The fireworks from the holiday week have all gone off on both sides of the boarder, hangovers have been nursed, and antacids administered to combat hot dog eating contests. Everyone in Wolseley is packing up their camping gear for next weekend’s Folk Fest, and everyone’s social media is filling up with invites to shows.
This can only mean one thing…
Yup everything is gearing up for the 2015 edition of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival; twelve days of thespians, comedians, technicians, musicians, dancers, prancers, vendors, clowns, jugglers, and screaming mimes, covering our downtown and surrounding areas with probiotic culture with art stirred in…
Last year we were voyeurs looking in on the exhibition of performance and we liked it when we watched. So much so that we broke records, broke hearts, and broke into smiles, while I blogged about bullies, ideas, strawberry flavoured lighting instruments, and weaponised salmon.
Some of it was silly, and some of it was not, and along the way I may have ruffled some feathers and some brows with my “little blog of little importance”.
So I have to recapitulate that this is an UNOFFICIAL blog, and the opinions and verbosity 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 robot servants.
It is however closely affiliated with the Draconian United Mobile Blogging Artist Superannuate Society. We meet every 4th Friday under the seats in Venue 8. You may hear us flipping through our 1908 edition of the Oxford dictionary trying to figure out what superannuate means and updating our MySpace pages.
This year’s festival, like every other year, has a new thematic branding conceptualised campaign, which is “We’re All _______ Here”. On the posters in the bus shelters, shopping malls, and massage parlour bathrooms, the blank is filled in with various adjectives such as “Animated” and “Inspired” and “Mad”. In other places, like the webpage, it’s filled with words like “Welcome” or “Friends” or “Family”.
It kind of reminds me of a fringy version of Cards Against Humanity.
Ohhhh….. this could be fun! I think I’ll run with that.
There’s also some notable changes at this year’s “fill in the blank” festival. We say farewell to the Winnipeg Art Gallery as venue 12, and welcome the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film at the U of W as the new venue 12. There’s some new BYOVs including One88 (Venue 29) and the Purple Room (Venue 13), along with some outdoor poetry in the Steinkopf Gardens (Venue 30) and a walking tour play starting at the corner of Market and Lilly (Venue 31).
There’s no best of patron’s fringe pick this year (you’re all pretty) at the lottery venues (Venues 1-12 and the Kids Fringe), and the noon shows on the weekdays are back so there are even more shows to see than last year (78 at Venue 2).
The glossy and absolutely necessary fringe program is only THREE DOLLARS this year, down from seven, and they are available now at McNally’s Bookstore, the RMTC box office, and select Liquor Marts, and will be available at Fringe Central, the Info Tent, and the front of house booths at most venues when the Fringe is on.
This year, in addition to the printed program, there is a free app for your fancy dancy cellular phones that can be downloaded from iTunes, GooglePlay, and the Commodore Vic Twenty store on Compact Cassette. Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy! I hope the Vic 20 version uses sprites! The app will be available for download on Monday July 13th.
And lastly, I have an announcement for those who don’t already know. In April of this year, I handed in my resignation as the Head of Audio for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, so this, my twentieth Fringe (17 here, 3 in Edmonton) shall be my last.
Yes! I know I’ve said that before, but this time I mean it. Yes I do! Shut up!
Anyway, More on that in the days ahead.
So get your programs, and start your planning, as the staff and crews finish setting up, the performers freak out because they only have a week left to get ready, and vendors buy up all the mustard in town in anticipation of hungry patrons. Venue 2 starts its tech rehearsals on Saturday July 11th, and I’ll be blogging from then on. As always there’s walkie poetry starting the 16th, and I’ll be adding a word of the day in the upper right hand corner (at the bottom if you’re viewing this on your mobile or Vic20).
Let’s get out there and fill in that blank…