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Everything you’re looking for from In the Greenroom covering festival after festival after festival…!

The Toronto Fringe Festival

Photo Credit: Tanja Tiziana

Who: 
Hosted by The Toronto Fringe

What:
Inspired by the worldwide fringe movement, Toronto Fringe was founded by a cluster of local indie artists in 1989 to offer the “fringes” of the performing arts community a platform to create art at a grassroots level. It’s theatre by the people, for the people.

Since then, the Toronto Fringe Festival has become the largest theatre festival in Ontario, showcasing 150+ productions every July at 30+ venues around downtown Toronto. But throughout its three decades of growth, Fringe has kept the indie, grassroots spirit alive. Fringe keeps ticket prices lower than any other arts festival in the city, at $13, because we believe everyone should be able to afford to see theatre.

When:
July 4-15, 2018

Where:
Toronto, Ontario

Tickets & Info:
fringetoronto.com


2018 Toronto Fringe Interviews

“From TV Pilot to Site-Specific Musical & On Keeping Open to Options and Optimism” In Conversation with Kris Hagen on LIGHTERS IN THE AIR at the 2018 Toronto Fringe

Kris Hagen, often known for his comedy or his role as ‘Sketchy Looking Dude’ on Kim’s Convenience, brings his original music to the Toronto Fringe Festival. Lighters in the Air, the first show by Dive Bar Productions, is a site-specific musical set in a bar where the mic is always open. I spoke with Kris about how the story kept developing from TV Pilot, to feature, to site-specific musical, what it’s like wearing many hats with this show and on how he lives his life by keeping open to options, optimism and surrounding himself with good people. Read the full interview now here.


“Making Improv Magic, The Value of Play & Working with Colin Mochrie” In Conversation with Liz Johnston & Mimi Warshaw on ENTRANCES AND EXITS at the 2018 Fringe

We sat down with actor, improviser, Bad Dog Theatre Company member and Entrances and Exits co-creator Liz Johnston and Howland Company member and E&E production manager Mimi Warshaw to figure out how they make that improv magic happen, some common misconceptions about improv, and, of course, what it’s like working with Colin Mochrie. Read the full interview here.


In Conversation with artist Tom McGee on Being a Dramaturge, Collaborating with Kat Sandler and Embracing His Own Style as Playwright & Director with FEATHERWEIGHT at the Fringe

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Tom McGee is a story nerd, with a resume to prove it. Behind every hit Theatre Brouhaha show has been McGee, working as the diligent dramaturge alongside Dora Award-winning playwright Kat Sandler. He has been there helping her craft the hilarious, dark and punchy scripts we’ve all come to expect from this ambitious company. With their newest production, Featherweight, McGee is swapping places with Sandler. While McGee steps into the roles of writer and director, Sandler is working as both producer and dramaturge. I got to speak with Tom to get his thoughts on the struggles of dramaturgy and learning to embrace his own writing style. Read the full interview here.


“Inspiration, Travel & Getting Personal” In Conversation with performer Clare Blackwood on BIKEFACE at the 2018 Toronto Fringe

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BikeFace is a show ready to inspire adventure. Strange but true tales of writer Natalie Frijia’s solo journey across Canada are brought to life by performer Clare Blackwood, on stage now at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival. We sat down with Clare to talk about inspiration, travel and how personal this show became. Read the full interview here.


“Collaboration, Self-Advocacy & Finding Inspiration in the Details” In Conversation with Kevin Wong & Julie Tepperman on New Musical Development with THE PREPOSTEROUS PREDICAMENT OF POLLY PEEL (Act 1) at the 2018 Toronto Fringe

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Kevin Wong and Julie Tepperman are no strangers to the Fringe Festival. Their constant dedication and innovation to the Toronto theatre scene had us already very excited about their new musical in development The Preposterous Predicament of Polly Peel (Act 1), now running at the Tarragon Theatre. Seeing that only act 1 was being presented at the Fringe, it further peaked our interest and we were eager to chat with them about what it takes to develop a new musical and to discuss the nitty-gritty of how this process actually works. We were very lucky to catch the two busy creators to chat about development, collaboration, self-advocacy and finding inspiration in the details. Read the full interview here.


In Conversation with Briana Brown and Rob Kempson on Co-Directing ROBERT at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival

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When finding out about Robert by Briana Brown, running at the 2018 Toronto Fringe Festival, I was very intrigued to find out that it was being co-directed. In a position that is so traditionally singular and with the current conversations around power dynamics in the rehearsal hall, I was eager to catch up with co-directors Briana Brown and Rob Kempson to discuss what drew them to share this leadership role, the value of artistic respect and trust in your directing partner, and the advice they would pass along to others wanting to explore this alternative directing structure. Read the full interview here.


