#CdnCult Times; Volume 3, Edition 7

#CdnCult Times; Volume 3, Edition 7


It’s mid-summer, which in Canadian Theatre means high season for The Fringe, as festivals roll out across the country. Last weekend, in ‘Has the Fringe circuit been good for Canadian theatre?’, Globe and Mail critic Kelly Nestruck raised some provocative questions about the role of Fringe in the theatrical ecology  “Has a three-decade torrent of low-budget shows of varying quality been good for Canadian theatre as a profession – or has it flooded the market”?

For this edition, we asked Executive Directors of both the Montreal and Ottawa Fringe Festivals to write about what it means to curate a festival that is by definition uncuratable. We also asked Rob Salerno, an artist and writer who has toured work to several Fringe festivals across the country, to weigh in on what he sees possibilities and challenges for the Fringe circuit moving forwards. Their answers imply that while Fringe is a singular phenomenon, their success is related to how each is specifically related to the community they serve.

All theatre is local, even on a national circuit.

Michael Wheeler
Editor-in-Chief: #CdnCult Times



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About the Author

Michael is Artistic Director of SpiderWebShow, which he co-created with Creative Catalyst Sarah Garton Stanley. He was previously Executive Director and Transformation Designer of Generator, where he led the transition from a fee-for-service model named STAF, to the current capacity-building model it operates on. Since 2003, he has run Toronto-based Praxis Theatre, with which he has directed 14 plays and curated several festivals while writing for and running performance-based websites. He teaches regularly at The National Theatre School and Queen's University, where SpiderWebShow is currently in residence.