The first Lethbridge Fringe Festival will focus on local talent, Sept. 10-13.
The event features seven shows taking place at the Gate, CASA and Club Didi throughout all four days.
“I only have two rules about what goes on stage – be clear about what audiences can expect and don’t break any laws,” said organizer Michele Gallant, who has been involved with organizing the Calgary Fringe Festival for the past 10 years.
“We’ve got two and a half weeks until the first Lethbridge Fringe Festival, so I’m getting pretty excited about it,” she continued adding she and her husband, Blair have been working on getting the Fringe Festival off the ground for the past year and a half.
“My husband is a fifth generation Lethbridgian. He talked to city council and they were really excited about it. We were in Lethbridge for the Whoop -Up Days parade and a lot of people came up to us and said they can’t wait for the Festival,” she said.
Tickets for each show cost $10 each.
“So you can see seven shows for $70. A lot of people will see a show, then go have a coffee, then see the next show,” she said, adding theatre shows are a lot more expensive in Calgary.
She is excited about the seven shows.
Jay Whitehead is presenting a play he wrote called CRABS and performs in another play written by Greg MacArthur called White Gleaming Beach. It is two dark comedy shorts combining sunburns, Cheerios, revenge and pubic lice starring Jay Whitehead, Jocelyn Haub and Dylan Parsons.
Co-Workers is a production written by U of L grad AJ Barager, starring Michael Rolfe and Madeleine Taylor-Gregg about two very different co-workers — naïve accountant Mark and impatient, jaded Stan.
“Banger Bingo” is a Medicine Hat production by Marcus Iannattone featuring ’80s rock, Bingo, crappy prizes and sleazy wit.
On a more educational note Calgary playwright and director Chris Denholm presents Legends of Canada- a one man show featuring stories and legends from across Canada.
Ms. Sugarcoat features Fringe Festival circuit veteran Alice Nelson , a well known comedian, clown and puppeteer. It is a satirical comedy about teachers who deal with helicopter parents, entitled students and political correctness.
Another Lethbridge entry is “The Duck Variations” from Lethbridge playwright David Mamet featuring Mike Theissen-Ernest and Andrew Legg who discuss ducks in depth and in the process explore the nature of existence, love, the environment, friendship, death and the nature of humanity.
The last Lethbridge entry is a production of the Vagina Monologues from director Deonie Hudson.
Gallant emphasized the entries were not curated. The participants were chosen by lottery.
“I’m really excited to bring the Fringe to Lethbridge,” she said.
“It’s about celebrating local artists and helping them expand their palate. People don’t realize how many talented artists there are in their own back yard.
She noted of the $10 ticket price, nine dollars goes to the artists and the other dollar covers ticket expenses.
Deonie Hudson, who is well known as a back stage worker and director of Lethbridge Music Theatre productions of Hairspray and Peter Pan, is excited to present something a little more edgier for the Lethbridge Fringe Festival— the Vagina Monologues.
There will be four shows— one on each day of the Festival at CASA. All of the proceeds go to local female oriented charities including Womanspace, which puts on their own regular productions of the Vagina Monologues.