The Fringe Festival is Toronto’s answer to cheap (but great) theatre. As the site says, the “Fringe movement” is a worldwide network of indie theatre festivals. As the name suggests, the movement is about celebrating under-represented voices and those on the margins of the performing arts world. As a result, the shows are a result of a lottery system of producers and writers who submitted their plays. It’s a festival where anyone can put on any show, without having to pass through a jury – where theatre students can mount their first production outside of school, where emerging artists can get their big break, and where established artists can test out new work.
The Fringe turns 25 in 2014 and will be featuring 148 shows in over 35 venues. Popular shows like da Kink in my Hair and The Drowsy Chaperone got their start at Fringe.
Whether you’re watching a show (or number of shows) in the back alley behind the famed Honest Ed’s, or smaller theatres in Toronto like the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, you’ll be in for a cheap treat. Tickets are $12 in advance. The Fringe Club, the outdoor festival headquarters, has tons of free programming.