Posts tagged ‘Toronto Fringe Festival’

June 28, 2013

Introducing: The 2013 Fringe Club!

Straight from the e-newsletter yesterday. Seriously, for those who ask, “it’s just all plays, isn’t it?
no. no it is not. – we’ll see you there!


In celebration of our 25th anniversary, we have given our Fringe Club a sassy new look this summer! Back at our home-base behind Honest Ed’s flagship marquee for a 4th year in a row, the 2013 Fringe Club will be more accessible, lively and fun than ever.

1) No line ups – we have increased our bar capacity!
2) Hot and zesty new food vendors, from Fidel Gastro to ESÉ.
3) Buskers to enliven every nook and cranny of the alley.
4) Remember the sound-baffling-wall-truck from Fringe 2012? It’s SO gone this year.
5) Fringe Club programming is staying open later – ‘til 12:30am.

6) Did we mention NO LINE-UPS?!

1) Delicious McAuslan brews.
2) 16 Visual Fringe artists and 6 AlleyPlays.
3) A hoppin’ late-night patio and bar.
4) Friends, Fringe Family, your favourite volunteers and of course, you!

Read on for more exciting new additions to the Fringe Club!


SmartPhone Scavenger Hunt @ The Fringe Club

Part of our 25th anniversary programming, this scavenger hunt will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before! Created especially for Fringe 2013 by our ex-board president Randy Sabourin (creator of The Go Game) this scavenger will pit team against team in a raucous race to the finish line.

All teams will follow clues and instructions sent to their smartphones. (Each team will need to have at least one smartphone.) Teams will be asked to race around the Annex and interact with actors, local businesses and classic Fringe locations. Videos will be made. Vintage Fringe trivia will be abundant. Victory could be yours.

The Scavenger Hunt is on Saturday July 6th from 3pm-5pm, and will be followed by a hilarious awards ceremony where we will share photos and videos and pick a winner. Did we mention there are amazing prizes? First Place: $350, Second Place: $100, Third Place: $50.

To sign up a group, please read more here.


New This Year: Fringe After Dark @ The Fringe Club

snakes and lattes
doc wuthergloom
truth or dare
beer and yoga

Join us every weeknight at 9pm for a sometimes titillating, frequently ridiculous, late-night series called Fringe After Dark. All events are free and will take place at the Tent Talk tent at the south end of the Fringe Club (near Lennox Ave.). Some highlights:

Thurs July 4 (9pm): Board Game Night
Board game gurus from Snakes and Lattes will lend us the hippest and hottest board games of 2013 and teach one and all how to finally win at “Settlers of Catan.” No registration required.

Fri July 5 (9pm): Adult Craft Night
Local burlesque performers will pose for a life drawing class facilitated by a local indie artist. BONUS: we will have supplies and instructions on how to make scandalous lingerie out of pipe cleaners. Oh yes.

Mon July 8 (9pm): Yoga with Beer
At long last (right?) – a yoga class where you can drink beer. A local yoga instructor will lead a free, 1 hour yoga class at the Fringe Club where beer drinking is not only welcomed, it’s encouraged.

Tues July 9 (9pm): Truth or Dare
Feeling candid? Like to live dangerously? Come on down for an old fashioned game of Truth or Dare (with a Fringe twist of course!) There will be prizes for silliness and bravery.

Wed July 10 (9pm): Awards Ceremony
Join us at the Fringe Club for late-night drinks and the announcement of Patron’s Pick, Best of Fringe Uptown, the Tosho Cutting-Edge Award, and the 25 Hour Play Contest. Could it be you…?

Thurs July 11 (8pm – note time difference): Alumni Party – OFFSITE!
Tonight we move our After Dark Series to the Tranzac for a trip down memory lane. Come celebrate 25 years of the Toronto Fringe Festival with music, stories, trivia and awards! All are welcome. No door charge.

Fri July 12 (9pm): Ghost Story Competition, hosted by Eric Woolfe
Doctor Pretorius Wuthergloom of Doc Wuthergloom’s Haunted Medicine Show and his gang of ghouls will be waiting to take you into the dark world of the supernatural. Come with a story or come to listen. There will be awesome prizes.

