It is impossible to see every show at the Winnipeg Theatre Fringe Festival. If you went to as many shows as humanly possible, from noon to midnight everyday, and didn’t stop to eat or go to the bathroom, it is mathematically possible to see eight shows a day for ten of those days, three shows the first day, and five on the final day. That works out to 88 shows… and a trip to a padded room.
That’s a little over half of the productions available at this years Fringe… so if there were two people trying to get to every show that they could, it’s possible that they would only see four or five of the same shows. Their experiences would be completely different; two Fringes side by side.
There is a controversy about Fringe Festivals, not just Winnipeg, getting too large to support all the performers in them; that the audiences are too spread out and artists can’t make their money to survive… I understand where they are coming from, but I don’t really see it in as drastic a light. I can say for sure that the houses at Venue 2 have been very very good this year with many sell outs and large houses, and as I walk the grounds, I see a lot of long line ups. I guess we’ll see if our numbers are up by the weekend… some of these cold December winds may have hurt our attendance.
Tomorrow is Saturday and the beginning of load outs in our venue… things are starting to draw to a close, but there is still a lot of Fringing left and I hope the crowds come out to the shows to justify this festival’s size. I think they will… I don’t think we’ve reached that “It’s too big!” stage just yet. I think that the Fringe will know when it has, and stop expanding, but until then, let’s fill these venues and give these performers a fabulous closing night… I know I’m not finished growing, and I don’t think this Fringe is either.