“From Glam Rocker, to MMA, to TV Personality, to the 2018 Toronto Fringe with ENJOY THE HOSTILITIES” 5 Questions with Robin Black

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We were excited to get the opportunity to chat with Robin Black, who has had quite the journey going from glam rocker, to mixed martial artist, to television personality, and who now adds Toronto Fringe storyteller to his list of titles. We discussed his greatest challenges both mentally and physically, his personal philosophy that kept him moving forward, and why he decided to share his story with the Toronto Fringe this summer in Enjoy the Hostilities. Read the full interview here.


“Working with Youth, Audience Participation & The Extraordinary Things in Life” Eliza Martin and Neil Silcox on HARVEY & THE EXTRAORDINARY at the 2018 Toronto Fringe

04-20-2018-045656-5544We sat down with theatre creators Eliza Martin and Neil Silcox to discuss the upcoming site-specific Fringe show Harvey & the Extraordinary, written and performed by Eliza and directed by Neil. Harvey & the Extraordinary explores the joy and heartbreak of childhood from the perspective of an 8-year-old girl named Mimi. We spoke about working with youth, audience participation and the extraordinary things in life. Read the full interview here.


The Toronto Fringe Next Stage Festival 

Who:
Hosted by The Toronto Fringe

What:
The Next Stage Theatre Festival is the premiere winter theatre event in the city. Produced by the Toronto Fringe, Next Stage is a platform for past Fringe artists to take groundbreaking work to the next level – and a gathering place for discerning culture lovers in the city.

While some of the shows have appeared at previous Fringe Festivals, most are new works by established Fringe artists who have demonstrated the passion and tenacity to take their work to the next stage.

Where:
Factory Theatre
125 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON

When:
January 3-14, 2018

Tickets & Info:
fringetoronto.com


Next Stage Preview: NSTF Artists take it to the “Next Stage” in 2018

26171460_1611959575531747_4625523051511876260_oWe had the pleasure of connecting with this year’s NSTF artists to discuss their work, the importance of the festival, and we asked them to reflect on their hopes/goals/mantras for themselves as artists and for the Toronto arts community for 2018. Read more here.


SummerWorks Performance Festival

Who:
Hosted by SummerWorks

What:
SummerWorks is Canada’s largest curated performance festival of theatre, dance, music, live art and interdisciplinary forms. This year’s 11-day Festival features 52 unique projects, as well their SLIP series of artist workshops, a collection of new performance experiments in the SummerWorks Lab, and nightly parties.

Where:
Toronto, ON.

When:
August 3-13, 2017

Tickets & Info:
summerworks.ca


2017 SummerWorks Interviews:

Talking Connection, Reality and Structure with Rebecca Applebaum, Director of REALITY THEATRE at SummerWorks

19113781_1874154792725944_6576334806603097433_nWe sat down with Director Rebecca Applebaum to chat about Connection, Reality and Exploring Structure in her latest directing project REALITY THEATRE at SummerWorks. Read the interview here. 


“Universalism vs Pluralversalism and Exploring Voice” In Conversation with Jivesh Parasram & Tom Arthur Davis on THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN at SummerWorks

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We sat down with Jiv Parasram and Tom Arthur Davis to discuss the major narratives and ideas explored in their current piece The Only Good Indian at the SummerWorks Performance Festival: identity, occupation and personal history. Read the interview here.


“A Vaudeville of Ionesco meets 30 Rock” In Conversation with David Bernstein on creating “surrealist hoedown” NASHVILLE STORIES at SummerWorks

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We spoke with David Bernstein about Garth Brooks’ professional transition into Chris Gains, creating “surrealist hoedown” NASHVILLE STORIES, on stage now at SummerWorks, and about being afraid of bored, polite digestion. Read the interview here.


In Conversation with Kevin Matthew Wong, Co-Creator of THE CHEMICAL VALLEY PROJECT at SummerWorks

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We spoke with Kevin Matthew Wong, co-creator of THE CHEMICAL VALLEY PROJECT on stage now at SummerWorks, about the Sarnia Chemical Valley, exploring projection, liveness and miniature object puppetry, and how he doesn’t want his work to end when the show is over. Read the interview here. 


A Chat with Jason Maghanoy, Playwright of THE NAILS at the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival

PROMO STILL

We spoke with playwright Jason Maghanoy about the themes he’s exploring in his latest play The Nails at SummerWorks and how real life sometimes doesn’t feel real. Read the interview here.


“It’s Mad Max meets The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” Performers Amanda Cordner, Christina Bryson & Director Claire Burns on DIVINE at SummerWorks

Christina Bryson, Amanda Cordner, Rehaset Tha, Haley Garnett, Sarah Naomi Campbell

 

We sat down with actors Christina Bryson, Amanda Cordner and director Claire Burns to chat about The Storefront Theatre’s sudden closing, Burns’ approach to marrying activism with theatre, and the strength of community in their all-female cast of Divine, on stage now as part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival. Read the interview here. 


