The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

October 17, 2014 / no comments


Based on the classic novel by Wayne Johnson, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is a fictionalized retelling of the story of Joseph R. Smallwood, the man who led Newfoundland into Confederation with Canada and who served at its first premier for 23 years. Smallwood’s story is anchored and propelled by one of Johnson’s most memorable creations: the fictitious Sheilagh Fielding, a caustic newspaper columnist whose own battles with the past and alcohol addiction find full vent and expression in her tireless dogging of Smallwood’s climb to power. At its heart, The Colony of Unrequieted Dreams is the story of a man whose career is buoyed and sometimes sunk by his unresolved feelings for a woman he never allowed himself to love. It is also the story of Newfoundland’s final years as a country, the end of one cultural and political trajectory and the beginning of another.

Featuring: Colin Furlong, Carmen Grant, Brian Marler, Jody Richardson, Darryl Hopkins, Steve O’Connell, Charlie Tomlinson, Paul Rowe, Alison Woolridge, and Willow Kean.

Photo Credit: Colin Furlong in The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

Oil and Water

October 17, 2014 / no comments

Oil and Water is Artistic Fraud’s theatrical retelling of the incredible true story of Lanier Phillips. Shipwrecked aboard the USS Truxtun in 1942, Mr. Phillips was the only African American survivor. What happened to this son of the racially segregated south at the hand of the nearby town of St. Lawrence forever changed his world and became a legendary story that still resonates over seventy years later.

Oil and Water features a cast of ten supreme actor/singers and an a cappella score that blends the celtic folk tradition with African American gospel.


Magic in the theatre is rare to witness and hard to describe, but that is indeed what is happening with Oil and Water… Theatre at its most imaginative.
Toronto Star
…a powerful piece of theatre with an important story. This is theatre that engages its audience for all the right reasons.
The Slotkin Letter

Photo Credit: Clint Butler, Anderson Ryan Allen, and Mike Payette in Oil and Water


Salvage: Story of a House

October 16, 2014 / no comments

Salvage was our second of three collaborations with novelist and poet Michael Crummey. Based on his book of poetry, Salvage, our stage production was about what inhabits the places we live, the worlds we move in to when we move into a house, the generations who have been here before us.

We staged the original production in a large heritage home, Angel House, in old St. John’s, each room in the mansion hosting a character who once lived there. The audience is divided into ten different groups, the largest of which has seven audience members. Each audience member sees each room and meets each character. The audience groups follow a detailed map of the house for the order in which they see each separate story and the actors travel the rooms of the house creating a vibrant living home full of ghosts and memories.

Salvage opened at Angel House in St. John’s in October of 2003, and later ran for the full summer at the Commissariat House in St. John’s and the Pickersgill House in Salvage, on the Eastport Peninsula.

Photo Credit: Andy Jones in Salvage: The Story of a House.

Belly Up

October 16, 2014 / no comments

Funny and poignant exploration of fear, loneliness and responsibility: Belly Up.

A blind man is terrified of leaving his home. But he has a little mouth to feed, and he is quickly running out of fish food. Digital video and an original score play backdrop to this one-man audio visual feast.

Playwright/actor Robert Chafe performs the entire play matching a pre-recorded mirror- image video of himself, in an interplay between stage and screen of unprecedented precision. In Artistic Fraud’s signature style, Belly Up is a quickly paced, beautiful and compelling story with powerful sound and visuals.

Photo Credit: Robert Chafe in Belly Up.

Fear of Flight

October 16, 2014 / no comments

Fear of Flight is a movement and music spectacle that traces fourteen nervous passengers on a bumpy transcontinental flight. An otherwise tough teen faces her first flight on a plane to visit her dying mother in Florida. A woman departs on her honeymoon despite her husband having died before the ceremony. A businessman rehearses for the most important meeting of his life: his first introduction to his three year old son.

