Flag Stop Festival returns with comedy, theatre and music 

The Point's annual event is a weekend of performance fun

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - Outdoor theatre The Point's famous floating stage gets another outing as it did for Between Two Tall Mountains by Brandon Barrett at the 2016 Flag Stop Festival.
  • File photo by Cathryn Atkinson
  • Outdoor theatre The Point's famous floating stage gets another outing as it did for Between Two Tall Mountains by Brandon Barrett at the 2016 Flag Stop Festival.

In Whistler, high summer means high art with the return of the Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival at The Point Artist-Run Centre. 

It's the sixth year of the event and The Point's artistic director, Stephen Vogler, says it now has longevity.

"There is a lot of variety this year. This is something that has grown through the years; we started with one night, one play and a band," Vogler explains.

"Now we bring a lot of different disciplines from the performing arts: comedy, clowns, both plays being performed are commissioned, original works, and the bands are outstanding.

"It's a good recipe. It has become an event in which performers are interested in taking part."

The festival runs from Friday, Aug. 11 to Sunday, Aug. 13.

Children participating in Ira Pettle's Flag Stop Theatre Camp kick off the festival at 3 p.m. on Friday with a free performance created from work done during the camp.

Friday night's offerings include actor Siobhan McCarthy in #freelove, a raunchy, adult-oriented, one-woman clown show, followed by comedy theatre with Art by Dennis Bolen.

"Dennis was up here two years ago when his good friend Brian Kauffman's play Sex at Sea was performed and he really liked what he saw and we talked. His play is light, twisted and comedic, set at a dinner party," Vogler says.

The night is complete with funky music from Vancouver's Bocephus King (See interview on page 59).

On Saturday, Toronto comedian Pat Thornton takes to the floating stage, followed by the comedy Womb Service by John McGie.

"Some things fall into your lap. Pat had a friend living out this way, and she was keen to get him to The Point. The timing was perfect. A nice bonus," Vogler says.

Both plays over the weekend have actors taking part in the first acting mentorship attached to the festival, and are co-directed by Pettle and Angie Nolan.

"The actors started working on the plays three months before the festival," Vogler says.

Music on Saturday night is provided by swing and gypsy-punk band Devil in the Wood Shack, from Vancouver.

Sunday afternoon continues the fun with singer-songwriter Will Ross, with lunch available from the Cypress Point Café and games such as bocce on the lawn outside.

And, as always, there are full dinners available for purchase and a cash bar. Classic chicken curry is on the menu on Friday, and slow-cooked barbecue pulled pork on Saturday. Vegetarian options are available.

Tickets are available at The Point Artist-Run Centre website at www.the pointartists.com. Tickets for Friday night or Saturday night with dinner are $40, while a ticket with dinner both nights is $70. Show-only tickets are $25 for each night, while tickets for 12 and under are $25 with dinner and $15 for show only.

Both plays contain adult subject matter and coarse language.

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