Fringe Festival Celebration

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The Winnipeg Fringe Festival starts today, celebrating its 27th year in Winnipeg. Multitudes of people will converge on the Exchange district to watch independent, adventurous theatre.

The word fringe is defined as "something regarded as peripheral, marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else".

Over the years the Fringe has changed. Some might say it has grown up.  The venues for the most part are comfortable and airconditioned, unlike the hot uncomfortable (and sometimes unsafe) venues of old.  Now you can book your tickets well in advance avoiding the long lineups if you so choose.   Many of the plays are thought provoking, emotion invoking.......some would say worthy of a "main stage"  or "mainstream" performance.

While attending the Fringe, we sometimes come face to face with people who are marginalized by addictions, poverty, and economic status as they hang out in Old a Market Square looking for something to eat, or sadly, money to feed an addiction.

These people are on the fringe rather than at the Fringe, regarded by many as peripheral; secondary to the festivities going on around them; a nuisance to be avoided.  They too have a story to tell, but many of us find this type of theatre too out there, too extreme for us to give our attention to.  Instead, we avert our eyes, refuse to make eye contact, and pretend they are not there.

This year, experience the fringe of the yourself to the human condition.