Saturday, June 17, 2006

Fringe Benefits.

I was interviewed for this Maisonneuve piece by (Dailyite!) Claire Crighton about Fringe festivals...
“Fringe is a good place for new play development,” says Nestruck. “It’s really interesting that shows that have recently had a life outside of Canada started at the Fringe Festival and not from the play creation of established theatres—The Drowsy Chaperone, Job: The Hip Hop Musical, Da Kink in My Hair; they were all produced in the US. I think it says something about the play creation of theatres, that they’re not in touch with what audiences want. The Fringe has more bad stuff than an established theatre but the audience decides what’s good. And artists love the work they’re doing—they really feel strongly about it, they’re putting their own money into it. They’re not trying to write a play that’s going to get produced, a serious play with Canadian content.”
I totally sound like some sort of advocate for a free-market theatre or something, don't I? The entrepreneurial spirit of Fringe festivals is only good to a point... What you need then is some sort of backing to take the shows to the next level -- which is what Theatre Passe Muraille and Mirvish did with Drowsy and Da Kink. More on all this when the Toronto Fringe opens in a couple of weeks... One of the reasons I'm so happy about The Drowsy Chaperone's success on Broadway is that I hope it makes more people take Canada's Fringe circuit more seriously.

No comments: