During the run of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival there are some traditional ancillary events that happen every year. Some started on their own, and then became official events later, like the midnight cabaret, and some continue to be unofficial events like the Jennys.
Some are specific to particular groups of people like the performers excursion to the beach, the volunteer breakfast, and the billet appreciation gathering.
Some are brand new like Karaoke at the Cube, and some have died off over the years like the staff and technician nerf gun game.
In the year 2000 during the 007 Fringe, Wayne Buss!, a venue technician, created a assassination game using nerf guns. Players would be assigned the name of another player on a coloured piece of paper, and after midnight you would have to seek that person out and shoot them with a soft nerf dart in the torso. If you succeeded, you needed a witness to sign the paper and you were awarded points. If you missed, you gave your assignment to the target and they were awarded points. Additionally, if the target was hit and died a spectacular death (arms flailing and moaning, or diving to the floor, or some other stylistic death).
It was wildly popular, and played for ten years. Over time, other bonus events were created on certain days with special guest targets and special requirements, like convincing some one who was not playing the game to shoot your target.
During the 2006 Western Fringe, an event was created for the game called “The shootout at the OK Corral”. Everybody playing the game, gathered in the empty beer tent, well after closing, and were divided into two teams by drawing a number out of a hat, and when the flag dropped, it was a free for all until one team had lost all their players.
We usually attracted quite a crowd complete with cheering sections.
After ten years, the popularity of the game waned as technicians got older, and the new “Make nerf love not nerf war” movement, took hold of the new younger technicians.
Wayne Buss! didn’t participate in the Fringe for a few years, but this year he’s back, and a decision was made to resurrect “The shootout at the OK Corral” by itself, one more time.
So last night, around 1 am, fourteen technicians and staff gathered in the beverage pavilion, with an arsenal of foam weaponry, to engage in battle for the bragging rights of the Fringe.
It was great fun, with a capture the flag type theme, and team two won the day, with your’s truly capturing the flag. An honour that will appear on my tombstone.