This piece was submitted by Laura Flynn AKA Flora Lynn. She devised and performs in Get Your Shuffle On, a solo show which is premiering at this year’s FRINGE. Laura’s piece is in the first in QDF’s series of artist-submitted works detailing experiences creating at the 26th edition of the St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival.

As well as being an active member of the Montreal improv community, I’ve also have been in previous Montreal Fringe Festivals: Griffintown by Théâtre Rua in 2010 and 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche by VSP in 2015. This is the first time that I’ve had full responsibility of a project on a large scale. I’d been accumulating ideas for Get Your Shuffle On over several years. The Fringe lottery came around in November 2015 and a little voice inside my head kept repeating “Now or never, now or never.” I entered and got picked. “Yay.”

Managing a project while also juggling the other things that pop up in life has taught me to aim for what is realistically possible in the current moment. This has made the Fringe an enjoyable process for me. The support of the Fringe community has been phenomenal. I feel actively participating in the community, in whatever way I can, is very beneficial to my Fringe experience overall. The Montreal Fringe community is one of the reasons why I have been an avid supporter of the festival since I first volunteered 11 years ago. Friends (in improv, theatre and beyond) have been wonderful with their guidance in relation to the production.

I was fortunate to find a director, Marie-Hélène Côté, who understands where I want to go to with my ideas and pulls out the best from them. Working with Marie-Hélène, I’ve discovered new ways of playing a scene, by devising and improvising, to create the material to be presented. I’ve been able to bring to life characters and stories inspired by my only-child-being-ness and my upbringing in Ireland. Marie-Hélène and I have been exploring ways of how to make the audience a part of my imagination and to enable them to connect the personal with the universal.

Thanks to my improv experience, “Yes, and …” has been my motto for my first solo Fringe adventure. I see my Fringe show like a seed. The Fringe has given me the opportunity to plant that seed and to discover all the ways it can bloom to its full potential in the future.

Get Your Shuffle On plays from June 10th-18th at Montreal Improv (3697 St-Laurent). For exact times and to purchase tickets, check out the FRINGE website!

Pictured above: Laura Flynn. Photo credit: Rachel Côté.

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