Fringe Sampler! is the best fest test

Free night gives a taste of many Atlantic Fringe Fest shows.

Fringe Sampler!
Thursday, September 1 7pm
The Seahorse Tavern, 2037 Gottingen Street

Going into its 26th year, the Atlantic Fringe Festival is anything but fringe. What was once a deliberately marginal theatrical celebration is not just a big theatre festival—it's now a major Halifax festival, period. More than 50 productions over 150 performances, spanning 15 venues from September 1-11. If the early years were cozy displays of "Let's put on a show!" gumption, today's rallying cry is more like "The show must go on."

For would-be audience members like you and me, however, all this success is daunting. What are we supposed to do with 50-something shows? Seeing them all isn't really an option. Aiming for critically acclaimed touring productions is a viable strategy—especially if you pre-buy tickets at—and The Coast will be among reviewers publishing during the fest to bring other gems to light. But those 11 days tend to fly by, and if you happen to miss the review that would lead you to a life-changing theatre experience, you'll end up stuck in the same old life, just nursing a major case of FOMO.

Luckily the Fringe is such an accomplished organization, it's able to rescue us from this dramatic existential drama. The first night of the festival, Thursday, September 1, there is a Fringe Sampler! event at The Seahorse. Each participating production will take the stage for a mini-performance, to let you get a real feel for its show. Although here the show must not go on very long (two minutes max), so your time investment is low. Plus admission is free, pushing the stakes even lower.

If you're only going to see one show to help you decide which other shows to see, this is it. Run, don't walk.

About The Author

Kyle Shaw

Kyle is the editor of The Coast. He was a founding member of the newspaper in 1993 and was the paper’s first publisher. Kyle occasionally teaches creative nonfiction writing (think magazine-style #longreads) and copy editing at the University of King’s College School of Journalism.

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