Capilano grad brings his ‘artistic experiment’ to the Fringe
// Natalie Treavor

They’re at it again: the Vancouver International Fringe Festival is celebrating its 27th year of “Theatre for Everyone”. Running Sept. 8 to the 18, and packed with over 600 performances by more than 80 groups, the Fringe Fest offers something for everyone. From a puppet show about a beauty pageant (Smile), to a solo exposé of the phone sex profession (Phone Whore), this year’s festival has no lack of interest.

This year, former Arts Administration and Management student, Eric Hinch, is participating as a "Bring Your Own Venue" artist, in which performers find their own spaces to perform. He is bringing his one-man show, The Sinner King, to the East Vancouver Cultural Centre. The play is written, produced, and acted by Hinch, and is "sort of a fairytale, just not for children.”

Hinch considers all his productions "artistic experiments" and in this play he draws from his experience as a veteran children’s performer. The story centers around a shape-shifting woman who lives in a microwave, and Hinch tells the story as a character who falls in love with her, but fails her many tests. The story has coarse language, drugs, sex, violence, and a powerful performer: the perfect combination to attract a large Fringe audience.

Hinch says that the Capilano AAM program really helped him to produce theatre on a more professional level. He says that he produces fewer shows now, because the program taught him how to implement successful production strategies, instead of going into a show headfirst without knowing the outcome. Now, he says, he can launch a show and know what to expect regarding ticket sales, return on investment, and promotional strategies.

He recommends the program to artists who are reluctant to wear the "show business hat,” because the course outlines where certain responsibilities lie. Even if the artist doesn't want to participate in the business side of things, “at least they will know who to outsource to, and what qualifications need to be fulfilled".

Eric was involved in theatre even in high school, where he took leadership with directorial roles as well as stage roles. After he graduated, he started his first theatre company, the Moon Shadow Players, in Guelph, Ontario.

After his time at Cap, Hinch had two shows that he attempted to take across Canada, which could have been successful if it weren’t for a van breakdown. During the day, he put on a children’s musical show called Lucky Dog Farm, and at night, he would perform an adult comedy, Secret of the Hashish Man.

Hinch says being part of the Fringe Festival is an exciting experience because "you get a lot of exposure, one hundred percent of the box office sales, and the festival provides awesome workshops for artists to help us with our shows…You pay a small fee to participate, but you get a lot in return." Hinch says he will be part of the Fringe Festival for years to come because there aren't many venues for "artistic experiments" and the audiences know to expect the unexpected at the festival.

Keep your eyes open for his next show, Get Over It, a live improv comedy of a “not so helpful self-help seminar,” coming up on Oct. 9 at the Penthouse Nightclub. During this, Hinch will be selling his “not so helpful self-help” book, full of satirical dark humor. He says it’s “a lot of fun,” and plans to tour the show to a few more places in the city.

Visit Eric Hinch’s site and get more information at

// Natalie Treavor

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