More info here.


FREE Concerts @ The Fringe Club

nick imageNick Teehan
larra imageLarra Skye
rehan imageRehan Dalal
abdominal imageAbdominal and the Obliques

Every weekend at 7pm Fringe will invite a local indie artist to serenade and entertain the crowd. From sassy contemporary Motown to soothing acoustic folk, there’s something for every musical taste. All concerts are free and all-ages. Here’s the awesome and diverse line-up:

Sat July 6 (7pm): Nick Teehan
Part crooner, vaudevillian barker, warrior poet and hopeless romantic, Nick Teehan’s tuneful arrangements and haunting lyrics have entertained Toronto audiences for years.

Sun July 7 (7pm): Larra Skye
Larra Skye creates a synthesis of pop, rock and folk, anchored by her strong songwriting and winsome voice. A Toronto songstress that CBC Radio-Canada calls “full of character and nuance… charming.”

Sat July 13 (7pm): Rehan Dalal
Rehan Dalal’s music is influenced by the early 60′s soul sounds of Sam Cooke, the Motown era magic of Stevie Wonder and the modern flavors of Raphael Saadiq. There will be dancing.

Sun July 14 (7pm): Abdominal and the Obliques
Abdominal will perform his unique acoustic blues/hip-hop filled with hilarious lyrics, sampled beats, bluesy guitar licks and percussion. Co-presented by the Koffler Centre of the Arts.

Opening Day Concert: Hooded Fang!

Hooded Fang 1 (Sara Amroussi-Gilissen)

Local indie pop-rockers Hooded Fang will take the stage in the Fringe Club at 5pm on Wednesday July 3rd for an opening day extravaganza!

This Polaris Prize-nominated band has just released its third studio album to much acclaim and will be heading to the Fringe Club after a successful North American tour. Let’s welcome them home – Fringe style!

More info on Hooded Fang:
On CBC Music


Industry Networking @ The Fringe Club

Back by popular demand, one of our Tent Talks this summer will be called A Smorgasbord of People You Should Know. This will be a reverse pitch-session where artistic directors, cultural programmers and executive directors will be asked to pitch their organization to YOU – the indie artist and audience member.

We’re still working on populating our fantastic panel of industry experts, but here’s a sneak peak:

Bob White (Stratford Festival), Rob Kempson (Theatre Passe Muraille), Tara Beagan (Native Earth Performing Arts), Monica Esteves (Crow’s Theatre), Nigel Shawn Williams (Factory Theatre), Andrea Romaldi (Tarragon Theatre), Phil Akin (Obsidian Theatre), Nancy Webster (Young People’s Theatre), Andrew Lamb (Roseneath Theatre), Michael Rubenfeld (SummerWorks), Laura Nanni (Rhubarb Festival), Alison Wong (b-current).

Friday July 12 (5pm)
A Smorgasbord of People You Should Know.
Hosted by Matt Baram of National Theatre of the World.
Followed by an informal mix & mingle from 6-7pm.

More Tent Talk listings here.


As Always…

Fringe has 122 amazing shows at our favourite classic main venues.

Fringe has 20 site specific shows at unexpected locations around the city.

Fringe has 8 FringeKids shows at the Palmerston Library Theatre.

Fringe has 16 Visual Fringe exhibits and 6 AlleyPlays woven throughout the Fringe Club.

Fringe has 100 emerging artists that will be networking up a storm.

Fringe has 1,000 youth who are granted free Fringe tickets, through partnerships with community organizations.

Fringe has 400+ dedicated volunteers, 45 FOH Managers, 30 Venue Technicians and 23 sensational office staff members.

Fringe has 1,100 artists!

And, of course, we have YOU! So thank you for keeping the movement alive and see you at the Fringe Club!


Thank you to the following organizations for their support



June 27, 2013

The Fringe is Less than a WEEK AWAY!




Big year this year – 25th anniversary of the Toronto Fringe Festival- super excited for everything.

