Today marks the start of the 24th annual Toronto Fringe Festival, which as in previous years continues to expand with its offering of independent theatre productions.
Join Executive Director Gideon Arthurs, along with David Mirvish, David Miller and Mike Layton for the festival kickoff, 4:30pm at the Fringe Club behind Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West.
The Festival has always been a home for boundary-pushing artists to explore, and it has now grown beyond the traditional theatre productions, incorporating a variety of interactive, pedestrian artist markets showcasing the talent of 15 Toronto-based visual artists. These thespians are putting on micro-plays bringing theatre to small tents and sheds as part of Alley Plays, taking place in Artist Alley at the Fringe Club located behind Honest Ed’s at Bloor and Bathurst.
Shows like Camp Schecky are bringing the idea of site specific to the next level by inviting audience members onto a big yellow school bus to take the ride to camp through the streets of Toronto, while Dina: The Burlapped Crusader is using technology to bring a whole new meaning to audience participation. A list of Family Friendly programming can be found here.
It’s virtually impossible to see all 155 shows at over 25 locations throughout the city. The gamut of themes and subject matter is as diverse as can be, so it’s basically up to each of us to do a bit of research beforehand and see if there are any specific plays that we really want to catch. Other than that, just get out and enjoy all there is to offer. Some of the best plays I’ve seen are those that I unexpectedly ended up at without knowing a thing about them in advance. Click here for some more tips on how to best navigate your way throughout the Festival.
As always, the Fringe Club is the place to grab a drink, hang with the artists and performers pre and post show, and where you will hear the latest scoop on what’s hot this year. The Fringe Club is also packed with free daily programming, such as Tent Talks with the theme “Theatre is Dead. Long Live Theatre!” While you’re there, stick around to take in the Open Mic entertainment at the outdoor stage every night from 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Only 50% of tickets are sold in advance, and the rest are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, so book early to avoid disappointment or take your chance and perhaps catch something you least expected. Last year saw 95,000 people attend the festival, and $410,000 was returned directly to the artists.
I’m off and Fringing, and will keep you posted on my progress. See you there!
Toronto Fringe Festival runs July 4 – 15 at various locations throughout the city. Performances are daily between 11:00am and 11:00pm. Click here for a PDF version of the program.
Over the phone at 416.966.1062
In person at the venue starting one hour before show-time
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