By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca
“I have had a most rare dream….”
–Bottom the stagestruck weaver, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Tickets go on sale at noon today for A Midsummer Night’s Fringe, the 36th annual edition of our summer theatre bash, North America’s first and still biggest fringe festival.
There’s more than one route into the 220-show universe of this year’s Fringe. You can order tickets online at fringetheatre.ca. You can phone the Fringe box office (780-409-1910). Or you can show up in person at the central box office in the ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330 84 AVe.) or TIX on the Square in Churchill Square downtown.
The holy grail for the Fringe binger is a Frequent Fringer Pass or Double Fringer Pass, $115 and $230 respectively for 10 or 20 tickets. There are 600 for sale, and they get snapped up in a twinkling.
Once the festivities start, other possibilities, more spontaneous and creative, appear in the Fringe mist. You can make your ticket transactions (and pick up your online purchases) at satellite box offices scattered throughout the site, and at the French Quarter’s La Cité francophone headquarters. An hour before showtime, you can try your luck at the door of a BYOV, one of the 31 indie venues acquired and outfitted by the artists themselves, and containing fully half the Fringe’s 220-show roster.
Artists set the ticket price, to a $13 maximum, with a $3 topper going towards running the box office system. So the most you’ll be shelling out is 16 bucks. Most artists — broke and going for broke — have opted for the max, as you’ll see if you do a quick tour of the 44-page glossy $10 program. But there are some exceptions (Prom Night of the Living Dead: A Zombie High school Musical!, for example, at $10, Stranger Things Have Happened at $8, Blown Away at $11, Cream of Improv Soup at $10).
Many shows offer discounts for seniors and students. And they can also send tickets to the half-price “daily discount” booth on the day of the performance. And if you’re nice to an artist, who might happen to be wandering through the site promoting a show, who knows? You might end up with a complementary ticket (groups can hold back a quarter of their tickets for any show, for their own impulsive connections with their potential audience).
Now, the question is this: What To See? 12thnight.ca is here to help you with that. Check out this site for suggestions, features, Fringe show reviews, by me and special guest reviewers.