Falling (and staying) madly in love at Vancouver Fringe Fest

A play about what happens after the happy ending...

Credit: Megan Morrison

LoveSong unfolds at Vancouver International Fringe Festival

LoveSong unfolds at Vancouver International Fringe Festival

Happily ever after with Vancouver International Fringe Festival playwright/director Melissa Haller 


From September 9-19, 2010, the Vancouver International Fringe Festival takes over local stages to bring more than 600 performances from more than 80 groups to audiences. We caught up with Vancouver-based director and writer Melissa Haller in between stops at the Edmonton and Vancouver Fringe festivals to talk about what will be her first time in the local festival. Selected in the fringe lotto to have her project shown in both cities, Haller has been looking forward to sharing her play “LoveSong” with the smaller, more intimate crowds in Vancouver.


Watch the LoveSong trailer


‘LoveSong’ director/playwright Melissa Haller

“LoveSong” is 70-minute look at two very different people who have fallen madly in love, only to wake up one day and realize they might be on different pages of their own love story. What makes it funny are the characters’ sincerity and genuine confidence that they know exactly where the relationship is going; although to the audience, these two might as well be talking about relationships with completely different people at times.


Narrated by both characters, the story switches back and forth from an after-the-fact sort of tale to an in-the-moment point of view, making you feel at times like their shrink.



I spoke with Haller—a Vancouver transplant who grew up in Calgary and spent time living in London, England and Toronto—about love, Vancouver and her play.


Granville: How long have you been working on a LoveSong?

Melissa Haller: When I applied in November of last year, I had nothing written at all, so it was good motivation [laughs]. I started writing in January when my name was drawn for the Fringe and I didn’t stop until about mid-June. The actors [Aaron Hutchinson and Elizabeth Kirkland] were brought on board early June and the both had a big influence on the script because they get to know the characters in a completely different way.


Where did the idea for ‘LoveSong’ come from?

I have wanted to write a relationship play for a long time, with the crux of being in a relationship where you feel you know it and it doesn’t work out and it goes south on you.

Falling in love…


• 71% of those surveyed* believe in love at first sight

• 79% of men take 15 minutes on a first date to decide whether or not there will be a second one

• 52% of women and 48% of men surveyed have used a dating service, compared to 8% 10

years ago

• 53% of those surveyed have dated more than one person simultaneously

• 38% of women say that men are too clingy these days

• 35% of men are attracted to “modern career girls,” 34% are attracted to the “home-loving girl-next-door,” 0% stated they were attracted to the “outrageous vamp”


*Facts from Topdatingtips.com and Its Just Lunch



For a topic that is probably familiar to most people, how does the audience react?

It is different when you see it happen. There is something in storytelling that can make you laugh when you see something familiar reflected. It provides a kinship and a feeling that you are not alone. I have seen couples jokingly nudging each other in parts, arms around each other at different parts.


You are a Vancouver transplant, what do you think of the theatre scene here?

One thing I like about the theatre scene here is that it’s more experimental. The Toronto crowd tries things but they are more career-oriented so they play it a bit safer to ensure they do well. It’s a lot less pretentious here. The scene is smaller, so people know each other and help each other out more and there are a lot more co-productions.


You have acted, written, produced, directed; do you have a favourite?

Directing for sure! And writing/directing. It is gratifying to write something and then put it out there; to create my own piece. I have written and acted before LoveSong, but never written and directed. It has been an interesting learning experience.


How so?

It is easy to become blind when you are writing and directing. It is so personal. A director will typically come in with fresh eyes and see different patterns that the writer might not pick up on. In this case, I had a lot of different people read drafts and then it was the actors who brought the fresh eyes and whom I collaborated with.


Seeing that your play on relationships, what do you think of the dating scene in town?

Everyone I have met has said the same thing here–it is hard to meet people in Vancouver. I find people I know use online dating and meet-up groups here more than in other places I have lived. You really have to be active here and into kayaking, hiking, all that stuff.


What are some of your Vancouver favourites?

Well, I live in Kitsilano… so, Arbutus Coffee makes all their freshly baked goods and has a nice comfy feel and Temaki Sushi is good and reasonably priced. I am in sushi heaven here! In Toronto, sushi is really expensive and hard to get; my first day in Vancouver, I found rolls in a food court.


Tickets and schedule

LoveSong is playing at Studio 16-1555 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver at the following times:


Wednesday, September 15, 5:05 p.m.

Thursday, September 16, 9:55 p.m.

Friday, September 17, 6:55 p.m.

Sunday, September 19, 1:20 p.m.


Tickets are $10 for Monday to Thursday shows and $12 for Friday to Sunday shows. Buy them online at vancouverfringe.com.