Click below for audio of an interview with Dani Fecko about Neworld’s touring works, or scroll down for full text.
Christine Quintana (Marketing and Operation Coordinator): So tell me about what you do for Neworld?
Dani Fecko (Tour Agent): The essence – I sell Neworld. I sell Neworld! I travel around the world and the country, and I build relationships with presenters who buy work, and I talk to them about Neworld and I talk to them about what’s going on, and I help to broker deals to build tours for Neworld or book them gigs, and I’ll also sometimes help them apply for different Contact events so they can go showcase. Like what happened with Inside/Out.
CQ: Yeah, tell me about what you just did with Inside/Out.
DF: So we just went to something called Contact East. Across Canada there are – and the states actually – but in this case across Canada there are regional networks. So the East Coast has one, there’s one called Pacific Contact, Alberta Saskatchewan and Ontario, there’s one in Quebec, and we went to one on the East Coast with all the Maritime presenters. And basically there’s a jury who chooses who gets to show case – the first vetting of the shows – and Inside/Out got chosen for a full length showcase, so we did 60 minutes of the 80 minute piece on a glorious Saturday morning, we built the show in an hour and a half and then did the show. And a bunch of the presenters were there, and hopefully we’ll get a tour out of it on the East Coast.
CQ: That’s super exciting.
DF: It was really great. It was very exciting!
CQ: And what’s coming up next for Winners and Losers?
DF: Winners and Losers is going up to the High Performance Rodeo in Calgary this year. Jamie is in school right now, so we’re not touring as consistently in long chunks, we’re doing more little run-outs which is a different way to go but it’s working for us. So they’re going to Calgary for High Performance Rodeo and then in the spring they’ll be down in Portland at Artist’s Repertory Theatre.
CQ: So what does it mean for you to see Vancouver artists touring nationally and internationally?
DF: I think for me the more Vancouver artists tour, the more Vancouver artists tour. This is something I’ve definitely seen with the Quebec scene, people see really strong work from one place and then they recognize that they like seeing work from that place. So there’s such fantastic work happening in Vancouver and such important stories that are being told from so many artists, so the more that we can get them out on the road, the more there will be an appetite for work coming from this beautiful place all around the country and the world.
CQ: Where do you see Vancouver artists and specifically Neworld’s touring work – where do they sit for you in what’s happening nationally in terms of touring content?
DF: That’s a good question. Where do they sit? I think Neworld has such a wide variety of work, they’re definitely one of my more diverse clients in what they have to offer. So Inside/Out arguably, is a play-play – it’s a scripted show, and it’s a one man show and it’s just talking. Winners and Losers, more of a collective creation but still a scripted show. And then King Arthur’s Night is way other on the other side and it’s scripted and its’ a collective creation but it’s definitely more into the realm of contemporary theatre practice. So I think that Neworld is really listening to what’s happening in the world – well, in Vancouver, I think its’ really hard to speak to what’s happening in the country because we’re so big here. Um, but what draws me to Neworld and to Marcus and Chelsea’s leadership is that they’re not afraid to admit what they don’t know, and what’s new to them, and to investigate that through art practice. Winners and Losers, where Jamie and Marcus recognized that they worked very differently from each other and wanting to explore what that was. King Arthur’s Night is Marcus and Niall recognizing that they work and think and see the world differently from each other and exploring what that is. Chelsea directing Straight White Men, which won’t be touring necessarily, but her recognizing that that’s a different way of thinking. I think that hunger for curiosity is what is important for the national conversation because it will continue to drive the form forward by always wanting to be more – and not necessarily better, better is a dangerous word – but to go deeper and to go more robust. And I’d say with Patrick, I know it’s a curiosity for a story that I know I’ve never heard on stage, and we get to hear it in this really beautiful way. The responses have been incredible.
CQ: Yeah. And uh finally – what’s your favorite part about being a tour agent?
DF: God, I love my clients so much. I’m really proud. My favorite part is I get to meet new people, and I get to help other people to fall in love with the art I’m that already in love with. And I get to help other people be able to see these fantastic artists, and that’s pretty fucking cool.
CQ: Oh man! That’s lovely! Thanks for talking to me Dani.
DF: Hey thanks for talking to me, buddy!
CQ: K bye listeners!