From audience member to actor, Ottawa Fringe Festival welcomes The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World to the stage

Photo credit: M. Innes

Since 1997, the Ottawa Fringe Festival has continued to provide a stage for the performing arts, accessible to artists and audience members alike. Ottawa Fringe Festival is Ottawa’s largest theatre festival where artists of the event keep 100% of their ticket sales. Fifty-four shows occupy the lineup for this year’s open-access, uncurated festival, but one show in particular that has caught our eye is that of Dr. Melissa Yuan-Innes.

Melissa, a local ER doctor and writer for the Medical Post, has always been an audience member until the Ottawa Fringe drew her on stage to reveal the trials and tribulations she has undergone as an emergency physician.

"We don't really talk about the ER with civilians. It's like the police or the army. We have to maintain confidentiality and use own jargon, so it's easier to keep it on the inside," says Melissa.

Her show, I Am the Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World (and Other True Tales From the Emergency Room), will premiere at the Ottawa Fringe on June 13th. The show is based on her raw, funny, unfiltered columns in the Medical Post, which were turned into a bestseller called The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World.

"I'm more comfortable on the page—and in the ER—than on the stage, but the Ottawa Fringe had these great boot camps on everything from dramaturgy to directing," says Melissa, who writes medical crime novels under the name Melissa Yi. "I wanted to figure out how to dramatize my novels. Then I decided to start with real life, because everyone's curious about blood, bile and guts. Still, I wouldn't have made the leap, except I won their Open Doors Program."

The Open Door mentorship program randomly selects two brand new producers who self-identify as a minority. All Fringe fees are waived, and winners are paired with a mentor. Catch I Am the Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World (and Other True Tales From the Emergency Room) at the Arts Court Theatre on:

Thursday, June 13 7:30PM
Saturday, June 15 10:30PM
Sunday, June 16 5:00PM
Wednesday, June 19 8:00PM
Thursday, June 20 7:00PM
Saturday, June 22 4:00PM