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Victoria International Fringe Festival (2018)

August 23rd - 8:00 PM
August 24th - 8:00 PM
August 26th 
- 8:00 PM
August 28th - 8:00 PM
August 29th - 8:00 PM
August 30th - 8:00 PM
August 31st - 8:00 PM
September 1st - 8:00 PM

Victoria – Metro Studio Theatre (2019)

November 14th – 8:00 PM
November 15th – 8:00PM
November 16th – 2:00 PM
November 16th – 8:00 PM

Vancouver – Firehall Arts Centre (2019)

November 21st – 7:30 PM
November 22nd – 8:00 PM
November 23rd – 8:00 PM
November 24th – 3:00 PM
November 26th – 7:30 PM
November 27th – 1:00 PM
November 27th – 7:30 PM
November 28th – 7:30 PM
December 1st – 3:00 PM
December 3rd – 7:30 PM
December 4th – 1:00 PM
December 4th – 7:30 PM
November 29th – 8:00 PM
November 30th – 8:00 PM
December 5th – 7:30 PM
December 6th – 8:00 PM
December 7th – 8:00 PM
December 8th – 3:00 PM
December 10th – 7:30 PM
December 11th – 1:00 PM
December 11th – 7:30 PM
December 12th – 7:30 PM
December 13th – 8:00 PM
December 14th – 8:00 PM

Vancouver – Firehall Arts Centre (2023)

January 14th – 7:30 PM
January 15th – 7:30 PM
January 17th – 7::30 PM
January 18th – 1:00 PM
January 18th – 7:30 PM
January 19th – 7:30 PM
January 20th – 7:30 PM
January 21st  – 3:00 PM
January 21st –  7:30 PM
January 22nd – 3:00 PM
January 24th – 7:30 PM
January 25th – 1:00 PM
January 25th – 7:30 PM
January 26th – 7:30 PM
January 27th – 7:30 PM
January 28th – 3:00 PM
January 28th – 7:30 PM
January 29th – 3:00 PM
January 31st – 7:30 PM
February 1st – 1:00 PM
February 1st – 7:30 PM
February 2nd – 7:30 PM
February 3rd – 7:30 PM
February 4th – 3:00 PM

February 4th -- 7:30 PM

February 5th -- 3:00 PM


Puente Theatre & Firehall Arts Centre present


“Fado, The Saddest Music in the World”

Written by Elaine Ávila

Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

Featuring live music by Fado singer Sara Marreiros

Acclaimed Portuguese-Canadian playwright Elaine Ávila’s new play, FADO, is a tale of love and ghosts set in the back alleys and brothels of old Lisbon. Part concert, part theatre, the story of a young woman confronting her country’s Fascist past and her own identity is interwoven with the heartbreaking national music of Portugal known as Fado, which means “fate.”

FADO runs 80 minutes with no intermission, is presented in English with the songs of Fado in Portuguese. An English translation of the songs is provided in the program.

“…resonates and pulls at heartstrings in inexpressible ways.  Fado is another triumph for Mercedes Bátiz-Benét and Puente Theatre.”

                                                                                         ~ Janice Lacouvée

“Fado is a triumph.  Its raw emotion echoes long after the final notes are sung.”


                                                                                         ~ Showbill Canada

... "director Mercedes Bátiz-Benét succeeds triumphantly in bringing Avila’s script to life, in what can only be described as a feat of fantastic nostalgia."

                                                                                           ~ CM Plays to See

"A Portuguese-Canadian blues beautifully told: FADO — The Saddest Music in the World, retraces some familiar tropes of the immigrant experience while beautifully unearthing the particulars of these characters."

                                                                                            ~ National Post

FADO is a "nuanced portrait of the tough questions that nearly every immigrant family ponders, transforming FADO into a rich ensemble piece exploring the stories of identity, legacy and heartbreak that embody Portugal’s famously sorrowful music."

                                                                                         ~MTH Check the Program



The hit of the Victoria Fringe in 2018, FADO won the Award for Favourite Musical, with BC’s own beloved Sara Marreiros playing the ghost of Amália Rodrigues, the queen of Fado. 

In 2020, FADO won the inaugural JAYMAC Outstanding Production Award at the Greater Victoria Regional Arts Awards.