Not only am I working on a show with some ridiculously talented individuals, but I’m also chairing the 25th Anniversary Committee and we’ve got some amazing things in store for this year. Besides opening ceremonies and poster sprints we’ve got  birthday cakes and bands and alumni parties and underground dance parties and scavenger hunts and video contests and more! Click here to be taken to the whole listing of superawesome stuff going on.

And plays. NEVER forget the plays. And remember to prepare for your journey. What’s in Your Fringe bag?


I’m off to the Mayor’s Arts Luncheon and the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards today – Expect Theatre is a finalist! And then off to the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts – The Fringe is nominated! More later.


June 16, 2013

Sunday Roundup – June 16

It's Always You-poster v1-11x17What kind of a week was it last week? Fringe Fundraisers, shows closing with Atrium and Sister Mary’s a Dyke, getting into the thick of rehearsals for Fringe with It’s Always You: A Musical

Working with Wiggly Dolly Productions and a stellar cast and creative team:  Writer:Dan Redican, Music: Scott White, Director: Sandra Balcovske, Cast: Sheila McCarthy, Dan Redican, Shawn Thompson, Madeleine Redican. Great group of fun talented folks and I’m enjoying working with them.

3 people. Bill, Elaine and Ted. Elaine married Bill and they now have a grown child. Or not. Elaine married Ted and Ted lost his friendship to Bill. Or Bill and Ted stayed friends and both lost Elaine.  Surely there’s one reality where all three managed to live happily ever after?

We’re at the Helen Gardiner, 79 St George Street
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 – 10:00pm -11:30pm
Friday, July 5, 2013 – 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Sunday, July 7, 2013 – 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Monday, July 8, 2013 – 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 – 8:15pm – 9:45pm
Thursday, July 11, 2013 – 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Friday, July 12, 2013 – 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Value packs for the Fringe are already on sale, and single tickets go on sale the 17th! visit!

Anyway – about last week…

Creativity in Oklahoma, Budgets and Breaks

The Shape of Rex, 25 second film contest and a Social Media Workshop

Fringe Fundraiser, Canadian Rep, Cahoots and Saying No

I’m out of the office this week, and so rather than leave you post-less, I dug through the archives for things people really liked when they were originally posted and scheduled them all up for you. Enjoy!

June 14, 2013

Fringe Fundraiser, Canadian Rep, Cahoots and Saying No

Toronto Fringe Kitchen Party last night, and the back room of CSI Annex got all spiffed up and so did we. Amazing food by Fidel Gastro, adorable entertainment by Liza Live! super cool auction items and 70+ guests. Fantastically fun evening congrats to the Fringe on having something that was just the right amount of elegant, and just the right amount of Fringe.

Very pleased to be working with Canadian Rep Theatre now, we’re doing a little online presence, a little social media, so take a wander over to their Facebook page and give us a like so we can start sharing  a little content with you.

Last weekend to catch the adventures of Abby is Cahoots’ production of Sister Mary’s a Dyke?! over at the Aki Studios. Off you go!

Wandering around Facebook the other day (like you do) and a friend had posted this amazing article – Creative People Say No.  Love this:

Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating. Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time. No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.

I’m out of the office next week so rather than leave you blog-post-less, I’ve combed the archives for useful posts people really liked at the time and those will be going up instead – enjoy!


June 12, 2013

The Shape of Rex, 25 second film contest and a Social Media Workshop


At the Royal last night to see The Shape of Rex – here’s Brian Johnson’s take on it.


Loved it – and I know so much of the talent involved it was like coming home.  Ryan Hollyman and Monica Dottor and Aviva Armour-Ostroff  and Brett Donohue and Jack Nicholsen and Lorne Cardinal and Layne Coleman at the helm. Wonderful work and I am impressed to my toes with the talent in that movie – heart-wrenching moments and teenagers making you laugh and love and anguish and   – just wonderful work. I agree completely and utterly with Brian’s question not understanding why this film is not being paid the attention it deserves.

I’ve worked with almost all the people I listed up there – and I’ve see numerous pieces Layne has directed. Seeing a film of his is different than a play – with a play you can look at anything happening on stage (including the LX cues) but with this – I felt like with every single shot was Layne telling me personally exactly what he wanted me to look at, and it was beautiful. My heart is happy and full.  It’s only playing for  a couple more nights, best get a ticket and go. Click here for showtimes and info.

