Saskatoon is getting ready to experience life on the fringe for a 29th-straight year.
The 2018 Fringe Festival starts Thursday night with independent arts performances and a street festival on Broadway Avenue.
This year the 10-day event features 33 plays and 231 performances in six different venues in Saskatoon, along with more than 30 food vendors and over 200 total booths at their street festival.
New executive director Danielle Altrogge told 650 CKOM it will be a jam-packed time for the arts community.
“You get to see a lot of shows in a pretty short period of time,” she said.
“It’s quite a lot to pull off, so we’re quite excited to see how it all comes together.”
With a new executive director comes new features to the Fringe Festival.
Altrogge said they’re introducing “Family Fringe Days” on Aug. 5 and 6, where there will be free activities for people of all ages to take part in.
Included in those free events are family yoga, hip-hop classes, screen printing for children’s t-shirts and activities hosted by the Nutrien Children’s Discovery Museum.
The festival is also inviting dramatic arts groups to put on their own shows and collect their own funds through a “Fringe After Dark” program.
“You take the door, we take the bar and you can do whatever you want because it’s Fringe,” Altrogge said.
“You are on the fringe, we are on the fringe, and how can we all collaborate and create something together?”
In her mind, that’s the beauty of the Fringe Festival — the artistic freedom.
The performances aren’t chosen through a judging process, but rather through either first-come, first-serve or a lottery.
A third of the performances originate from Saskatchewan, another third from across Canada and the rest are international.
“This allows a performer to produce a show maybe they normally wouldn’t get to produce through a regular theatre season,” Altrogge said.
“So we get to see something that’s maybe a little riskier, a little more exciting.”
Fringe Festival runs Aug. 2 to 11 from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weeknights and from 12 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekends and the holiday Monday.