Arts & Culture

Richmond company’s show on at Fringe Festival

By Hannah Scott

Published 1:03 PDT, Thu September 8, 2022

Last Updated: 3:20 PDT, Mon September 26, 2022

Richmond’s Direct Theatre Collective is presenting a new show, verisimilitude, at the Vancouver Fringe Festival beginning this weekend.

Artistic director Jill Raymond, who also stars in the show, calls it a theatre-film hybrid. Projected video elements interact with live scenes on stage, focused on the concept of living entirely in a digital realm.

“It’s definitely going to be a rollercoaster of emotion,” says Raymond. “There’s a lot of comedy in the show but it does explore some deeper themes such as mental health, isolation, and struggling with the idea of what purpose is on the planet and why we’re here. I think that mostly people will get a sense that they want to hug their friends and family afterwards.”

Exploring the blend of theatre and film has been a unique experience, according to Raymond. And during the pandemic, that new format has presented more opportunity.

“During the pandemic, there was lots of exploration around how theatre can develop now that we’re seeing this need for potentially spacing it, or not being able to do everything live—what does a version of theatre look like that can blend different elements together?” says Raymond. “Working on that interaction between live and filmed is something that we haven’t done before as a company, so that’s been really interesting for us to explore. We want to continue to develop and explore these kind of hybrid art forms and where that can lead us.”

Creating the video components adds extra work for Raymond and her co-producer Isa Sanchez, who started filming at the beginning of August and continued to film into the early days of September. But despite the tight timeline, Raymond is still confident things will come together to create a great final product.

The framework of the Fringe Festival helps with organizational elements like ticketing and advertising. Venue rentals are also subsidized, insurance is provided, and venues come with a technical staff member. Aside from the membership ticket fees, most revenue from individual shows’ ticket sales goes back to artists.

“Creatively, the Fringe is (so) supportive of other artists and people exploring ideas and themes in exciting ways that you don’t normally see in a traditional theatre setting,” says Raymond.

And after working on verisimilitude since early 2020, when it was first approved for a Fringe slot, Raymond is excited to finally see it come to fruition.

“The show has undergone lots of different changes. Being able to be back together in the theatre for Fringe this year is a huge joy for us as a company, but also kind of reflects and speaks on the theme of the show, being together and sharing spaces and experiences and being human beings,” she says.

“This is the first new production that we’ve done in three years. It’s very different having gone through this process working more as a single writer, the process has been less collaborative—so that’s an interesting process for me that I haven’t done before.”

verisimilitude is playing at the Waterfront Theatre from Sept. 10 to 18. For more information, visit

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