July 1st saw the opening ceremonies of the 2015 Toronto Fringe Theater Festival. Although they did not officially start until 7:00 pm Eastern Standard time, the Fringe Club, located in the alleyway parking lot of Honest Ed’s department store, was a whirlwind of joyful celebration.
While women in burlesque outfits, people dressed as crows, and a woman dressed in red, who wandered the Fringe Club on stilts, promoted their shows, the atmosphere was buzzing with the fast paced chaos of performers and technicians preparing for their upcoming shows, and vendors selling eclectic food and artisanal goods. Both festival veterans and newcomers were reminded of just how indie the festival really is, once one of the Toronto Fringe Festival’s board members got up on stage, during the opening ceremonies and boosted about the large number of Fringe plays she successfully advocated for, that people had problems with, due to the usage of swearing, explicitly or implicitly implied sexual language, and/ or subject matter that criticized a specific public figure or social group.
Since its 1989 debut The Toronto Fringe has provided a friendly haven for performing arts professionals, at all stages of their careers. Although the festival’s first day happened to be on Canada Day, which inspired a sea of red clothing, Canadian flags, and an impromptu version of Oh Canada, it also created a welcoming environment for Fringe performers, from other parts of the world, besides Canada, that are a long way from home.
There are 12 international companies performing in this year’s festival, and 148 shows in total, which makes the tagline for this year’s festival: “choose your own adventure, ” an extremely accurate description of the Fringe 2015 experience. Because there are so many Fringe shows to choose from, and tickets are extremely cheap: (only $12 in advance, and $10 at the door), it’s extremely easy to successfully and enjoyably choose your own adventure, regardless of your taste in movies, theater, etc.
The 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival takes place in a variety of theaters and site-specific locations in Toronto’s Annex neighborhood from July 1st to July 12th.
She’s written arts coverage on everything from TIFF to Toronto’s Taste Of Little Italy Festival.
She’s Lokafy’s Freelance interviewer, and an ongoing contributor to Digital Journal and therichest.com.