Speaking of films – well, videos – got what it takes to tell a Fringe story in 25 seconds?

go ahead and submit – full contest details are here – and take a look at some of the videos already in!

Also I have a workshop coming up in a couple of weeks with Dancer Transition Resource Centre –  ninety minutes of questions and answers and learning about the why and the how of social media for artists. You should maybe come by.

Social Media 101 JUNE 25 2013-page-001

May 3, 2013

Announcing the Fringe Kitchen Party!

The annual Fringe Fundraiser is upon us! Announcing the FRINGE KITCHEN PARTY!

June 13th at 6:00pm at the Centre for Social Innovation (720 Bathurst St.).
Hosted by MATT BASILE, popular FIDEL GASTRO chef and star of television’s Rebel without a Kitchen, the evening will feature a specially designed four-course meal created, shared and explained by Basile. It’s dinner – with a touch of theatre, and plenty of drinks!
At 9pm the after party begins! Bid on silent auction items, enjoy entertainment and DJ RICKY BIONIX and after dinner, hit the dance floor!

Fringe Kitchen Party: Dinner (6:00pm) (including four-course meal and drinks): $95*
Matt Basile will present each course while sharing insight about building a successful career in the food industry coming from the fringe; from his food truck to his new restaurant that recently opened on Queen St. W.

Fringe Kitchen Party: After-Hours Tickets (from 9 p.m., two drink tickets, dancing): $25

to purchase single tickets, visit
To book a table, please contact Kelly Straughan at 416.966.1062 ext 10 or

Kitchen Party Invite-page-001

May 2, 2013

Applications for the 100, and I visit HotDocs

before we go any further

he 1000

And also Dora Awards set date, hosts, new categories

Now then.

Spent yesterday at HotDocs chaperoning a class from Sir Oliver Mowat  – this is the third time I’ve gotten to spend time with these kids and I like them more and more – smart, curious, askers of good questions. Congrats again Mrs. Morton on these fine folks.
We saw Pussy Riot: a punk prayer and Crash Reel – highly recommend both of them.

Pussy Riot was more than I expected, a great deal of balance on documenting both sides of the story, particularly why the church they protesting in was so important to the community. Balance may seem to be an odd word when referring to an Orthodox priest saying that the definition of pussy is “deranged uterus”, but there you go.

I hadn’t heard of Crash Reel, it’s the story of Kevin Pearce, the snowboarder who suffered a severe brain trauma and the story of his recovery. Worth seeing.

Also worth mentioning is the overall awesomeness of the volunteers we encountered yesterday, so I hopped up to their headquarters yesterday to tell them so. Congrats HotDocs, you’ve got great people herding hundreds of students in an orderly fashion.
Into the day. I’m off to be the voice at the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards tonight, and a reminder that it’s the 9th anniversary show and sale for The Mad Craft Shoppe this weekend.

January 3, 2013


17751_437969032925560_925273225_nThe Next Stage Festival opened last night to great fanfare with sold out shows, old and new friends and in true Fringe tradition, a packed beer tent. Extremely pleased and proud to be part of this organization and kudos to the Festival staff and volunteers.

Expect Theatre‘s AWAKE opens today. I worked on this show in its Fringe incarnation in 2011, and I’m so very very happy to be working on its new life at Next Stage.  Things have been re-staged, things have been re-written and it’s even better than it was before. Expect Theatre (or as I know them Chris-and-Laura) do remarkable work, and this show is no exception – great article in the Star linked here for your perusal. Final paragraph strikes me:

“The church setting is important,” insists Mullin. “The death of every young person in gang violence is a loss of life, opportunity and hope. We know that the life can’t be brought back, but we want our audiences to leave feeling that the hope and opportunity can be restored.

“That’s the message we feel that our play leaves them with.”

It really does. The cast are without a doubt some of the most talented folks I’ve worked with, and they bring me joy every time I walk into the rehearsal hall. It feels like coming home. We’ve had fun with marketing stuff again as you’ll see at the Festival, and the give and take again has been more give than take and I thank them for that.

