Molison Farmer Headshot

Q&A Series: Molison Farmer, Founder of Kerploding Theatre

Read our interview with Molison Farmer, creator and director of Trunk! from Kerploding Theatre:

Gabriola Theatre Festival: This is your first visit to the Gabriola Theatre Festival. What are you looking forward to most about bringing Kerploding Theatre to Gabriola?

Molison Farmer: I think we are all very excited about bringing our show to a completely new audience. We have friends, family, and kids who we are used to seeing in our Victoria audiences (and we are so grateful to them, too!) but it is going to be so exciting to perform for an audience who has no idea who we are or what we do. We get to experience being a brand new company again!

GTF: What was the inspiration for your new show, “Trunk!”? What can the Gabriola audience expect from this show?

MF: The inspiration was created initially by a group of 9 year old campers in Ontario- they asked me to tell them a story, and I looked around the cabin for inspiration. They all had these big trunks… so I made up a story about a witch who had a magical Trunk that could take her wherever she wanted to go. A few years later, I thought about using that premise for a Fringe production, but we took the rest of our inspiration from kids all over Victoria. We did workshops at different libraries and schools and asked kids, “if you had a magic trunk, where would you go, and what would you do?” Kids have the most absurd, hilarious, unique, and creative ideas, so we took their stories and wove them together into one big mega-plot.

Audiences can expect an adventure that is filled with pure childhood imagination. Adults can relive the wacky wonder that they experienced in their childhood, and kids can see a show that is the product of their own ideas and interests.

GTF: “Trunk!” won the pick of the fringe for Victoria Fringe Festival’s family fest. Tell us about this journey.

MF: Trunk! at the Victoria Fringe Festival last summer was the highlight of my theatre adventures so far, and I think that some of the cast members would agree. I started working on the show in January, the rest of the team joined me in April, and together we played and devised and rehearsed until we had created something we believed was special enough to bring to audiences. It was amazing watching our audiences go from 10 people to 80 people in just a week. I think adults were a bit surprised at how much they enjoyed a “kids show,” and the kids…. there is nothing that brings me quite as much joy as seeing the their faces light up – they had so much fun and would leave the theatre giggling and singing the songs. Some even left us pictures of the Dragon and other lovable characters. I’ll never forget that experience.

 GTF: Kerploding Theatre is made up of recent University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre grads. Can you tell us what you’ve been up to with the company since graduation?

MF: We did two shows during the school year- one was a SATCo (Student Alternative Theatre Company) production in the fall called Amelia and the Dwarfs, written by one of my role models Erin Shields, a Toronto playwright. Our next production was a collective creation called WordPLAY which was presented as an Intrepid Theatre You Show. Since school has ended, we created a piece for Theatre SKAM’s Bike Ride, and I have been writing a play for this years Victoria Fringe called “TATTERHOOD,” which has been a very different experience. Unlike the other shows, I sat down to write this one more or less on my own. It is an adaptation of an old folk tale which focuses on two strong female characters on a great adventure. This show has puppetry dance, music, sword fighting, and I think some great acting challenges as well. It will certainly be a large challenge for us, but a very rewarding one.

GTF: How often does Kerploding Theatre go on the road?

MF: This is our very first theatre road trip! But hopefully the first of many. I would love to travel to schools, summer camps, and more theatre festivals in the future.

GTF: How was it that you ended up working in children’s theatre?

MF: I have always loved working with children, and always loved theatre… so at some point I thought it would be great to put the two together. I couldn’t have been more right- it has been the most fun, challenging, and rewarding experience of my life and I hope to be doing it for a very long time.

 GTF: What show are you looking forward to seeing at the Gabriola Theatre Festival?

MF: The local Victorian in me is very excited to see Clayton Jevne’s Falstaff. The feminist in me can’t wait for Strapless. I also am excited about Tomorrow’s Dawn, coming all the way from France! It’s cheating to say all of them, right?


Theatre Festival Raffle means we’re going shopping!

