minutes, Rated PG
* ASL interpretation is available for all  No More Mr. Rice Guy performances.

Building Access into Art Workshop

Saturday, March 13, 11:00 am – 2:15 pm

Artist Roundtable

Saturday, March 20, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Described Performance and/or Storytelling

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. 


An Aplombusrhombus Production
Run time: 50 minutes, Rated PG

Strata Inc.

A Strata Inc. Collective Production
Run time: 100 minutes, Rated M


A Skeleton Key Theatre Production
Run time: 60 minutes, Rated 14+

Sensory Friendly Performance

Some people  benefit from a more relaxed sensory experience and casual environments. These performances have minor technical elements (no startling sound or lighting cues), relaxed movement and noise. Attendees are welcome to move in their seat, drink or eat quietly, and to leave and re-enter if they need.


An Aplombusrhombus Production
Run time: 50 minutes, Rated PG

Closed Captioned Events

Building Access into Art Workshop

Saturday, March 13, 11:00 am – 2:15 pm

New Play Tuesday featuring Playwrights in Quarantine (P.I.Q.U)

Tuesday, March 16, 7:00 pm

Artist Roundtable

Saturday, March 20, 5:00 – 7:00 pm