Fringe is an extraordinary happening, a catch-you-by-surprise phenomenon, an unjuried, uncensored artistic adventure. But it’s also a community. Fringe is where we come together, celebrate, and share stories.
And while we’re tired of saying the dreaded “p” word, the pandemic gave us pause, reminded us of the importance of community and connectedness.
We read books and binged movies and listened to our favourite music on repeat. We zoomed theatre into our living rooms. We found ways to create and connect even when the most beloved homes of creativity and connection – our stages – stood dark.
An undeniably charismatic performer who lights up any stage she graces, Lindsey Walker is a musician, a theatre artist, a composer, a creative force to be reckoned with.
“I missed the genuine connection. Sharing space and energy. To have that kind of collective exchange of emotion in a space together. I never noticed ‘til it was gone how much it mattered,” says Lindsey, a master in creating connection.
We’ve missed sharing that fleeting moment of live artistic magic. And now, at the 41st Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, we’re sparking that magic again.Will you support the return of that special Edmonton Fringe magic we’ve missed so much?
Chances are if you’ve been around Edmonton Fringe over the past ten years, you’ve seen Lindsey perform. She’s sung the house down at the Late Night Cabaret more than once. She’s garnered laughs and a few tears, too, in her stage performances.
“Fringe offers the ability to explore new works, the ability to go out of your comfort zone, to create. At Fringe, you can write a show and you can direct it and you can be in it. You can do all those things for the first time. You can explore, create, do something wild and weird and new. And sometimes the things you create will be wonderful and memorable. And sometimes they won’t be,” Lindsey laughs.
“The beauty of the Fringe is that it’s not curated. As a patron, you are rolling the dice every time you go to see a show. It’s such a fun exciting thing! As an artist, you learn so much from the experience. It allows you to wear a bunch of different hats as you create.”
And now, as we fill those cabaret spaces and theatres we love so much, there’s a freshness, an innovativeness and inventiveness and fearlessness artists are bringing back to the stage.
“Fringe has been incredible for my growth and emergence out of the great pause. There’s been a shift for me in what being a musician or artist can be. We need to be willing to go outside the box,” says Lindsey.
“Fringe is a beautiful experiment. Creative risk, and the failure that sometimes comes with it, is such an important part of being an artist. We don’t celebrate failure enough. The things that flop or get bad reviews or get a few walkouts, those can be celebrated in their own way. It’s cool because that kind of risk taking doesn’t happen anywhere else. That’s what Fringe is for.”
“You may as well fail and enjoy the ride,” continues Lindsey. “It’s okay to say: ‘I’m gonna put all my heart and soul into this. Okay, it crashed and burned. Okay, here we go again. Let’s try something else.’ It’s a beautiful thing. The Fringe Festival and the audiences who support it allow that to happen.”
Over the past four decades, Fringe Theatre has propelled the careers of more than 40,000 artists who’ve taken a creative risk with us since we first burst onto the scene in 1982. Their creative bravery is possible thanks to donors like you who ensure Fringe Theatre continues doing what we do best: provide artists with the resources they need to wow you, move you, and challenge you with their stories.
“The community created at Edmonton Fringe is incredibly welcoming. The audiences, the other artists, the volunteers, the staff, they open their collective arms and say: there’s a place for you here. And that kind of support, that kind of ‘we’re in it together’ energy, that’s when the best theatre is created. And the best theatre makes us question things or get in touch with ourselves or explore and see the world in a different way. And that’s something incredible.”
Connecting, coming together again, celebrating, sharing stories. It’s artists – the writers and storytellers, musicians and creators – who remind us how important human connection is to our wellbeing.
We’ve missed fringing with you so much. Let’s bring these stories to life. Audiences and artists. Together. Let’s fringe again.