Come watch this show. Come see these joyful people. Let them break your heart and then make it whole again.

To read a headline is one thing, to be given hope is another. We’ll see you at the tent.





December 27, 2012

2012 Round-up

top-10-listI confess that I love year-end lists and round ups.Grat sense of satisfaction in them for me, they’re orderly, I like seeing if I agree or disagree, the whole thing.

I’ve read most of the Toronto culture (theatre) round ups – delighted to report that Proud has held its own Michael Healey was nominated for a Menschie (GridTO) for Proud, Proud made the Star’s top ten list, Maev Beaty made its top five list of artists, Proud made NOW’s top ten list of theatre productions, and Maev made NOW’s top ten list of theatre artists. I am – so very Proud. And maybe a little weepy.

With this in mind I present to you the top ten posts of for 2012.

Dear Rob
Hands down the most popular post of the year, with literally ten times the number of
views as an average post. Given the controversies he’s faced this year, perhaps he’ll see it, read it and take it to heart.
He Said, He Said, She Said, We All Said
More controversy. More on this later.
A Picture Is Worth a K.I.S.S.
A Pinterest post – I think my second. Though I personally still don’t partake in pinning, I absolutely see the value in it for other folks and my clients.
On Family vs Public
More controversy. More on that later.
Can’t See What He-She-They Said for the Words
Word cloud of controversy. More on that later.
I’ll Take Director Fury’s Advice
Still wise words – keeping it simple. Working around things.
Did Churchill Really Say That? Has Anyone Said Anything Since?
Apparently not. Apparently there are no more good quotes about the arts. We should make some.
SWF Seeks Basic Website – must be attractive, clean and open to sharing…
Y’all loved this post. Pure information.
Who Has the Keys to the Customers?
I felt like this was an incredibly practical post that came out of a moment of sheer frustration.
My Thoughts on Starting a Theatre Company
A combination of three ideas/posts in one, all of which occurred in my life at the same time.  These sentences speak to me: “if it is in your heart to start an organization then you HAVE to do it.  The world may need it. But if your heart isn’t in it.  If you aren’t committed.  Don’t even think about starting.” 

So! About that controversy! It was an angry year this year. 2012 – year of anger and hurt feelings. A lot of it. Not without reason. A lot of tempers flaring, and walking away or being sent away and arguments days, weeks, months later. Folks who couldn’t take a side, folks being forced to take sides, folks who wanted to be told what side to be on, and a lot of divisiveness throughout.I said, you said he said she said.

“You know I can’t take sides but-”

This was a public statement, that was a private one, she told me this, I told him that.

Exhausting. I will say some good thought and opinion pieces came out of this year, that we all learned something, somehow, somewhere. I just wish it didn’t take such controversy to bring us all out to the table. A lot of fiercely smart talented people out there – I’d like to hear more from them on other matters.

Tomorrow – kind of another list, but with pictures and things that made me happy. The above list was what you all clicked on the most – tomorrow will be the things that clicked inside of me.

December 19, 2012

Awake Trailer! 4.48 Psychosis! Graffiti Museum!

PI like trailers for plays – I love trailers for plays that tell me the story behind it. Like video director’s notes. Here’s the one for Awake. The show’s tagline is this is real. It is. Watch the trailer to find out just how real it is.


and in the category of very cool…

Call for Submissions: Original Work for 4.48 Pyschosis, Necessary Angel Theatre  one of Canada’s most acclaimed independent producers of original and provocative theatre, is seeking proposals for original work in support of its upcoming production of 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane. Deadline: January 11, 2013.  Necessary Angel will curate a series of original, multi-disciplinary works reflecting on the artist’s relationship with depression. We are seeking work that excavates depression from the perspectives of contemporaries, outsiders and insiders alike. We welcome and are encouraging proposal submissions from visual, literary, dance and spoken word artists. Read more

and finally today…

Remnants of an old brick-firing kiln that remains buried under the parking lot of Evergreen Brick Works will finally get the recognition it deserves, thanks to the StreetARToronto (StART) program. Artists Dan Bergeron and Paul Aloisi created the work—Underground Kiln—to highlight the site’s historic industrial role in city building. Read more

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