Combining choral text and movement and a ensemble of singing travelers, Fear of Flight marked a return for Artistic Fraud to the large scale music performances that defined the beginnings of the company (Under Wraps; In Your Dreams, Freud; and The Cheat). The show, much like the flight within it, is a trans-Canadian affair with two of the nation’s most lauded and prominent playwrights: Daniel MacIvor, Judith Thompson, Denise Clarke, Marie Clements, David Yee, Bryden MacDonald, Guillermo Verdecchia, and Berni Stapleton.

…as beautifully put together as Italian luggage…
it took me a while to come down after seeing Fear of Flight.
The Georgia Straight

…a soaring success… an uplifting experience.
Vancouver Sun


Photo Credit: Melissa Mansfield, Phil Churchill, Andrew Dale, Michael Peddle, Phillip Goodridge, Petrina Bromley, Christine Brubaker, Rebecca Russell, Brad Hodder, Vicki Harnett, Julia Halfyard, Sandy Gow, Jovanni Sy, Anna Stassis in Fear of Flight.



October 16, 2014 / no comments

An accidental electrocution and an unexpectedly forged family. These two seemingly disconnected events intertwine to tell a story of connectivity and belonging in Afterimage, based on the short story by lauded poet and novelist Michael Crummey (River Thieves, The Wreckage, Galore, and Sweetland).

Lise Lacouer is an outcast because of her gift for seeing the future. But it is this gift that lets her see beyond Winston Evans’ disfiguring scars and fall in love. Years later, their children, Theresa and Jerome, have inherited Lise’s gift and must struggle to find their own place within the community. But for Leo, their perfectly normal middle child, the struggle is the growing the chasm between himself and his peculiar family. While familial tensions mount and secrets are revealed, the Evans family come to see the monumental effect even the smallest spark can create.

A multi-tasking cast of eight tell the story on a copper stage literally flowing with live electricity. Crummey’s original narrative hums with danger and possibility, much like the world on which Artistic Fraud’s retelling unfolds.

You won’t find a more charged production… high wattage theatre.
Now Magazine

…relentlessly inventive… creepy and compelling.
The Globe and Mail

Photo Credit: Phil Churchill, Mary Colin Chisholm, Christian Murray, Melanie Brooks, Kevin Woolridge, and Colin Furlong in Afterimage.

Under Wraps

October 16, 2014 / no comments

Who could have predicted finding love in a furniture store, or finding it with an unemployed lifeguard? But despite their immediate connection, Mark isn’t sure if David is gay. Mark isn’t even sure if Mark is gay. As he falls deeper in love, Mark works desperately to make David nothing more than a friend and to make that enough. Tracking one man’s quest to finally love himself and let it all out,

Under Wraps plays out atop a giant billowing parachute cloth, while underneath a chorus of 14 people shape shift and sing.

Originally produced in 1997, Under Wraps is the show that put Artistic Fraud on the map, playing three sold out runs in St. John’s and touring to Halifax, Calgary, Banff and Vancouver.


…a note perfect piece of pure pleasure…
Vancouver Sun

Is this a rave review? Yes it is! Should you see this show? Yes you should!
The Telegram

Photo Credit: Ron Klappholz, Greg Gale in Under Wraps


Emile’s Dream

October 14, 2014 / no comments

Legendary Newfoundland fiddler and storyteller Emile Benoit was a figurehead for the Newfoundland folk renaissance, contributing over 150 distinctly original fiddle compositions, and his seemingly endless catalogue of fantastical stories of English, Irish, and French origins.

Originally commissioned by and co-produced at the Stephenville Theatre Festival as Vive La Rose, Emile’s Dream is a lively theatrical and musical tribute to a true Newfoundland legend.  Benoit was a character of mythic proportions while he was alive, and still now, fifteen years after his death.  Emile`s Dream is as alive and unpredictable as the man himself, with three actor/fiddlers trading off Emile’s words and music in a kinetic verbal and musical juggling act.  Kelly Russell, once a protégé of Emile himself, leads the group of three that also includes Daniel Payne and Phil Churchill.  Emile’s Dream is a must see for any and all with an interest in the music, stories, and French culture of Newfoundland, and for those who love a lively story and a night of great tunes.


Photo Credit: Phil Churchill, Daniel Payne, Kelly Russell in Emile’s Dream.