This year’s Gabriola Theatre Festival raffle means we get to go shopping! And it’s the best kind of shopping: it supports Gabriola’s artists and artisans!

You’ll have a chance to win three raffle prizes, one drawn on each night of the Festival. The first prize is $100 worth of art and other artisan products from the artists you’ll meet at Street Art. The second will have a value of $200, and the third will be worth $300! Get your tickets early — you will be entered in all three draws! The winners will be drawn before each 7 pm main stage play (you don’t have to be present to win).

Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and will be for sale at our ticket booth come August 1st, at the Speakeasy Launch Party, and throughout the festival weekend.

Stay tuned for pictures of the fabulous prizes!

Looking to get into the Speakeasy? Knock on the right-hand door and tell the friendly doorman this password: Phonus balonus! Don’t tell anyone! And make sure to write it down. Soon it will disappear from this post.

Lulu Turns Ten — Deadline Extended!

Are you interested in submitting a proposal to participate in Lulu’s Tenth Anniversary Season? The deadline has been extended to August 31. Get all of the details here.


Q&A Series: Chelsea Haberlin, Co-Founder of ITSAZOO Productions

Gabriola Theatre Festival: This is your fourth visit to the Gabriola Theatre Festival. What is it about this Festival that keeps you coming back?

Chelsea Haberlin: We love the supportive community and it’s a great opportunity to get out of the city for a few days to beautiful Gabriola in the summer. We’ve also always found the festival organizers to be incredibly accommodating, making it a joy to come back.

GTF: ITSAZOO’s productions vary in large ways from year to year.  We’ve seen Robin Hood, Shakespeare and more. How do you choose what you’ll be working on next? And how do you choose what you’ll be bringing to Gabriola?

CH: That’s sort of the way we work. We have a mandate to perform shows in site-specific/non-traditional venues or new Canadian plays that feature emerging artists. Many projects fit under this broad umbrella. For many years we were excited by modern adaptations of classic stories performed promenade style in parks – that’s where Robin Hood came from. Last year Antony Holland invited us to participate in Shylock and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to work with that legend of a man. The past two years we’ve been focusing on in-yer-face published plays staged in an immersive environment. This is where Mr. Marmalade comes from. Read more…


Gift Certificates Available Online!

Want to buy tickets for your friends or family as a thank you, a congratulations, or just because? Not sure which play they would most want to see? Not sure what day they’ll be on Gabriola? Well now we’ve made available, the gift of theatre and fun!

You can give a single ticket, a pass, or a GAC membership as a gift! Just fill out the online order form below, and choose whether you’d like them mailed to an address or picked up at the ticket booth! Give ‘em fast so the lucky person can trade them for tickets before shows start selling out!

Buy Gift Certificates here!



Gabriola Theatre Festival at the Saturday Market!

Don’t miss the Gabriola Theatre Festival fun at the Saturday market today! The weather has cooled down to make it a bearable morning of veggie-munching, aisle-cruising, small-talking, GTF Ticket-buying, happy morning. VIsit Alina at the Gabriola Theatre Festival table AND don’t miss the festival guest! Could it be Trowel? Trent Trowel?

kids day

A whole day for the family at the Gabriola Theatre Festival!

What are you doing with the family on August 16th? We’ve got a whole Saturday morning and afternoon for the kids and you don’t have to plan a thing!

The Gabriola Theatre Festival is very excited to announce their not-to-be-missed fun-filled kids day.

Start off your day with a scrumptious $5 pancake breakfast from the Gabriola Lions. Then head to the Holland Stage to see the $10 award-winning musical, Trunk! from Victoria’s Kerploding Theatre! Their talent will even have the parents on their feet!

At the end of the show, follow the cast to the outdoor stage for a quick finale song before GROWLS comes alive! Have fun with puppets and live music before stepping over to the kids corner! The kids corner has a NEW dressup stage, crafts, face painting and more!

And we’re not done yet! Head on over to the library at 2pm to see Gabriola’s own free award-winning band, The Kerplunks!

A whole day of fun for only $15! We’re so excited and hope you are too!

