Prelude 2014 – Here we go again…

Well the calendar says July, the iPad confirms it, and my computer says that it’s December 1969… (because I can never figure out how to change the date on that damned thing), so I guess it’s time for downtown Winnipeg to be invaded by thespians, comedians, bohemians, pedestrians, technicians, and screaming mimes as we gear up for the 2014 edition of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.

Oh good Dionysus, didn’t we just do this? Weren’t we just here? Is this some kind of theatrical déjà vu?

Yes. Yes to all of those things.

Last year we had a pretty fringing good time celebrating the F-word. We broke records, we broke barriers, we broke bread, and Winnipeg saw some fringing great shows.

The clowns clowned, the magicians magicked, the thespians thesped, and sales for mayonnaise hit an all time low in the greater Winnipeg area… and I’m not sure if we’ve fully recovered… I still have problems with tuna salad… *shiver*.

I blogged about mop buckets, mimes, ancient festivals, and kept a virtual swear jar count. I told stories about Fringes past, and offered instructional videos to help some of the newcomers, and reminisce with those who have been around for awhile.

Along the way, I’m sure I stepped on some toes… or faces, for those asleep in the flower beds.

So, because of that, I have to reiterate that this is an UNOFFICIAL blog, and the opinions and blather that is posted here in Diary of a Fringe Tech is in NO way affiliated with the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, or any of their subsidiaries, employees, or pets.

It is however very closely affiliated with the Blogging Legion Of Canadian Kitschy, Hairy Eared, And, Disturbed Stagehands. Our membership has swelled to 2 and we meet every third Thursday in the basement of Venue 6. I’m inviting the other member to contribute to the blog too, but I’m not sure if the schedule monkey has much to say except “scream, scream, scream, fifteen minutes before, fifteen minutes after!”

This year’s thematic branding motif thingy is “We like it when you watch”, which brings up images of the exhibitionistic aspects of performance and voyeuristic aspects of audience. An apt thematic branding motif thingy if I’ve ever heard one.

Truly one can’t function without the other, the performer with no audience might not exist (like the tree that falls in the forest), and the audience looking at nothing should ask for their money back.

I suppose that when performers exchange handbills, they’re actually saying “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”.

As an enabler of this mutual observation relationship, I thought I’d keep track of the true exhibitionists this year. Those fringers that go out of their way to be noticed. Be it companies with creative advertising, volunteers with outlandish outfits, or any other things that scream “Look At MEEEE!”

I have no idea how that will pan out, but it will be interesting to watch.

In order to fully realise all of the exhibitionists and the thingies that they want to reveal, all voyeurs should head on down to their local Liquor Mart, McNally Robinson Bookseller, or the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Box Office and plunk down a loonie and three toonies, to get their complete guide to the peek-a-boo-I-see-you offerings this year, all 1531 of them.

There are a few changes to this year’s festival, including the U of W Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall taking the place of MTYP as a regular venue (who now becomes a BYOV), a return to one Best of Fest Patron’s Pick instead of two per regular venue, a new route for the free festival transit, some new vendors, some new offerings in the beer tent, and later start times in the main venues on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays.

As always there will be walkie poetry available in the above menus, and some more instructional videos on the YouTube.

So whether you’re an exhibitionist, or an enabler that helps everybody along, you’ve got about a week to get ready to strut your stuff before the voyeurs join us on the 16th.

Show em what ya got!


About JBJ

John lives in an abandoned toolshed behind a fake rubber vomit warehouse in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada with a squirrel named Peanut Hoarder, where he steals an internet signal from the Kung Fu school next door. He is a little "off". View all posts by JBJ

2 responses to “Prelude 2014 – Here we go again…

  • tonyajonemiller

    JBJ! I hate not being there this year, so I will just wait obsessively for your posts every day. Oh, and no mayo, but I do simulate an enema in A Story of O’s, so you have that to look forward to next year. (Important word in that sentence is SIMULATE. No actual enemas are administered during the show. You’re welcome.) *grins*

    I wish you punctual artists, engaging shows, poetic radio chatter, and cold beers at the end of every night. 🙂


  • JBJ

    Aww, thanks Tonya, we’re gonna miss you this year, but I’m following news about your show and hope to see it next year.


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