Artist Profile: Chris Ross-Ewart, Sound Designer & Composer

We spoke to sound designer and composer Chris Ross-Ewert about his upcoming SummerWorks show Explosions for the 21st Century. Read the artist profile here. 


The Toronto Fringe Festival

Who: 
Hosted by The Toronto Fringe

What:
Inspired by the worldwide fringe movement, Toronto Fringe was founded by a cluster of local indie artists in 1989 to offer the “fringes” of the performing arts community a platform to create art at a grassroots level. It’s theatre by the people, for the people.

Since then, the Toronto Fringe Festival has become the largest theatre festival in Ontario, showcasing 150+ productions every July at 30+ venues around downtown Toronto. But throughout its three decades of growth, Fringe has kept the indie, grassroots spirit alive. Fringe keeps ticket prices lower than any other arts festival in the city, at $12, because we believe everyone should be able to afford to see theatre.

When:
July 5-16, 2017

Where:
Toronto, Ontario

Tickets & Info:
fringetoronto.com

 


#FiercelyFringe

It’s the most WONDERFUL TIME of the year! Happy Opening to the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival! Every year, we are constantly inspired by the core values of The Toronto Fringe Festival:

  • It’s about creating art at a grassroots level.
  • It’s “theatre by the people, for the people“.
  • It’s about taking risks and exploring something new.

So, we asked this year’s Boss Fringe Artist Babes: How are you FIERCELY representing these values? How are you #FiercelyFringe?

After an overwhelming response, we’re thrilled to share our first #FiercelyFringe preview with you, listed in no particular order, and in two parts (because we can only get our scroll on for so long…)

We hope this gives you a more personal look at these shows and the artists behind them as you plan your viewing schedule over the next two weeks.

Be sure to follow along with us on twitter, facebook and instagram for our full #FringeTO coverage celebrating all of the people and moving pieces that make this festival so electric!

See you at the Fringe Club #FiercelyFringe friends!

– ITGR

Read Part 1 & Part 2 of our Epic Fringe Preview #FiercelyFringe here!


An Honest Goodbye

Photo Credit: Tanja Tiziana

With The Toronto Fringe moving home-bases this year from the Honest Ed’s alley and parking lot to the Scadding Court Community Centre, their annual costume parade which celebrates the opening of each festival, provided the perfect opportunity for reflection.

It is our pleasure to share An Honest Goodbye by Jared Bishop, a meditation on The Fringe’s shifting location as an opportunity for growth and connection to community, and how dressing up, being silly and coming together to share joy and excitement to launch the festival can provide a therapeutic outlet for personal and communal healing and an openness to transition.

Read An Honest Goodbye here. 


2017 Toronto Fringe Interviews:

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons

We spoke with James Graham, who plays Oliver in Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons about working with director Harveen Sandhu, how language shapes relationships, and the importance of silence. Read the interview here.


Jay & Shilo’s Sibling Revelry

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It was such a pleasure to catch up with power-duo Anthony Bastianon and Denise Oucharek about their latest collaboration on Jay & Shilo’s Sibling Revelry at this year’s Fringe Kids Fest at the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival. We spoke about the excitement of trying something new with the Fringe Kids Fest, the strength of working together as partners, when they get the chance, and the mantras they are currently living by in their careers. Read the interview here.


Weaksauce

We spoke with storyteller Sam Mullins about the people who helped his show WEAKSAUCE come together, how he’s turned his stage anxiety into a useful tool for performing, and why this was the perfect show to revisit in his life right now. Read more here.


Lysistrata

In photo (l-r): Amanda Mattar, Brittany Cope, St. Stella, Amanda McKnight, Jennah Foster-Catlack. Photo taken by David Kingsmill

We spoke with writer/director/co-producer Kay Brattan, Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame performer St. Stella, and performer Sebastian Marziali/El Toro about their burlesque adaptation of Lysistrata. Read the interview here. 


Welcome to the Bunker!

We spoke with Clare Blackwood, co-writer/performer of Welcome to the Bunker! at the 2017 Toronto Fringe. We chatted about why she chose to go for the post-apocalyptic zombie genre, what she would bring to the bunker if/when the zombie apocalypse happens, and what audiences should prepare for when they enter The Bunker this Fringe. Read the interview here.


Rough Magic

Read our interview with Lindsay Bellaire and Phillip Psutka about their rigorous process of creation and training and why Rough Magic is a perfect story to explore right now here.


