With over 200 different shows brought to life at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, you’ll have plenty of chances to catch all the theatre you want featuring more than 1600 live performances over the course of the festival. Most Fringe shows happen within the festival grounds at established venues, but in order to include even more shows, the Fringe encourages artists to set up their own venues (called BYOV or Bring Your Own Venue) in the surrounding community.
The Edmonton Fringe is both the biggest celebration of our city’s theatre community and one of the highlights of the summer’s busy festival schedule. It’s also a time when familiar faces return to their roots and take part in a Fringe that gave them their first taste of success. One such act, Scratch, finished its ninth year of production at the Edmonton Fringe in 2013. Scratch’s lead duo, Kevin and Arlen, used their success to propel them to different parts of the world, New York City and Atlanta to be specific, to continue their careers. But they make the pilgrimage home each year.
Theatre that starts on the edge usually starts with a small audience. With all the major talent on display at the Edmonton Fringe, chances are you’ll see next years major theatre hit before it hits the mainstream. You and a handful of other theatregoers will be able to say “I saw it when the venue was so small you could reach out and touch the actors.”
Friends, travelers, theatre-lovers, lend me your ears! The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is an annual celebration of live theatre that lives on the edge of the mainstream. It’s where thousands of performers from around the world converge on Edmonton to push and play with the boundaries of live theatre, spilling from the stage onto the street and into your every experience at the Fringe Festival.
For ten days in late August, the Fringe takes over one of Edmonton’s most popular blocks in the Old Strathcona neighbourhood with street performers, outdoor stage shows, live storytelling, craft markets, beer gardens with local suds on tap, and plenty of original Edmonton food vendors.
Edmonton’s Fringe Theatre Festival is known around the world. Actors, performers and playwrights from every theatre community on the planet set the date of our Fringe on their calendar and prepare to make their appearance on our stage (and the world stage). The largest and the oldest Fringe Theatre Festival in North America, the Edmonton Fringe’s legacy began over 33 years ago and it’s one that people want to be a part of whether they’re living the experience from the stands, or contributing to our story from their place on the stage.
It’s easy to spend your whole day at the Fringe Festival without stepping inside a theatre. Between the huge selection of delicious festival fare like green onion cakes, frozen chocolate bananas, and bison burgers, and the surprising, often spontaneous story-telling sessions and street performances all around you, your Fringe Festival experience will never be the same from one day to the next. And the next, and the next.
Art truly makes Edmonton unique, and the Fringe is one of our greatest opportunities to showcase the talent of all the local artists living and working in our city. At this year’s Fringe you’ll find magicians, sword swallowers, buskers and beat boxers. In the years to come, you might find installation art, a digital mosaic projected onto a building exterior, a mime bathing in an imaginary fountain or a comedian who only performs atop a gazebo.