Written by: Elaine Ávila
Directed by: Mercedes Bátiz-Benét
Starring: Sara Marreiros, Natércia Napoleão, Lucia Frangione, Judd Palmer, Pedro M. Siqueira, Chris Perrins, and Dan Weisenburger
Stage Management by: Emma Dickerson (2018, 2019)

                                           Victoria Snashall & Susan Currie (2023)
Costume & Set Design by: Patricia Reilly
Lighting Design by: Emma Dickerson (2018, 2019)

                                     Ted Roberts (2023)
Sound Design by: Aidan Dunsmuir



DirectorMercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winning director. She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing in both poetry and drama, and a BA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Victoria (where she was honoured as the 2015 Faculty of Fine Arts Distinguished Alumna), as well as a Diploma in Film Production from the Pacific Film & New Media Academy. Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival “Faustfest”, Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles, With Open Arms, El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera, Cruel Tears/Lágrimas Crueles, a Puente and Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre co-production, The Umbrella, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Puente Theatre’s Gruff. In 2014, Mercedes won the Canadian Stage Award for Direction at the SummerWorks Festival with her play El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera. Mercedes is the artistic director of Puente Theatre.


PlaywrightElaine Avila’s writing is described as “bold, intelligent, forthright, spirited, compassionate, inviting, wide ranging” (Caridad Svich); “open, generous,” (Erik Ehn); “tremendously gifted, innovative,” (Suzan-Lori Parks) and “stunningly effective, poetic and insightful.” (Kathleen Weiss).

Her plays are produced in Central America (Teatro Lagartija, National Theatre of Panamá); Canada, (Canadian Centre for Theatre Creation, Theatre SKAM, Puente Theatre, SNAFU Dance Theatre); New York City (Saudade Theatre, Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, Hybrid Theatre Works, Occupy the Empty Space); the U.S. (Tricklock, Theatre Simple); Portugal (Café A Brasileira, Kitimat), and London, England (Tracey Neuls).

Recent plays: Jane Austen, Action Figure; Quality: the Shoe Play, La Frontera/The Border, Lieutenant Nun, Change, Memorial, Burn Gloom. 

Selected awards: Victoria Critic’s Circle for Best New Play, DISQUIET International Short Play Award (Lisbon), New Works for Young Women Award (Tulsa), Best Production/ Audience Favorite—Festival de los Cocos (Panamá City). She has taught in universities from British Columbia to Tasmania, China to Panamá.

Publications: No Passport Press (Jane Austen Action Figure and other Plays, 2012 in 24 Gun Control Plays, 2013), Canadian Theatre Review, Portuguese American Review, Café Onda, American Theater, Contemporary Theatre Review. She is an Associate at the Playwrights Theatre Centre, former Endowed Chair/Head of the MFA Program in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico, and founder of the LEAP Playwriting Program at the Arts Club Theater in Vancouver.


On Elaine Avila’s plays:

“Touching, exciting … People will be talking about it for years to come.”

                                                        —Monday Magazine

“Subversive, full of surprises.” —Edmonton Journal

“Passionate, hyper-Canadian.” —National Post


Music Director/PerformerSara Marreiros is the embodiment of a musical nomad.  Her latest EP, "Something Sweet on The Wind", was released to a worldly following of listeners who appreciate her presence as a songstress who maps together melodic stories of the old and new.

Growing up between Sagres, Portugal, and Victoria, Canada, Sara was brought up in many traditions traveling her way through Europe and North America.  Musically speaking, Sara from a young age was immersed in experiences of Fado bars falling asleep in her parents arms, to the sounds of busy  city Morocco and Paris squares, as well as formal Jazz and Classical studies in Victoria.  Rich settings for song to grow. Adulthood came with her first big move to N Y. at age 18, living for a year within an emersion in the Jazz scene.  Her adventures continued to Portugal, US, and throughout Canada where Sara performed collaborated, and recorded alongside musicians with influences of hip-hop, jazz, world beat, electronic and folk. Working and rubbing shoulders with many notable names, Sara collected insights informing and establishing her colourful perspective at many venues such as the Vancouver Folk Festival and recording live CBC studio sessions across Canada.  As time polished her identity, the heritage sounds of Fado became a stronger calling with its haunting and soulful yearning of Saudade.  Debuting with the album “Alma De Terra “in 2002, followed by”Minha Luz” in 2005 and now highlighted in her newest gem “Something sweet on the Wind” released August, 2012.

Amália Rodrigues


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