2013 Gabriola Theatre Festival trailer!

Check out the 2-minute trailer of all the happenings in the hub while waiting for the main stage shows to begin!

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Gabriola Theatre Festival Q&A in BC Musician Magazine!

BC Musician Magazine rocks! They just published a huge spread on the Gabriola Theatre Festival! For the last 5 years, amidst an abundance of inspiring theatre, we’ve had a rocking (free!) outdoor stage with all kinds of music and performers! And the outdoor stage coordinator, Lisa Webster-Gibson, along with Festival Director Alina Cerminara have spoken! Check out this Q&A here to learn more about the festival, thoughts on youth in the arts, theatre and writing, and island festivities!


“Lisa: Theatre is driven by the deep need / desire we all have to connect with each other, to share experience, and feel alive with that experience. Especially, if that experience makes us laugh, or learn.”


Get involved with our Inclusivity Campaign!

The Gabriola Theatre Festival has launched a new campaign to enable all Gabriolans to attend the Gabriola Theatre Festival mainstage shows.

The Gabriola Arts Council recognizes the importance of the arts in the community and in individual development: it’s been proven that the arts not only stimulate community economic growth but they can also improve quality of life. GAC’s mandate is to facilitate greater public awareness of and participation in the arts. We value and encourage community engagement, while fostering connections between and within community organizations. At this year’s Theatre Festival, we’re offering an amazing selection of ten professional shows to entertain, amuse, inspire and move you including musicals, a mystery, some comedy, a little Shakespeare, a little drama and something for the kids.

We ask that you consider being a part of our campaign, in partnership with People for a Healthy Community and other organizations, to ensure that everyone has access to the ticketed events at the Festival.

The campaign is simple: you let us know how many tickets you would like to purchase for donation. We’ll make sure those tickets get into the hands of people who would not have otherwise been able to attend a mainstage show. You can donate a single ticket for $20, three tickets for $50, five tickets for $80, or more. If you’d specifically like to donate tickets to the children’s show, those are $10 each.

What’s in it for you? Besides the joy that comes from acting generously and creating an opportunity for other people to enjoy the arts, you will also be acknowledged on the Gabriola Arts Council website (with a weblink and logo, if desired), on the Theatre Festival blog, on the Theatre Festival Facebook page, and your donation will be acknowledged directly on the ticket.

Can we count on your contribution? Please email Alina at to let her know how you would like to participate. She’ll make all of the necessary arrangements.

Check out the Gabriola Theatre Festival website for all of the details on the shows and other events throughout Festival weekend. Don’t forget to order tickets for yourself! Tickets are selling like the Lions Club hotcakes!

Thanks for your time and we look forward to your support.


What an amazing July 4th!

So many great things happened for the festival today! What a fabulous community. We got a big spread in BC Musician Magazine with Outdoor Coordinator, Lisa Webster-Gibson showcased. The wonderful Gabriolan Jack Mattes donated lumber for entrance construction, Kristin Miller has offered to take on the curtain construction, new lovely Gabriola resident Ava Crabbe is using her talent to design the entrance way, we might have found a couple more people to billet performers (still looking!), and 103.1 Jack/Ocean98.5 FM has offered to sponsor the event! And that is only today. There are so many more people doing amazing things to make this event happen who have been working at it everyday. Thanks everyone!

ANNND RIGHT after I post this, Colin Mochrie emails me back about Antony Holland. Say whaa!


Chelsea Haberlin: Making Waves & Comin’ to Gabe with Itsazoo! (again)

Chelsea Haberlin featured in the Vancouver Sun! Chelsea Haberlin and Itsazoo Productions just won a Jessie Award for Outstanding Small Theatre Production for their production of “Killer Joe”, which was an awesome in-your-face show that took place in a Vancouver trailer. And for their fourth year Itsazoo will be here with Delinquent Theatre with their show “Mr. Marmalade”. And don’t miss Chelsea, hosting the Emerging Artists workshop on Saturday August 16th at 4pm!

Read interview with Chelsea Haberlin here!