By Trevor Smith Diggins
GUELPH, ON – Actors, dancers, musicians, and performing artists from near and far will take the stage at three local venues during the Guelph Fringe Festival, happening August 4-7 in downtown Guelph. Each of the 15 independent artistic teams will perform three shows at one of three local venues.
A total of 45 live shows will be performed over four days at the Guelph festival, which is part of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals, a national organization that exists to provide opportunities for independent artists to showcase their work. Following a familiar format to fringe festivals around the world, the artists participating in Guelph will receive $12 from every $15 ticket sold.
The Guelph Fringe was rebooted for 2022 through a volunteer collaboration between local artists, thespians, and theatre-lovers, including producers from the Downtown Theatre Project, a local production company that launched in Guelph in 2018.
Festival coordinator Paul Barson says presenting 45 shows in four days is no simple act. “Going live with multiple productions simultaneously is all part of the fun of fringe,” notes Barson, who spearheaded the initiative back in 2019. Since then, the festival has been delayed twice due to Covid protocols. This year, Barson says all systems are go.
“We are all very excited for this year’s Fringe, because it’s all about independent artists,” adds Barson. “And it’s been a very long journey for everyone involved, so we can’t wait to see what will be happening on stage.”
All Festival shows will be performed at The Red Brick Café, Silence, and the Guelph Civic Museum in downtown Guelph. For full information, tickets and showtimes, visit www.theguelphfringefestival.ca. All seats are $15 on Eventbrite (online fees extra). Remaining tickets can be purchased for cash at each venue 30 minutes before showtime.
Performing at the 2022 Guelph Fringe Festival AUGUST 4-7:
· A Baby for Andy – a drama about a gay couple with a dark secret between them just a few months before their wedding.
· A Game of Inches – an independent woman embarks on a quest to understand this strange creature called man and navigates a growing fascination with baseball.
· Banjoker – a comedy banjo show with plenty of laughs, lots of music and random acts of nonsense.
· Cheap Beer and a Bad Year – a musical one-man show following the worst year of one man’s life so far.
· Dear Jax – a reflection on grief that channels the power of writing.
· Girls’ Night Cabin Fever – a slapstick farce about three childhood best friends who rekindle their friendship while staying at a remote cabin.
· Have You Flogged Your Crew Today? – an autobiographical dramedy looking back on the writer’s “mind-boggling moments of utter incompetence.”
· Hi Again Highschool: An Improvised Assembly – an improv comedy show that will consist of stories, songs and comedy inspired by your real-life high school experiences.
· In My Brother’s Eyes – an original play about what it means to be a family with a physically challenged member.
· InnerGenerational – a combination of poetry, comedy, storytelling, music, and holding space for healing through expression.
· MINE! True Stories and Legends of the Porcupine Gold Rush – a 12-song solo, musical journey back in time.
· One Kid Show – a musical drama about a girl navigating the reality of being a character in a play, while her family and therapist try to figure out how to get through to her.
· Paradise On Earth – An Environmental Musical – a humorous play with original music that should “leave you feeling happy to be alive in these impactful times.”
· Transit – a dark comedy about a lifelong friendship that leaves the audience “caught between laughter and unsettling introspection.”
· Up Until Now — stand-up comedian Jeremiah Ukponrefe tells a hilarious tale chronicling his life story, which includes the proper way to use a Barbie Dream House.