Archive for July, 2013

July 16, 2013

Fringe Roundup

I couldn’t say it better myself – straight from the Fringe Newsletter.  I hope all the Fringers are asleep. Much deserved.

The 2013 Toronto Fringe: Our 25th Year of Unforgettable Theatre Comes to a Close

Last night, the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival wrapped up a truly unforgettable 25th anniversary. Audiences came out in droves, with the first four days of the festival being the highest grossing in Fringe history. The record breaking ticket sales led to nearly 200 sold-out performances, with 57,182 tickets sold and $433,027 returned to artists.

The Toronto Fringe is proud to announce it has now returned over $6 million to artists since its inaugural festival in 1989!

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Fringe 25 Years Wordmark

Triumphs and Torrential Downpours

On Monday, record rainfall and flash floods caused a number of our venues to lose power, and a total of 22 shows were canceled over two days. The community rallied around our artists, and many audience members generously donated the price of the canceled tickets back to the companies. Even with a few toppled tents, patrons came out to support the Visual Fringe and over $10,000 was earned by artisans, painters and creators in the Fringe Club. You made our Fringe Club busier than ever – thank you for keeping the Fringe spirit alive during a difficult couple of days.

This year’s Toronto Fringe also featured celebratory programming for its 25 year anniversary, including an Underground Dance Party at Honest Ed’s, a 25 Second Video Contest, a 25 Hour Playwriting Contest, and a special 25th Anniversary Alumni Party at the Tranzac Club. On July 10th, the Toronto Fringe proudly announced the winners of the annual Patron’s Pick, featuring some of the most sought-after tickets of the summer, including Polly Polly, Stealing Sam, 2 for Tea, and The Musical of Musicals: The Musical!

After 25 years of unforgettable theatre, the Toronto Fringe is stronger than ever. With this momentous festival behind us, we will look to the future of Fringe: ongoing programming and amazing subsidized rental rates in the Creation Lab; accessible and supportive artist outreach programs like the New Play Contest; the 2014 Next Stage Theatre Festival (line-up announced in the fall); and – of course – the 2014 Fringe Festival Lottery. May the odds be ever in your favour!

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How Did We Do? – The 2013 Audience Survey

Want to help the Fringe become even more accessible, surprising and FUN next year? Please take 2 minutes to fill out the following Audience Survey. Your responses will help us write our grants, apply for sponsorship dollars and more – so we can keep returning 100% of ticket sales back to our Fringe artists!

Click here to fill out the survey!

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Best of Fringe at the Toronto Centre for the Arts

couple reading program smPhoto credit: Brian Batista Bettencourt

Didn’t get enough Fringe? The Best of Fringe at Toronto Centre for the Arts will be running from July 17, 2013 – July 31, 2013 and is a perfect opportunity to see the shows you missed at Fringe.

This year’s shows are:

Adopt This!
Death Married My Daughter
It’s Always You: The Musical
Polly Polly
Stealing Sam
Stop Kiss
Tales Of Whoa!
The Truth about Comets

More info and tickets: http://www.tocentre.com/studio/bof2013

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Thank You!

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As always, thank you to YOU. Our volunteers, our staff, our audience members, our artists and our community members. This is your festival – and you should be very proud!

Stay in touch, apply to the lottery and keep the Fringe spirit alive!

Happy 25th everyone!

 

July 14, 2013

Sunday Roundup – July 14

IMG_00000466Last day of the 2013 25th Anniversary Toronto Fringe Festival!

#FringeTO – July 9 – Day Seven

#FringeTO – July 10 – Day Eight

#FringeTO – July 11 – Day Nine

#FringeTO – July 12 – Day Ten and “Why Theatre?”

And – Best of Fringe Selections are up and on sale!

Big congratulations to everyone involved in the Toronto Fringe Festival this year – it was our 25th anniversary and you made it a great success. And a HUGE thank you to an amazing admin staff, technicians and volunteers – it couldn’t have been done without you. Amazing job, amazing dedication, amazing festival. Thank you.

 

 

July 12, 2013

#FringeTO – July 12 – Day Ten and “Why Theatre?”

Closing in on the final weekend of Fringe and boy are my arms tired! (you know…from flogging shows…okay fine, it’s not that good a joke. I’m tired.)

Best of Fringe and all that good stuff can be found here, and before you go charging off, please take a look in your Fringe bag, which was lovely and prepared on day one, but now – maybe not so much. So go get another Chapstick, and a fresh sunscreen, refill your water bottle and fix the pin on your tip the Fringe button (or get another one) and get on with the final weekend!

