We’re best known known for producing the annual summer theatre behemoth known as the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, but did you know we also produce a curated theatre season featuring relevant, diverse, original, and engaging works, and a high performance winter festival? We bring you experiences that will captivate, and art that will inspire. Our season is carefully curated to explore the craftsmanship of theatre while embodying the spirit of fringing.
On Thursday, November 30, we opened our 2017/18 theatre season with Over Her Dead Body by Small Matters Productions. This show, and the season that follows, defines a unique perspective on the state on our world.
We sat down with Fringe Theatre’s Artistic Director Murray Utas to get the scoop on Fringe’s mainstage shows.
Tell us about this year’s season.
Fringe Theatre is a meeting place. We want people to know they are welcome here throughout the year, even beyond the Festival. Our 2017/18 season lifts up local artists, and presents surprising, moving, intimate works created by passionate professionals. It’s a season relevant to what’s happening in the world, and it gives power to voices who may not otherwise be heard. We feature multigenerational artists, Indigenous artists, and genderqueer artists, in exciting, risk-taking work. We honestly have something for everyone!
You’ve carefully chosen each show this year. Is there a through-line?
Interestingly, each show this year is driven by a female or femme artist. We know that within the theatre community, femme artists aren’t given as many opportunities as male artists are, and we’re committed to creating space for artists of all gender expressions. We’re thrilled that these talented femmes are producing daring new work on our stages. Each work presented on our stage this year also challenges the status quo. These artists are skillfully dismantling stifled attitudes and stereotypes in evocative, passionate new stage works.
Why should people check out a show during the season?
We apply the same spirit to our season as we do to the big Festival. We dare you to take a risk, see a show, and leave our house surprised, moved, or changed. The work we’re presenting on our stages this year is physical, fun, challenging, raw, and full of big potential.
Tell us more about this high performance winter festival.
Along with Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre and Azimuth Theatre, Fringe Theatre is one of three partners behind Chinook Series, a curated, high performance festival that takes over the ATB Financial Arts Barns February 8 – 18, 2018. Chinook features work from around the world, across the country, and around the corner, including theatre, dance, spoken word, music, and so much more. Chinook is an awesome experience to get up close and personal with the work – we offer salons, where you can meet the artists, and ask them questions about their process. We have workshops, where you can explore your own creativity. We have Canada’s only Deaf theatre arts festival, Sound Off. We’re bringing you the second annual Black Arts Matter festival. It’s a party, and you’re invited.
Any other exciting news we should know about?
Stay tuned to fringetheatre.ca. We have exciting announcements coming down the line for artists and audience alike. That’s the best thing about Fringe – there are always new ideas brewing, and big plans forming. We want you to join us on that journey!