Reasons to fringe

This weekend, we will Fringe.

New Vintage Theatre is remounting our hit show, In One Night, for Kelowna’s Fringe Festival Sept. 19-22. Tickets are $13, include a dessert/drink and are available at www.rotarycentreforthearts.com 

What is a Fringe festival?

It is an unjuried, uncensored and unpredictable line up of plays that run in repetition so that you can see many performances over a short period of time.

The very first Fringe festival was held in Edinburgh, and the largest North American festival is in Edmonton. Both take place in August and are mind-blowing events that are perfectly orgasmic for those who are crazy about performance-or just crazy.

I have been lucky enough to work as a board member for eight years in Edmonton and to perform in Edmonton and Calgary as well as visit Edinburgh’s unbelievable festival.

Now there are festivals all over the world and Kelowna wants in. This is Kelowna’s second attempt at hosting the most iconic of all theatre festivals, organized by Dustyn Baulkham of ARTSCO.

To say I am excited about Kelowna’s event is an understatement. We are doing our Fringe-y best to work on our show and talk up all 12 shows that can be found at three locations in downtown Kelowna:

  • Metro Community
  • Rotary Centre For The Arts
  • Black Box Theatre.

So why should you Fringe?

Here are my five reasons.

We can all use a shock to the system. Fringe festivals push boundaries and encourage us to expand our viewpoints, enlighten and yes, may even terrify or shock us.  With our lives so perfectly curated now by big business and social media it is wonderful to find yourself in a performance that makes us feel like we truly don’t know what will happen next.

Fringe festivals are a platform for seeing and meeting the next or current big thing in performance. Many of the coolest people I have ever met have been at or by working with a Fringe festival. Some of the big stars I get to come to our KFX festival are actually people I met at such festivals or the friends of people I met at a Fringe festivals.

It’s Cheap! Wow! Tickets for $13? It is so easy to see a lot of theatre inexpensively. For the same cost as one expensive theatre or concert ticket, you can see all 12 plays. Purchasing a Frequent Fringer pass can save you even more money; tickets for plays will be just $11 each.

Artistic Director? Actor? Look for new material at a Fringe Festival. Looking for the next Come from Away or The Drowsy Chaperone? Check out a Fringe festival –they are the testing ground for new plays.

Support Something New and Cool. This new endeavour needs your support. ARTSCO is just a small organization and the job of putting on a Fringe festival is a massive one.

They need help:

  • volunteers
  • billets
  • patrons

100% of the tickets goes directly to the performing artists so those that have come from South Africa and New York and from across Canada deserve to be applauded by Kelowna audiences just as we locals are.

PS: If it helps pull you in, dessert and a drink will be served to all who attend our show In One Night (playing in the Black Box)

The Advice: Get your tickets now for this epic theatre festival. You will be glad for these five reasons and so many more.

Get your tickets at www.rotarycentreforthearts.com and info can be found at www.kelownafringe.ca. Programs are at the RCA and local coffee shops.

Do the Fringe!

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

Bonnie Gratz is an actor, director, and playwright. She is the Artistic Director of Kelowna's New Vintage Theatre, and a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and The Literary and Dramaturges of North America. 

For more on Bonnie, check out www.bonnie-gratz.com or check out www.newvintage.ca

Contact Bonnie at:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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