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‘June Bug’: Surrey talent brings ‘honest, outlandish portrayal of grief’ to Fringe Festival stage

A dozen venues on Granville Island for the annual festival, Sept 8-18
Surrey-based actor Pamela Carolina Martinez plays June Bug in a production at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival. (Submitted photo)

Billed as B.C.’s biggest theatre festival, Vancouver Fringe Festival is set to return with 11 days of boundary-pushing shows Sept. 8-18.

Some of the 70-plus productions are brought to Granville Island stages by Surrey-area talent including “June Bug,” written by Ashley Chodat and presented by Ragamuffin Productions.

For all ages, the play is called “an honest and outlandish portrayal of grief through the eyes of an imaginative youth.”

The character June Bug is an energetic and imaginative young girl who loves conspiracy theories, Patrick Swayze, and her granny. When her granny is abducted by aliens, June Bug is determined to save her and her home. June Bug allows your inner child to be explored, celebrated, cared for and loved.

“The last few years have been filled with feelings of loneliness, loss and confused hope,” Chodat notes. “It’s important for me to develop a piece that addresses those universal feelings, while celebrating connection and play. I’ve been particularly inspired by the resilience of children in these times. In June Bug, audiences rediscover their inner child and what it feels to be loved, supported and cared for from a child’s perspective.”

For six shows at The NEST from Sept. 8 to 17, “June Bug” involves a creative team that includes Surrey-area residents Ashley Chodat (playwright/co-producer), Sargil Tongol (director/co-producer), Pamela Carolina Martinez (actor) and Cassie Gilbert (stage manager), among others.

Martinez plays June Bug, along with Gabrielle Nebrida-Pépin. “We are a rotating cast to be prepared in case an actor falls ill,” noted Tongol.

Festival details are found on, where a festival guide can be downloaded.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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