June 1, 5-7pm
Good Robot Brewing
The Atlantic Fringe Festival is going into its 27th year with a new name: The Halifax Fringe Festival. Executive director Lee-Anne Poole believes it will better represent the event, which she calls “one of the city’s biggest festivals that a lot of people don’t know about.”
When the fringe theatre event first began, it was the only of its kind in Atlantic Canada. Poole says that’s no longer the case, and since this one has always taken place in Halifax, it makes sense to say so.
It’s not really a rebranding, though: “We are exactly who we’ve always been,” explains Poole. “Our mission and values in the festival are the same.”
That mission is to put the spotlight on theatrical performances outside the mainstream, and hopefully provide a gateway for people who might be intimidated by theatre.
“There isn’t a ticket price that’s over $15.”
This year’s line-up is made up of more than 50 productions, including 20 touring shows. Among them is #KanderAndEbb by Torontonian Ryan G. Hinds. The comedy cabaret is dropping by fresh from Orlando Fringe.
the Atlantic Canadian debut of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a ‘70s-inspired rock musical. Allister MacDonald stars as the title character while Geordie Brown directs.
Keeping with the rock n’ roll theme, Rock n Roll Saved my Life is expected to be another highlight show. This one-woman performance is a dark comedy, “bring your own venue” show presented at Gus’ Pub. Half of the proceeds go to Avalon Sexual Assault Centre.
“It’s one of the festivals that like, until you’re in the know, you don’t know about it—because theatre happens in dark rooms behind closed doors,” says Poole. Much of the event promotion depends on word of mouth, and the result it something of a bottleneck effect.
“We start out slow, and then by the end weekend we’re selling out and turning people away.”
Fringe is aiming to up its promotion game this year with the help of a GoFundMe page. The $10,000 goal will go towards festival guides, venue signage, pop-up banners and the like. They also hope to hire an outreach coordinator.
“We’d really like to get the word out to Halifax that this fringe festival is for them.”
Tonight, the fest is raising a glass to it’s 27th year at Good Robot Brewing. All are welcome.