In the last decade there has been an annual arts festival taking place right downtown. Every summer there are hundreds of performances taking place at various theatres and performance houses, featuring the best in independent plays and dramatic performances.
This year is the festival’s eleventh year and will be my first time actually taking it in. Eleven is my favourite number too. Coincidence?
The Hamilton Fringe Festival runs from July 17th until the 27th and will kick off with a special kick off party on July 16th. Each company in the festival will take to the stage for a two minute to offer preview of their shows, giving audiences a taste of what the Fringe will feature this summer! The event will be hosted by acclaimed local performer Shelley Marshall (Hold Mommy’s Cigarette, The Full Bawdy Comedy Show), and starts at 7:30pm from the Citadel Theatre at 28 Rebecca Street.
Tickets for the kick off party are $10 in advance or “Pay What You Can” at the door.
This year’s festival will have more than 300 performances from more than 40 different shows at nearly a dozen different venues downtown. Over the next several weeks we’ll have a preview of some of what you can expect from the shows.
New this year is the Family Fringe. Produced in partnership with Theatre Aquarius, this series features two musicals over two weekends. Tickets for kids 12 and under are $5.00 plus there will be free activities led by local artists for little Fringers on both Saturdays.
For youth interested in a career in theatre, a free backstage program is being introduced for 16-20 year olds with a passion for theatre. The Backstage pass at the Hamilton Fringe grants young theatre artists in the local area a chance to get involved. During the 11-day run of the festival, members of the Backstage Pass will get a chance to see shows, participate in talk-backs with fringe artists, take workshops with local industry professionals, gain insightful knowledge from guest artist talks and develop entrepreneurial skills under the guidance of Fringe staff and associates.
As a part of our kick-off event on July 16th a handful of political candidates running in the upcoming Hamilton municipal election will compete to raise funds to support Hamilton Fringe Festival’s continued community growth. Each candidate will perform alongside professional actors in a selected scene from Shakespeare’s canon. Depending on the level of funding they achieve, they will be cast as the FOOL, the LOSER IN LOVE, or the HERO. Players include mayoral candidates Brian McHattie, Ward 3 candidate Matthew Green, Ward 9 candidate Cam Galindo, and Michael Baldasaro.
Candidates can be sponsored here.
Advance tickets will go on sale beginning June 28th with tickets to most shows running $10.00, plus a one time purchase of a $4.00 Fringe backer button, which is required in order to get into all shows. Buttons and tickets can also be purchased at the door.
Stay tuned, we’ll have previews of many of the shows taking place at the Hamilton Fringe Festival over the next few weeks.