What’s Going On

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Alumni Party last night at the Tranzac a lovely wonderful time, so great to see so many years of Fringe represented and celebrated. When I was leaving Ellie-Ray Hennessey stopped me to ask if I would be interviewed for a Theatre Ontario video for a minute to answer the question – “why theatre?” And of course YES I will and ran to put on lipstick and I hope I said something halfway intelligent. We’ll see.

And earlier yesterday, along with a fantastic meeting with Soheil from Modern Times,  I’d come across what I thought was a great post from Seven Sentences“Too often we chase things that are not sacred, or we pursue our work with an unhealthy attitude AND we lose touch with the uniqueness of who we are and what we have to offer.”

Why theatre? I joke a lot, I say things like, “what else am I supposed to do? be bored? Or worse – be boring?” and threaten to go work as a claims adjuster in Scranton, and point out that we are a hit at cocktail parties – but the work we do – why we’re a hit at cocktail parties?

Because we forget sometimes that what we do is extraordinary. The making something out of nothing, the spirit of generosity, the hit the deadline, the midnight emails, the rehearsals, phone calls, do you need, can I have, yes you can, please and thank you  – we make magic on a daily basis. The, “yeah we can do that” never “that’s impossible“, the pride and the bravos not just for the arias but for the finding of the cable we need 45 minutes before show.

This is not a post of arrogance, but of truth. The joy and pride I take in that I am fortunate enough not to sell shoes or shill for body parts, which are important, I agree, we need shoes and body parts – but me? I get to shill for magic that can change your life.

I talked at length to people today about audience response, not just applause but audience members holding their breath at songs, or call and responding in a show that wasn’t audience participation, I talked about a show from ten years ago that still gives me goosebumps.

A Fringe show at Factory the day of the flooding no power madness said if they couldn’t do the show in the theatre, they’d do it in the courtyard.

Hume Baugh’s Facebook status the other day: “8 scenes of Shrew in our first preview with no power (microphones, lights, sound, cue lights) until it got too dark to play. proving once again that when everything else is taken away, what is left is theatre.”

Who DOES that?

We do.  That’s “why theatre”.

July 11, 2013

#FringeTO – July 11 – Day Nine

IMG_00000457  Not a cloud in the sky. Let’s keep it that way.

A great day yesterday at the Fringe tent, with better weather, alley plays, fringe folks, music and awards  – thrilled that It’s Always You is part of The Best of Fringe up at the North York Centre!

I have to admit I’m not seeing any shows today – one of the challenges of running my own business is that when I worked for someone else, I’d take my two weeks paid vacation and all-Fringe, all the time.

Now it’s different. So I have two exciting meetings back to back, then I need to get some work done this afternoon  as I have to be at the Tranzac tonight for the Fringe Alumni Party !  Into the day!

 

What’s Going On

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July 10, 2013

#TOFringe – July 10 – Day Eight

Still some crazy weather wandering around out there, power on and power off, shows up, shows down – but Fringe spirit is water-resistant!

What’s Going On

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What I’m seeing

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CaptureAm as always super-excited for the Fringe Awards Ceremony hope to see you there! Mostly because it’s always a good time but also, when you think about it  – the Fringe lost two nights of events and bar revenue due to extreme weather, so come out and show your support – easiest donation you’ve ever made – buy a beer!

Quick note to let you know to line up now for tickets for It’s Always You – all our advance tickets are sold, and no I can’t get you one, so it’s line up at the venue pre-show – you might want to get there early…

Also quite pleased with the launch of the new Canadian Rep Theatre site and season – go have a look! Fun to work with these folks and looking forward to the future. I’m also off to a meeting with Bound to Create and Obsidian Theatre – two favourites as we’re working together on the remount of Dirty Butterfly – we worked on this together for Fringe 2011, so it’s a nice day of past and present Fringe-ness.

See you out there!

July 9, 2013

#FringeTO – July 9 – Day Seven

Sorry I missed you yesterday. Even sorrier about the weather wreaking havoc on our city yesterday with apparently more rain to come. Hope everyone has power back, and is safe and dry.

A ridiculously large shout out to Fringe staff, volunteers, attendees, venue staff, performers and others who tried to keep art going last night despite – you know – flooding. What a strange evening. Don’t even TALK to me about our illustrious Mayor, our fearless leader. Thank god you got your burger voters out pre-crisis, sir. God forbid you have to LEAD.