Bendy Sign Tavern

Read our interview with Sex T-Rex’s Kaitlin Morrow, Seann Murray and their “Human Piano Player” Elliot Loran about their new site-specific show, Bendy Sign Tavern at the Toronto Fringe. We spoke about puppets, the service industry and supporting each other at The Toronto Fringe. Read the interview here.


The Diddlin’ Bibbles Live in Concert!

We spoke with hilarious duo Matt Shaw and Lesley Robertson aka Jessop & Rosemary of The Diddlin’ Bibbles Live in Concert at The Toronto Fringe about the risk in creating your own work, sharing your most private self and why The Toronto Fringe is such a great place to learn. Read the interview here. 


Maddie’s Karaoke Birthday Party

Read our interview with Barbara Johnston and Byron Laviolette about collaborating together, the excitement of trying something new in the Fringe, and how we all need a little more fun in our lives with Maddie’s Karaoke Birthday Party here.


10 Creative Ways to Dispose of Your Cremains

Read our interview with Carly Chamberlain, artistic producer of Neoteny Theatre and director of Fringe show 10 Creative Ways to Dispose of your Cremains written by Rose Napoli here. 


No Place

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Read our interview with Storyteller Jillian Welsh on her show NO PLACE in the 2017 Toronto Fringe here.


Bad Baby Presents: Rules Control The Fun

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Read our interview with Janelle Hanna chatting about her show “Bad Baby Presents: Rules Control The Fun” at the 2017 Toronto Fringe here.


Coming Soon:

  • Summer Theatre Trips


The Next Stage Theatre Festival

Who: 
Hosted by The Toronto Fringe

What:
10 Years of Next Stage! The Toronto Fringe started NSTF 10 years ago to give Fringe artists an opportunity to take their work to the next level. Since 2008, the festival has grown into the premier showcase of Fringe talent in our country. And thanks to their heated Steam Whistle Tent, you can grab a drink and meet friends before or after your show, making January the new July!

When:
Jan. 4-15, 2017

Where:
Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto.

Tickets & Info:
416.966.1062
fringetoronto.com


Our Festival Favourites

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We couldn’t think of a better way to start 2017 on a high note than with a jam-packed festival of new theatre, dance, music, storytelling and improv; watching artists take their work to the ‘next stage’; and, of course, some good beer tent times re-connecting to old friends and meeting new ones!

We wanted to share some of In the Greenroom’s Festival Favourites, with the hopes of inspiring you as you begin your final NSTF scheduling. We’ve chosen something different, something new, something bloody and something true… maybe.

Check out our Festival Faves here.


In the Greenroom Artist Interviews: 

“Two Truths and a Lie… Oh, and a Can of Spam” – In Conversation with Storyteller Graham Isador

We had the joy of sitting down with Graham Isador, one of the creators and storytellers of Two Truths and a Lie, on now as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival. We spoke about the fundamentals of the show, the Storytelling community in Toronto, and how sometimes what we really need is just a feel-good performance where we can sit back and laugh.

Read the interview here. 

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“It’s Funny. It’s Feminist. It’s a Sexy Thriller, Horror Musical!” – In Conversation with Anika Johnson & Barbara Johnston on their flagship show Blood Ties at NSTF

It’s a complete joy to connect with Anika Johnson and Barbara Johnston of Johnson & Johnston, the power duo boss ladies behind Blood Ties at the Next Stage Theatre Festival. We spoke about where the inspiration for their horror musical came from, why they keep coming back to their flagship show after 10 years, and why the Next Stage Festival is like a big community party.

Read the interview here.

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“Exploring Archetypes, Storytelling & Country Music that isn’t about Football” – In Conversation with Matthew Gorman, writer of WESTERN, a play with music at NSTF

We spoke with Matthew Gorman, writer of Western, a play with music, at the Next Stage Festival, to discuss exploring the Western genre in the theatre, using music as a driving force in storytelling and the excitement of watching the NSTF grow over the years.

Read the interview here.


“To Clap or To Boo… What would The Claque do?” – In Conversation with Mark Brownell & Victor Pokinko on CLIQUE CLAQUE

We got to sit down with playwright Mark Brownell and actor Victor Pokinko of Clique Claque, premiering at The Next Stage Festival. We talked about who and what the “Claque” are, the potential timelessness of period pieces, and the importance of the festival model as a way of producing theatre.

Read the interview here.


“It’s the scariest performance I do. But it’s also why I love this job.” – A Chat with Kristian Bruun on SONGBUSTER – an improvised musical

We had the joy of chatting with Kristian Bruun, one of the artists performing and creating nightly Songbuster – an improvised musical on now at the Next Stage Theatre Festival. He spoke about the need to put on more musical improv in the city, how they prepare for a performance that is always changing, and how this is both the scariest kind of performance and why he loves his job.

Read the interview here.

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Most Photos featured by Tanja Tiziana.


 

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