The Toronto Fringe is currently happening at various venues across the city. The Fringe is an independent theatre festival showcasing over 150 productions and we guarantee it has something for everyone. There is comedy and sketch. Serious dramas and well made plays. Campy musicals and breath taking dance pieces. There is even weird performance art involving puppets, nudity, and overhead projectors. Below we’ve put together a list of the top five things you can find at the Toronto Fringe Tent, and unlike your co-worker’s one person show, we can guarantee that these will be a good time:

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At the heart of the festivities is the Toronto Fringe Tent. The tent is located at Scadding Court and serves as the festival’s main hub. It’s the perfect spot to start your Fringe adventure and the best location to get the rundown of what shows to see and what shows to desperately avoid. This year the tent is also home to a variety of different live performances for patrons looking to get a taste of the fest without forking over the twelve-dollar ticket price.

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Slay Day and Beardonce

On July 12th The Fringe Tent is hosting a performance by celebrated drag act Beardonce. Over the past year Beardonce has been making waves in Canada’s drag scene for their gender defying aesthetic and fierce dance moves. The performer is second to none in the Toronto scene and anyone bearing witness to their show is lucky to be graced by Beardonce’s presence. For those of you looking to improve your own moves, Beardonce’s performance dancers will be teaching Beyonce choreography. Whether lemonade will be served is yet to be confirmed.

Performers and artists desperately pitching their shows

Toronto Fringe is a magical mixed bag of highs and lows. Because entrance into the Toronto Fringe is conducted through a lottery system some of the performers are seasoned veterans with credits and acclaim, some are blossoming thespians starting off their careers, and others are just randoms who decided to try out theatre on a lark. What this means is that you could see a show that goes on to become a Broadway production or a hit television series, or you could see a show where a bunch of friends riff on what would happen if someone had a leg for a dick. In the tent artists desperately pitch their Fringe shows with the hopes of winning over audiences. Tactics range from flash mobs to drunkenly sobbing in the middle of the beer station.

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Cheap Drinks and a perfect patio

Do you know what makes art better? Alcohol. The Toronto Fringe tent has two beer stations with a quick, no nonsense, selection and a large outdoor patio to drink said on. We suggest the Dark and Stormy ($5.50), a ginger beer/rum concoction that’s the perfect way to celebrate an incredible performance or the perfect way to forget a bad one.

Passionate Debates

On July 13th The Fringe Tent is hosting Urgent Exchange. The event is an open discussion about how creators pay the bills and work life balance. For those of you looking to get a little taste of reality behind all the glitz and glamour of the shows, this is a great chance to get a behind the scenes look of what artists do for their art.

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Delicious Food

After slamming all of those cheap drinks, seeing a show, or engaging in debate a person can get a little hungry. The Toronto Fringe Tent has a variety of delicious food vendors to partake in before or after seeing a play. We’d suggest Kung Fu Dawg. Their bizarre and delicious flavor combinations are a perfect Fringe treat.

Image credits: Cover photo Tanja Tiziana/Toronto Fringe. Beardonce Sign via Graham Isador, Kung Fu Dawg Photo via Water Front BIA, Dark and Stormy photo via Gosling Rum’s Instagram.

About The Author

Graham Isador is the artistic director of Pressgang and a contributing writer for Notable Life, Vice and The Hard Times. He is based in Toronto. @presgang

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