What’s Going On – please stay tuned to the Fringe Twitter feed (@Toronto_Fringe ) and FB group for updates should things change.

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Also launched last week – the Toronto Theatre Database! From the website – The Toronto Theatre Database is a new online project, dedicated to the recording and preservation of the production histories and performance dates of Toronto’s professional theatrical productions. It is a hub through which professionals and fans of the Toronto theatre community can explore Toronto’s theatre past, present and future.

Toronto produces hundreds of theatrical productions every year, and those shows are at risk of being forgotten as time passes. The Toronto Theatre Database catalogues and preserves Toronto’s rich theatre history, and as new shows are announced and staged, TTDb will document them. Though there are some online archives of Toronto productions, none are easily accessible to the public, or as complete as TTDb aims to be. Patrons can explore the work and background of the Toronto theatre community, and those who work in the community have a resource that details their roots and connections.

July 7, 2013

Sunday Roundup and #FringeTO – Day Five – both July 7

Easy roundup this week covering all sorts of things Fringe. The Fringe Club is rocking, some great bands playing, some great plays showing and visual and wearable art all over the place – have you gotten your signature Fringe collection jewelry yet?

It’s Fringe Opening Day!

#FringeTO – July 4 – Day Two

#FringeTO – July 5 – Day Three

#TOFringe – July 6 – Day Four

 

What’s Going On

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What I’m Seeing

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Clearly I need to book a couple of other shows today.

Busy week fitting in regular work with Fringe fun and festivities, but am delighted to report that Bound to Create and Obsidian Theatre Company are working together on a remount of last year’s Fringe hit Dirty Butterfly, and I’m on board to work with them –  I did the marketing and PR for that first incarnation and am thrilled to come back for round two that combines two companies I love.

Same week had me in a meeting with Theatre Rusticle and we’re on for their fall production of Dinner’s at Seven Thirty over at Buddies – it’s shaping up to be a great fall, theatre-wise, and we’re still Fringing!

July 6, 2013

#TOFringe – July 6 – Day Four

Sold out show for It’s Always You yesterday – get your tickets folks!

I met a super lovely couple from Richmond. VA yesterday while in line for a show, and they were over the moon delighted with all things Fringe. They’d always wanted to come to Toronto, they realized they had enough airmiles to do so, and decided to come to Fringe for a few days. And were LOVING it. So nice to chat with them, and I hope they had a safe flight home.

Normally I don’t post on Saturdays but Fringe waits for no one and there’s far too much amazing stuff going on including an UNDERGROUND DANCE PARTY!

What’s Going On

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What I’m Seeing

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was hanging around the Fringe Club/Visual Fringe yesterday post tent talk, and realized the av sideshow was about to begin. A reminder to all that alley plays are ridiculously convenient and RIGHT THERE so you probably should check out at least one.

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Fun fact: Number of my programs I’ve given to people who don’t have a program yet? NINE.

July 5, 2013

#FringeTO – July 5 – Day Three

Quick update to let you know that this year’s opening day had highest bar sales, fringe artist alley sales and advance ticket sales in the history of the Fringe!

I’ve got a few shows under my belt now – today’s word of Fringe audience advice – if you have a dozen friends coming the same night to support your show, that is awesome and amazing. Ask them to spread out in the audience so that their reactions to the show aren’t limited to one corner of the house. Very disconcerting if only that one section is laughing. Laughter is infectious – sit next to a stranger and give it to them.

Also tip the bar staff, thank the volunteers, love your technicians. It’s Fringe!

A reminder that It’s Always You has a 3 pm show today and our advance tickets have picked up the habit of selling quickly – best get one!

What’s Going On

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What I’m seeing

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Also I want to get to Please Don’t Start a Theatre Company and I need to book

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July 4, 2013

#FringeTO – July 4 – Day Two

A fantastic opening day Wednesday for the Toronto Fringe, the Fringe Club looks amazing, there was art, music, speeches, cake, a poster sprint a well stocked bar and most importantly – people! So glad to see so many folks out to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Festival!

What’s Going On

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It’s Always You was nearly sold out last night, with advance tickets all snapped up before dinner time. Highly recommend you get those tickets now.

What I’m Seeing

Dunno yet. It’s a “free” day with nothing pre booked – it’ll be on the fly, and I’ll update on FB and Twitter.

Edited 12;26 pm

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And – slideshow!

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