Thursday, Apr 4 | 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
The Haven Phoenix Auditorium

Gabriola welcomes back King of the Fringe TJ Dawe, with his latest (some say greatest) monologue. Punctuated with music tracks and manipulated sounds created live on stage, Dawe tells a mighty tale about growing up, blowing things up, LSD, and holotropic breathing. (85 min, 14+.)

Playwright, director, actor, and dramaturge TJ Dawe’s name is synonymous with Fringe Festival. Dawe has been performing his autobiographical solo shows across Canada and abroad for more than 20 years, and has performed in more than 100 festivals.

In turns hysterical and heartbreaking, frantic and thoughtful, Dawe and his theatrical monologues have become a Gabriola favourite. Previously here with shows Medicine and Marathon, Dawe is opening this year’s Isle of the Arts Festival with the outstanding Burn Job.

Burn Job is another impressive achievement in Dawe’s ongoing search for himself. His stories are exquisitely crafted, and whether he’s being funny, informative, or insightful, his perspectives on both youthful folly and adult self-deception are smart, nuanced, and generous.

“…a thoughtful meditation on the way we narrate our lives, and the flaws of memory.” —Winnipeg Free Press

Four Stars – Edmonton Sun, Winnipeg Free Press, CBC

“A smartly crafted and well-paced gem of a show”- Orlando Sentinel

“Dawe commands the stage with irrevocable presence.” —Sad Mag

“TJ is smart, funny and very courageous…He deftly jumps between the deep emotional story of his life and to lighthearted comedy.” —Vancouver Vantage

Dawe and his partner Lindsay Robertson will also be performing a two-person music-monologue-hybrid show—an hour of stripped-down songs and storytelling entitled A Sad Ass Cabaret. Dawe is a master of transforming research into riveting stories. His tales from the lives of well-known musicians are complemented by Robertson’s music. These two “sommeliers of tears” let us in on Hank Williams’s final concert, Judy Garland’s tragic childhood, Bessie Smith’s badass defiance, and Sufjan Stevens’s faith in the power of love. Robertson’s dusky, raw, and hauntingly beautiful voice and gentle acoustic guitar pair seamlessly with Dawe’s carefully crafted prose to make a thoroughly enjoyable performance.

This show is a tear-jerker, as the title so elegantly tells us, and if the stories aren’t enough to pull at our heartstrings, Robertson’s voice will steal your heart. A Sad Ass Cabaret reveals the power of sad music and the way that we all relate to the struggles of these musicians.

“TJ Dawe is something special…we need more of his kind of performer on the stage.”VancityBuzz

“Dawe is…an artist who knows how to find those universal truths.” —FIVE STARS Winnipeg Free Press


IotA opens with wisdom, song, and blessing from Snuneymuwx elder Geraldine Manson, and a few gratitudes and stirring speeches from festival organizers. Have some fun before the show starts at 7:30. And stick around after the show with TJ, when we’ll do some breathing exercises, listen to music from DJ Peter Wishinski, and enjoy each other’s company.

$25 | 175 tickets max.