Stage Door News

Toronto: The Toronto Fringe Festival came back with a bang

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The 35th Annual Toronto Fringe Festival wrapped up after 12 successful days of live theatre in 16 venues, plus free programming at the POSTSCRIPT Patio from July 5-16, 2023. Toronto Fringe is pleased to report over 46,850 tickets were issued with over $500,000 in revenue returning to the artists.

Toronto Fringe audiences came out in droves to dozens of sold-out shows, while giving a tremendous $40,000 in donations which brings the festival’s current donation campaign to $118,000.

“The 2023 Toronto Fringe Festival was exceptional. What a privilege it was to witness the thought-provoking artistry and unbridled creativity that took to the stage,” said Jason Murray, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Special thanks to everyone involved, including our sponsors, donors, audiences, artists, volunteers, Board, and staff. Collectively, our imaginations are reignited following this year’s fest and we’re reminded of the many reasons why this festival is so special.”

The Toronto Fringe Festival presented over 100 shows by local and visiting artists featuring theatre, dance, comedy, musicals, and solo shows with multiple sold out runs and rave reviews. The festival kicked off July 4 with the first ever Launch Party, hosted by Pearle Harbour and headlined by Graham Scott Fleming, at the packed POSTSCRIPT Patio.

The POSTSCRIPT Patio returned to the Tranzac in the Annex with free daily programming and activities including the Visual Fringe Market, Labour in the Arts Zone Out, Stand-Up Comedy Night, Reality Sips Live, Indie Community Mixer, Community Yoga, Canadian Citizenship Ceremony, Silent Disco, plus activations and free samples from Saulter Street Brewery, Duxbury Cider, Tonica Kombucha, Partake Brewing, and Nickel 9 Distillery.

Toronto Fringe also introduced the brand new KidsFest Day Camp. The KidsFest Day Camp gave children aged 4-11 the chance to be immersed in the world of theatre with creative performance-based fun. Supported by long time Fringe donor, Neville Austin, KidsFest Day Camp participants attended several Fringe shows with camp days packed with fun activities and adventures.

Throughout the festival dates Toronto Fringe also facilitated three youth programs including Teen Fringe, TENT, and New Young Reviewers. Teen Fringe, in partnership with Edge of The Sky and supported by Neville Austin, is a youth arts initiative for those aged 12-17, inviting young artists to train with leading professionals in acting, singing, dancing, and writing. TENT is an annual program, sponsored by RBC Emerging Artists Project, for 14 theatre artists to expand their skill set into producing and creating work opportunities for themselves and the greater artistic community through peer connections, workshops, and mentorship. The New Young Reviewers program, supported by the Jon Kaplan Legacy Fund, is a workshop series and writing group for 10 emerging theatre and performance reviewers, ages 15 and up, with their reviews appearing in Intermission Magazine.

The 2023 Toronto Fringe Festival Award Winners were: Fertility Slippers (Textures Theatre) and Our Little Secret: The 23&Me Musical (It's Been Introduced) for North(519) Best of Fringe Festival presented by Theatre Orangeville; Frankenstein(esque) (Silent Protagonist Theatre) for Greenest in Fringe presented by Canadian Green Alliance; Ms. Titaverse (Tita Collective) for The Second City Best Comedy Award; Insert Clown Here (Parlous Theatre) and Featherhead (Birdbrain Theatre Collective) for Spirit of the Fringe Award; The Man With The Golden Heart (Chaos & Light) for Volunteers’ Choice Award.

The 2023 Patrons’ Picks were: The Camp Campy Campfire Show (Stories by Dan) for KidsFest; Curious K Explores the Paleozoic (Kenton & Lise Productions) for Teen Fringe; Blake & Clay's Gay Agenda (Gay for Pay Productions) for Tarragon Theatre Mainspace; Frankenstein(esque) (Silent Protagonist Theatre) for Tarragon Theatre Extraspace; Emo Majok: African Aussie (Emo-tainment) for Tarragon Theatre Solo Room; CHOIR (Edge of the Sky) for Al Green Theatre; Ms. Titaverse (Tita Collective) for Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace; ONE NIGHT ONLY (duhdumduhdum productions) for Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace; Killing Time: A Game Show Musical (Mixtape Projects) for Factory Theatre Mainspace; The Bad Mitzvah (Salt Theatre) for Factory Theatre Studio; Our Little Secret: The 23&Me Musical (It's Been Introduced) for Alumnae Theatre; Aliya Kanani: Where You From, From? (Aliya Kanani) for Tank House Theatre, Young Centre for the Performing Arts; Mail Ordered (Shanice Stanislaus) for Aki Studio, Native Earth Performing Arts.

About the Toronto Fringe: Toronto Fringe is a grassroots, charitable organization that runs the Toronto Fringe Festival each July. The 17th annual Next Stage Theatre Festival will take place October 18-29, 2023. Toronto Fringe offers various year-round programs that benefit youth, emerging artists, BIPOC artists, artists with disabilities, and the performing arts community at large. Embedded in Fringe’s operations are the values of Access, Accountability, Creativity, Exploration, and Support.

Toronto Fringe Festival

July 3 - 14, 2024