Festival food, recycling, and high attendance expected for the Fringe
The next of Saskatoon's major summer festivals will take thousands to the Broadway area this week
Robert Wyma, festival producer for the PotashCorp Fringe Theater festival, estimates that up to 12,000 people will go through the four theatre venues in the district with about 40,000 people to attend the 10 days of outdoor events.
He said it’s difficult to predict what’s going to be a hot ticket this year.
“We put this art up in front of the community every year and until they get here we don’t know what the public is going to find as a favorite,” said Wyma.
Wyma has been producing the festival for the past ten years and says its gone through quite a few changes in that time.
“Certainly Fringe Theatre has grown in the 10 years that I’ve been here. It is a very unique form of theater in that most of it is 60 minute shows and the pricing is pretty hard to beat,” said Wyman.
This year over 200 shows featuring 38 companies will bring performers from across the country as well as local artists.
“I think this year is probably one of our best pre festival builds that we’ve had in that we’ve got a really great lineup of indoor theater and the fantastic outdoor festival site,” he said.
New to the festival this year is an expanded food presentation on the street. About 15 food vendors are involved.
Also new this year, the festival has partnered with Loraas Recycling to implement a comprehensive on-site recycling program.
“So if you’re coming down to Broadway to enjoy the festival please look for the blue bins at the side of the road,” said Wyma.
Wyma said the festival is really a community celebration with 200 to 250 volunteers every year giving about 3,000 person hours.
The PotashCorp Fringe goes from Aug. 2 to 11.
With the starting date of the Fringe Festival getting closer volunteer co-ordinator Rick Cranston is getting the word out to possible volunteers and billets.
They have 40 billets confirmed to take in the out-of-town actors, but Cranston said that they need at least five more.
"Unfortunately those actors that are remaining will probably have to find a hotel room," he said.
With actors often doing the festival circuit on a limited budget it can make a large dent in their expenses.
"It will cost them a great deal of money. Their show money that they might make here will be seriously cut in two," Cranston said.
He also said that even with around 150 volunteers there are still spots every day that could be filled with more volunteers.
There are benefits to getting involved.
"They can go to up to 30 free shows just by volunteering," he said.
People billeting actors receive 11 free tickets to any of the plays.
To volunteer go to the office in Victoria School or call 664-2239
With files from Kelly Malone
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