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2016 call for submissions

Punch Up. Photo by Pascal Huot.

undercurrents is Ottawa’s festival of independent theatre, produced by the Ottawa Fringe team and taking place at Arts Court from February 10–20, 2016. Now in its sixth year, undercurrents seeks original, innovative work by Canadian artists.

The festival will consider applications from established and emerging artists who are working in new play creation, as well as from those touring original work. We encourage submissions from artists experimenting in form, style, and creation process.

We are also seeking submissions from artists who have short pieces (under 30 minutes), works-in-progress, or live art/installation pieces to be programmed in the Arts Court Studio.

Participating productions will receive up to five performances in rep, within a shared venue environment (i.e. a shared lighting plot with show-specific specials, shared dressing room space, limited tech time and storage space).  Productions should be 50-80 minutes in length, and must be able to set up and strike in less than 30 minutes.

Companies and artists who wish to have their production considered for undercurrents are invited to submit the following materials no later Friday, July 31, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

  1. A proposal describing the project and its history (maximum three pages)
  2. A list of participating artists and biographies/CVs of lead artists
  3. Detailed technical specifications for the production
  4. A script sample or completed script
  5. An archival or promotional recording of the proposed play (if available)
  6. Additional support material: reviews, photos, or letters of support (optional)

Applications will be accepted in electronic format onlyApplicants are asked to send all written materials in a single PDF file, and provide links to video-sharing sites where archival or promotional recordings of the proposed work can viewed.

Questions regarding the festival or the application process can be directed to Patrick Gauthier, Festival Director,; or by phone: 613.232.6162 x101

Closing undercurrents 2015

The 5th annual undercurrents has not closed without setting new records in attendance. In the dead of winter, nine shows in the 2015 program sold more than 2,000 tickets. Nearly twice what we’d expected. Presenters from as far as Vancouver, from Montréal and Toronto all booked tickets, looking to undercurrents as a showcase for the next great show to book at theatres in their hometowns.

Thanks for making 2015 the festival’s most inspiring and successful year yet. For many undercurrents was a first-time visit to Arts Court and we hope to see you again and again.

More than a dozen community partners helped us make undercurrents happen this year. They’re first-rate organizations who have supported our team and others for years now.

Opening the festival with a sold-out performance was a perfect way to start. Another sold-out performance on closing night was all that could outdo the best year in undercurrents box office history.

evalyn parry’s SPIN became the highest-grossing show in the festival’s five years. Four nights straight of full houses in Arts Court Theatre came to a little more than 400 tickets sold. Heads up: a play, Obaaberima, which evalyn has directed, will open at the National Arts Centre in March.

Our tech team defied imagination this year by installing the set of Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates in the Arts Court Studio to have AL Connors DJ from the crow’s nest on closing night, with projections mapped to the ship’s sails.

Deep thanks go to the Arts Court volunteer crew, the GCTC staff who made undercurrents transition to a new venue so unbelievably seamless, and even—yes even the critics.

See you at Fringe in June. Or sooner, one hopes. Take care!